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Running Advice for Older Runners Who Want To Stay Active

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.

Tom

Saturday 23rd of July 2022

Lee, Thanks for your blog postings and your You Tube videos. I retired last year at 60 and have been enjoying distance running (25-30 mile per week), making up for lost time. I am also vegan for the last eight years. Good advice for someone like me is hard to find. This morning I particularly needed to read about "pushing back against comfort". I am following you on Strava and clearly I have a ways to go to establish a training regimen to meet my fitness goals (slightly faster and much longer distances). I look forward to reading more and viewing more of your posts. Thanks.

is runners high a myth

I am a 57-year-old runner that is determined to give ageing a good run for its money :)
Running has given so much, from running 10Ks, marathons, and ten marathons in 10 days.
In this blog, I want to help other runners get better and get the secondary benefits of running: more energy, improved mood and functional fitness.

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