The 5 Best Cross-Training Activities for Runners Over 40

According to recent stats, masters competitors, a.k.a. runners over 40, are now the greatest percentage of athletes entering the sport of long distance running. All over the roads of America, in events from 5Ks to ultra marathons, more of those born in the '50s, '60s and '70s are entering competitions as rookies than their younger counterparts—tripling the bump from the '80s and '90s. Moreover, many of these newer, middle-aged runners are entering the sport with little-to-no athletic background.

However, this recent spike in the number of older rookies has, not surprisingly, been paralleled with a spike in the number of soft tissue and stress-related bone issues in this age category, such as stress reactions and fractures.

"Tissue responds differently to the jarring impact of running on say a 55- or 60-year-old compared to someone 20 or 25 years of age, and frankly we are seeing more masters runners training harder than ever before," said NY sport based Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Thomas Graves.

Staying healthy and arriving at the starting line in one piece requires a slightly different training approach for older runners than for young runners. Top masters runners are utilizing non-running exercise more and more as both a supplement for and a compliment to a traditional distance running training program. While there are a myriad of non-running activities, there are five that soar above the rest.

Discuss This Article