Beginning Runner / Jogger At 46

by Ed
(Springfield, VT)

beginning runner jogger at 46
Hello, I'm 46 years old. I've been in relatively good shape / health all my life with on and off weight training but no serious aerobics. After gaining some weight, I recently started jogging (just up the block and back). It seems ridiculously difficult and I am experiencing what I think is minor shin splint pains.

Could I possibly be that out of shape? Also, I'm just using an old pair of Kmart sneakers. Any advice?
Thank You

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your running questions.

Hmm, yes, you might just be that out of shape... :)

Let's just explore this a bit further as follows:

1. #1 Mistake of beginning runners
2. The benefits of a run/walk routine
3. Dealing with the shin splints

#1 Mistake of Beginning Runners

beginning runner jogger at 46
You are saying the running seems ridiculously difficult.

This really makes me think that you are making the #1 mistake of beginning runners: running too fast.

Your running, at the start, should really be a jog at a leisurely pace. We'll have plenty of time in the future to work on speed. At this point, you want your running to be at a pace that you are still able to talk to somebody.

"Ridiculously difficult" as you put it, does not sound like you are running at easy pace! So, my first bit of advice would be to slow down.

The Benefits of a Run/Walk Routine

beginning runner jogger at 46
Additionally, I always recommend beginning runners to "ease into running". You can do this by taking walking breaks. Elsewhere on this site you can find some great beginner running programs.

You don't have to use these running schedules. But, even if you don't, just do yourself a favour and review them. Just so you can at least get a feel for how I have structured them. And how they slowly build up the mileage and the time spent running.

Dealing with the Shin Splints

beginning runner jogger at 46
Shin splints are a tricky injury for (mostly) beginning runners. They generally happen due to "doing too much, too soon". Either running too fast, or too much or a combination of the two. Once again, slowing down and a run/walk routine can really help here.

You have done weight training before. At your age / our age, I would highly recommend maintaining a strength training routine. It helps make you more injury resilient.

I am not immediately saying the KMart shoes are the problem. But when you are running on old or lower quality shoes, they can well be a contributor to the issues. So, if you decide that you really want to give running a chance, I would recommend visiting a specialised running shoe store. They can provide you with better guidance on the right shoes for you.

Hope this helps.
Best of luck with your running. All beginnings are hard. I hope you persevere!

Kind regards,

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