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6040 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Feb 18, 2009 10:53 AM by BigBadEd
ttdunn Rookie 3 posts since
Dec 14, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 20, 2008 10:19 AM

How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?


Hi All



I am a returnee, I did the C25K when I was 45 and now 5 years later I am wanting to get back into it again.  I am very healthy for my age, no problems that I think would prevent me from running.  However, when I brought this up to my doctor recently, just *** an FYI that I was planning to start running again, he kind of dissed the idea and said, don;t run, just walk.  Running is too hard on your joints. 



So I am posing the question to all those 50+ runners, when did you start running, was it before you hit your 50s or since then, and how hard has it been on your body? 


















  • ksrunr Legend 1,292 posts since
    Aug 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 20, 2008 11:35 AM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?





    If that is his true concern and you don't have other medical problems; fire your doctor and get one who has a medical degree in this century.  Good Lord; what's wrong with these people?    Also join us old ***** (except for Euphoric) on the 50's August running and racing page. 






  • runs4fun Pro 169 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Aug 20, 2008 1:02 PM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?



    The good news is that there is NO research to show that running increases your risk for osteoarthritis. In fact, lack of physical activity is a greater risk factor than running is! With that said, if it's been awhile since you did much running, you'd be wise to pursue a walking program for a few weeks to get your body back into the groove. Make your transition to running gradual (as you apparently did before and were successful), and be diligent about keeping up with all the pieces of the puzzle: flexibility, good strength, correct footwear, smart training, good hydration/nutrition... each of these things plays a role in your ultimate success. Ask your doc to show you the research study that backs up his statement... he/she won't be able to find it. Taken systematically and conservatively, physical activity (including running) can be started or resumed at any age. Go for it!





    treat the cause, not just the symptoms....

  • flwrgdnr Rookie 1 posts since
    Aug 20, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 20, 2008 3:25 PM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?


    Hi Terri!


    I turned 50 in March, and I just started the couch to 5k program about a month ago.  I haven't run since high school.  I have been walking off and on for the past 4 years.

    I am also an almost 4 year cancer survivor.  I started because I was gaining weight and unhappy with my sedentary lifestyle.



    I also wanted to have greater physical activity for cancer prevention. 



    I have had NO trouble running.  I took it slow, as the c25k tells us to, following the first 3 weeks and repeating days when I felt like I needed to before going on to the next week, with rest days in between.  I did feel tired in my legs the first 2 weeks, but am better now.  I  think if you pay attention to your body and start slow -- and the doctor had no objection to you exercising, you should do fine.  I figure I would rather take the "chance" that I am doing something "hard on my joints" than do nothing, and waste away to an old lady who has no muscle tone or strength, osteoporosis , and can't do anything.  I am aiming to get to the 5k point, spend some time there and see if I can go farther!  I also read that the human body has the ability to improve it's endurance no matter what age. I figure better late than never!



    Good Luck!!!






  • Jacques Le Strappe Pro 203 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Sep 5, 2008 6:29 AM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?


    I started running at age 47.  Currently am 58.  Last year I ran 2,350 miles and set PR at HM distance.  I try to run every day but probably average 6 days per week, but with enough doubles to average 7 runs per week. 






    Differences over the years.......



    I do far less "fast" running and more slow stuff.  I do very little formal fast stuff  (above threshold pace)



    I look for soft running surfaces, such as trails, tracks, etc.  (I have a HS track at my back door.)



    I alternate between short (half hr) and long (up to 2 hrs) runs.  Recovery is more important than the run itself.



    I restrict race distances to HM or shorter.  Longer races are too hard to train for and take too much recovery.



    I stretch before and after every run.












    I am 50 lbs lighter than I was at 46.  Have kept the weight off for all that time, although I have gone up and down about 15 lbs depending on  time of year and focus on goal race.  I have more stamina and energy for other activities.  I XC ski in the winter and bike, hike & kayak in the summer.  Just finished a 6 day kayak trip where we did 20k per day, plus a couple of 10k hikes in pristine forest.  I am far more flexible thanks to the stretching.












    Run at a comfortable pace...about 75% of max heart rate.  Stop before you feel tired legs.  Run every day.  Slowly increase distance.  Alternate short and long runs.  Look for soft running surfaces.  Stretch thoroughly every day.









  • tomwhite Legend 2,011 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Sep 7, 2008 7:45 AM (in response to Jacques Le Strappe)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?

  April, it'll be 40-years of running........



    First, get your Priorities.......are you running for fitness, or to race??



    I did a decade of Racing,



    and after a Severe Ankle Ligament Tear, re-arranged my MindSet......



    now, at 58, getting 3-runs a week suits my needs just fine......



    it's all about What's Important to You,



    .......however you pick



    (and you don't have to pick yet)



    ........Good Running to Ya.......



  • JohnCuse Amateur 14 posts since
    Aug 16, 2002
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Sep 11, 2008 7:09 AM (in response to tomwhite)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?

    I did not begin running until I turned 53. Before I ran I was a smoker and running gave me the incentive to quit. Running for me is very enjoyable and try as i may the Kenyans have no threat from me, LOL. Walking is a good excercise but I like to get where I am going faster .




    John from Syracuse

  • bigfourrunner Rookie 1 posts since
    Sep 30, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Sep 30, 2008 3:08 PM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?


    I started running at 40 and ran my first 10 miles only 10 months before completing my first marathon in 2000. Due to extreme low red blood counts, I didn't run again until last fall. This year at age 50 I completed two half marathons and feel great. Didn't have any knee or feet pain. The best winter training was spent on a NordicTrack skier and elliptical. I feel better after my runs than I did eight years ago. Listen to your body and train smart                                                                               



  • ragamuffinruns Pro 115 posts since
    Jul 17, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Oct 3, 2008 1:40 PM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?

    Hey Terri - how hard is running on a 50 year old body? HARD!  But if you accept the risks the rewards can be great. I had LOTS of pains when I first started running and so felt so severe at the time only to disappear after a few minutes.  I actually had arthritis pain in my hips DECREASE as I continued to run and strength train.  I'm having my first serious pain since I started two years ago - knee pain - but it is not stopping me yet!  I have a DR's appointment and I may have to stop running for a while after this next 1/2 marathon I'm scheduled to run, but that is just part of being involved in athletics.  I will continue to walk - hey I walk about as fast as I run anyway Take things slowly and listen when your body screams and definately stock up on ice!  See you down the road, Ragz

    To God be the glory!

  • mary s. carroll Rookie 5 posts since
    Jun 9, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Dec 2, 2008 4:28 PM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?

    Hello, I started running at age 62.  DId a lot of walking initially and then some running walking alternating and then just running.  This week I will be running my first half marathon.  Aging hurts ... so why not age as you are releasing endorphins those natural pain killers?   I've found that its best for me just to run 3 days a week ... I try to schedule a race about every other week  and that counts as my speed work.  I like to challenge myself and run hilly courses  for practice.  I live in Tucson surrounded by four mountain ranges .  So a short drive takes me into the canyons and lovely running scenery.  I'm just sorry I found running so late... but I don't think I had the self discipline when I was younger.  I think there is an advantage to our age... living  has just made me stubborn... so completing races and distances and getting up some steep hills calls on that well developed stubborness and then when I race.... I think I can do this, I ran that longer  hill in practice... so I can do this.... and after indeed you have done it .... there is such a lovely euphoria...

  • donatelife2 Rookie 2 posts since
    Dec 5, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Dec 5, 2008 3:35 AM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?

    I started running in my 40's to get back into shape and good stress release. I began to run races and was pretty fast in my early 40's, gradually started slowing down. My 50's have been a bit difficult (53 now), not because of health issues but life got very busy. I relocated to sunny Florida and still hope to get into my best shape (of my 50's). Just listen to your body and don't do too much too quickly. I can't run as fast or as many days in a row like I used to, but I try not to get disappointed in myself and take one day at a time. I haven't raced much in my 50's but still love to pass younger women in the few that I've done! Walk and run, get good shoes, and gradually you should develop more tolerance. Your body will let you know your limits. As we get older, we probably can't afford to not listen to those limits! Good luck in your quest!

    You can't take your organs to heaven - Be an organ donor and save lives.
  • rob333 Rookie 3 posts since
    Dec 28, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Dec 29, 2008 8:05 PM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?

    I started in my 40s and at 63 1/5 I’m still running and (moderately) seriously racing. In my late 50s I began to notice that it was getting harder and harder to recover from runs. After doing a bunch of research, I began running fewer days…but all “high quality” runs. This seems to work for me. There is a very useful book out on this idea “Run Less, Run Fast”,7120,s6-243-412--12479-0,00.html


    For me, the most important thing seems to be consistency. If I can do my speed-work , lactate-threshold, and long runs each week, I can hold off the ravages of time. Take your time and work up to it...there are some surprisingly fast people in the semi-old geezer age group.

  • Sun Raider Legend 371 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    13. Dec 30, 2008 7:00 AM (in response to ttdunn)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?


    There are two types of older runners.






    1. Those who didn't run  when they were younger or those who took a long period of time off like you.



    2. Those older runners who have run for 20-30 years and never stopped.






    The first type can often run very well into their 50's and 60's. They don't have the wear and tear that the long term runners have inflicted on themselves.



    They need to be careful though because recovery is still the main item in older runners.



    I started in high school and have never stopped running even though I no longer compete. I ran and raced well into my early and mid 50's but I cut my mileage back, often running every other day and....(this is key) stayed away from marathons. In my 20's and 30's, I ran 70-80 mpw. In my 50's I ran around 35-40 mpw. Injuries weren't the issue. I chose to cut back because I could feel the effect of of higher mileage on my 50 plus body. I "knew" I had to cut back.



    In my 60's I still run about 35 miles a week. 4-5 days. I am not religious about it if I miss a day.



    Your doctor will eventually be right. Perhaps just not now.  Maybe in 10-20 years. Who knows forsure.






  • BigBadEd Rookie 18 posts since
    Oct 28, 2005
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Feb 18, 2009 10:53 AM (in response to Sun Raider)
    Re: How Hard is Running on a 50+ body?


    I was in the Army for 20 years and running has always been my thing for keeping in shape.  I've been running a very long time but, until 2005, my longest run was 10 miles. 



    I had a little heart thing in April of that year and had always wanted to run a marathon.  I decided I better get to it before old age and who knows what takes me out.  I started training and in Feb of 2006 ran my first marathon at the age of 51.  I did what I consider a respectable 4 hours and 37 minutes.



    That's the good news, the bad news is that I've been trying to repeat since then and have been unsuccessful.  I've had various injuries and problems, mostly stuff where no one can figure out what is wrong with me. 



    2009 is my building year.  I just got over a minor problem and have started building my miles again.  I'm taking it slow and easy, I'm not running a race till the end of April and that is just a 10k.  I ran 3 miles on Sunday and felt pretty good.  My next marathon is Feb 2010.



    Take it easy, keep a good pair of shoes and get a good training plan. 



    Oh yeah, stick around here too, some of these people have forgot more about this stuff than most of us will ever know.






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