9 running rules for those over forty

Start running – it’s never too late! And at 40, and even at 50. But the rules for starting at different ages are different. If in youth the first kilometers were given relatively easily, then in a more mature one they will have to be taken “by storm”, by their own efforts. But the runner will master the road!

Success Rule

In adulthood, the start of the race begins not in the stadium, park track or treadmill, but in the doctor’s office. The specialist will assess the level of your training, identify existing diseases and, if the outcome is favorable, will wave the flag and say “march!”.

A specialist in cardiovascular disease, joint problems and disorders in the musculoskeletal system (arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteochondrosis, intervertebral hernias), varicose veins will alert the specialist. Depending on the state of health, running can be contraindicated at all, and then it will have to be replaced by walking or swimming, or it is allowed with important reservations. But in this case you will have to deal with the supervision of an experienced trainer or sports medicine doctor.


Studies show that regular jogging heals the body faster than walking the same distance. But they carry a great risk of injury!

Equipment rule

The main requirement for a sports uniform is that it must be lightweight, breathable and weather resistant. But you need to dress as if it were a couple of degrees warmer outside the window – to feel comfortable in the middle of the distance. On cold days, athletes and fitness trainers advise choosing wardrobe items that are easy to remove, leaving only the “necessary minimum”. Clothing that touches the skin of the body should be made of hypoallergenic textures that provide comfort and rapid evaporation of sweat.

But sneakers – special attention. It’s better not to save on them, choosing special running models that protect the joints of the legs and feet. With flat feet, it is additionally worth buying orthopedic insoles.

Did you know?

With sneakers you need to leave without regret, as soon as you ran 800 kilometers in them. Athletic shoes wear out quickly, which increases the chance of injury.

Two hours rule

Going for a run should not be earlier than two hours after eating. “For most people, this is enough time for food to be absorbed,” says Cindy Dallow, a Colorado nutritionist and marathon runner . However, you can go for a run in 1.5 hours, if the meal was easy, and you may need up to three hours of “exposure” after a hearty meal with a high content of protein and fat.


It is better to run in the fresh air, away from busy roads and industrial areas. Remember that running on an empty stomach, when the body has not yet woken up, and it is already being forced to actively engage, will not bring you either pleasure or good results. And running before bedtime has a tonic effect, which can cause insomnia. According to circadian rhythms, the ideal time for running is 6-7 hours in the evening, this is the “peak of activity” of the lungs.

Dialogue rule

Does running fast have a much greater strain on muscles than running at an average pace? That is why athletes at marathons run most of the way quite slowly, building up their strength to the finish line. Anyone who starts quickly, runs the risk of running to the finish line last.

80% of your distance must be run in such a way that you can keep the conversation short but complete. If all else fails, then you are not yet ready to run. Go on a walk, gradually increasing the pace.

Scientific experiments have shown that runners whose heart rate and respiratory rate were within their target aerobic zone were free to maintain dialogue. But those who could not do this – ran too fast, which is unsafe for health.


Remember to warm up before training and hitch after it. Proper preparation and completion of classes is a guarantee of speedy recovery. A quick situation after running can cause cramps in the legs, cause nausea, dizziness, or even fainting, ”warns fitness trainer Jerry Napp.

Recovery rule

While more studies are showing the benefits of running for health, it is the recovery after training that should be a priority for a novice athlete. With age, it takes more time for the body to return to normal after exercise. For a novice runner, training three times a week is a lot, two is enough. On other days, you can concentrate on swimming, yoga or cycling. Short exercises will increase endurance, accelerate muscle adaptation and in the future will provide better results on the treadmill!


Do not rush after training home! Walk a little to cool, drink water, this will allow you to “wash” lactic acid from the muscles, thereby minimizing pain after exercise.

Ten percent rule

Joe Henderson, author of books on running, former editor of the American magazine Runner’S World, introduced the “10% rule” in the 1980s. According to him, it is impossible to increase the distance mileage by more than ten percent per week. “I noticed that runners who increased their physical activity too quickly were injured,” says the specialist.


A good strength program for runners should include working out all muscle groups of the upper and lower body, as well as the core. If you are a beginner, it is better to entrust the preparation of a training plan to a professional trainer. With the right start and exercise technique, power loads are shown to all ages.

The rule of two days

If during a run for two days in a row you experience pain in the same place, take a couple of days off, completely excluding fitness training. “Pain for two days in a row can signal injury, so rest is indicated. You should be aware that even 5 days of downtime will only have a minor effect on the overall level of your physical fitness, ”summarizes Troy Smurava, a sports medicine doctor.


If sharp or severe pain occurs during the session, consult a doctor immediately. Waiting can make things worse.

Easy day rule

After a difficult, long or very difficult training, have at least one “easy day”. “Easy” – means a minimum of exercises or their complete absence and running at a slow pace or a short distance. “Give your body time to recover so your next run is more effective,” advises fitness trainer Todd Williams.


“If you run too fast at the start of the race, you have to pay for it at the very end,” says John Sinclair , fitness trainer, record holder. Most marathon records set in the last 10 years were distinguished by the fact that the participants maintained a uniform pace of running from start to finish.

The rule of night rest

If you “take” 30 kilometers a week, add one minute of sleep per kilometer to your night’s rest , that is, sleep for half an hour longer daily. “Sleep deficiency has a negative effect on the effectiveness of training. On average, a person needs 7.5-8 hours of sleep every day. Increase your nighttime rest if you exercise, ” says David Kleiman , Ph.D., director of the California Sleep Disorders Center .

Expert Commentary

Ekaterina Nikolaevna Alaeva, head of the rehabilitation department of the Consultative and Diagnostic Center of the Federal State Budgetary Institution Scientific Research Center for Preventive Medicine, cardiologist, sports medicine doctor, candidate of medical sciences

They often ask me a question: is it possible to start jogging to maintain good physical shape and improve health after 40 years? I will tell you about this in detail.

So, your first decisive step towards strengthening physical fitness should not begin in a sportswear and shoe store, not on a treadmill or park alley, but in a doctor’s office. Yes! Just “taking it and starting running” is not just unhealthy, it can be dangerous. By the age of 40 (and many, unfortunately, today and earlier), many risk factors are already accumulating, in which a sharp change in the intensity of physical activity can provoke health problems.

So where to start? Regardless of the level of physical activity, you need to undergo an examination of the body. Both you and your doctor must be sure: there are no deviations from the cardiovascular system and the musculoskeletal system.

To assess heart health, it is necessary to perform an ECG, Echo-KG, treadmill test (exercise test), and conduct a biochemical blood test. To make sure that the joints, muscles, back and the entire musculoskeletal system are working properly, be sure to visit an orthopedic surgeon. And only after that another door will open before you – into the office of the doctor of exercise therapy and sports medicine. He will draw up a personal training plan for you, taking into account all the features of your body.

Probably, such a “quest” might make someone abandon the idea of ​​starting to run. But, I repeat, you need such a diagnosis, first of all, for your dream so that your dream of running along shady alleys and treadmills does not result in health problems. But if you are ready – welcome! If you prepare thoroughly, then you have every chance to turn back the age!

Why? Because we determine the age by the state of the heart and blood vessels, and it is the correct aerobic load (including running) that helps us in this, and the strength part supports the muscle “frame” of the body.

However, while jogging, it is worth observing the precautionary rules, not exceeding the loads set for you and controlling the heart rate. Dangerous signals of excessive load are: an increase in blood pressure after exercise by 20 mm or more. Art., running with a heart rate of 80-90% of the age norm, dizziness, shortness of breath, pain in the knee, ankle and / or hip joints, non-compliance with the training sequence (warm-up – the main part – stretching).

In order to prevent such mistakes and to run correctly, comfortably and without harm to health, you need to keep a self-control diary. In it you should regularly indicate the values ​​of heart rate and blood pressure before and after training. Such an “observation diary” will help you clearly understand how effective and safe your workouts are.

And a few more “household” recommendations. Dress seasonally, in loose clothing that should not impede movement and absorb moisture well. Running shoes should not be completely flat. For proper repulsion when running, your sneakers should have a rise of about 1.5 cm under the heel. Evening runs (at 19.00-20.00 hours) are the most optimal. You have already had time to rest after a working day, but you are still awake. In addition, evening training will help relieve not only physical, but also emotional fatigue after an intense day.

Can I run right after dinner? Not worth it, it will make jogging uncomfortable. Optimal – after dinner should be at least 1 hour. And to postpone dinner for the time “after training” is also not worth it, this will violate the usual schedule for going to bed. After training, it is better to just drink water.

Expert Commentary

Valeria Barchenko, head of the medical center

Running is the fastest and most effective way to lose extra pounds, return to your previous shape, and tighten your muscles. At the same time, you can go jogging year-round without spending extra money on training. The main thing is to find the time, desire, motivation and the nearest park where you can carry out your plan. Morning jogging in the fresh air is not only an excellent physical form, but also a charge of vivacity for the whole day. Verified by personal experience!

Ability to run is inherent in each of us by nature. Running is one of the main evolutionary mechanisms provided for primitive man to survive. In addition, running is a fairly simple physical activity, allowing you to use almost all the muscles and joints in the human body. Running improves blood circulation. It is proved that during running oxygen and organs are saturated with oxygen, the cardiovascular system is trained.

Daily training helps prevent many serious diseases, including diabetes mellitus, diseases of the joints, heart, blood vessels, and reduces the risk of ischemic stroke and heart attack by several times.

How to start running after 40 years? Firstly, with the advice of a general practitioner. The fact is that 40 years is a certain milestone when some diagnoses and diseases already begin to appear in your outpatient card. Consultation is necessary in order to determine what type of physical exercise is shown to you, whether there are any restrictions.

Secondly, it is worth taking care of your feet. Do not run in the old leaky crosses that you take to the cottage, in sneakers or slippers. The thing of prime necessity is running sneakers with a special shock-absorbing sole, which will reduce the load on your joints, avoid injuries to the foot or lower leg, and add comfort when moving. If you have never been involved in sports or practiced for a long time, it means that your knee joints are not in the best shape now, the same can be said about the ankle. Therefore, take care of yourself and your health!

Thirdly, any sports load must begin with a 10-15 minute warm-up. It can be a usual exercise – bending, squats, swinging arms. All this combined with proper breathing.

If you have never been involved in running before, then you should not be too zealous in the pursuit of results – everything should be systematic and gradual. It’s better to start with walking, then go for a run. By class time, the first 2 weeks should not exceed 20-30 minutes. You need to run regularly – preferably every other day. The best time for jogging: from 6-7 in the morning, from 11-12 in the afternoon, from 4-6 in the evening.

During classes, listen to your feelings, do not overload yourself in the physical plane. You need to run with your mouth closed, breathe your nose evenly and regularly. Try to keep your back straight. If you feel tired while running, reduce your speed and switch to walking again. Do not stop! Do not exceed the training time! So you can harm your health – you can no longer run or move quickly, go home to rest. The one who goes to his goal in small steps is always more likely to achieve it than the one who was in a hurry and ultimately lost interest.

Expert Commentary

Arthur Pliev, fitness trainer, philanthropist

If you decide to start running after 40 and have not had such experience before, the question always arises: are there any restrictions and recommendations that you should know about in advance?

Long-term studies confirm: age is not a contraindication for starting training. On the contrary, regular physical activity helps to reduce the rate of aging of the body and age-related loss of muscle mass. That is why spot classes are recommended for anyone who crosses the threshold of 30 years.

Talk to your therapist. First of all, it is necessary to pay attention to diseases such as arthritis, arthrosis and osteochondrosis, and diseases of the cardiovascular system. If you do not have special health problems, then you have no contraindications for jogging. The only thing that can be recommended is to choose comfortable clothes and sports shoes. Good sneakers help balance your knees, reducing your risk of injury. If there are problems with the cardiovascular system, the doctor will help determine the degree of permissible load or select the necessary drugs that will support the body during jogging.

Starting to run after 40 years, it is worth a very metered approach to the load. Before you start jogging, you just need to walk a few lessons to feel if there is any discomfort or not. The optimal mode will be in which you will run 2-3 times a week for short distances (1-5 km). You should not run more, even if you feel the strength in yourself. At first, the regularity and frequency of training, and not the length of the route, is of particular importance – so you better prepare your ligaments and bones for jogging. And in order not to get injured while running, you need to do a good warm-up of the whole body before each session.

When running, pay attention to the pulse and breathing. For beginners, the recommended maximum heart rate is 140 beats per minute (individual parameters can be checked with your doctor).

It must be remembered that if you feel pain while running, you should stop your activity and find out the cause of the pain. It is also necessary to smoothly enter the working pace of the run and also exit it. In no case should you stop right away. The stop should be smooth. Running – step – stop.

Expert Commentary

Yana Aleksandrovna Piskurovskaya, Head of the Consultative and Diagnostic Center of the State Scientific Center of Laser Medicine named after O.K.Skobelkina FMBA of Russia “

After 40, the second period of adulthood begins, when new changes occur in the body – the hormonal, cardiovascular system is rebuilt, the organs responsible for the state of health begin to work differently, and physical qualities gradually decrease. Therefore, after 40 it is very important to pay more attention to a healthy lifestyle. Running is the best fit for regular sports.

Fresh air, physical activity, breathing exercises, loads on different muscle groups, strengthening the cardiovascular system are suitable for women who are undergoing hormonal changes due to which weight gain occurs, and for men who begin to move less and how As a result, they are also gaining excess weight. Classes in cyclic sports, which include running, can strengthen muscles and keep joints healthy. However, if before the age of 40 the habit of morning or evening jogging has not developed, then you need to change the healing regimen gradually, without sudden and unexpected changes. Some tips will help make the workout enjoyable and enjoy, as well as monitor your well-being.

– The duration of the training should be increased gradually (from 20-40 minutes for untrained women and 30-50 for men);

– We also gradually increase the intensity of training (from fast walking we gradually turn to a low, then more intense pace of jogging);

– We exclude their training torn running (a combination of light running and high-speed jerks), which is contraindicated at this age, especially for low-trained people;

– With good health, interval running (increasing and decreasing the pace of running) and the use of weighting agents (which must be selected not only by weight, but also so that there is no overwork) are allowed;

– Jogging should become a regular part of life – you need to train at least 3 times a week;

– A well-being diary (in which distance, pulse, pressure, general well-being are noted) will help to adjust the workout, to make it more effective;

– In order to prevent dehydration, observe the drinking regime – you can drink a glass of water an hour beforehand, 20 minutes before training, you can drink another one while jogging, however, the amount of liquid you drink should not exceed that which left the body with sweat. After a complete recovery of breathing after training, you must drink to restore the body’s water balance.

Expert Commentary

Evgeny Evalevich Blum, professor, doctor of medical sciences, expert in the field of health restoration using biomechanical methods

People in the age category “after forty” are very different in quality and quantity of health resource. Here’s what a “ladder of a health resource” looks like at different stages of life:

Stage I of life (up to 20 years) is a period of continuous improvement,

II stage (20-40 years) – “plateau”,

Stage III (after 40) – a period of continuous deterioration.

The key figure on the health ladder is 20 years. This is the age when childhood and youth ended, and with them growth, development, maturation of all tissues, organs and systems ended. That is why physical health should be the top priority before the age of 20, and upbringing and education should be priorities No. 2 and No. 3.

After 20 years, you can make up for upbringing and education, and the primary morphogenesis (gene, cellular, tissue, organ level) is completed. Moreover, alas, once and for all. After 20 years, we spend what we were able to accumulate, therefore the main principle is 30-40 years old: “protect and preserve what you have”.

What you are at 40 depends on what you were at 20 and how much you invested in your health, and this is “written” only in the personal history of conception, gestation, birth, development along the phases of ontogenesis. This is written in the history of your recovery, in the history of your illnesses and injuries, in the history of your treatment.

From what life resource you came to 40 years old, depends on whether you run or first go through the preliminary and preparatory stage for a health run.

Health running, like health sports, is running for and in the name of health. It’s not a heroic run “I can’t”, through pain, through the risk of worsening problems in the spine and joints, in the heart and blood vessels.

You can start running in a comfortable mode for yourself, if you have:

– there is no excess weight;

– no chronic diseases;

– no problems with the spine and joints;

– if you are a “child of nature”, that is, you were born and raised in a natural, ecologically healthy region (not in a metropolis).

But if there are health problems, then you need to prepare for the run:

– bring the weight back to normal;

– restore the spine and joints;

– start with walking and running from a mountain with an angle of inclination of 5 degrees;

5 degrees is the minimum angle, and this mode gives the following 6 advantages:

  1. relieves the cardiovascular system;
  2. minimizes energy costs for motor, cyclic activity;
  3. loads the active connective tissue matrix of all supporting tissues, bones, tendons, ligaments, joint capsules, cartilage, discs, menisci with minimal muscle energy expenditure;
  4. removes almost the entire burden of moral-volitional efforts;
  5. vectorizes, corrects posture (it’s impossible to go downhill stooping);
  6. accelerates the “pendulums” of the spine, pelvic girdle, legs, shoulder girdle – these are biomechanical energy-subsidized transactions, a direct investment in health energy resources.

What is needed for this? Raise the rear support of the treadmill 5 cm. Remember! It’s useful for athletes to walk and run uphill, those who are paid for sports records, for moral-volitional qualities, for the ability to be effective. Your goal is healthy active longevity, psycho-emotional comfort, ability to work, loving, lack of disease in big cities.

Of course, my recommendations do not apply to those who have spinal surgery, who undergo endoprosthetics, who have gross diseases of the cardiovascular system, diabetes and other serious problems. In these cases, you must first restore health, restore the energy balance of the body, and then start with minimal loads in walking mode.

Be healthy and happy!

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