top
Beachbody On Demand 14 Day Free Trial

Get Free Online Coaching from Coach Rich Dafter

 Share to:

Get in Shape Before Adding the Stress
of a Running Regimen

By Mark Higginbotham - The Commercial Appeal Memphis, TN

Just as infants must crawl before they walk, those who would be runners must walk before they run.

Until the muscles, tendons and joints are "ready," the pounding of running may make your introduction to the sport an undesirable experience.

Besides doing the proper advance work, other factors influence whether and how much individuals should run.

Often, people who are very overweight ask me how to get started. They have heard running is a great way to lose weight.

Recently a 12-year-old girl asked me, "Do you think I could be ready for a half-marathon in two months?"

She had been running no more than 3 miles at a time. Her real goal, she confided, was to run a marathon (26.2 miles) as soon as possible.

A gentleman who was 69 years old called me because he was experiencing tightness in his calves every time he walked. Just before he hung up the phone, he asked, "Do you think I should start running instead of walking?"

The answer to these training questions depends on the physiological readiness of each individual. Maturity, age, exercise experience, physique and weight, and present fitness level will help determine what one can or can't do. Common sense also provides insight as to the best way to address the three scenarios.

No one should try to step up from running 3 miles at a time to running 13.1 miles with only two months to train, especially a prepubescent athlete who is still developing and growing. The kind of stress that training for a half-marathon would place on young joints and connective tissues might be harmful and, in my opinion, would be completely unnecessary.

For this reason, the minimum age for most marathons is 17. I have helped three 17-year-olds successfully go the full marathon distance. They each had accumulated a great base of cross-country mileage prior to attempting a marathon. They had their parents' blessings, and they were ready.

At age 69, someone who is regularly walking and maintaining aerobic fitness should be commended and encouraged to remain active. If you are doing well walking, there is no need to run. Running is much more stressful than walking. It may tighten up the calves even more.

I am a runner and a walker. Every other day I run, and I also enjoy walking a couple of days a week. At age 48, my "off-running days" provide me with the rest and recovery my body requires.

As we age, I believe the primary goal should be to stay in motion so we can maintain a high level of fitness. Maintaining an active lifestyle through walking is probably the smart move for most senior citizens.

If a 69-year-old man starts running and gets injured, his fitness level might really suffer. Older muscles and joints usually aren't ready for the pounding that running exacts on the body.

The principle of readiness applies to all age groups among those who have not exercised on a regular basis for several months. It especially applies to anyone older than 35 who has not exercised for several years.

It is important to acquire a base of muscle fitness and aerobic fitness before challenging yourself with overly ambitious training goals.

Mark Higginbotham is a certified running coach and personal trainer and the founder of Memphis In Motion (www.memphisinmotion.com). He teaches monthly classes on fitness and nutrition and leads adult walking and running programs locally.

back to top

Team Howtobefit on Facebook Team Howtobefit on Twitter Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter on Instagram

Welcome

Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter

Hi, I'm Rich Dafter - full time dad, life-long runner, Team Beachbody Coach and Polar Global Ambassador. By the Grace of God, I have been able to raise my kids working from home by helping people get healthier, fitter and have better quality of life with free coaching.... more.


Sign up for Your Free Team Beachbody Membership
Free Team Beachbody Memberhip
Answers, advice, guidance and support 7 days a week, 363 days a year!
Save Between $50.00 and $115.00 with a Fitness and Nutrition Bundle
Challenge Pack All-In-One Solutions
Challenge Pack
All-In-One Solutions
Save on Superfood Dense Shakeology on Home Direct
Save on Shakeology on Home Direct
Find out for yourself why more than half a million people drink Shakeology every day
Help Yourself and Others Live Healthier, More Fulfilling Lives
Become a Team Beachbody Coach and Help Change People's Lives
Plus get 25% off on all of your Team Beachbody orders with your Coach membership
Beachbody On Demand Streaming Workouts
Beachbody On Demand Streaming Workouts
Stream every Beachbody workout on any device, anytime
Save on
Nutrition Programs
2B Mindset Nutrition Program
Save on2B Mindset, 3 Day Refresh and the Ultimate Reset
Save on
Workout Programs
Save $20.00 on Transform :20 Challenge Packs and Completion Packs
Still love DVD's? Get them while you still can!
Bundle and Save Over $100.00 on Ultimate Portion Fix

Best Deal

Save $50-$115.00

Work Out at Home

Effective Weight Loss

Running Gear

Polar Store

Free Coaching

Resources

Contact

Shop

Home
Top      

The goal of Team Beachbody is to provide you with solutions to reach your health and fitness goals.
Click here to learn more about Team Beachbody Coach Rich Dafter.


© 2019 Howtobefit.com  -  About   -  Contact  -  Join My Team  -  Coach Earnings Statement  -  Site Map  -  Shop -  Home