The topic of running in middle- and older age is a controversial one. There’s no shortage of warnings about the punishing effects of pounding the pavement after 50, but then there are the die-hards; those gritty guys and gals waking at 5 a.m. on a Saturday to meet up with their group and do what humans have done over our entire evolutionary history — run.
If you’re a die-hard, there’s good news: research suggests that when done right, running is great for you well into middle age. We interviewed coaches, runners and a physical therapist to find out how to train so you can keep running pain-free for years, or even decades, to come.
Running safely after 50
Running is a high-impact activity, and there’s no doubt that it places a lot of force on the body’s muscles, bones and joints.
“When we run, somewhere between two and five times our…