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A Guide to Getting Back into Running at 50: Lose 20lbs and Reclaim Your Fitness

Are you looking to get back into running and shed those extra pounds? Fantastic! Running not only helps improve your fitness level but is also a great way to achieve weight loss. To help you on your journey, here are some essential tips and a training plan designed to help you return to running safely! 

1. Start Slowly

If it’s been a while since you laced up your running shoes, it’s crucial to start slowly to avoid any potential injuries. Begin with a walk/run routine to gradually ease your body into running. Start by walking for a few minutes, then transition into running for short distances. Over time, increase the running portion until you can maintain a continuous running stride.

2. Set Realistic and Achievable Goals

Setting realistic goals is key to sustaining motivation and progress. Begin with small milestones, such as running for 10 minutes without stopping. As you build your stamina and confidence, gradually increase both your running time and distance.

3. Invest in Proper Running Shoes

To ensure comfort and minimize the risk of injuries, invest in a good pair of running shoes. Visit a specialized running store (we couldn’t recommend the knowledgable team at Skinny Raven Sports enough!) where experts can measure your feet and recommend the ideal shoes for your specific needs.

4. Find a Running Buddy or Join a Group

Running with a companion or joining a local running group can provide the motivation and accountability you need to stay on track. Consider reaching out to a friend who shares your interest or explore running communities in Anchorage. Here are a few to check out: 

5. Spice Up Your Routine with Variety

Running the same route every day can become monotonous. Keep your workouts exciting and engaging by exploring new routes or incorporating interval training into your routine. This variety will help challenge your body and prevent boredom. You can even consider hiring a running coach to who can help you design a training plan that is fun and effective! Check out Chugach Coaching Co.

Remember to listen to your body and take rest days when needed. Consistency and dedication are key to achieving your running and weight loss goals. Now, let’s outline a training plan! 

What is my Training Plan?

1. Build a Strong Foundation

Start with 2-4 running days per week, combining walking and running. Aim for 20-30 minutes per session initially and gradually increasing your time and distance. (See the “More Resources” section below!) 

2. Gradually Increase Mileage

Once you feel comfortable running for 30 minutes, start increasing your mileage by adding 5-10 minutes to each run per week. Maintain 1-2 easy days and dedicate 1 day for rest. 

3. Incorporate Speed Work

Once you have built a solid running base and increase your mileage, introduce speed work into your training regimen. This can include interval training, hill repeats, or tempo runs to improve your speed and endurance. 

4. Include Strength Training

To enhance your running performance and prevent injuries and set backs, incorporate strength training at least twice a week. Focus on exercises that target the muscles utilized while running, such as squats, lunches and calf raises. Consider working with a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist to help build a strength training plan that coincides with your running milage plan. Check out these programs offered right here at Runners’ Edge:

5. Prioritize Recovery

Allow yourself ample recovery time between runs ans strength training sessions. Include stretching, yoga, foam rolling, NormaTec sessions, and rest days in your routine to prevent injuries and continue to feel your best ask you keep ‘on running!

**Remember, everyones bodies are different. The tips below are generalized and not intended for you specifically. Please contact us for a personalized plan! 

By following this comprehensive training plan and maintain your commitment, you’ll be well on your way to reclaiming your fitness, shedding those extra pounds, and enjoy the thrill of running once again. Remember, age is just a number, and your determination will lead you to success! 

More Resources:

Written By:

Zuzana Rogers
PT, ScD, SCS, COMT,
Runners' Edge CEO
Zuzana Rogers
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Runners' Edge Alaska

"We Empower Active Alaskans Of All Ages To Return To The Activities They Love Safely And Efficiently…For Life"
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