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Training For Runners Over 40

40 may be the new 30, but your body at 40 has different needs than it did 10 or 20 years ago, so let's take a look at how to train once you've reached the "masters running" age.

Masters Running Books

The question of whether or not masters runners need to train differently than their younger counterparts is one which requires a somewhat complicated answer. Overwhelming the simple answer to this question is yes, masters runners must train differently than their younger counterparts. However, this can be difficult for many runners to accept particularly those who feel as though they are in the prime of their running careers. While it is true there are certainly runners in their 40s and beyond who are continuing to excel at a number of different running events but this does not mean these runners are training in the same way they trained when they were younger. In fact in many cases, these runners are training less than they did when they were younger. This is because these runners have learned a great deal about training through their experiences and have likely discovered more effective ways to train without overtraining their bodies and causing the types of injuries which typically accompany overtraining. This article will examine some of the modifications many runners often make to their training programs as they age.

Many older runners note a significant decrease in the amount of training they are doing in comparison to the amount of training they did at a younger age. This decline in weakly mileage is not an indicator of the runner becoming lazy or of the runner no longer having the strength to train as much as he once did. Actually, the decrease in mileage is usually indicative of a shifting of priorities in the runnerís life. While younger runners may count training as one of their main priorities, older runners likely attempt to strike a more careful balance which includes training, work and family. These runners may still be dedicated to running on a regular basis but they also likely realize other obligations such as family, friends and work are equally important. Therefore, they may limit the amount of training they do in an effort to focus more of their time and energy on other aspects of their lives.

Another reason why masters runners typically adapt different training regimes than the ones they followed when they were younger is the older runner has gained a great deal of training experience and has become more knowledgeable about what works and what does not work during the training process. This information helps the runner to focus his training efforts more on the aspects of training which are likely to generate positive results. For example, a runner at a younger age may have felt as though running in excess of 100 miles each week was important, more experienced runners likely realize their bodies need rest to properly recover from their training efforts. Therefore, they value rest days as masters runners. More experienced runners also likely understand the importance of interval training. These workouts are usually shorter in terms of mileage than distance workouts but they are performed at a higher intensity which helps to develop the fast twitch muscle fibers which are necessary for the runner to improve his overall speed. Incorporating more of these workouts into the training regimen decreases the overall mileage but often results in an improved performance.


The video clip above is from my DVD about running stetches and other running related information. Click on the DVD case below to find out more.

Running Stretches and Running Tips

Click Here to view the DVD.

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