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Question
Posted by: Brenda | 2008/01/08

Taking up running

I walk about 4-5 km 5-6 days a week and have done so for years. I want a challenge. Will running take its toll on my joints and muscles? I am 56 years old.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Brenda

Absolutely, you're never too old ad you're never too young to take up running. You do have to take precautions though, as do all people, when they start running or any other activity for the first time. There are risks, and the biggest is joint injury because you'll be loading your joints in ways they are unaccustomed to.

So my advice is to very, very gradually phase in the running part of the training. You're already walking, so that's a good place to start. If you're walking 4km and it's taking you perhaps 40 to 45 minutes, then to start running will involve inserting periods of running into those 40 minutes.

For example, what you might try is to walk 9 minutes, and then to jog, very slowly for 1 minute. Repeat this 4 times, and you'll have your 40 minutes of exercise, with some jogging.

A week or so later, having done this for maybe 4 or 5 days, you can go from 1 minute jog to 2 minute jog. Then you'll walk 8 minutes, jog 2, repeated 4 times, and so on.

I'd say take a week or so on each 'stage" before going up in running time, so that you never overdo it. And just listen to your body, making sure that you don't push through joint pains and aches - if you do feel any aches, just take a couple of days of walking only, and then resume the mix of walk-jog again.

I'm sure this will work for you!

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: KJSA | 2008/01/08

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Reply to KJSA

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