Beginning to run in my late 30's

Hey guys this may sound crazy, but is it too late to "start" running at the age of 38? I have been walking at least 5 miles per day for the last year. I jog a bit but I get so winded and my thighs and knees hurt after just a short time. I have gone to a running store and purchased the correct shoes so I don't think that is my problem. Is it actually realistic to think that I can actually become a runner at my age. I have lost 75 pounds but still weigh 199 pounds. I am 5'9" and my goal is 175 lbs. I completed my first 5K just a couple of weeks ago. I walked the majority of the race but still came in at 42 minutes which I was pretty proud of. I have signed up to do another one next weekend here in my small town. I know there won't be a lot of people participating and I fear that I will come in dead lat. I just need some motivation and some honest answers. Thanks in advance!


  • PeteWhoLikesToRunAlot
    Not at all. I started at 38. Couldn't do a mile without vomiting. Literally vomiting. Just did my first 26.2 a couple of weeks ago. Plenty of people on here that have started in their mid-late 30s and are doing great.

    And of course, there's Carson. From another planet. One where apparently everyone runs very well.
  • loserbaby84
    loserbaby84 Posts: 241 Member
    Absoultely NEVER too late!

    I've seen 50 yr olds kick some @$$ like they were in their 20's after being out of shape their whole lives too!

    Mind your doctor, but some times you just have to GO FOR IT! Starting slow and with jogging is awesome :) You will work up to it!

    I plan on running in my future also. I'm still 270lbs (5'9) and jog short distances when on my walks but damn proud of it because I don't remember running my entire adult life! It's amazing what your body can do when you push it <3

    Keep moving!
    DEEDLYNN Posts: 235 Member
    I started running 8 weeks 48....I'm now 49 and I have run my first mile without stopping. I'm using C25K, but when I thought I could do more...I did more.

    This has been PHENOMENAL for my esteem and confidence. I have nearly 150 lbs to do. I'm not fast...but I'm running...I feel great. My legs and feet ache, but that's with any new exercise.

    IT'S NEVER TOO LATE. I've never run before in my life.
  • Ke22yB
    Ke22yB Posts: 969 Member
    /////////// 65 ///////////// I have been running for almost 2 years starting at 270 pounds I have my second 10K this sunday I am still losing weight slowly and getting faster So no it isn't too late just go out and if you enjoy it DO IT you are never too old
    Check my profile for my history starting out from May 22 2008 to now
  • southpaw211
    southpaw211 Posts: 385 Member
    I started running last April @ 182 pounds. I'm 38. It can be done! Try the Couch to 5k app on your phone (any will do), it's a very easy way to get your body used to running gradually. Go for it!
  • flumi_f
    flumi_f Posts: 1,888 Member
    Nope, not too old. I'm 44 and started in May. Now run 7-8km including uphill without any problems. My knees don't like paved streets or downhill running, so I keep that to a minimum.

    If you get winded you are running too fast. Although I didn't use it, look into C25K to help you get started. Alot of people like the programm and were very successful with it. If you have access to a treadmill, start there at a pace you can jog at real slowly and start to increass the speed as you feel comfy.

    I started with 5-10min on the treadmill at 6.2km/h. Now I run profiles for 30min at 8/10km/h. I'm not quite as fast outside, but my terrain isn't flat and my runs are 45-60min.

    If I can do it at 44, so can you.

    And you also bring some stamina along from the walking. You will probably progress quite quickly.
  • teresamwhite
    teresamwhite Posts: 947 Member
    37 here and just started C25K this past Sunday...The app is really good and makes it easy to run/walk the appropriate intervals.
  • HealthyFocused715
    HealthyFocused715 Posts: 340 Member
    Why not? Start slow, listen to your body and rock it!! Love that you have started doing 5Ks - great experience and keeps you motivated. And 42 minutes is a great time! Congrats!! And even if you do finish last at your next one - you still ran/walked 3.1 miles more than all the spectators/non-participants that day!!! Have fun and good luck!
  • IbiH
    IbiH Posts: 250 Member
    Never too late, (I'm 42) I've always been a walker (a fast walker too) so I thought why not give it a go. Ran 4.5k of a 5k race in July in 35 mins. I started running intervals in April just to build up. I know love it, had few issues on the way, probably to to with my shoes. Enjoy it.
  • prettykitty1963
    prettykitty1963 Posts: 42 Member
    I started the C25K program 4 weeks ago....Tomorrow will be the 4th week day 2. I have never run in my life and took up the challenge with 4 others at work. None of us are runners. I am slow but I but heed these words for my inspiration- "No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch", borrowed from an MFP friend.

    I am finding it difficult but I want to finish what I started. Also, I do love the feeling when I am finished.

    good luck, and it's never too late! I will be 50 in 2 weeks!
  • sevsmom
    sevsmom Posts: 1,172 Member
    I started 8 weeks before turning 40. I started with the simple goal of completing a 5k. I just turned 42 and this coming Sunday I'll be running my first (and likely only) full marathon. So, by all means, lace up those running shoes and get at it!!! :-)
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,097 Member
    I didn't start til I this year which I turned 44.

    On top of that I have a joint disease that causes my knees, feet , hips joints to swell every morning.

    If I can do it anybody can. I'm running about 6-13 miles every day now. Won a few of the smaller races for my age group.

    You want it? Find your slow pace, and go slower than that with a new pair of proper running shoes, and you can do it too.

    Congrats on finishing your 5K.
  • mwitt07
    mwitt07 Posts: 77 Member
    Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I forgot to mention that I have plantar fasciitis which makes it a little more difficult but I'm gonna hang in there and keep plugging away.
  • hbrittingham
    hbrittingham Posts: 2,518 Member
    I started C25K at 44, pushed too hard and injured myself, so I started again right after I turned 45. I'm 46 now and I don't run fast or far, but I try to run 2-3 miles 3 times a week and will eventually push up to 5 miles 3 times a week.

    I had plantar fasciitis before I started running. I'm not sure exactly when it went away, but it did.

    You can do it!
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,248 Member
    I ran my first 5K at long as you're this side of the sod it's never too late.
    Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I forgot to mention that I have plantar fasciitis which makes it a little more difficult but I'm gonna hang in there and keep plugging away.
  • Moriarty_697
    Moriarty_697 Posts: 226 Member
    Definitely not too late. I ran my first 5k at 36. Just take it easy. Add some running to the walking but don't slow the walking. With time, you should be able to do a little more and then a little more and so on. I started doing a minute of running for 10 minutes of walking and gradually shortened the walk interval. 8 min. walk / 1 run and so on. It was only when I started to get around 2 or 3 minutes of walking that I increased the run time. It took time but I did it without hurting myself.

    Good luck. Running sucks but it sucks in the best way possible.
  • cms721
    cms721 Posts: 179 Member
    I started at 39 and weighed 210 lbs. Turned 41 in May and just finsihed my second 1/2 marathon on Sunday. Weighed in at 195 Monday morning so you can run even when you are above your goal weight. Take care of your body and it will take care of you. Enjoy yourself and good luck.
  • RedHotRunner
    RedHotRunner Posts: 850 Member
    [/quote]"And of course, there's Carson. From another planet. One where apparently everyone runs very well."
    Carson is my idol!

    I started running at 45 and just ran my first marathon two weeks ago at the age of 50.

    You can do it!!
  • Barbonica
    Barbonica Posts: 337 Member
    I hope not, I started running last year. Ran my first two 5k races at 51, and am planning on a 10k next spring. I still don't think it is fun, but I can't stop.... weird...
  • glassgallm
    glassgallm Posts: 276 Member
    I started running at age 56 and finished my first half marathon 2 weeks ago. Looking forward to my 2nd half marathon in 3 weeks!