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You are never too old to run

Tips for runners 40+ to keep injury free

By Matthew Hicks from NAB RunWest partner physiotherapists and injury management specialists, Sydney West Sports Medicine:

Whether 2020 marks your 30th, 40th, 50th or 60+ revolution around the sun, you are never too old to run. Did you know that people over the age of 40 are the fastest growing age group in running?  At the New York City Marathon over the last 30 years, the percentage of runners over the age of 40 has significantly increased, whilst the percentage of runners below the age of 40 has decreased. That’s a lot of older knees pounding the pavement!

Unfortunately, fear of injury or the popular misconception that running causes arthritis scare many would be older runners off the footpaths.  A recent study by Ponzio et al 2018 found that there was no correlation between marathon runner and knee arthritis.  If anything, runners were less likely to develop knee arthritis than their general population counterparts.

The benefits of exercise, running included far outweigh the negatives. As we age, staying active has been shown to:

If you are someone of ANY age who is interested in running, you are never too old to start.  Here are some helpful tips to get you to the starting line:

  1. If you have any previous medical concerns it can be a good idea to speak o your doctor or appropriate health professional.
  2. Increase your running time and speed gradually.  Give yourself lots of time to achieve your goals.  RunWest could be a great first goal having both 4km and 12km options which you can walk or run.  Start your training with a walk or jog around the block (approx 20 minutes).
  3. Find a buddy.  Its always easier to motivate yourself if you have your best pal walking/running right next to you.
  4. Recovery properly.  Give yourself a day off between each run.  Try cross training like swimming or cycling if you are a real keen bean to exercise every day.  Just make sure you listen to your body.
  5. Add some strength training to your regime. Simple exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges and calf raises are a great way to get strong, improve muscle tone and improve bone health.

For more information contact Sydney West Sports Medicine on 02 98515959 or at