"To old to run!"

I've been to see a private physiotherapist twice (long NHS waiting list) now to help recovery after soft tissue damage in the groin. I was given a set of exercises to do and advice on pain relief etc. The initial assessment was inconclusive and I was told my injury was most likely to be soft tissue damage but could also be wear and tear on the hip. The therapist on both occasions has said that at my age (60) I should give up the running and just stick to swimming or other low impact sports.

I've only just discovered the joys of running, having graduated in October last year and I really don't want to give it up.

I have now finally got an appointment to see a NHS physio appointment for an assessment in two weeks time which I fully intend to keep as it will give me a second opinion. Just wondered what you guys though of the suggestion that I give up running because of my age?

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19 Replies

  • Hmmmph! I have been told by three medical specialists over the years to recognise that I was no longer young and adopt a more appropriate lifetsyle. The truth is my health has never been better since I took up running at the age of 67. All sorts of other ailments, including knee stiffness and diverticulitis have cleared up. My advice is not to be guided by other people's expectations but by your own instincts. You know your body better than anyone. Don't push it but use common sense, give yourself rest days to recover and find a physio who wants to work with you, not against you!

  • Agree totally with turnturtle. I had minor lower back problems for about 12 years, but since taking up running a year ago, the problems have virtually gone. This fact alone is enough to keep me running. You don't have to do a lot, I do two to three 30 or 40 minute runs a week, usually quite leisurely, but sometimes a bit more challenging. I'm 52.

    Follow your intuition, and enjoy the 'rest' days.

  • When you see the London marathon on telly and they speak to runners at the start you always see lots of older runners. What about the chap from the PUnjab who took up marathan running aged 89! He is listed on wikipeadia

    His name is Fauja SIngh

  • He is my hero and inspiration. Rise above the crowd!

  • There are plenty of us of a similar age who are new to the joys of running. Sure, we need to go a bit carefully and pay attention to what our bodies are telling us, but the rewards of feeling fit and active are worth it.

    My NHS physio has just looked at my hips and says he can improve the aches there with targeted exercise. I have arthritis in my knees which he can't improve but says its perfectly manageable with my running. Just need to rest up if it's painful. Certainly no pressure to give up.

    I don't believe it's about age. You will know when it no longer makes sense for you - until then enjoy it.

  • They do say with joints it's 'use it or lose it'. Even if it does all go wrong, there are lots of people out there running with artificial hips. Never say never...

  • Seems a shame the over 60s are expected just to do non-weight bearing activities. Clearly while those of us in that category have to be sensible, have more rest days and so on, the 'use it or lose it' idea does make sense. I think if I was in your position I'd not make any decisions till you've been assessed by the NHS physio. I started C25K in October at 65, graduated in January at 66 and hope to keep on running [well, jogging really!] for as long as possible. Sincerely hoping you can carry on running.

  • I am coming up to 59, and both my diabetic nurse and my stroke consultant have recommended gentle running/jogging to help prevent stroke recurrence and help manage my disease. If you are enjoying running and feel okay I would carry on. I also have some arthritis in my knee and running has actually improved the pain and stiffness. Lots of older people are on this programme and others run in marathons etc without too many problems, so I wouldn't worry about your age. Good Luck

  • My Dad is running at 80 and with RA.

  • %#'bc $¥%#*+\#%!!!!!!!!!!

    That's me spitting out my cuppa in anger, by the way......

  • Yep, that's what i was gonna say.

  • I'm about to get my running gear on and go out puddle jumping - I'm 64 and it's doing me a power of good!

  • Do YOU feel too old? I certainly don't and I've just taken up running at 67 years old! It's about not 'overdoing' things. I started on the C25K three weeks ago and I'm still doing week 1 runs. I have been running for 50+ years so I don't want to go mad and hurt myself.

    I have osteoarthritis in both hips and my lower spine but I have lost 50lbs since this time last year which has made me pain free from the OA and it means I can jog along happily. I'm never going to be a 'speed' runner or complete a marathon. Maybe, hopefully, a 5k next year :D I don't care about times. I'm happy to jog along at my own pace 2 or 3 times a week knowing that the exercise and being outdoors are helping both my weight and fitness.

    Some days I just 'know' that I need to take things a bit easier.Listen to your body ...it will tell you whether you should or shouldn't do something and obviously if it causes or increases your pain then you may have to rethink - maybe slow to a brisk walk for a while?

    How old was the therapist? The age that thinks everyone over 50 is gaga and should be in a care home? :D

  • I am 58. And according to laura ,I am a runner. I feel bad if I dont run but I never manage 3 x a week. I try and do at least 1 session and spend thw rest of the week feeling guilty! But I do tend to walk more if I have things to go to in eves etc rather than drive!

    I have found I feel far more aches and pains if running outside cf gym.but I do much prefer.outside!

    I am going to try and alternate gym and outside more.

    Perhaps rest.up, let the injuries heal and then ease.hack in v gently. If u could afford to pay, a personal trainer with a small running group might just give u enough support along the way and maybe help.u continue.

    Any exercise has got to b good surely. Inc swimming!!!

  • What a bunch of twaddle (and that's the polite word I'm using) ditto everything above, maybe with the running maybe slow down and have a few more rest days in between but there is absolutely no reason for you to give up just because of your age! If I were you I'd get your money back from the private physio.....what an awful thing to say. Anybody who was actually interested in your well being would have come up with a plan for the running not just told you to give up! How bleeding rude!

  • I can only agree with what everyone else has said. I started running about 18 months ago at the age of 56, having NEVER run before. I've mentioned it to various doctors and health professionals since and no-one has ever suggested I'm too old. One doctor actually said it was good for your bones (although did suggest alternating with non-weight-bearing stuff like cycling or swimming. I saw another doctor when I had a touch of tendonitis and he gave me advice to help me get running again. Once again, no mention of my age whatsoever. So, my advice would be - if your body thinks you can do it go ahead - and find another therapist! Good luck and do keep running if you feel you can - I for one have never felt better and only wish I'd discovered it years ago.

  • If you're paying to get bad advice I should stop doing it!! I started running at 61, am now 63 and have never felt better. I think the issue here may not be about your state of health but about the therapist's perception of what 'older' people should be doing. Listen to your body, listen to the NHS and keep at it for as long as you can. Age limits don't apply!!

  • Agree with all the other posters here. I'm 60 and started running after a long break a year or so ago. I've had a few problems with my feet and knee/s but I've never felt fitter or happier. I think how you feel is important and listening to your body and taking care as you get older. I have noticed that if I curb my impatience and rest it is a lot more effective than fretting and trying to do things if something minor has cropped up. That said, getting supportive help is good, I've used a private physio, a cranio sacral therapist and also a Feldenkrais practitioner. The last is little known but very helpful, it was this one that really got me over the hump of my knee problem. Try googling for an explanation and a therapist if you're interested.

  • Wow thanks for all your responses folks and valuable advice. I certainly don't feel too old to run and I am not even contemplating giving it up!

    I am not going back to the private physio as she is totally against running. However I will continue with some of the exercises she gave me and continue to listen to what my body is telling me.

    I managed to speed walk around my local parkrun (very tempted to burst into a jog - but I just kept on walking). I did it in just under 45 minutes and was last but I am really happy with the result and the groin coped with it moderatley well.

    I shall continue to speed walk 3 times a week and as the groin improves I will build in short bursts of running until I'm back to pre-injury fitness again.

    Thanks once again guys

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