If you’re a beginner, Kennihan says your recovery can take the form of foam rolling or yoga in lieu of adding mileage.
“For those with higher mileage bases, recovery runs are great for increasing your aerobic base without causing more stress,” she says.
And when you keep up that pace for more than five miles, you’re “distance running.” Although popular with all age groups, Kennihan explains that distance running tends to become increasingly attractive to people as they age and begin to lose fast-twitch muscle fibers.
“While we can’t run any faster [after a certain age], we can still run longer and longer,” she says.
“Speed work, or interval training, encompasses bursts of intense effort separated by recovery periods of slower running, jogging, or walking,” says Kennihan.
These types of workouts can help you increase your speed, running efficiency, and fatigue resistance, as well as your power and muscular endurance, she explains.Verrengia adds that distance running is also a great way to build up your cardiovascular health.The mental toughness you get as a result is just a bonus.Meghan Kennihan, NASM-CPT, and Road Runners Club of America and USA Triathlon run coach, says, “Running is one of the simplest cardiovascular activities you can do, with benefits for nearly every part of your body.” It can help with heart health, blood pressure, weight control, lung function, muscular endurance, and joint strength — and those are just are just a few of its potential physical effects.Research shows running can improve your mental wellbeing, too.Verrengia adds that it’s also important to actively work on optimizing your running form, regularly mixing up your workouts (e.g., by incorporating more speed work and hills into your routine), and including more than just running in your exercise regimen.“Runners need to realize that strength work, stretching, muscle release work [a.k.a.In the age of pricey gym memberships and boutique workout studios that charge upwards of a class, running can actually help you save cash.It’s free to do, and doesn’t require any equipment.Unlike hitting the gym or playing a round of tennis, running is something you can do anytime, anywhere.“You can literally go right outside your door and start,” Verrengia says.