You run? Yepp. I am a 43 years old well padded Yogini (female Yogi) and I run.
Why? Because I love it, plus I am a Pitta constitution (fiery person) with a slight Kapha imbalance (excess of earth and water elements, hence the extra weight) who needs the cardio aspect of the run to move the earth element in my body.
Do you have any aches and pains? Nope, because I like to think I run consciously, incorporating these simple guidelines:
1. THE SHOES. Obviously. Luckily enough Yorkshire is a running county and I just made the appointment in a specialized running shop where a lovely knowledgeable gentleman fitted me out with a perfectly fitting albeit expensive running shoe. I know, you have to bite the bullet with this one, still cheaper than a knee replacement.
2. I WARM UP. About 3 minutes of Yoga stretches followed by at least 2 minutes of walking.
3. I run with BREATH AWARENESS. Inhaling and exhaling through my nose, if a bit over heated exhaling through the mouth but always aware of my breath and as soon as it gets labored I switch to walking until my breath calms down. Now this is not the same as my heart rate going down because I can have a perfectly stable and relaxed breath even when my heart rate is up in the cardio range, but making sure that as soon the breath is 'going' I rest by walking. Interval training is the best in my opinion anyway.
4. POSTURE. Tailbone tucked under gently, knees in line with 2nd toes facing forward, spine elongated, core activated, neck long, shoulders down, face relaxed and the gaze is about eye level or on the ground if I am in the forest and need to watch the terrain. Just like in Tadasana/Mountain position in Yoga. When I start to get tired and the posture starts to go, I walk again (which of course coincides with the breath going shallow). Having a strong core and a flexible spine is essential for happy running, here is where point 7. will come into play.
5. MEDITATING ON MY BREATH while I run. The 1st km is just getting rid of stress. The 2nd is emptying my mind. The 3rd is just bliss, quiet. Around the 4th, 5th I may even get wonderful ideas and thoughts about changing things for the better in my life.
6. In NATURE. Double gain this way. Fresh air, beautiful surroundings (yes I know how fortunate I am to live in the countryside and in a climate where you can run all year around). I find that running outside is easier on my body as running on the treadmill, less repetition as the terrain changes, having said that some of it is concrete.
7. Gentle STRETCHING Yoga practise for about 10 minutes AFTER a run followed by 5 minutes relaxation. This is a must!
8. I do NOT run MORE than 5-7 km (3-4 miles) at one go, this is something I have played around with, this is where my body feels comfortable and I only run maximum 2 times a week.
9. I COMPLIMENT running with WEIGHT TRAINING (Kettlebell or weight training at home), Zumba and of course YOGA 5 times a week. You may think I am someone who does not do anything other than her fitness but no, I am a mother of three far away from family to help out and I run a full time business teaching Yoga and Yoga Therapy. I exercise/practise early mornings, in between classes, on the weekends with my family. If you have the will you will find the time and money. I do go to 2-3 classes a week to learn from other teachers, but most of my exercise is at home or outside.
10. I NEVER RUN if I am ILL, INJURED or EXHAUSTED, respecting my body. I do not do competitions which would make me push further where my body's limit is making me train when injured or ill.
11. I take CALCIUM supplements.
These are just my guidelines, please experiment and find your own. I just wrote this down to show that you can still run in your 40's without pain, but you have to make conscious decisions and make sure that you listen to your body! Off I run...