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The Power of Fit Moms Over 40

Are you interested in discovering the incredible power and strength possessed by fit moms over 40? Look no further! In this blog post, we will explore the world of running, biking, swimming, and how to conquer the ultimate fitness challenge: the triathlon if you are a beginner.


Age is no longer a limiting factor for women seeking adventure and physicality. Today, women in their 40s are breaking barriers, shattering stereotypes, and accomplishing feats that once seemed impossible. Enter mom athlete, the unicorn of endurance athletes.


No longer is the status of being a weekend warrior just for the dads who escape the family demands in the early hours, leaving moms with the kids. Today, moms around the world are claiming space for themselves, seeking balance from the mundane home life, and stepping into the exhilarating world of endurance sports.


"It's about time", I say, shaking my Women For Sports Fist and flexing my muscles. Or rather jumping for joy?!



As a mom of three, an athlete, and a coach, I say "Break that Glass Ceiling! "




But what is it that drives these fit women over 40 to push their limits and embrace racing in marathons, ultras, and any distance triathlon? For some, it's the thrill of discovering their inner athlete and accomplishing goals they never thought possible. For others, it's the desire to maintain a healthy lifestyle, stay social, and set a positive example for their families and communities.


The benefits of exercise for fit moms over 40


Exercise is not only essential for maintaining overall health and well-being, but it also becomes increasingly important as we age. For women over 40, regular exercise offers numerous benefits that go beyond just physical fitness.


First and foremost, exercise helps to improve cardiovascular health, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It can also help to manage body composition (note I did not say weight) and prevent overfat (note I did not say obesity), which becomes increasingly challenging as our metabolism slows down with age. Additionally, exercise plays a crucial role in maintaining muscle mass, and bone density, and reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.


Warning, a nerd moment approaching...



Did you know that hip fractures increase the risk of death postoperative due to the immobility it poses to women?

To me, that's a pretty good reason to try to avoid hip fractures in the first place. How? Regular strength training!


Want to get started with strength training at home or your local gym? I'd be happy to custom-design your strength training program for you. Just click the box below to start today!




The benefits of exercise for women over 40 extend far beyond the physical. Regular physical activity has been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, and enhance cognitive function. Goodbye foggy brain! You know what I'm talking about...



It can also boost self-confidence and improve body image, leading to a greater sense of overall well-being. We all know how feeling good is a catalyst for positive change, am I right?

When I feel good, I make good decisions about what to eat, and the opposite is when I'm feeling like trash.


So, whether it's running, biking, swimming, or participating in a triathlon, incorporating exercise into your daily routine can have a profound impact on your physical and mental health. It's never too late to start, and the benefits are well worth the effort.


I started with triathlon when I was 37 years old - and it changed my life!


If you are in the midst of everyday chaos (read: circus) as a mom, I've got a custom-designed program JUST FOR YOU! The Fit Mom Method is designed for moms frustrated by the influencers, feeling guilty about taking time for themselves, and generally just feeling blah about their bodies and mindset. You are tired of being sick and tired - all the time.


I was once a tired mom who did not run- at all. You know my story. I developed The Fit Mom Method based on the exact steps I took to take myself from the brink of suicide to an Ironman triathlete living my best happiest life. Click HERE if you Want to learn more about The Fit Mom?


Since I am a seasoned runner and endurance athlete, let's talk more about endurance sports. Will start with my long-time mama jam booster, running!


Running for women over 40: training tips and techniques


Running is a fantastic form of exercise that can be enjoyed by women of all ages, including us moms over 40. It's a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, learn about yourself, induce bright ideas, and strengthen the muscles in your legs and core. Running is a sure way to get into a natural form of high, induced by the feel-good hormones, dopamine, and endorphins. No weed is required!

But seriously though...

Running saved my life, and will forever be my Go-To Method to boost my mood! My favorite is to run with my favorite people.



When it comes to running, proper training and technique are essential. Here are a few tips to help you get started and make the most of your running workouts.


1. Start slow and gradually increase intensity: If you're new to running or haven't been active for a while, it's important to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. This will help to prevent injuries and allow your body to adapt to the demands of running. Practically this means the walk-run method.

There is no shame in walking. I do walk - run method often. Especially after injuries or illness.


Here's how:

Start walking for 5-10 mins

then alternate between walking 1 min, running for 1 min. Keep going as long as you feel like. 30mins is probably a lot as you begin.

Then, next time add time to the running part, until you feel comfortable running for 10 minutes straight. Increase total time to 40-50 mins.


To improve in running I recommend running every other day. This way you are getting your legs used to the running while preventing imposing too much too soon!


Those walking breaks allow your heart rate to drop significantly, telling your body that no, it is not a crisis, and it can now relax. You burn more fat by keeping your heart rate low and taxing your central nervous system less, allowing for better and faster recovery afterward.


2. Invest in proper running shoes: Investing in a good pair of running shoes is crucial to prevent foot and leg injuries. Look for shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning, and consider getting fitted at a specialty running store. The right shoes feel comfortable on your feet.


3. Mix up your workouts: Incorporating different types of running workouts into your routine can help to prevent boredom and improve overall fitness. Try intervals, hill sprints, and long-distance runs to challenge your body and keep things interesting.


"did she just say hill sprints- But I am just a beginner?! "

Yes, I did say hill sprints. Hill sprints are great value for your time. Just find a hill, park your stroller, and go to town for 30s HARD 8-9 out of 10 effort, then return to your starting point, and repeat 4-8 times. The hard efforts improve your leg strength while preventing injuries, and your heart's ability to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles, and your kids will get a giggle out of watching you run hard up the hill! Or a cry.. either or.


Here's my favorite running workout from Athletica.ai .


By following these tips and listening to your body, you can make running a fun and rewarding part of your fitness journey. Lace-up your shoes, hit the pavement, and enjoy the many benefits of this invigorating exercise.


Ready to take on a new challenge? I would love to help you by coaching you to create a healthy, fit lifestyle that fits into your life as seamlessly as you've been throwing "I don't have time to exercise" previously. Click on "Endurance Gold" and let's chat!




Biking for fit moms over 40fit moms over 40: choosing the right gear and routes


I grew up bicycling to school, swimming, and occasionally biking for training as a youngster in the deep dark woods of North Finland. I've used biking as a method to get from A to B all my life... until I started vagabonding around the world, especially in parts where cycling is more of a suicide than a sport.


I started biking for a triathlon at the ripe age of 37, and it was terrifying. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no concept of pacing myself. And thought of owning and riding a triathlon bike with TT bars... yikes!



My first triathlon in 2015

70.3 Ironman World Championships 2022


See, progress is possible, even inevitable if you only dare! Today, I can bike for hours and I feel comfortable zooming down the hills at 80km/h, screaming like a little girl.


Biking is an excellent low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by women of all fitness levels. It's a great way to improve cardiovascular health, build strength in your legs, and enjoy the great outdoors. But when it comes to biking for women over 40, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.


First and foremost, it's crucial to choose the right bike and gear for your needs. There are various types of bikes available, including road bikes, triathlon bike, mountain bikes, and hybrid bikes. Size matters, we all know that.. pun intended. Just kidding. You want to be comfortable on your saddle. Bike shops can give you a loaner saddle and help you with finding the right fit. If your downstairs is sore - you are not going to want to bike. So take time to find your fit.


Consider your goals, preferences, and the type of terrain you'll be riding on when selecting the right bike for you.


In addition to the bike itself, investing in the right gear is essential. A well-fitting helmet is a must to protect your head in case of a fall or accident. Padded cycling shorts can help to reduce discomfort and chafing during long rides, and cycling gloves can provide additional comfort and grip.


Hot tip: get a chamois cream! Lots of it. You can thank me later.


Learn to drink from your bottle while riding. Make it a game with your kids. Who learns it first? Eventually you'll learn the subtle art of snapping a pic, too!



When it comes to choosing biking routes, consider your fitness level and preferences. If you're just starting, look for flat, scenic routes that allow you to gradually build endurance and confidence. As you become more experienced, you can challenge yourself with hilly or more technical terrain.


Biking is a fantastic way to stay active, explore new places, and enjoy the freedom of the open road.


Now, let's tackle swimming... personal favorite, but I also know it can be a challenge for most.


Swimming for women over 40: improving technique and endurance


Swimming is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness, build strength and endurance, and enhance flexibility. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced swimmer, there are always ways to improve your technique and get the most out of your swimming workouts.


I did not grow up swimming in a team and had to learn as an adult. I've worked really hard to be able to swim a fast and efficient free technique and hired some help along the way to help me with my technique. My strength is a strong upper body, a love for water and the ability to feel the water.





One of the keys to swimming success is mastering your technique. Focus on proper body alignment, breathing, and stroke mechanics to ensure efficient and effective swimming. Consider taking lessons or working with a swim coach to improve your form and maximize your performance.

I highly recommend checking out Swim Smooth swimming groups, or any masters swim groups for social swimming, as swimming can get a bit lonely.


To build endurance and improve your swimming fitness, incorporate interval training into your workouts. Swim at a high intensity for a set distance or time, followed by a period of active recovery. This will help to improve cardiovascular fitness and increase your overall swimming speed.


Again, I'll share one of my favorite swimsets from Athletica.ai

By the way, this syncs directly to your Garmin watch from Athletica. So you don't even need to write them down anymore! Make sure to contact me if you'd like a get on the bandwagon of the future of endurance training with Athletica.ai and myself!


So, whether you're a seasoned swimmer or just dipping your toes in the water, don't underestimate the power of swimming as a form of exercise for women over 40. Dive in, embrace the water, and enjoy the many benefits that swimming has to offer. If you are swimming alone, don't hesitate to contact us for swim programs. When you have a plan at hand, time in the pool will go a lot faster!


Ok, so if you are curious how to put running, biking and swimming all together, let's talk triathlon!


The triathlon: a challenging yet achievable goal for moms over 40


The triathlon, often considered the ultimate fitness challenge, involves swimming, biking, and running in succession. For women over 40, participating in a triathlon can be an incredibly empowering and fulfilling experience. It's a way to push your limits, test your strength, and achieve goals you never thought possible.


To me, triathlon is a way to explore my mental and physical capacities while honing my skills in not just one but three sports. It prevents me from going all in on one sport and picking up an injury overdoing it.


The triathlon offers a unique set of challenges and rewards. It requires not only physical fitness but also mental strength, discipline, and perseverance. The ability to transition smoothly between swimming, biking, and running is essential, as is the ability to manage your energy and pacing throughout the race.


70.3 Ironman in Dubai 2022 was a struggle in the heat which left me walking part of the run but somehow I found another gear after 17K, finished third in my age group, and ended up qualifying for the World Championships.




But despite the challenges, with proper training, preparation, and mindset, you can conquer this incredible feat and join the ranks of triathletes of all ages and abilities.


So, if you're considering participating in a triathlon, don't let your age be a deterrent. Embrace the challenge, commit to your training, and prepare to amaze yourself with what you're capable of achieving.


Training for a triathlon: combining running, biking, and swimming workouts


Training for a triathlon requires a well-rounded approach that combines running, biking, and swimming workouts. To prepare your body and mind for the demands of the race, it's essential to establish a training plan that incorporates all three disciplines, plus strength training!


Here's an overview of what my training week looks slike. For perspective, I dedicate a LOT of time to training, 10-16 hours per week. Most of the time somewhere between 10-13 hours and occasionally big week around 15-16 hours. Yes, it is a lot of training, but remember, my goal is to qualify and place top 10 at the World Championships. You can train way less and kick ass!


A typical triathlon training plan includes a mix of endurance workouts, high-intensity workouts, and recovery days. It's important to gradually increase your training volume and intensity over time, allowing your body to adapt and avoid overuse injuries.


When it comes to running, focus on building endurance and strengthening your legs. Incorporate long-distance runs, interval training, and hill workouts to improve your running fitness and prepare for the run portion of the triathlon.


For biking, aim to increase your overall endurance and power output. Include both long rides to build stamina and shorter, high-intensity workouts to improve your speed and climbing ability. Don't forget to practice your transitions between biking and running to ensure a smooth race day experience. This is often done by running immediately after your bike rides. Your legs will feel a bit wobbly at first, but you should feel amazing after the initial 5-10 minutes.


In the pool, work on improving your swimming technique, endurance, and speed. Incorporate interval training, drills, and open water swims to simulate race conditions and build confidence in the water.


Remember, consistency and dedication are key when training for a triathlon. Stick to your plan, listen to your body, and stay focused on your goals. With time and effort, you'll be well-prepared to conquer the challenges of the triathlon.


Again, I offer different coaching services for seasoned and new-to-triathlon, so don't hesitate to contact me for pricing and features.



Nutrition and hydration for fit moms over 40 participating in triathlons


Proper nutrition and hydration are essential for women over 40 participating in triathlons. The demands of the race require careful attention to fueling your body and replenishing lost fluids to optimize performance and promote recovery.


Before the race, focus on consuming a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Aim to eat whole foods that are minimally processed. Don't be afraid of fats. Avoid anything that is low fat as those items are usually highly processed and added sugars.

Avoid the middle aisles and you are golden!

During training and on race day, pay attention to your hydration needs. Drink to thirst throughout the day, and consider using an electrolyte replacement to replenish lost fluids and essential minerals after your race.


I will write more about sports nutrition for moms over 40, but for now, I'll leave you with this:


You do NOT need anything special to fuel yourself. Whole foods are plenty. In fact, sports nutrition will do you more harm than good. So stuff your bras with a sandwich if you need fuel on your long training sessions :D


More to come in the future, so check in often.

Remember, nutrition and hydration are highly individualized, so it's important to listen to your body and experiment with different strategies during training to find what works best for you.


Overcoming common challenges for moms over 40 in triathlon training


While participating in a triathlon can be incredibly rewarding, it's not without its challenges, especially for moms. However, with the right mindset and strategies, you can overcome these obstacles and achieve success.


One common challenge for women over 40 is balancing training with other responsibilities, such as work, family, and social commitments. It's important to prioritize your training and schedule workouts in advance to ensure consistency. Look for opportunities to incorporate activity into your daily routine, such as commuting by bike or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.


“ Having a child does not limit our ability to achieve. I can be a champion and a mother.  ALYSIA MONTANO

Supporting a good cause like "&Mother" can be a really good way to make sure there are more opportunities for moms to participate in sports. Simple things like organizing breastfeeding areas, child care during races, and practices enable many more moms to part take in what they love to do.


God only knows how many times I've missed an opportunity to race because I didn't have childcare available for me.


Another challenge is managing the impact of aging on your body. As we age, our recovery time increases, and we may be more prone to injuries. To mitigate these risks, listen to your body, build rest days into your training plan, and incorporate strength training and flexibility exercises to maintain muscle mass and joint mobility.


Hey, yoga has never been better than after 40!


Mental resilience is also key when facing the challenges of triathlon training. It's normal to experience self-doubt and moments of fatigue or frustration. Surround yourself with a support network of like-minded individuals, set realistic goals, and celebrate small victories along the way.


Ahem, do I have to mention that this is exactly why you hire a coach?!


An experienced coach will be there with you at any moment, sharing the journey with you. Not only does she provide you with the program to follow, but explains exactly what to do, how it should feel, how to use intensity zones, how to fuel, recover, prioritize sleep, how to meditate and let go through challenging moments and of course recap your success stories with you!


Lastly, don't compare yourself to others or let societal expectations dictate your journey. Embrace your unique strengths and capabilities, and focus on personal growth and self-improvement.


Remember, the ultimate goal is to be the best version of yourself, not to compete with others.

In conclusion, the power and strength possessed by fit women over 40 are truly awe-inspiring. Through running, biking, swimming, and conquering the triathlon, women are breaking barriers, defying age stereotypes, and achieving incredible feats.

Whether it's the joy of discovering their inner athlete, the desire to lead a healthy lifestyle, or the pursuit of personal goals, fit women over 40 are proving that age is no barrier to adventure and physicality.


By incorporating exercise into their daily lives, women can experience numerous physical and mental health benefits. Running, biking, and swimming provide unique opportunities for fitness, self-discovery, and personal growth.


Embrace fitness, and discover the incredible strength that lies within you. I would love to be a part of your journey!




 

Marjaana Rakai

MSc Sports Sciences

Triathlon Canada Community Trained Coach

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

GGS Women's Coaching Specialist

HIIT Science Certification


Give me a follow @tiredmomruns


Have you listened to the podcast yet?



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