Happiness/ Running

Running in my 30s vs. Running in my 20s

When I hit 30 almost two years ago, a lot of things changed. I had friends tell me that would happen, and course I didn’t believe them. But they were right. I became more confident. I had clarity of what I wanted in life — and what I didn’t. I started to understand my intrinsic value better. I trusted my decisions more. I made some big decisions that scared me. I started to see mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow. And I trusted in God’s timing more than ever. Oh, and I started using a retinol serum RELIGIOUSLY. Aging is beautiful but I’d like to slow its pace juuuust a little.

What I didn’t expect was a dramatic change in my running once I hit 30, but there were 5 things that majorly changed in that decade.

1. I need time to wake up before heading out for a morning run. 

I used to wake up and be out the door in 10 minutes to go for a run. Uhhh, not so much anymore. I need time for coffee, to have a little snack, to figure out what’s going on and to just wake-up! I don’t even know how I used to roll out the door so quickly. I blame it all on needing to wear contacts now (another new thing in my 30s – yay). 😉

2. I need pre-run fuel.

I used to run in the mornings on an empty stomach and had no problems. I still do this occasionally, but that’s very much the exception, and I almost always regret it. I need a snack of some sort, whether it’s a banana, a date or two, or one of these pre-workout snacks.

3. I need a warm-up. A real warm-up.

I used to hit the ground running and running pretty hard, literally and figuratively. I could hit my normal or goal pace pretty easily in mile 1. Since I hit my 30s, I need a solid 10 minutes (or at least one mile) to be warm enough to pick up the pace. You can see how my pace drops after I get going. Part of this is that the first mile of my route is very hilly, but it’s also majorly impacted by my muscles just needing time to get going.


4. I prefer to run without headphones more often than not. 

Maybe in my 20s I ran to escape my problems, to clear my head, to stop thinking — and music helped me do that (I use this playlist and this playlist). Now I run to be with my thoughts. I brainstorm. I think about goals I’m working on or want to work on. I think about work and how to manage projects. I take in the world around me. I listen to nature. I think about how grateful I am. And the more I let my brain take over, the more my body just does its thing.


5. I need more recovery — including rest days, yoga, stretching, and foam rolling. 

I definitely have to listen to my body more and I don’t just gut out workouts when I’m really not feeling it. I’ve learned the hard way that leads to injuries pretty quickly. (You can find the recovery tools I use on My Gear page.)


On days when I just am not feeling a run, I like to take Maizey for an extra long walk or go to the driving range. I like to be active in some way everyday and those options don’t tax my legs like the pounding of running. And can you blame me? The view is excellent. 😉


Have you noticed anything that’s change in your running as you’ve gotten older? 


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  • Reply

    Ha ha! Yes, you’ve got a nice view at the driving range. 😉 You guys are too cute.

  • Reply

    I’m the same age and I can agree to all of the above! I recently just learned the difference a good warmup can make to these “old” bones. The pre-run prepping is only going to get longer, isn’t it, haha!?

  • Reply

    Interesting post! I started running in my 30s, so I did not know any better 🙂 but the real change happened from 30s to 40s. I had two adorable babies between 38 and 40 and then did not have time to run or really exercise at all…. hence a wooping 45lbs weight gain… I gained a preschooler around my middle. I am just starting to run and work out again and it is a completely different ball game. In my head I am still a “125lb work out every day and always in half-marathon shape girl”, but the reality is a little different. Warm up, cool down, stretch, pacing myself, starting really small and being patient are all the realities of exercising in my “blossoming” years.

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