As a 57-year-old endurance runner, I’m aware as I get older, that ultimately I will get slower.
That’s a fact of life.
But I would like to share my running advice for older runners that want to keep running.
So while walking recently, I was very aware of the thought, I have to continue to push back, or I will disappear, disappear as a runner, and ultimately disappear as a person.
Maybe not initially as an eternity but as a presence in my own life.
I’ve always pondered the …
The meek will inherit the earth.
I don’t think it’s true. I think it’s one of the worst sayings that I’ve ever come across the meek do not inherit the earth.
It’s the people that continue to push back against the realities that we face that thrive.
Now Byron, Katie once famously said
Fight reality; you only lose 100% of the time.
So I think it’s a balance between making certain acceptances, like yes, as you get older, you will get slower. Yes, one day, you will die.
Sorry folks, it’s true!
But while at the same time paradoxically, doing everything to push back against those realities.
Knowing though ultimately those fundamental realities will win,
However, slowing the process down is the aim.
The Biggest Challange Is Easy
The issue is comfort is the enemy. And this is where I think for many older runners, the challenge is.
We are wired as human beings to find the easiest way forward. That’s what got us where we are today. If not, we’d still be running around without the wheel if we didn’t always stop thinking of ways to make our lives easier.
The paradox of this reality is that life is getting so easy that we don’t have to do much if we don’t want to.
So we need to push back against that comfort if we wish to progress as runners as we age.
We often feel as we age, we don’t need to do the hard things anymore. And as we step back, life steps forward, and it keeps stepping forward.
Until our limitations box us in.
So finding ways to make your life harder and challenging is often a counterintuitive goal. And by doing hard, you become ultimately harder to kill and harder to slow down as an endurance runner.
My tip would be to do small, daily hard things to train your brain to get more aware that there are difficulties, which will make you more resilient not only as a runner but also as a person.
For example, try 30 seconds cold from the shower at the end of your shower. Withstanding the cold is training your brain to deal with some level of adversity.
Doing Daily Harder Activities.
So doing small hard things can have a significant impact, so why not try…
1. Getting out for that run when you don’t want to
2. Turning that shower cold. For 30 seconds when you don’t want to
3. Getting up half an hour earlier in the morning when you don’t want to or even when you don’t have to.
4. varying the pace of some of your training runs. Yes, we all know the benefit of low intensity runs, however.
Speedwork is reduced or ignored because of fear of injury. However, as they say, if you don’t use it, you can lose it.
All of the above are all small steps in pushing back against the enemy of comfort.
And hopefully, moving you up a notch with your ongoing duel with grandfather time.