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4011 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Dec 30, 2010 10:10 AM by bmental
bmental Rookie 5 posts since
Dec 14, 2007
Currently Being Moderated

Dec 26, 2010 9:56 PM

Over 40 and out of shape?

Getting ready to start my C25K training. So I could gauge myself, I went and ran a mile and a half. It took me 13:28. Can't tell if that's good or bad. My legs are a little sore. I am hoping that this forum will help me be consistent and focused. I have read alot of the posts and feel very confident I can do this with all of the encouragement. Thank you in advance and look forward to chatting with all of you.

  • roger.williamsjr Rookie 1 posts since
    Jan 31, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Dec 27, 2010 7:33 AM (in response to bmental)
    Re: Over 40 and out of shape?

    You sound to be right on track.  Despite the fact that you are sore that is normal until you get your body use to the pounding.  I learned when I started running 1/2 marathons that your entire body takes a pounding but with time and more running your body starts to adjust.  Keep up the good work, don't push yourself to hard to start, and continue to work towards bringing your time down.  Shoot for getting your time under 10 minutes and then push to ease the time down more.  Know others are out here to support you.

  • coolbikermom Legend 418 posts since
    Jan 25, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Dec 27, 2010 10:27 AM (in response to bmental)
    Re: Over 40 and out of shape?

    Ok, not to be a buzzkill here, but you haven't started the program yet and already you are trying to start out by running a mile and a half. Beware - you will need to exercise a little patience to make it through this program.


    Beginner runners should not be concerned about speed. Period. You should run at a pace where you can still carry on a conversation, maybe not easily, but you can at least say a sentence without gasping. If you cannot, you are running too fast. This will become important as you try to build your endurance and mileage. Go too fast, too soon and you will burn out before you can get where you need to go. Speed will come in time. Everybody is different, some people younger than me are slower than me. Some people older than me are faster than me. All I can do is work on me and my speed, and trying to better my own personal best. Comparing myself to anybody else is an exercise in futility unless you are an elite runner. I most definitely am not.


    Patience - you will feel like the beginning part of this program is slow and easy. Do not worry, you are building up your body to make it stronger for the 5k distance. it's a gradual progression, and usually by week 4 you will start feeling challenged if you find the prior weeks too easy. Having said that, you can tailor this program to meet your needs. On a particularly challenging day or week, you can repeat it and it will likely be easier the second time. If you truly feel you are ready to start at, say week 3 instead of week 1, then by all means do it. But if you are a non-runner and truly out of shape, I recommend you start at week 1 and do the program from there.


    Now, having said all that, welcome to the wacky world of running! Your goals should be to improve fitness safely and without injury. Enjoy all the health benefits you get from running, and welcome to the club!

    C25k dropout

    Rock the Parkway 5k 3/27/10  37:40.6

    Mother's Day 5k  5/9/10  33:19

    Walk/Run for Isaiah 9/18/10 4.4k 37:26

    Harvest Moon 10k 10/23/10  1:08.50

    Great Santa 5k 12/5/10 33:22

    Carlsbad half marathon 1/23/11

    "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." ~Albert Einstein

  • flamomof3 Legend 1,928 posts since
    Dec 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Dec 27, 2010 11:39 AM (in response to bmental)
    Re: Over 40 and out of shape?

    I wanted to say Hello and Welcome

  • acraftyone22 Rookie 5 posts since
    Oct 27, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Dec 28, 2010 10:46 PM (in response to bmental)
    Re: Over 40 and out of shape?

    Hmmm..... you haven't started C25K, yet, and you say you're "out of shape", but

    you went out and ran a mile and a half??  That's not out of shape!!  There's no way

    I could've ran a mile and a half before I started this!  Now, I'm running three, 5-min. runs...

    and am supposed to be able to run for 20 mins. by the end of the week.  I'll be so excited

    when I can do that!!  But, don't sell yourself short.... you don't sound *that* out of shape.

    You'll be fine doing C25K.

    Best of luck to you!

  • Storm Giant Rookie 6 posts since
    Dec 28, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Dec 29, 2010 10:33 AM (in response to bmental)
    Re: Over 40 and out of shape?

    Welcome and good luck!

  • wsull451 Rookie 3 posts since
    Dec 7, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Dec 29, 2010 10:56 AM (in response to bmental)
    Re: Over 40 and out of shape?

    Welcome and congratulations!  I too am re-re-starting running after a long hiatus.  As someone that has done this repeatedly let me offer the following top ten tips (from painful experience);


    1.)  Get a check up with your Doctor (if you haven't already), let him/here know you are planning to start running, and just ensure all systems are go.

    2.)  Don't care about times, distances, appearance or form.  Start with an attitude that you love being outdoors, and enjoy nature - it will make running easier and far more enjoyable.  If you can find a regular trail route that is comfortable to you (physical safety) and beautiful, that too is good.  If you can find a similarly situated beginning runner, run with them, but run for fun. Do not push, do not compete, support each other.  Competition will come later.

    3.)  DO NOT run for more that 20 minutes at a time the first three weeks. Your body -- ankles, knees, hips, back, neck and shoulders -- need time and mileage to adjust.  This is the most critical time, and if you injure yourself now you may not come back.  Worse, if you injure yourself you will likely go sedentary and put on weight.  This is a vicious cycle you want to avoid at all costs!  Like The Eagles said, "take it easy".  Conceptually all you want to do during the first three weeks is "build a base".  This means different things to experienced runners, but in this case, all you want to do is get yourself mentally and physically ready to run.

    4.)  While running stop, walk and breathe for a few minutes if you get winded - this is kind of like FARTLEK (alternative paced training), and it works for beginners, too.  As an earlier friend posted above, you want to elevate your heart rate and get used to it, but not stress yourself (go hypoxic) such that you are not able to have a conversation.

    5.)  Warm up before you run with some jumping jacks, and if you feel the need, stretch lightly before you go.  Emphasis on lightly stretch pre-run, you do not want to pull something.

    6.)  After EVERY run do a minimum of ten minutes of static stretching.  But GO easy.  Get all the major muscles starting with your feet and calves (do wall bangers), quads, groin, buttocks and back.  Easy, but do it.  Those of us over 40 -- especially men -- really need to stretch, and in particular the hips.  If you don't keep limber any number of bad things can happen, not the least of which is, surprisingly, knee pain from overtight hamstrings and buttocks (not from the pounding of running!)  Feel free to take a baby aspirin before bed at night, but if something hurts don't ignore it.  Take some time off ( day or two), and/or RICE.  Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  Feel free to swim or ride the exercise bike if either does NOT aggravate your pain.

    7.)  Throw in some core exercise.  Situps are best -- anywhere from 10-50 before a run is a great warm up -- they don't take long and are easy to remember.  Hook your feet under the couch, cross your arms over your chest (don't pull your head up with hands behind your neck - bad for the neck).  You need to keep your stomach strong in order to protect your lower back (it sounds counter-intuitive, but trust me, you will feel better).  If your lower back starts to hurt, do more sit ups. Running over 40 is all about keeping your body in balance.

    8.)  Get in to a routine.  By day 5-6 your body will start to crave the exercise.  This is good, but DO NOT GO ABOVE THE 20 MINUTES.  Run all 20 minutes if you feel good, or run faster for the 20 minutes, but DO NOT exceed the 20 minutes.  It would be better for you to run your regular route in 19 minutes than go to 25 minutes because you are feeling good.  Let your body adjust.  Repeat, let it adjust.  Sorry to be such a nudge on this point, but again, this is from personal experience and I wish someone had hit me over the head before I spent six months re-habing a torn achilles.


    The goal for running over 40 (aside from the obvious ones of a healthy, sexy body, better sleep, more energy etc.) is to avoid injury.


    9.)  If you have access to a stationary bike use it for 5-10 minutes after running and before stretching.  The above tips are available from running magazines, but I have just found this makes my legs feel good for a variety of reasons.  Any cross training is good, but an exercise bike after running helps strengthen and get blood back in your quadraceps which in turn protect your knees.

    10.)  If you can afford it -- or have a good friend, partner or spouse -- get a massage.  A hot tub or bath works well too!

    11.)  This should be number 2, but go to a good running store -- not on line or a big box store -- explain your background with runnning, what you want to accomplish, let them watch you run (it only takes an experienced coach 20 yards or so to see what shoe you need), and take their advice.  DO NOT SCRIMP on running shoes.  Get the best you can afford.

    12.)  Look on line for a good 5k training plan that will tell you how much you should run as a beginner with a goal towards running a 5k in about 12-16 weeks.  You don't want to increase distance/time more than 10% any week over week.  Trust me, by April May you will be surprised how well you are running.

    13.)  Sign up for a 5k in April or May, it will serve as a goal, but don't care what your time is or how you will do.  Run with a friend if you choose.  Run because you love running, how it makes you feel, and what it does for you.  You are not running for scholarships, sponsorships or ego gratification.  Run because you love it.  The speed will come, trust me.

    14.)  Make friends with runners, triathletes etc., find group runs on week day evenings or weekends.  We all have been where you are now, don't feel the need to do more than your 20 minutes, but the encouragement will help you.  The vast majority will make you feel a part of the tribe and we are glad you're here!


    Good luck!

  • RunKerryRun Amateur 34 posts since
    Dec 5, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Dec 29, 2010 5:20 PM (in response to bmental)
    Re: Over 40 and out of shape?

    @Bmental -


    Good luck with your adventure. I am as well 40+ 200+ and started C25K a few weeks ago. As you did I went out and ran before I found C25K. After the first 3 weeks I was getting into a rythm and then found C25K podcasts which are really good to keep motivation high while running on a tread mill as it is really cold here. I a few weeks you will be runnning following the program or deciding to go to another program many people drop out of C25K because they go longer distances faster and some people do some weeks over and over again because they get stuck. In any event you have made a good decision to get in better shape and have found a community of people that will support your successes and help lift you up if hard times hit.


    10/9 Reston, VA Great Pumpkin 5k - 1st 5k EVER 35:32          11/21 Wounded Warrior 5k XC 36:49  1st EVER Cross-Country Event

    11/25 Nags Head, NC Gobbler 5k 34:20 (Un-official timing)        12/4 Rockville, MD Santa Shuffle 5k 32:20

    12/31 Ashburn, VA Ringing in Hope 3k with daughter 28:32       1/1/2011 Reston, VA New Year's Day 5k 30:38

    1/19/11 George Washington B-Day 10k 1:03:23

    Up - and Coming Events

    3/6 Reston, VA Run for Haiti 5k                                                3/20 Reston, VA 10 Miler

    3/26 MCM Series Irish Sprint 10k                                             4/3 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

    5/15 MCM Series Historic Half-Marathon                                   6/11/2011 MCM Runamuck

    C25K Grad: 7 Feb 2011

    Hal's Half-Marathon

    W 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

    D 1 2 3 4 5 6

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