When we think of fitness we often think of the hip 20-something crowd hitting the gym. That’s definitely a sector of the market, but in reality, one of the fastest growing fitness populations is the over 50 crowd. Not only are they looking to stay fit and improve their quality of life, they also are becoming the fastest growing population of runners. In particular, women over 50 are dramatically increasing their numbers in the running population. Not only are the 50+ crowd learning how to run, they are setting impressive goals such as running a first half or full marathon.
Learning how to better meet the needs of your running clients of any age will help your grow your client base. Years ago, the focus on being an athlete was winning. The over 50 crowd is realizing that they too are athletes, but their focus is improving quality of life, creating a healthy lifestyle, and setting goals or challenges to keep them motivated.
Running is perfect for these goals. Because running is both a group sport as well as a very individual sport, runners can benefit with the social benefits that running can provide while at the same time, challenge themselves to reach individual goals. This bodes well for a lasting client for you as a trainer. Research has shown that the 20-30-something crowd will train for and run a marathon as a “one-and-done,” meaning once they achieve their goal, they are happy and move on to another interest. The over 50 crowd, in comparison, will complete that half or full marathon and then set another endurance run goal. It may be another race of the same distance, a longer distance race, or maybe it’s a race with a more challenging course.
As a trainer, this great because you’ll be able to work with this more seasoned runner in their quest to stay healthy while reaching these new goals. Helping clients see the benefit of adding resistance training along with their running to help prevent injury as well as to increase running efficiency will help your running clients stay happy, injury-free, and better able to achieve their goals.
Training an older runner is no more rewarding, but it is different than training a younger runner. Part of working with an older runner is helping to understand their nutritional needs and the important role rest plays in their training. But, it’s amazing and so rewarding to help them reach their awesome goals.
My continuing education course (Running Basics) through National Personal Training Institute is just what you need to get started building your confidence working with runners, helping individuals reach with fitness and running goals and expand your client base.