YES. YES YOU CAN.
I was in my 40's when I decided I wanted to run. I had never been good at running. I wasn't fast, I was a plodder and when I tried to run I just felt kind of awkward.
I can't even remember why I decided I wanted to learn to run, but I'm so very glad I did. I went from being the 'I don't run' type, to getting up at 5.00 am three times a week just so I could get a run in before work - what the??? Yeah weird right?!
So how did I get started? Let me tell you...
SMALL STEPS & INTERVALS
I knew I wasn't going to become what I thought of as a 'real runner' overnight, I had to start with small steps...literally. I chose a circuit I could run & I cut it into segments in my mind. I chose which parts I would walk, & which parts I would jog. Well to be honest it was more of a shuffle than a jog, & that's what I mean by small steps. I started shuffling & as I got a little stronger & fitter my shuffle turned into a jog. Once I was jogging, the intervals began to change, I would walk a little less of the circuit & jog a little more. I did this until I could eventually jog the entire circuit without any walking intervals at all... & that felt AMAZING!
IT'S ALL IN THE BREATH
As I began to pick up my feet & the pace, I found it hard to catch my breath, which made running very difficult. I felt like my legs could do a little more, but my lungs were not keeping up. It took me a while to realise that I was breathing all wrong. I was trying to take big deep belly breaths, thinking that it would help me get in more oxygen, when in fact my body wanted the opposite. When I took more shallow breaths into my chest, I found that my breath fell into a rhythm with my foot strikes & I was no longer getting out of breath as easily. I would breathe in for three steps & breathe out for three steps - this would quickly settle into a rhythm - I would breath in through both my nose & mouth at the same time - in for three, out for three.
I am not suggesting that the exact same breathing technique would work for everyone. You may find that you breathe in for two & out for two, or in for three & out for two - but what is important is that you find your groove & settle into it so you don't feel anxious about when & how to take your next breath.
SO THAT'S IT!
I quickly realised that running & breathing were not difficult... yeah I know how that sounds... but they had been difficult for me for a long time - but no more! I was the master of my Nike's! I had figured out how to run & I was really enjoying it. I was enjoying being outside, I was enjoying the fresh air & I was enjoying the challenge of going a little further, or a little faster each time. I also loved the fact that I could do something now in my 40's, that I couldn't do in my 20's - yeah go me!
So what do you think? Do you want to give running a go? You never know - you might love it! Stranger things have happened.