Tips for First Time Runners Over 40

Last Updated on August 7, 2023 by Ellen Christian

These tips for first time runners will help you get started running safely. I have been working on expanding the different types of workouts I do. 

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Tips for First Time Runners Over 40

Tips for First Time Runners Over 40

While I have been walking for exercise for years, I have never tried running. In the beginning, it was because I was too out of shape to run.

I’ll admit that visions of me, overweight and out of shape, running up the road wasn’t something that gave me self-confidence. Now that I am more in shape, I have decided that I’d like to give running a try.

When I say that I am more in shape, I mean that I don’t get short of breath running up the stairs. I am far from the queen of fitness so I am approaching this whole running thing slowly.

Starting to run after 40 is not the same as running when you’re 18. My first step was to research some tips for first-time runners.

Good shoes for runners

Get a good pair of shoes.  After years of foot problems, I can tell you that shoes are not an area you should skimp on. Make sure they fit well and that you have proper arch support.

A good pair of running shoes can cost between $80 and $100. If they’re cute too, that’s an added benefit.

Tips for First Time Runners Over 40 to Start Safely

Comfortable running clothes

Choose comfortable running clothes. No, I don’t mean jeans and a t-shirt. Go for running pants or even yoga pants that are made of polyester, nylon or lycra.

These fabrics allow sweat to rise to the surface away from your skin where it can evaporate. Cotton will retain moisture and you’ll chafe. That is not fun.

Realistic running goals for newbies

Set realistic goals. You are probably not going to head out the door and run two miles on your first day. Try half a mile or even a quarter mile depending on your fitness level.

Increase your distance slowly each day. You can alternate running with jogging or walk if you need to do that. Just increase the amount of running as you get more used to it.

Tips for First Time Runners Over 40 to Start Safely

Beginning runner plan

If you’re looking for a beginning runner plan, I’ll share what worked for me. Start by running or walking three days a week depending on your fitness level. Aim for 20 to 30 minutes of activity on two of those days.

Then, on the weekend when you have more time, try for 40 minutes. Rest on your days off or try something lower intensity like a yoga routine or cardio.

If you cannot manage the full 20 minutes, try walking in between each 10-minute burst of running. Start off at a measured run, not a sprint. You’re not running to save your life.

Tips for First Time Runners Over 40 to Start Safely

Snacks to fuel your run

Enjoy a complex carb and a protein about an hour and a half before your run. No, not grains. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I am Paleo.

Complex carbs for those who follow the Paleo diet can include yams, broccoli, and zucchini. Add in some protein like a hard boiled egg, beef jerky, or a grass-fed beef patty and you’re all set.

This is my favorite Paleo beef jerky.

Tips for First Time Runners Over 40 to Start Safely

Stay hydrated

Don’t forget the water.  Drink before you go and bring along a water bottle if you will be gone any amount of time.

There are some great water bottles for runners that attach to your hand so you don’t have to carry your bottle while running. Staying hydrated is important year round, not just during the hotter summer months.

Listen to your body

One of the most important tips for first time runners I have is to listen to your body. Be aware of previous injuries or weaknesses.

Since I injured my ankle several years ago, I always wrap it when I’m running. The ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage featuring the new ACE™ Brand Clip supports my ankle and I can customize the amount of support and compression the bandage provides.

Tips for First Time Runners Over 40

I’ve tried those elastic bandages with the metal clips and they just don’t stay put. I don’t want to have to stop in the middle of a run to tighten the bandage or re-fasten those little metal clips.

The new ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage featuring the new ACE™ Brand Clip is quick to fasten, comfortable and more secure. 

For more information about ACE™ Brand, visit them on FacebookTwitter, and YouTube. You can find them on Amazon or in stores like Walmart.

Do you have any other tips for first time runners?

16 thoughts on “Tips for First Time Runners Over 40”

  1. I started running in the seventies and shoes were a big thing then too. Used to love the annual shoe issues in the running mags. They are getting so expensive now that you have to be picky and do your research.
  2. I am running my first 1/2 marathon this fall ! The hardest part is staying injury free. My heel of all things is bugging me. Just ordered "orthopedic flip flops." Our 40's are the new {early} 30's!!! ha! laura
  3. Great tips! I've got a lot of weight to lose but my goal is to eventually be able to run. I'd love to run!! I always end up having troubles with shin splints so bandages are a must for me when I'm doing a workout regimen.

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