Over a half a million runners over the age of 65 finished races last year. Approximately 10% of Americans over the age of 65 runs. You don’t need to be a competitive runner to reap the benefits of running, just getting out and hitting the pavement (or treadmill) 60-150 minutes a week at any speed is enough to keep you healthier and your body functioning better.
There are great benefits to Senior running:
- Running improves the overall functionality of your joints, bones, muscles, and reduces body fat that can be hard to lose as you age.
- Running increases your muscle strength and bone density through repetitive weight bearing.
- Finding a group or club to run with garners companionship and camaraderie.
- Running is a lifelong sport – it provides a great cardiovascular workout at any age.
Things to think about with Senior runners:
- Muscles recover at a slower rate as you age, it is important to include extra rest days and avoid overtraining. Active recovery days can be used to allow your body to regroup without additional strain.
- Increased risk for lower body injuries. Studies have shown that if you keep your running mileage under 40 miles/week, your risk for injury decreased.
- In addition to running, it is important to also perform strength training as you age. Muscle mass begins to decline after age 30.
- Your body’s endurance slowly decreases as you age, it is important to listen to your body and react accordingly.
Advice from other runners
Robb Linnemanstons and his wife Sandy who is a member of the Extreme Endurance team have been running for 25 years plus. When it comes to competitions, Robb focuses on the marathon. He started running to get in shape and then met a group of more serious runners to train with, which would eventually push him to compete and become a better overall runner. When asked if he could give any advice to senior runners getting into running he said “Run in a group, find friends to train with. Not only will those with more experience help you train appropriately, they will help you stay disciplined with your routine and will also make it more fun!”
Studies have shown older runners had lower disability rates and were healthier overall. They had better balance, stronger bones, and fewer diseases compared to their non-running peers. So, grab a good pair of running shoes, check in with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, and then hit the ground running.
We want to shout out the Extreme Endurance Team. They are a great group of excellent athletes of all ages, dedicated to pushing their bodies to improve! For more information, visit their Facebook page here. If you are interested or have questions for them, contact us and we can help you get in touch.
I love this article and all those benefits of running that necessary to know for everyone who is running or not running. Keep on writing such a wonderfully informative post.
interesting to note to keep run time under 40 miles a week, exactly the info I was wondering at age 65. I do approx 35 right now.
Because of work constraints I run solo mostly in parks almost on daily basis. I am 66. Because of this penademic, work out in gym is almost impossible. Because of running im loosing weight,which I shouldn’t, because for 6 ft frame 148 lbs is too low. What are my alternatives?
I run one 4km a week and I am in good condition. My sugar count is 103 form 265. I am taking one tablet a day. Do I have to continue taking the prescribed pills.
Check with Doc!! You need a three month average blood test, A1C, before going off of glucose meds.
I’m 68 male and have been running for 17 years. I run around 3 to 4 times a week. I ain’t on medication and don’t suffer with aches and pains. If you want to keep away from the hard pressed A & Es I suggest you give it a try.
I’m 75, been a runner since 1977. Getting back into it. Just like riding a bike. I’ve had so many health benefits, it’s unreal. The only med I’m on is a low dose BP. I ran a full Marathon at age 66, under 5 hours. It’s never too late to start.
I love to put in my headphones with my iPod and listen to my favorite high energy rock band Rush. The great music really keeps me moving. I focus on my music and the running becomes more pleasurable. I listen to Rush albums about 40-50 minutes and before I know it my run is over.
I’m a 65 year old female and run for 3.5 miles outside 4 days a week. I live in Tacoma WA, so the weather is usually nice. I usually feel great after running. lately I feel great while I’m running but afterwards have been more tired than anytime before. I am hoping it’s just Covid news and its’ affect on being around my friends and family.
At 65 still jogging, and actually (run) on my regular hill sprints, hi-knee hill sprints, and backward run hill sprints. I try to catch all the angles on the hip-knee-ankle movements. I take no medicine and have no pain. I give “thanks” each night for being able to do this still… I encourage my friends/peers to do the same. I offer to help. Not everyone is interested. Additionally, I believe in squats w/ weights… I love my days regarding front and over-head squats.
I am 65 years old, do weightlifitng for several years and now im up to running 1-2 miles per day on my property
I am running since 2001,initially started 2- 3 km/day,I kept on my running practice on daily basis in increasing order. Now my age is 66,I run 12 to 14 km per day,five days in weak and preparing for half marathon in near future,I have blood pressure and diabetes at the age of 36 but due to work out my medicine is gradually reducing, now I am on minimum medication.
I am 77 and have been running since I was 22 except for a few years when I did a lot of cross country bicycling. I run a mountain road for 30+ minutes 4 times a week and do not plan to quit anytime soon. I have had no back, knee or other joint problems ever in my life which I am very thankful for. I also do some arm exercises with very light weights 3+ times a week.