Running Your Best in Your 20s
The keys to maximizing performance in this decade: establishing good routines, taking training risks, and finding your group
For former collegiate runner Ellie Ramsey, running is as important as brushing her teeth. It’s a lifestyle, and it’s at the heart of everything she does, from how she relieves stress to her most meaningful relationships. “All of my closest friends have come into my life through running,” says the recent University of Redlands graduate. “It’s one of the biggest parts of my life.”
While Ellie isn’t sure what her immediate next running goals are going to be, she knows she’ll be running with others. “Not running with a team anymore is a scary thought,” says Ellie. “I honestly can’t imagine not running with a group. We push each other, we challenge each other, we support each other. You need to have others around you. You need to have a good support system.”
Ellie isn’t unlike other runners in their twenties—at the peak of her physical fitness, with the freedom to make the sport a top priority in life and desire to share her passion with others. In many ways, says Jason Fitzgerald, coach and owner of Strength Running blog and podcast, it’s the best decade to be a runner. “You recover faster, produce more power and force with every stride, and can get away with riskier training because of your youth,” he says. “With consistent training, it’s far easier to run faster at this age than at any other point in the future.”
Good training equals good results, but this is also an age at which a little bit of slacking off here or there won’t derail your hard work. “This is a time where you have more flexibility to sometimes bypass strength training and ‘prehab’ work,” says Fitzgerald.
The same goes for nutrition, says Becky Ramsing, RD, senior program officer at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “You can be less disciplined and still perform well because your body is more forgiving.”
At the same time, as you enter into the latter part of the decade, you might want to start turning an eye toward the future and establishing good habits. Think about what you’re eating before, during, and after your runs—is it serving you well? The same goes with your training: what practices will become more important going forward?
All of my closest friends have come into my life through running. It’s one of the biggest parts of my life.
Whatever Ellie does next, running is sure to be at the core. She’s in it for the long haul. “I want to be one of those people that’s 100 years old in a track race. You see them still going and they’re moving and it’s awesome.”
No matter what distance you’re running or who you’re running it with, your twenties are the right time to find a shoe that can go the distance with you. The ASICS GEL-CUMULUS® 21 is light yet cushioned, delivering the comfort you need for training, racing, and finding your tribe along the way.