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I've been running for over 30 years (started when I was 18.) Now that I'm 48, it seems my ankles are more sore and stiff in the morning than ever. This is something that has increased noticeably in the last three years. It's to the point I'm beginning to question the value of running. I want to be spry and healthy at 80, and at this rate, I may need to dump running for cycling, swimming, ellipitical, etc. How are you folks dealing with the increased aches and pains that seem to come after years and years of running?
I am 49 and I try to run three times a week
no more, no less. <br /><br />When I run more than three times a week, I seem to get injured; but three times is about right.<br /><br />As you may know, there are successful marathon training programs based on running three times a week. However, they strongly suggest you crosstrain two or three other days a week.<br /><br />I have been experimenting with using the elliptical on days I don't run. It seems to be a good way for me to increase my fitness in a way that complements my running.<br /><br />Edited to add: I also find that weight training seems to make me stronger for running. I recommend squats, leg presses, leg curls, and lat pulldowns (lat pulldowns strengthen upper body core stabilizers, whatever they are). Also pushups and situps, which I have to do because I'm in the National Guard, but they are also good for strengthening your core.<br /><br />Dark Horse<br /><br />--
Just wait until you get in your upper 50's !http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/wink.gif|src=http://www.coolrunning.com/forums/wink.gif|border=0!
I've been running for over 25 years and since I turned 50, I realized the body doesn't recover like it did when I was in my 30's and early 40's when I could go out and run everything hard.
It really sucks that now in my late 50's and the kids are gone, I have a lot more time to train..... but I keep finding myself spending that time on the DL.
I have mixed some cycling in and trying to mix a lot of easy days in while limiting my races and hard workouts.
I am 64, been running for just over 31 years(less than 100 miles to 65,000). I recently (May,'07) started MAF/Low heart rate training,and amazingly have increased my running from 5 days a week to 6x per week
and have increased my weekly mileage from 40-45 to 55-60 miles. Actually the most miles I have logged in over 20 yrs!! Just by slowing down. I have always trained slowbut the MAF training made me slow down some more. I didn't like it at first but after a few weeks I started to feel stronger and would finish 8-10 mile runs in the FL heat and humidity feeling greatlike I had hardly run. My pace went from around 9:30' to 11"30's +. Now with over 1,200 miles of the MAF I run faster at a lower HR and still feel strong. I suggest you read thru the thread in the basic training forum--subject base building. Maybe that is just what you need. I am now in a sharpening phase and plan to run faster than I did in my first marathon 30 yrs ago(a 3:58) in December in Huntsville, AL. Nick
I'm 51, and have been running for 36 years, with a few injury-induced breaks. Sometimes I'm stiff in the morning, but overall I'm feeling better than ever. I generally run 6 days a week, including one speed session, and don't stretch.
Before you surrender, I suggest you have someone look at your form. It may be there's something that is causing your ankle stiffness and it may be something that you can correct relatively easily. Or it may not.
I found some sessions with a physical therapist who made slight adjustments in my stride/form made all the difference in what had been an extended period of disabling injuries and doubts that I'd ever run more than, say, an hour ever again. I've been largely injury-free for 18+ months with a marathon and a couple of Reach-the-Beaches since. It's worth a shot.
In that package, I agree with DH (it happens once in a while) to consider weights as well, something I keep meaning to do, to help with strengthening support muscles.
Originally posted by threem3:
I may need to dump running for cycling, swimming, elliptical, etc.
Ever thought about doing triathlons? Plenty of room to channel your competitive energies there. Age seems to slow down swimmers and cyclists less than it does runners, and the 50+ crowd at triathlons is very fit and fast.
I'm not an expert on anything, much less running... however... I found cross-training on the stairmaster to be very beneficial on my body. It's a low impact workout that still works the same muscle group as running. Of course, I don't run for speed, so that's why I'm rarely injured. I run only a few days a week and my longest run is never over 13 miles. Maybe cross training is the answer and if that's what you end up doing, give the ol' stairclimber a try.
I have been running since '92 and increased my miles rather dramatically in '03. From your brief description it sounds like you are heading towards an over use injury with the aches as its calling card. From what I can tell the problem for 40+ runners is not necessarily the miles but how you do them. Younger runners can more easily wing it and not get hurt. Alas, those days are gone for me. But a training schedule, set up by a professional (a book is fine it need not be customized for "you") makes all the difference. Professionally designed schedules have a training rhythm that lets your body stay healthy. If you do that I suspect most of your aches will subside. About being healthy into your 80's the news, for runners, is all good. The limited medical research on the subject indicates that it improves long term joint health. Admittedly the evidence is weak, but there is none pointing the other way. Finally, nobody is paying you to run! As others have noted here there is no reason you have to stick with the sport, especially to the exclusion of others. Maybe you should try something else. See how it goes. If you like it better then do that and have fun with it. If running is no longer fun then find something else that is and enjoy doing it instead.
Re: Getting discouraged, need adviceOriginally posted by threem3:
I've been running for over 30 years . . .
I'm beginning to question the value of running.
I may need to dump running for cycling, swimming, elliptical, etc.
Originally posted by threem3: How are you folks dealing with the increased aches and pains that seem to come after years and years of running?
Could you possibly be doing something else that is causing the joint problem? Something as simple as sitting in a chair with you ankles in a different position can result in some long-lasting discomfort. Was there an acute event that precipitated the problem? Walking on an incline for a distance or tripping on a stairs or carpet might have dislodged the cartilage, elongated a tendon or mis-aligned one of the many bones in the ankle. It's a VERY complicated joint. You might consider adding heel gels to your shoes. It could be due to any number of things.
I got a bad case of plantar fasciitis by riding trail biking.