Long live late vocations ! Discovering running at 40 years old often means radically overturning certain (bad) habits.
This article was originally published here.
However, you must follow a method so as to make sure your passion for running will last.
1. CONFIRM THAT YOU HAVE MEDICAL CLEARANCE TO TAKE PART IN SPORTS
Not one organised event in France doesn't require a medical certificate from each participant - from the total beginners to the seasoned marathon runners - to certify there is no contraindication to them taking part in running competitions (except those with licenses from the French Athletics Federation).
Accidents are very rare. But it is important to consult your GP beforehand, especially when taking up running later in life. An electrocardiogram or even a cardiac stress test, will allow you to confirm that you can take part in physical activity. And remove any doubts…
2. MAKE SURE TO USE GOOD QUALITY EQUIPMENT
Obvious? Certainly. Huge progress has been made these last 30 years to allow runners of all levels to practice their sport with maximum comfort and safety.
For your shoes : Choose a model taking into account your type of stride, your corpulence and the type of ground where you train (tarmac or dirt trail). Don't hesitate to ask for advice from a Kalenji product manager. (Discover our running men shoes and our running women shoes).
About textile: favour technical materials which provide good thermal insulation while ensuring perspiration gets drained. During cold months, make sure to protect your extremities. You will soon find that gloves and a hat are indispensable when the temperature drops.
3. RESPECT A CERTAIN RATE OF PROGRESS
It is important to be modest when taking up running. Don't be ashamed to go on short and slow jogs (at first). A single rule to remember: weekly mileage must not increase too sharply. In order to limit risk of injury, increase by 10% at each stage.
Some advice :
- Alternating jogging and fast walking is a good way to increase the duration of trainings without generating excess fatigue or unpleasant sensations while exercising.
- Regularly change your route so as to avoid routine and weariness.
- Beware of using an mp3, it adverly affect a runner's breathing.
4. … BUT BE DILIGENT!
Running for a long time – and feeling good while doing it – doesn't come in one day. Training must be regular, if not daily (especially at first). It is generally thought that three weekly sessions are a good starting point. Make sure to vary the programme each outing.
For example :
- 50 minutes slowly. Breathe lightly to moderately (You should be able to hold a conversation while running).
- 45 minutes with a 20 minute warm-up – slow at first, then faster and faster –, 10 minutes of 30-30 (alternating 30 seconds running fast and 30 seconds trotting or walking fast), 15 minutes of warming down.
- 40 minutes with a 20 minute warm-up, 10 minutes at a reasonably fast pace (breathing so as to not be able to hold a conversation), 10 minutes of warming down.
And remember that if you have trouble keeping the pace, you aren't the first one in that situation. And not the last one either...