Unsurprisingly, most people’s New Year’s resolution is to improve their fitness in 2024. One way to achieve that is to increase your cardio, with studies finding even short runs reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, not to mention extending lifespan and reducing the risk of depression. Incorporating running into your routine is a great way to combat those health concerns, but it’s also a great hobby to], especially for women over 50.
Woman’s World connected with Julianne “Jewels” Busenberg, the Senior Running and Cycling Footwear Buyer for Zappos.com, who gave us some tips and tricks for choosing the running shoes and gear that are right for you, especially for the older woman who want to start running in 2024.
Running in the New Year: 3 Considerations for Women Over 50
If you want to start running in 2024, Busenberg suggests making the following considerations:
- Check your foot structure and stride type, Whether you need a trail or road running shoe, and consider your cushion level preference.
- Don’t set your expectations too high for the first few weeks. Instead, have a long range goal in mind and try to achieve it through timed intervals.
- Start slow, and give yourself grace. Some fun ways to get into running are joining a local run group or a “couch to 5k” program to gain motivation and community.
Kevin Lunt, the Senior Running Buyer at Zappos.com, also has some tips for those who want to get into running in the new year:
- Listen to your body! Rest when needed.
- Ensure a proper warm-up and cool-down. This will help to prevent injury.
- Mix strength training into weekly routines. Doing so can help to build core fitness and overall fitness.
- Find a good audiobook or podcast for those long runs on the treadmill or road.
- Balance is key to preventing injury. First and foremost, make sure to wear the proper footwear and incorporate key workouts to improve balance including leg swings, single-leg stands, stand-to-sit, etc.
Benefits of Running for Older Women
“As women age and go through menopause, bone loss starts to occur,” Busenberg says. “Running/exercising is a great way to slow that down.” It’s also a great way to keep yourself busy.
“Running can really increase your social calendar which is great for mental health,” the expert adds. “In some cases, older runners have become empty nesters so joining a local run club is an amazing way to connect with people and develop new friendships.”
Whether you want to start running for your physical health, are seeking the mental health benefits, or a bit of both, Busenberg has a few product recommendations to get you off on the right foot.
Running Shoes for Women Over 50
Busenberg says all runners should be wearing the proper running shoes, but as you age, there are a few more considerations you should be making when it comes to choosing the right fit. First and foremost, consider the style and cushioning level, focusing on one that fits your needs.
“As we get older, we might have to be more aware of past injuries that could flare up,” Busenberg says. “You don’t want to aggravate them or create new ones.”
Busenberg admits running shoe options can be overwhelming. But there’s something out there for everyone!
“Finding the correct fit, cushioning level, and feel might come with some trial and error but it’s worth the investment for your run to be successful and find running to be an enjoyable sport,” Busenberg says.
These running shoes from Zappos are a great place to start!
- Padded tongue and lift-back ensure the right support for the feet while moving
- Swiss-engineered Rebound Rubber offers a responsive ride with low-abrasion durability
- CloudTec® speedboard promotes the natural rolling motion of the foot and facilitates efficient energy transfer from landing to take-off
- CloudTec® outsole technology delivers soft landings followed by an explosive take-off
- Lace-up footwear features FF BLAST™ PLUS ECO cushioning midsole and Hybrid ASICSGRIP™ outsole rubber for enhanced traction and durability
- OrthoLite™ X-55 sockliner improves step-in comfort
- Knit collar and midfoot fit help provide a comfortable feel
- Back pull tabs for easy wear
- Perfect for everyday wear and race day
- Lace-up closure
- Fresh Foam X midsole
- Lace-up closure of these sports shoes offers a secure fit
- Removable foam footbed and textile lining
- Wide platform heel
More Running Gear for Women Over 50
Busenberg’s tips don’t stop there. She has a few more thoughts for Woman’s World readers about choosing the right running gear.
“Buying sweat-wicking running gear to avoid chafing is key,” she says. “Most entry-level runners make the mistake of wearing cotton socks in which blisters are inevitable. I would recommend Drymax or Feetures to protect the toes.”
“Invest in a top-of-the-line sports bra like the ones from Brooks Running,” says Busenberg. “The motion of running can really put a strain on the tissues and ligaments. As women age, keeping things high and tight will prevent breast pain and back pain as it will help to keep your posture in a more upright position, rather than hunched over as you get fatigued.”
“Running leggings such as the Stability Tights from CW-X provide joint support and compression,” Busenberg says. These are a must-have for runners of all ages!
Busenberg also mentions the importance of rest after running. “Recovery is also a major component as we age,” she says. “The Hoka recovery slides or OOFOS slides are like clouds for your feet after pounding the pavement. Foam Rollers and Yoga are also great for giving the legs a little TLC.”
“If you plan to run outside I would suggest getting an ID tag with your basic information and health data,” Busenberg concludes. “Road ID is a great one that I have used for years.”
Running: Creating a Game Plan for Older Women
If you’re just starting your running journey, Busenberg suggests finding a training plan tailored to your current fitness level. “Most older runners will need to start with a walking program or a run/walk program with a longer warmup and more recovery time between workouts,” she explains. “Cross training is a great way to increase cardio without the high impact of running every day and strength training, nutrition and sleep are also imperative to be successful and increase running duration and avoid injury.”
Get the right gear and get moving in the new year!
Want even more running tips, tricks, and apparel? Keep reading!