Running Until You're 100 by Jeff Galloway
This article is a paid commercial by Jeff Galloway
Posted Friday, 22 December, 2006
Don McNelly, 85 years young in 2006, has completed over 700 marathons. He has completed 127 marathons over the age of 80! Those who meet Don find that he does not act his age: “…an enormous amount of energy, clear head, speaks intelligently about all topics, and has no signs of hearing, sight or recollection problems”. He started running at age 48, and run his first marathon almost 10 years later in 1969 – the last Boston Marathon that did not require time qualification. He’s run on 5 continents, in 20 countries, all states and Canadian provinces, and is looking forward to moving into the 90+ age group. While Don runs and walks shorter distances, during marathons and ultra marathons (more frequently than every other week) he walks.
The key to running until you’re 100 or so, is to maintain good health and nutrition, stay within your capabilities, and exercise regularly enough to maintain the adaptations you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Running stimulates your body to improve overall physical and mental capability. Research indicates that significant exertion each week can extend the length of your life. The increased endurance and physical capacity gained from years of running results in a more active lifestyle to the end of your days.
How to Run Better as you Get Older
- Take control of your training by inserting rest before it is needed
- When doing a challenging workout, stay below the threshold of irritation of weak links
- Use walk breaks, earlier and more often as the years go by
- Replace shoes before they are worn out – alternate 2-3 pairs
- Avoid saturated fat and trans fat in your diet
- Eat small meals every 2-3 hours
- Use your training journal - plan ahead, record, adjust
- Keep muscles/tendons active and resilient by walking and massage
- Have a running project every week – scenic or social run, race, trail, etc.
- When you are unsure about your running technique, run easier
- Be positive!
I’ve been fortunate to hear from thousands of running in their 50s (and sometimes 60s) who are not only in the best physical condition of their lives – they are running faster than they did when they were 30 or 40. While faster times give the ego a wonderful mid-life boost, the most powerful running rewards follow even the slowest of runs…and the slowest of runners.
Running Until You're 100 was written to answer the hundreds of questions I receive each year about the aging process. I took 3 months to look at the research on how running affects joint health, the effect of long-term exercise on longevity and quality of life, how to adapt to the aging process, etc. The studies are listed in the book, but runners tend to have healthier joints than those who don't run. The book has just come into our warehouse, so if you're looking for the gift that can keep on giving....