Andy Jones-Wilkins profile

5 Things Aging Runners Need To Do In Your 50s, 60s, and Beyond

By Andy Jones-Wilkins
CTS Ultrarunning Coach

When I turned 50 I felt like an old man, just like that. While I know “age is just a number” there was something about the Big 5-0 that felt a bit different. Put bluntly, it felt to me that after 50 I was on the downhill side of life.

So, after being depressed about this realization for a little bit, I began noodling around with thoughts of what in my life gives me pleasure and how I can takes those things and find ways to maintain or enhance them in this stage of life. And, of course, running was close to the top of my list. It is certainly one of the most pleasurable parts of my daily existence and so, as both a runner and a running coach, I began to reflect on what things are most important to the aging runner. And, in the process, I came up with five key tips to keep running happily into old age. Here they are:

Start Runs Slowly

At my age, gone are the days when I could just roll out of bed every morning, jump into my running clothes, and bust out out sub-7 minute miles right off my doorstep. Now, I spend the first creaky 10 minutes or so of every run making sure everything still works, getting blood streaming out to the extremities, and cranking up the heart rate to a somewhat sustainable level. As such, it’s important to not stress about the laborious nature of those first few miles, but rather to embrace them as part of the process and allow them to be a gateway into something better during the second part of the run.

Take More Easy Days

Many younger runners have, over the years, practiced the hard/easy training pattern on a weekly and monthly basis. And for much of my running life, I did the same. However, with age I have gravitated toward a hard/easy/easy cycle. Simply put, it seems the extra easy day between hard efforts allows the hard efforts to actually be hard rather than just another attempt at a slog when I really should be going easy. Having quality hard efforts also builds confidence, so even though I have fewer of them these days I find I get more bang for my buck out of them.

Build Up Over Months, Not Weeks

Though we are getting older, many of us still have long term goals, whether they are big summer 100-mile races, an elusive loop we’ve always wanted to complete, or simply coming to the starting line of the local 50K as fit as possible. In my experience the older athlete needs more time to build to a peak than a younger one. A fitness level that may have taken 8 weeks to achieve in our 30’s may now take 16-20 weeks to achieve. I like to think I’ve traded in my old sports car for a large diesel truck. It simply takes longer to crank up the old engine than it used to.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Your Younger Self

It’s inevitable. At some point, you’ll realize you can’t run a sub-20 minute 5K anymore. In fact, it may be a struggle to run a sub-30. And guess what, that’s just fine! Rather than being demoralized by the phenomenon of slowing down with age, either live in the moment and be content with the runner you are now, or flip that comparison on its head and be proud of your experience and all the things you know now that you didn’t know then.

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Revel in the Fact You’re Still Running

As we come to grip with the fact we are slowing down physically, we must remember we are not slowing down cognitively. As such, it’s important to put our brains to good use and continue to train the mind. One simple way to do this is to remain positive, optimistic and hopeful; not just about running, but about life. And the best way to do that is to give ourselves a daily reminder that it is a gift we can still run at all and running is a gift that should be nurtured, savored, and celebrated.

And there you have it, five tips to keep running into the Golden Years. Hopefully, you can use these tips to help stay motivated and fresh even as Father Time marches on.

Comments 291

  1. Pingback: Older People May Be Able To Jog Towards Being Sick Less - WHN

  2. I am 55, I started running during Covid and dropped a LOT of weight, then built a home-gym.
    In the finish, having got to 5Km with some extra hard work and about 5 months notice actually ran a 10Km for the first time of running in company in 1hr 3m – a fact I was more than chuffed with esp. as I ran every stride. However, I doubt I shall ever do 10Km again. Instead I have adopted ParkRun with a goal of 30 mins for the 5Km. About 2 years ago I got it down to 27m15s, but haven’t been there since. In the finish I went down with a bad dose of Covid despite full vaccination, and was just getting my fitness back after about 6 months of recovery when I went down with gallbladder ailments resulting in its removal summer this year, then again was just getting fit again when I went down with covid x2! Today I am sitting at just sub 32min for the 5Km. However, I wish I actually enjoyed running. Every time it is an effort to get off the sofa and I need to have real ‘words’ with myself to go and do it. I don’t seem to get the runners high – probably don’t go far enough and only run because it is ‘good for me’ which is different to actually ‘enjoying’ it. That said I do see the benefit – I wear an old fitbit and can see the improvement in aerobic fitness and lowered heart-rate. However, there are a load of inspirational people that do run – many have posted above who make my own ailments sound really trivial in comparison. I just continue to believe that it is ‘doing me good’.

  3. I’m about to turn 58 soon and re found my love of running/ walking. When I was in the military I use to do humps 15 to 26 miles all the time. I could easily run 6 minute mile. After, the military, retirement took hold, and I stopped hiking and running . Now, we’ve settled and I’m researching starting with 5 k and 10 k then graduate to half marathons and ultimately do the shorter ultras..I guess I’m curious if 58 and ultimately the 60s is too late to be such runs.

    1. Hey Stephen – In October of 2021, one month before my 61st birthday, I completed my first (and only) Boston Marathon. I am not a marathon runner. I prefer 10ks, and even 10 miles. I had trained in 2019 for a half marathon that one of my daughters had registered us for (Cape May, NJ). That half was flat and I completed it in 98 minutes. At that point, I thought there is no time like the present to try and qualify for Boston because I hadn’t been in this good of running shape for about 8 years. I grabbed Hal Higdon’s book and worked a plan. Modifying his plans a bit by adding more easy days, choosing to do a daily 20 minute yoga routine from Runners World, sleeping more and eating better. At Boston, there were a TON of people there way over 60. I was encouraged by that because I love running and want to be able to do 20 to 30 miles a week as long as I live. Anyway – training was a success. I qualified in 3:39:03 and ran the exact same time at Boston (which is weird). All of that to say that the tips provided in this article by Andy are very sage advice and that it is not crazy uncommon for guys my age and much older to still be running well and healthily. Trust your body, listen to your body, don’t be too timid every time something aches – seek help when the aching persists and never changes. Most of all – have fun!!! I hope that helps.

  4. Excellent post and inspirational comments, particularly from those facing injuries and other health issues. One diagnostic test result gave me concern, but studies show athletes can have substantial coronary calcium, as well as anyone with elevated uric acid. That result led me to a lab for a VO2 max inclined treadmill test, clocking in over 45 ml/kg/min at age 62. Seemingly ok, I gave myself a green light to start running again after 30 yrs (I had kept active mainly with power yoga). Purging my mind of long past and painful accomplishments of 3 miles under 18 minutes, I’m now embracing steep hill runs, track runs, and road runs, thus far, no more than 3 miles each, plus Pilates with resistance bands and HIIT dumbbell workouts. In the past, I disliked running as I felt my body was falling apart when I went over 20 miles per week. For the first time in my life, I’m actually enjoying running, largely with the help of people on sites like this 🙂

    1. I really want to get back to running I started and I am pushing myself but I can run a full mile six years and I’m 67 and I’m trying to get up to 8 miles again but I had my hip replaced. My right hip was plate replaced so now I’m trying to get back into running again.

  5. I am 64. I have had leukemia for 8 years, and had a double mastectomy 12 months ago. I live in a beautiful small town in Montana, elevation is just under 6,000 feet. I have consistently run since my 20s. I am much much slower than I used to be, but running gives me confidence and hope. My motto is: Never Stop Moving. If I can do it, so can you! Onward!

  6. My name is Ann. I am 68 years old. I do all 4 types of exercise. But I am just getting back into running. I exercise 4-5 days a week. I take two days off. I do weight lifting, yoga, cycling, but on an indoor bike for 1 1/2 to two hours. Would like to do that outside again eventually.Core training and my walk/jogging and jumping rope, which I am just getting back into. I really enjoyed the posts from everyone. I stopped running when the pandemic hit. Now I am getting back into my running.I find I need to be patient with myself. . My husband does weight lifting and a lot of walking and he is 72. We both are trying to take care of ourselves. It’s great to see 50 year old plus people doing so much. Keep up the good work. From all of us: Eric, Ann and Yuki, (our Golden Retriever).

    1. yes I m 68, I exercise every day for 1 – 3 hours. I run 4 times a week. I raced today 10miles in 1hour 40mins. I do pilates, Hiit, circuits, skipping weights, spinning, step machine… I love exercise and feeling strong and weighing the same as I did when I was 21. I love it that my body is in great shape too to wear nice clothes.

    1. Hey Guys!
      I’ll be 64 in a month and have been doing endurance events since jumping into Triathlons and Marathons 40 years ago. What has made me better and more resilient than anything has been my very targeted strength training. At 62 I became the first 60 year old to complete an R5 at the Grand Canyon. Not to brag but to impress how important proper strength training that corrects imbalances and keeps us in alignment as we age. All my running clients embrace it! Thanks for the article about aging!

  7. I revel in the fact that for every one of us 50+ers (I’m in the 60+ group) that are able to get out and do something even remotely athletic, there’s about another 1,000 people out there that can barely get off the couch. I like the fact that when I go see my doctor, he is amazed that I’m in the shape I’m in and compares me to the other broken down old farts that he sees on a regular basis. Do what you do at your pace and enjoy the moments. They won’t last forever.

    1. I’m in the 60+ crowd too- just barely at 61 but feel the same as you. I’m don’t compete and boast comfortably that I run my 10 minute miles 5 at a time when there are others my age who get short of breath walking to the ice cream stand. I’m just happy to be able to get out there and stay active.

  8. I did my first 5k last 6-5 over the GW Bridge-it was the 1 year anniversary of my lobectomy, I never smoked-went to urgent care thinking i had covid-i did not but an xray showed a nodule on my lung- turned out to be cancerous,, 20 % of us never smoked-my surgeon removed my upper right lobe and a few lymph nodes- fortunately i was a stage 1- I used the 5k to put my cancer behind me-helped my breathing and endurance- I was 66 and finished in 56 minutes-my goal was an hour,i ll be back this year-aiming for 46 minutes- I did a 4 mile event july 4th-i ll stick to 5k-too far for me, when people ask how i did i tell the I took first place in the 4 lobe category

    1. My spouse is also a never-smoking lung cancer alumni – full pneumonectomy, chemo and immunotherapy after a lifetime of healthy living. 4+ years out and he’s doing half and full Ironman triathlons. Glad to see you’re out there getting at it too. Never say never!

  9. I am 65 back running a year at 39 hurt my a Achilles a had trouble with it since then I have cycle for two years it as help I got 5k just under 21 mins hope to get down to 19 mins and I won the over 65 in my first race over 5 miles it was hilly time 35.56 .I am running about 35 miles a week the last 4 weeks but feeling a stress not sure why.

  10. Take a look at Marcia Cross’s diet and workout routine to stay healthy. Read her journey to overcome her migraine by taking on a healthy lifestyle.

  11. Great article….. I was more of a triple jumper and decathlon guy when i was a kid…. won state championship in both but only eighth in mile. I got to 4:19 in college in mile but never ran lsd because of smog… i quit at 19 cause air in los Angeles was putrid at best…. but at 6’3 140 clearly i was a respectable miler but just because i wAs skinny…. now at 236 and 62 i feel i am one of the best old fart clydesdales in the planet and would love a challenge in the mile or 5k but no races for fatties like me….. i really wish they gad a national clydesdale competition to see if anyone can beat me….. if i use the weight adjusted or age adjusted charts m it points to better times than i ever had… but i am finally putting in the lsd

    1. I am 76 years old and at age 28 went on the basic parachute jump course with the Canadian Army, where you ran everywhere you went and did 7 chin-ups at every doorway you entered during the working day. Qualifying time for loading on the course was a mile and a half in less tha 11 minutes and seven chin-ups after they took away the chair you stood on to reach the bar. I am still running five times a week for 80 klicks weekly. I have a number of injuries including a broken ankle 20 years ago and told at that time my running days were probably over. I have DEFINITELY slowed down over the years and now it takes me a little over two hours to complete the 15 klick 5 day run each time. I run to keep fit and to keep the moving parts well oiled. Yes, I feel the runs at the end daily, but five minutes later I forget that I ran. Most of my runs are in the middle of the night say, 2 in the A M when it is quieter. Everyone thinks I’m nuts and from time to time the police check me out at that time. I hope to run til I buy the farm. ED WHITLOCK from Hamilton Ontario is and always was my inspiration. RIP Ed who passed away at 85 maybe four years ago, give or take. What an athlete! I hope to run til “I buy the farm”, HOPEFULLY. Gotta keep the moving parts well oiled. I see a guy by the name of Tony many times in the middle of the night running in the opposite direction who also is 76. Just saw him this A M Saturday, January 7, 2023. It’s all about mind over matter as we say in the military, I don’t mind and you don’t matter. ha ha Please keep on running everyone and NEVER EVER quit! My MOST SINCERE wishes to everyone for a lifetime of excellent health. BTW, I have cancer of the prostate like Ed, ran through all the radiation treatments, etc. and have now been diagnosed with Squamous cell cancer in my right upper outer ear area. VERY SINCERELY, Arnie

      1. Airborne..
        I’m a former Arctic Paratrooper from Alaska….
        Jumped with Canadian Airborne years ago in Petawawa..

        I’m 67…..and thinking about a training program for endurance Running

        I was inspired by your comments… wanted to say hello

        God Bless


      2. Hi Arnie. I’m 79 and have run many marathons And half marathons . Had prostate cancer , but all good now , I have no problem cycling , but I really struggle now to run continually , so slow run then walk , 4 miles is max now , but I keep going .

        1. Well done Martin. I’m 82 now. Ran for many years. But after hip replacement etc. Got back into at 80 having a few years off. Now I’m proving that all that background is paying off. Cos ,I’m actually improving my 5k times. Running under 32 mins. Aiming for 31…

    2. Hi Steve, love your spirit!! I’m 51 and 205. I started rubbing last year after being told I had to stop driving due to sight problems. I don’t think I’m as far as you, but I love a challenge!! I’m from Belfast so a little too far to meet up but would be willing for an age related challenge with Strava!! I’ll try to figure out how to get my Strava link but it’s Stephen McLoughlin from Lisburn. Currently doing 5k in about 24.5 mins and 10k low 50s!! Worth a laugh!!!

  12. Thanks Andy for the reality check. I ran from college till I retired at 56, then got lazy. I’m now 66 and am starting up again. Going back to backpacking too. Thanks for the reality tips and the encouragement. I just don’t want to hurt myself doing it.

  13. I started running in high school after playing football for 6 years. I joined the Military where I spent 32 years in the Army. It is no secret that you do a lot of running in the Military. I never for one moment during my career thought about running and what a privilege it was to be a runner until I sustained injuries over the years that forced me to have 3 knee surgeries and 3 should surgeries along with 2 alpine surgeries. After every one of these surgeries I was told by doctors I would either have to QUIT running or slow down. That was the wrong thing to do. My first 2 mile run in basic training was an 11:23 sprint. I never looked back and I am now 57 years old, retired and still running. Yes I only pump out a couple 10 minute miles but like the Arthur of this terrific story wrote, it is not just about how fast we run but the fact that we still are. Many times I am standing there fixing to run and thinking, “I just don’t feel up to it”. Yet each and every time I found the necessary motivation to do it anyway. That motivation is simple though. One day I will wake up and I will have to admit that my body hurts a no longer capable of running. Then I will always look back and regret the days I did not find the strength to run anyway.

    1. Ditto for me. Fastest 2-mile was 11:45 as a Lieutenant. Spent 34 years in the Army total and I too still run, not as regularly as I’d like but I can still put in 8-10 miles at a nine minute mile clip. Fish oil has helped tremendously with relieving knee pain! I too am blessed to be that small fraction of over 55-ers that can and do still run. Running for fat burning and ab work keep my waist such that I can still fit my BDU pants I wore 20 years ago.

  14. I started running in my early 40`s, running mainly longer distances up to 85k in 8 hours in my late 40`s, plus lots of marathons and Ironman distance triathlons. At age 61 my pace has slowed down to a 6m/k for easy runs. It is really important for me to start very slow (7m/k) for the first 10 minutes since it takes a lot longer to warm up these days. Most runs on the flat are these easy runs to build up endurance and my VO2 max. My hard runs are mostly mountain runs (1200m climb, walked apart from the very gentle uphills, and running down. One would think that running downhill wrecks the knees, but touch wood, mine are fine. I am a midfoot striker, even on the steep downhills, maybe that has something to do with it, it certainly helps with traction on the slippery parts. Great to overtake all these youngsters!

  15. I didn’t feel old at 50 at all! I celebrated turning 50 by running 10-marathons-in-10-days. A year later I made that 10x50K. I’ve since run 10 100-milers, including four last year. 18 months ago I took a minute off my 5K PB set 8 years earlier, reaching 80% age graded. I’ve run most of my 100+ marathons and ultras since turning 50 – I’m not slowing down yet!

    1. Wow you are an incredible inspiration. I’m 47 and just yesterday completed my first 100km. I’ve shown myself what I can do and you’ve now shown me that I shouldn’t stop here. Thank you

      1. I am 40 days shy of 50 years and i can attest that the running is therapeutic like no other known or unknown drug.I started running at age 16 but stopped at around 28.I had a 15-year lull until age 43 when i resumed.I have never felt as guilty for the 15 years lull as i felt when i resumed my runs one chilly morning.I am still enthusiastic to date.I am grateful for your masterpiece inspiration.You are old as you feel.

    2. That is so awesome and I totally relate! I used to do 50 milers all the time and when I reached 52 years old I decided to do my first 100 miler. Now at 69, I’ve run 415 – 100 milers. I also ran 62 – 500 milers – 53 between ages 54 and 66 and 9 after I started to collect social security at 67. For my 70th birthday, my wife and I planned our dream vacation to the Grand Canyon. She is going to fly and meet me there and I am going to run – it will be my first 1,000 miler (1,096 to be exact). 54ish miles a day for 20 days straight and then the party starts! Depending upon our stay, I may run back. I currently do not have any tickets booked. I also like short distances. I ran a 20:07 at age 60 – smoked my age bracket and the one below mine.

      1. So from age 52-69 you did 415 (100 milers) divided by 18 years = 23/yr or 2 per month. What is the record for the number of 100 milers in a year?

        And 54-66 you did 62 (500 milers) divided by 13 years= 5/yr or one every 2 months with a month or so off. If you took off a year or two, then you would’ve done more than 5 in one year.

        Incredible. And to do 54 miles/day for 20 days. Eat, sleep, run.

        Not an average runner, but a running machine!!

        1. That’s awesome, I’m 58 and I am still running! I hope I can get to where you are one day!

      2. Nice Sonny I enjoyed that. What I think Sonny is getting at is we are all of an age where exercise is still possible to enjoy so let’s do that. Stop turning everything into a p*****g contest or some maudling trip down memory lane 🙁

      1. I can honestly say that I have been blessed!! Slowly getting back to sub-7-minute mile runs, because I came to the realization I truly was and still am good at running. I used to run in the high 5 minutes (5:40 – 5:50), but I started trying to put more muscle and got fat instead. Over the years I’ve learned so much, and listening to my body and professionals. I became a personal trainer and learned I knew nothing at all so I stepped back and now I realize there is far too much information out there to stop me from achieving my running and lifting goals. I nearly ran at a 6:52 pace the other day, my conditioning is improving.

  16. Just turned 70. I have a call with my coach, Corrine Malcolm (my CTS coach for nearly five years now) later this week to plan my race schedule for the year.

    My best advice for an ageing runner…get a CTS coach!

    It’s the best investment I’ve ever made!

    1. I just aged up to 70+ too, and am also thankful for my CTS coach, Darcie Murphy, with whom I’ve been working for almost ten years. No way I would’ve achieved what I’ve done without her guidance and encouragement! I came off chemo a few months ago and I’ve got a trail race Saturday- I won’t be setting any land speed records, but I’ll finish and enjoy my post-race beer. 🙂

    2. Warren….
      How can you find a CTS..?
      Coach…. where does one start…

      Thank you and God Bless 🙏🏻

  17. I turned 50 years yesterday. It is my big wish that I would be a part of any half marathon. But at this age I need some encouragement and support from the runners. I need also some tips from the runners for their experience. Please show me path that I would be a good runner in future. I have been practicing for running in last 2 months. Now I can run 10 kilometers. I want to take part in half marathon. Please guide me. Thanks a lot

    1. I did about 3/2 Americans when I turned 50 for my 50th birthday for myself I didn’t run all the way but I was just thankful to make it 13.1 miles do the best you can and train and do it for yourself and look to the finish line and keep your eyes on that I’m a Christian and I keep my eyes on Jesus which is my finish line and you can do it I’m turning 60 soon and I just did my 5K and I’m pushing to go forward to do some more🌝

      1. Sorry it is supposed to say I did 3 half marathons my phone’s not acting like lol

        Take care of your body God only gives you one.

    2. I’m a 69 old female. I’ve been running since my early 30’s. My goal is to continue to run for many years to come. I have done half marathons and many 10k’s. I strongly suggest you not increase your miles too soon. Carry your workouts. I run, cycle, hike and just walk. I run four times a week and take one day off. Once a week I run 6 miles slightly slower, one day I run 5 and mix in sprints, and 2 days I run 4 miles and may do a third if the run in sprints. When I sprint I do 100 steps fast and the next 100 slow. Passes the time well as does listening to rock and roll music. I do squats on running days as well as work out at the gym 3 times a week for upper body only. I listen to my body. Stretching is very important and should be done daily, especially the calf and quad muscles. As the experts say, start slowly!

      1. Thank you Connie for the great inspiration!! I will be 59 (forever), and it shows that you can keep doing what you love.

      2. Thank you Connie for the comments! I’m 68 and have run, cycled and weight trained since I was a teen. I switched from running to cycling in my 40’s (thought it would be better for joints) now I’m doing more running than cycling. I ramped up too fast and ended up with a torn lateral meniscus, post surgery knee is great. Now dealing with lower back/hip soreness. It’s probably too much too fast. I’m going to change up my runs- I was doing 5 miles 5 days a week plus 2 days weights.


      1. Hi Andre you are amazing I’m 77 now always trained bike racing in my youth marshal arts 15 years still biking now , plus I have done many marathons etc , but I now run with some of my old club members. But have to walk and jig it seems my legs don’t like running any more

    4. I am 57 and started running at 53. I participated in My first Olympic triathlon in July 2021, with second place in My age category, and qualified for a masters championship this year.
      Last November, I did my first ever IronMan70.3 triathlon with a respectable time at the finish line . And best of all, in one piece. Nothing hurting or injuries !!!!!!
      Today I am in My 6th week of training for another IronMan 70.3 in April 2022. I am so excited there is life after 50!!!!!!
      You can do this !!!!! I have learned to train slow but very consistent !!!!!!
      Keeps you from injury and strengthens your whole being!!!!!!
      50s is the new 40! Go get it !!!!!

    5. Hi Ranjit, today 1/22/22 I just ran my first marathon and at age 55 I could not have been more happy. I started taking running seriously during the start of Covid in Mid 2020.
      You can do it also. Start slow and increase your mileage as you get comfortable.
      The key is for me is fixing my running form. You have to do that also. Make sure that you have a good pair of running shoes. It’s worth the investment.

      Las Vegas

    6. I would do most runs at a very easy level starting with the distance you are most comfortable with. Do a 10k easy run every fortnight and when you are comfortable with 10k increase the distance by 1-2k every fortnight. You’ll do your Half Marathon just fine. Just take it easy doing it. Your first Half shouldn’t be for placing but for finishing the race. Good luck

    7. Four months ago I had rotator cuff surgery and bicep tenotomy surgery. Instead of sitting around I started walking on thread mill everyday. After two months of walking I started slow jogging. I’m 55 years old and never really was a jogger. I’m jogging 3 to 4 times a week . I’m up to 3 miles per work out and have lost 15 pounds and have lowered my blood pressure to a point were I no longer need to take blood pressure pills. I’m a firm believer if u set your mind to something the sky is the limit. Reading about other people’s achievements and experiences is great motivation. Bottom line is we are all different and you need to find what works for you. Everyday we can exercise to better our health is gift that we should be grateful for.

    8. Give yourself time. If you are new to running you need to build muscle and time on your feet. October/November is a great time to do a half because the weather is cooler and by then you will have 6+ months experience. It takes about 12 weeks to train for a half, so keep running and get used to about 3 sessions a week. Find a good beginners training plan (e.g. Hal Higson or Runners World) and work through that. It should build your distance by about a mile a week. The total per week is probably more important than the longest run distance because it Develops your stamina. Good luck!

    9. You are well on your way. I am 62 and try to do two half-marathons a year. Not too hard to train for if you run 3-4 times a week. Do a long run once a week and add 10% each week. It’s ok to skip a long run if you have a lot of pain. 🙂 Once you hit 10 miles you will be able to finish your half no problem. Taper down the week before. Do some hill training in your routine. I like to incorporate it in my long runs. Rest and stretching afterwards is essential. THE most IMPORTANT thing is to find a way to streamline your running form. There’s lots of stuff out there, mid-foot strike has helped me. It reduces injuries and saves your knees amongst other benefits. Inspiration: I had a full hip replacement at age 58 and did my 1st half 18 months later. Just don’t tell my orthopedic surgeon.

    10. I am 52. I was running regularly in 2020 and even occassionally in 2021, until September when I had COVID. Since then I only ran 2 times 5km runs until March 2023, when I returned to running. I did 30.30 for the first 5km and have done a weekly 5km since, and reduced my time by nearly 4 minutes. What I have noticed is that I am working much harder in the runs without the same times as previously. I did run 23.08 in Jan 2020 for 5km. Also, I feel very tired even halfway through the runs and need to hold on for the remainder of the 5km. I am hoping to do a half marathon in October, so I hope to be well prepared. I have noticed I might have to change my expectations of ability, and realise slowing down is ok. I want to enjoy it, whilst still being confident at completing the distance. It seems there are a lot of unknowns at this stage of how to prepare for this and where to pitch my expectations. This is a learning process and I would definitely be glad of any advice from runners above 50 and their experiences. Thank you in advance and thanks for all the great comments on here. They are so informative and inspirational.

    11. you can do it! join a running group! i am training for my first marathon and 59 years. slow and stead y. i am listening to my body so if i need a rest day, i can take one. keep at it!!!!!

  18. I’m 53, never ran or did other sports for at least 30 years and smoked a package of cigarettes a day till 4 months ago. I started running 5 months ago, quit smoking and God do I love running now!
    5 weeks ago I started with a 10k training plan to step up from 5k. My race prognosis is now 49:36 for 10k and 22:57 for a 5k. I feel I still have a whole lot more room for improvement.
    I don’t know what happened but like Forest Gump, I just felt like running.
    Age, it’s just a number, don’t let them fool ya, it doesn’t mean a thing.

    1. Thank you for this..I just turned 57, I was active for years. However the past 3.5 I have gained 30 pounds and sat down. I signed up for the Hippie Chick here I go !!

    2. I am 54 and I just ran a 5K in 20:05. I have been running 30-40 miles a week and my goal is get 19:30 in a 5K and under 6 minutes in the mile.

  19. What a relief to read.
    After having been spoiled the first 50 years with an expressway to getting fit and fast, I have been so frustrated this year.

    In three years’ cycles I decide to lose weight from 105 kilos to 85 and get my running on the track, pun intended. It usually takes 3 months. In my self-perception, I am a 10K in 53-minute kind of guy. But that vanity keeps getting me injured, and a new circle of decay begins.

    After I caught the big flu in December 2020, my VOmax2 was down to 35 in May 2021, when I got back to training. 5,5 months later, 3 days of running/week I’m back at a decent VOmax 44.
    However, weight is now stuck on 95, the pace is stuck on 6 min 20 sec on +5 km runs.
    But no showstopping injuries.

    This article helped me to write this obituary for the Sub53-delusion

  20. I loved your 5 points and they have calmed my mind to some degree. I am now 69 and have been running since 1983 when I ran my first London Marathon. In my life I have completed 9 marathons can’t remember how many half marathons. But in 2009 I ran the Hastings half in 1.56.59. Ten years later in 2019 I ran the Lisbon half in 1.58.44. I didn’t think that was too bad. I have entered the Lisbon half for this November and have been really upset about my slow training times , until I read your article. Trying to come to terms with being slower in age.

    1. I am a 56 year old female runner. I have ran on and off all my life. When the kids were born, I ran shorter distances of about 4 miles, mainly due to time constraints. I used to run a comfortable 6 1/2 min mile and age 46 was running at my best. Then I broke my wrist and didn’t run for a while. When I returned to running several months later, I had really slowed down. I thought that was just naturally down to the ageing process and that I would never regain my speed. However, I have ran practically every day this summer and now run a comfortable 7 min mile again, over a 10k distance. I don’t really do any other form of exercise, nor do I ever warm up or cool down. I just get out there and enjoy it!

  21. Hello all ,some great stories in here.
    I,m in uk.male 76. Only started serious? Running at 60. Have done
    A few 13 milers,5 and 10 k,s etc right now getting in shape for another
    1/2 .
    This one in support of Humane society international. Which is doing
    Sterling work in stopping the evil which is the dogmeat trade in China
    I expect it to take me somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 hours,
    As long as I finish I don,t mind so long as HSI get some cash.
    Keep on running folks.Roger Gardiner.

    1. In a world of 7 billion people, other folks will eat something different. It’s so hard ignorant to call other people’s food evil. Live and let live.

      1. Much respect. Dogmeat will eventually become more tolerated in the U.S. when beef is outlawed and dogs outnumber the people.

  22. I’m 53. I started running in my late 30’s, and have run about a dozen half marathons and one full over the years. At my best in my early 40’s, I ran a couple half’s at an 8:20 pace.

    However, since running a half for my 50th birthday, I have gained a lot of weight and got to where I found running 3 miles taxing. My knees were starting to hurt. When 2021 hit, I made a commitment to try to get in the best shape of my life. Given that I never maximized my 20’s or 30’s, I thought I had a shot to meet my goals: Lose 50 pounds, run a half marathon under 2 hours, and do 50 consecutive push-ups.

    After 7 months, I have lost 45 pounds. I’m back up to running 12 miles, and I am working diligently on my speed. I can do 46 consecutive push-ups. I don’t know that I can get to an 8:20 pace this year (or maybe ever), but I feel confident now that I can get to my goal of under 2 hours (9:09 pace) by my race in early December.

    More importantly, I feel like I am living again instead of wasting away. My knees no longer hurt. My sleep apnea has cured itself. My blood pressure is much better. I feel like working on myself at 53 has provided so many benefits, physical, emotional, and mental. It feels good to be alive!

  23. I’m 55 and have been running for the love of it since I was a teenager. A few years ago my blood test showed I might develop fatty liver disease. I was mostly vegetarian at the time so I went vegan following advice from and Dr Greger. Now my blood tests are normal.
    Dr Greger recommends 40 minutes vigorous exercise daily so for variety I adapted it and run 30 minutes one day and 50 minutes the next.
    When I get pain in a joint or muscle I find a way to stretch it better in my warm-up routine, plus I run less, and try different shoes. I haven’t had injuries for a year since I switched to Nike Vapor Fly.

  24. I am 57. All my life I had never run. I could walk a lot but no running. I used to play a lot of Badminton in my twenties. Later, I gave up even walking due to a little but consistent pain in the right knee. After a long gap, at 52, I walked 2 km on a treadmill and then had a lot of pain in the thighs especially around the right knee. A friend told me it was muscle pain so not to worry. Took a break for a day and the following day walked 5 km on the treadmill. Amazingly, there was no pain at all. That was the beginning. Then I prepared for and ran a few half marathons. Later, I stopped running long distance just to avoid any injuries and any possible negative effect that may show up in the later years.

    During the lockdown, I accumulated some belly fat. Not a good sign at this age, so decided to run a little just to become more active and to increase my metabolism rate. Now I run about 3.2 km (2 miles) on “High” days and only leisure walk on “Low” days. I also do 12 push ups on alternate days for strength.

    This should be enough for my objective of being active and to increase metabolism rate.

    I do not intend on increasing the distance or speed. We all have our own objective and a way to reach it.

  25. Turned 60. Needed to lose weight post-pandemic.

    Local pool closed. Never a natural runner (best 10K time 55 minutes in high school). Bicycling and swimming more my thing. But I laced up.

    Took a couple months, but can now comfortably run 2 miles in just under 20 minutes (typically during my lunch break). Goal is 5K in under 30.

    And lost the ~15 lbs. I needed to in about 3 months.

    Running is effective, if your knees allow. We’ll see how mine hold up.

    1. Hi Richard, an inspirational story for me. Gained lots of weight and pot belly courtesy lockdown measures. I have now decided to do running following the C25K program. Starting from next week on return from my work trip. Let’s see where it will take me but am 100% committed to do it. Objective is to reduce pot belly, reduce weight and feel good. Hope you are still continuing. Cheers. Tony

  26. hi fellow runners! I’m a 67 yo male who has been running for most of my adult life with countless 5ks,many 10ks, 2 1/2 marathons and 2 full marathons. Slowed down to about a 9:00 min mile though. We have a wellness-in-the-workplace program going on so I take advantage and run 5k, 3x/wk (preceded by 30 pushups for resistance exercise) during work hours. Secretly, I feel like I’m getting away with something so I never miss a session regardless of the weather.

  27. I’m inspired by all of the comments. I ran throughout my youth until about 20 years old. I was always more of a middle distance, mile person (4:20s), but ran plenty of 5k (15:50s) and 10k (33:00ish) and even a marathon that broke me (3:10)!

    Now I’m 56 and haven’t run a road race in 27 years. I was sitting upwards of 10-12 hours per day because of a long commute and work. Packed on 50 lbs from my college days!

    This past 18 months I’ve been working out 45 minutes each morning at a local gym and eating between right and better! Lately I’ve been coming home from the gym and running (trotting) 2 miles while I’m still warmed up. I’m really struggling with feeling like I’m doing okay only to see I’m running 8:30 to 9:00 pace! I know, it’s all mentality. Age, weight, not doing much of anything athletic all these years/decades has taken it’s toll. I’m running a local 5k this weekend. My goal is basically not to get hurt. I’ve been straining my calf muscle like crazy if I’m not warmed up.

    1. Hi Mike,
      Your journey is similar to mine.
      I’ve put on approx. 15kg since i stopped playing footy , i find the extra weight is what causes pain in my knees and lower back, more than age wear and tear.
      Trying hard to keep the weight down, put eating is a big part of our family lifestyle.

      Run on..

    2. Sounds exactly the same as my story. I used to be a fast natural runner in my youth, but years of an office job sitting for at least 8 hours a day has taken a huge toll on my health.
      I’m 53 now and for the last year I’ve been focussing on rebuilding the strength and flexibility in my hips and lower back that I lost over the last couple of decades. It’s slowly paying off and my running form is improving, but it needs a lot of time, patience and adherence to important rules, most important of which is dynamic stretches and good warm up before each run.

    3. Wow, that is a fast mile time when you were young. All I could was low 5’s in high school. Now that I am 54 I am still run 20:05 for my first 5k in some time. My fastest miles right now during interval training is about 6:15. My goal is 19:30 in the 5k and 5:30 in the mile. I lost 30 pounds to get down 135. I am small boned and did weight 165 but I wasn’t fit at that age. I did Keto and it worked.

  28. A good read and can really connect with those comments. At 57 and having ran many hundreds of races in the last 20 years ranging 5K to Marathon distance, the old legs ain’t doing what they used to do. Last marathon at age 50 was 2.57. I’m comfortable with the fact that my best running days are behind me and can look back on the satisfaction of some great running.

  29. Ha! Just turned 50 last year. The starting slower thing definitely applies, right now. I remember in my old racing days I’d be out the gate at a feverish tempo, need to ease up in the middle, and then bring it home strong.

    I can still bring it home strong, but dang it my legs are sluggish out the gate. I’ve noticed when I’m on vacation and hiking, or walking around my vacation spot and not spending time sitting at a desk, my legs are ready to go quicker until I’ve spent a few days at the desk again.

    But yeah, last miles of the run are easier than the first couple. Coming back over the hill, half a mile out, I can bound up at 2/3rd sprint where I struggle up it when I start out.

    I’ve also learned to not build up to fast. Had a string of injuries in my mid 40s, but have now gone years without due to realizing I need to pull back on the reins when my heart says, “let’s just go ahead and jump up to the goal now, we can push through 3 weeks ahead of schedule.” I used to do that in my early 30s, and it worked, but now I tell myself I’ll more likely to get there by sticking with my plan.

    Need to drop some lbs and get back into real distance shape and see where I’m at then. I’ve been getting inspired to see how close I realistically can get to my old self now, and this helps.

    1. Is there a book on staying in shape or staying fit in your mid 40s and beyond? How do I stretch without tearing muscles and ligaments? Can I lift weights? What should I be lifting so I won’t tear up any muscles

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  31. So glad I found this article. Lifelong runner. Turned 55 its like I’ve never run before. First 2 miles involves stopping every min to get my breath back. Run 2 days on the spin and my legs feel like I’ve done a tough hill session the day before……and as for running up hills……not sure I can embrace the feeling but hey…so glad you were here for me. Regards Mike Reeves

    1. your comment encouraged me. I’m 60, just began running 3 years ago. I love the discipline, I love being outdoors pre-dawn; but I run slowly, it kind of embarrasse me, and I’m afraid to sign up for any races because I’m sure I wouldn’t make the cut-off point. Anyway, thank you for the inspiration to continue! Running for me is as much for the mental discipline as the physical.


      1. Hi Lauren, I’m 69, and started running last year, in lockdown, with my daughter. Her suggestion, when we were finally allowed to meet outside with one other person. What kept me going was basically bling. We joined some virtual races on line. You run, send in the evidence, and receive your medal in the post. It gave me a sense of achievement, kept me going, especially in the winter months. There is usually a time span during which you can complete the race, which suited us. Perhaps this would also work for you.

      2. Park run has allowed me to race, and get better, whilst not needing to be good. You can walk round if you like. One of the 65 year old ladies that races is way faster than I will ever be. although I am 10 years younger.

    2. I’m 74 I run walk run, I’m slow, I was walking but I get sciatica, slow runs seem to fix the sciatica!
      Walkers pass me when I’m running i don’t care, I was a marathoner in my 30s and 40s, after a serious accident, when hit by a car, and broken neck, back,
      I didn’t run for two years so I switched to occasional jog but mainly walking, but the sciatica goes away when I run.
      I’ve been a hash house harrier for 40 years, it’s enjoyable and I love either walking or running with them.

  32. Just turned 50. Started running properly 7 years ago. Now can run 70mpw weeks no problem and still setting PBs (first HM PB was 1.45, ran 1.25 hilly couple of years ago and somewhere in 1.22 / 1.23 shape currently). I *will* run sub 1.20. I have never had a “proper” injury.

    My 10 commandments:

    1. Strength training
    2. 20 mins of warm-up / dynamic stretches before I even head out the door
    3. When out the door, start running so slowly that your granny could pass you. It takes me an hour of running before everything is truly primed and I have decent range of motion!
    4. Patience, patience, patience. You’ll improve each year for many years just by being consistent and not being injured
    5. Work over the long term with a top flight biomechanics person. Best money you’ll ever spend
    6. Rotate not just your shoes, but also your running style
    7. Use age grading as a motivation
    8. Never push through pain by doing more of the same. Back off, work out what is wrong, adapt
    9. Try different things, different ways of training
    10. Lose weight (applies to 98% of the population). I’m 5’11 and at 155 lbs look skinny to most. But I’m 10 lbs over my ideal racing weight, no doubt about that.

  33. Just started running again at 63 during lockdown to lose a bit of weight and it’s nice to see good advice there. My 6.5k loop takes me nearly 35 mins but slowly improving following your advice – thank you!

    1. Yes it is good advice, I am 74 and with a pb of 2.37 for the marathon at London 1981. And 71 mins for half marathon in the same year. Now I struggle to do 5k in 30 mins often hitting the wall after only 3k when I try to run at 10.6 km per hour. I guess I should just be happy I can run

      1. Hello, it was good to read your comments. I’m 80, female with slight asthma . Never run until lockdown, been encouraged by my friend. Any advice would be welcome.
        Loving it , but my breathing is a bug.

        1. Hi Caroline, try the walk run walk, start run for one minute one minute walk, slowly build running time, keep walk at one minute, persevere.

      2. For my 79th birthday next week will run 79 minutes. After University track career followed by a serious marathon sequence in my 30s happy to just keep on keeping on. A sweat and max heart rate is all that is needed.

  34. All these comments are really inspiring.
    I turned 56 yesterday and ran my first half marathon.
    I’m definitely continuing running 🏃‍♀️😉😄

    1. YES v good. I turned 64 and half and ran 2 half marathon back to back in a gap of 50 days @ 6.33 a kilometre. Just after 4 months of structured training . During lock down ran 900+ kilometres in 9 months. Now pace when pace increases hear rate goes high which was not a case before.

  35. I have been to maintain solid times by 1.) doing speed work 2.) cross training (I moved to the Triathlon swim, bike and also lift weight 3.) Disciplined — I have more time to train and eat better. at 59, I did a 1 hour 22 minute half marathon, a 18.05 5K, a 38 minute 10K, 2 hour 8 minute Olympic distance triathlon and 4 hour and 15 minute IM 70.3 which included a 1 Hour 28 minute half after a 1.2 mile swim and 56 mile bike. My best 1/2 marathon was 1 hour 11 minutes at 29 and my best 5K was just under 15 minutes and 10K just 31 while running college at 18.

    1. Smart move to Triathlon, for me it spreads the efforts over other disciplines that are easier on your aging body than just running. Hopefully we will return to competition later this year!

    2. Wow, that is a fast mile time when you were young. All I could was low 5’s in high school. Now that I am 54 I am still run 20:05 for my first 5k in some time. My fastest miles right now during interval training is about 6:15. My goal is 19:30 in the 5k and 5:30 in the mile. I lost 30 pounds to get down 135. I am small boned and did weight 165 but I wasn’t fit at that age. I did Keto and it worked.

  36. I am trying to keep fit for playing Masters Basketball, With our gyms closed again and no basketball allowed I had to find alternative ways to keep fit. I did run at school and competed at all distances from 100m to 1500m along with county cross country. Since my school days I have played very little sport of any kind. Two years ago and by complete accident I found Masters Basketball and targeted getting fit enough to compete. I am 6’6″ tall and now 64 years old. For a year I started fast walking 10000 steps a day and went to the gym every single day, I lost 20kg but at the same time put on a lot of muscle so probably lost in excess of 30kg of fat, no one would have said I was fat at the start of my journey but just goes to show how much fat we can carry about with us. Anyway a year later I had secured a place in a Masters Basketball team and we won out very first tournament. This was me playing my first game for 46 years!. Fast forward to this Covid-19 world that we now live in I needed to find a way to keep fit so I started running 5Km in early January 2021, I have now run 6 times and each time improved my time. Today I had a time of 27:27 and have caught the running bug, I can already run a lot easier and am confident I will keep improving times.

  37. Peste 50 de ani trebuie obligatoriu sa fii hidratat ,la fiecare 20 minute de alergare trebuie sa bei un pahar de apa.Trebuie sa aplici regula 80%-20% ,adica daca alergi 5ooo m , 4000 m trebuie sa-i alergi cu aproximativ 65 % din potential , si 1000 m , cu 85 % din potentialul propriu.Este importanta incalzirea ,inaintea alergarii ,si cu cat esti mai in varsta cu atat trebuie sa alergi mai mult sa te mentii in forma.Succes!

  38. Loved reading all these comments. Will be 55 in a few days. Started trail running 1.5 years ago, making slow but steady progress. Missing in-person races since Covid hit, but using Strava virtual challenges to sustain motivation. Did not believe I would be running 10K’s, but I am! Starting to imagine a possible half marathon in my future …?

  39. I was 1 month from 50 when selected for special forces.. now at 62, still run 5m twice a week and 10m once a month . My family ages slow, most have dark or black hair in 80’s. Age is a number. Dont be put put off with other people’s negative outlooks and “I’m too old for that”. have a friend who always includes me in his “we are too old excuse” lol

  40. I love these article comments. An opportunity to brag a little about years of personal dedication that non-runner friends and family don’t want to hear about.

    1. Thumbs up.
      I’m not an over the hill athlete. Training with sensitivity and intelligence continues to improve as I get older and I’m more appreciative of my peers insights.

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  42. I’m a tender 47 my mind thinks I’m 37 but my body feels 57 during some runs. 20+ years running takes a toll not counting ACL repair, meniscus tare, dislocated toe surgery, several ankle twists each foot and 1 hard fall and recently Covid with very minor symptoms including fatigue and headache. Aftermath of it I feel has taken a toll on my endurance. I could still get out and run 3 to 9 miles like nothing before covid. Now I suffer exhaustion at about 1.5. I know I’m not the same but despite this I keep getting on my treadmill and go out to do my paved runs. Might slow down at 11 to 13 min miles but I wont stop getting out there. Running has evolved all these years into a real solace for my soul. No competition no rush just enjoying that euphoric feeling we all know that comes from it. It does more than impact our health but heals our being.
    🏃‍♀️ ❤🏃‍♀️

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  44. Thank you for this article. I am a 57 year old woman and I thought the slow start of morning runs was only reserved for women. I run 10K at 47mns at best 46mns 3 times a week. My best times in the morning are 6am and I have so much energy in store for work the whole day. Although I must admit at the end of the day, I feel knackered and ready for an early sleep. Early morning runs allows me to meditate and clear my clutter head for a clearer working day. Thanks again.

  45. I am 56 years old, running 50 minute to 1,5 hours. Start with slow walk in 10 minute, stretching some time, sometime not. Running help me a lot to do my job as rescuer worker and training especially for road accident rescue. Cycling once to twice a weeks. Running is good, keep to motivated to run, wake up early morning or start to use running shoes, is big challenging in every morning too or noon…good luck and dont push your body, enjoy….

    1. Hello terry callachan here Dundee Scotland.I am 65 I run two or three times a week usually doing 5 to 9 miles each run.
      I was running a half marathon each week until two years ago but had to stop damaged knee and hip ligaments on the right side.Took to cycling after that and ended up doing fifty sixty mile trips too often and tiring myself out.
      Now I’m back to running at a nice easy pace I can keep going and going but stop myself at 5 to 9 miles and then take two sometimes three days rest.The important thing for me is avoid injury and I find the best way to do that is to avoid overdoing it.We are all the same that way us runners once we get going we don’t want to stop , the feeling of elation is just too enticing.

      1. P.S. ..I love running in the cold and the rain and the snow when it’s freezing cold, it’s uncomfortable to start with but see once you get going you notice that your body is impenetrable you heat up and you use the cold rain or air or snow to cool you down it’s a great feeling and the reward when you get home to a nice warp arm house and have a hot shower is just fantastic

        1. Terence, thank you for your post, I enjoyed reading experiences of someone my age and especially that you too enjoy the colder weather, the rain, and snow. It’s so peaceful running on fresh snow during a snowfall. Nothing better!

          1. Thanks also Terence.. i turned 60 this year, and after back issues last year i had a torn meniscus in my knee, first time knee problem in my life.. and recovery has been very slow.. i’m finding i need a day of rest after my rehab, let alone running.. but i want to return to running.. i love it and miss it.. i’m a slow jogger but used to do 1/2 marathons until last year.. now i’ll be happy w/ 5-10ks.. as long as i can get out there.. thanks for letting me know a 65 year old w/ knee problems can still get out there..

          2. Yes, I love running in the fresh snow! It is magical! Also, extreme cold can be fun too, sometimes it gets well below 0 here, on the Massachusetts coast, and no matter how cold it is, eventually my body is as hot as ever. Sometimes it is so cold that the ocean waves let off steam!
            November of 2019 I got to run in the beautiful rain of Scotland! What a wonderful and absolutely lovely place to run Terence!
            I am 50, a woman and just post-baby pr’d in a 5k. My two girls are now high schoolers and I finally have time to do more than 5 mile runs early in the morning – for the last 3 years I have been able to include intervals, fartleks, hill repeats, weight training, yoga and stretching and long runs into my routine – and have become less injury prone and progressively faster. (Cerutty outlines this training approach). Also, giving up dairy has made a huge change in my weight (25 pounds evaporated!).

        2. I love this! I’m a new runner, 60 years old. I ran all winter, at 5 a.m. Live in the mountains of Northeast U.S. Lots of snow and weather…… I was religious about getting out. I broke through all kinds of mental / emotional barriers. Now, running at 5:30 a.m. on mountain roads, up with the sun, hearing the birds, rest of world asleep. Except for people like you! Thanks so much for your comment. What’s a little weather?


      2. Hi Terence
        I am a returning rubber at 64 a d following 10 y of medical challenges..very slow to start I too just ‘ll e running in the rain although where I am it’s hot tropical rain that produces steam clouds rising off the road surface..

      3. I have to wonder if you would be better off running about 3-4 miles every other day. The basic rule of thumb is that your long runs should be no more than 25% of your total weekly miles run.

  46. I’m 71, and been running since I stopped smoking 26 years ago. I too do hard/easy/easy. I do 3 miles 4 or 5 times a week. One thing I’ve found is that it’s ok to walk the uphill part if your just not feeling it. I still do about a 33 minute 5k but I’m starting to slow. But that’s ok, I’m still faster than the guy on the couch!

    1. I run up hills in training to acquire stamina, and usually do not feel like it! Even though hill running was my strength when younger, I discovered that at 74 I get more advantage powerwalking uphill. It gives me the energy to run (relatively) fast downhill, overtaking many racers who are still recuperating from their vertical running. Whatever the result at the end, the consolation is being faster than the folks on the couch. It is O.K. to be the last finisher, but not to be a non-starter.

      1. I am 74 and still try to do sprint triathlons. I miss the long distance ones but I can’t run much with bone on bone in my knees. I guess I’m just thankful I’m alive and able to do things people our age don’t do. Just wish I could find someone who does this stuff around my age.

      2. I started running up hills for stamina and something different from the road at 60 years old. I am now 77 and find it more difficult but it is encouraging to read so many other stories. I was feeling unhappy that I can only do 11 min miles on the road now but it is still good to get out especially on the open hills.
        I started running at 39 to get fit after 4th baby.

    2. Thank you Steve. I am a 66 year old woman who only started running in my early 50’s and fell in love with it. Didn’t run for a couple of years, life, work, injuries etc but started up again. Just walking for now, want to start slow and build to a full run again. It can be discouraging but so grateful to be back out there! 🏃‍♀️

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  48. I’ve had good results with running on the spot. What this does is strengthen my feet, ankles and calves, which have always been weak points for me, even in youth. What I do is run a thousand steps, with a step being counted every time my left foot hits the floor. I do this in stocking feet. It takes about ten minutes.

    At 68 I run two miles every second day. I could probably do more, but the result would be fatigue and soreness, and I don’t need those. I am wary of the nostalgic yearning for the strength and durability of youth, but if you kid yourself that those are attainable if you just try hard enough, you’re courting injury.

  49. I’ve been diagnosed with an inoperable
    Brain tumour and enjoying the watch and wait 6monthly MRI’s
    I’m 56 and running 27min 5k’s
    The physiological benefits are priceLess

    1. Praying for you Michael. Your attitude is an inspiration. I’m 55 and I ran competitively as a youngster. Just trying to ease my way back into it

    2. I’m 64, and in my prime 30 years ago, could run 10 miles in 58 mins, and a marathon in just over 3 hours. However, Andy makes an excellent point, for all mature runners if you’re still running 30 years later, you’re doing something right. You’ve got loads of teeshirts, a few medals, great memories, so you’ve BEEN there, (where others can only dream of going).

      1. I am 82 and will be 83 March 8th. I don’t want to kill myself. I have considerable experience. I have run 2 marathons and 2, 1/2 marathons in my 40’s. The marathon at 8 min pace and the 1/2 marathon at 7 min pace. My running was to keep a back injury under control and running was the answer. I am still working part time and I need to climb mountains. I am a land surveyor and I work alone. In my off time I am a caretaker for wife. She suffered a brain shower 6 yrs ago and I lost my part time caretaker to COVID 19. No one is allowed in the house, not even family. I have to get myself in better shape to handle her and work when I can to pay the bills.

        1. I am 78 and your determination is humbling….I have just started running to lose weight. You are the type who inspires people to strive…

    3. Very inspirational, Michael. Thoughts and prayers to you. You’re right, running helps, physically and mentally! All the best!

    4. Mr. Fry,

      Dont give up MY FRIEND. In November 2016, I collapsed in the Monumental Marathon and ended up with 3 significant tears in my right hamstrings. If that was not bad enough on 12-23-2016, I had stage 4 oral cancer surgery and was told I had a 23% chance to live 5 years but through the grace of God I am still here. Since the cancer spread through out my neck and mouth the surgery could not remove all the cancer in my body. The radiation treatments damaged my thyroid so I now often easily over heat and sometimes get tired. Post cancer I deal a lot with depression but through prayers and running and am still alive. If I can make it through cancer and the treatments so can you my friend. Sincerely Roger G

  50. I like the comments and the information from everyone. I love running, I used to run 5 miles a day but at the age of 51 I have to be smarter and give body rest days. Let’s keep motivating each other , just because we getting up in age doesn’t mean we have to stop living

  51. Hello everyone. I enjoyed reading the comments. I stopped at some point and just made link to this on my homepage, so I’ll get back to the rest at some point. Not a lot of time of late! Busy helping the “older” generation of family, and with work, but I’m 57 so I guess I fit (no pun intended” into this conversation.
    Not sure if anyone has offered anything similarly, but, one thing I miss during these crazy times is road races, not because there’s a chance I’ll come close to winning any of them but, I miss the sites and the beers and the social aspect!
    I’ve never been a light runner, so perhaps that plays into this, but I’m finding that I’ve slowed down some, and the runs are more arduous than usual. Haven’t had the time to run as regularly as I’d like, but I’ve been getting out there the past couple months on average 3X per week. Usually do this 7 mile route in the Boston area where I live but have expanded it on a few occasions of late to 11.25 miles. Takes forever and I’m sore afterward for a while but, once I recover, the cold beers I know I deserve and they taste great — albeit without any in-person company!
    I’m doing about 10 minute miles when I run these days, it seems. There’s a couple steep and relatively long hills along my route, so I’ll take some credit for making it up those, as well!
    In any event, I hope that when I lose a few more lbs (weight fluctuates over the years of running) that my time will improve some, and I’ll feel better. One think I know that I can do to help is get rid of these more-cushioned socks! It’s counter-intuitive, but the more cushion the worse your feet feel, at least mine, as I’ve found out. (When I ran Boston the year after the bombings – 2014 – at the ten mile mark I finally figured out why my feet were hurting so much, and I quickly took off the extra pair of socks that I was wearing that I had recently bought, thinking that more cushion was better. It helped, and I finished: 4:20:21.
    Anyway, good luck to all of you….glad I stumbled upon this forum!

    1. Good job for keeping on! It takes more things than strong will to keep running. I’m 61. Been running most of my life since age 20. In my mid 30’s, noticed the hamstrings felt strained from running on concrete all the time. Switched to hybrid type of style ie treadmill interspersed with road workouts. Ran a 2:51 marathon on a very hilly course at age 46. Learned about supplements which have made a huge difference in terms of muscle recovery. Latest being BCAA’s. I have learned that aging can be slowed down. I still run about 60 miles per week, mostly treadmill, and finish at about 7 minute pace. Also use elliptical and weights at the local gym. I love the fact that fitness methods have evolved and I can still do this stuff. It’s like, whatever works for you, do it!

      1. Thanks Ken! Great job yourself! 61 and 60 miles per week at such a fast pace — outstanding! Thanks for the tips. Have a great fall running season!

  52. I’m 58 – started running with Couch to 5K age 48 – after a lifetime of loving the couch and cakes. Still overweight but since lockdown I have improved from a 42 minute 5k to 26m, 55s. Did 5 MILES this morning (46mins). I did want to add – one thing that has affected me (and many other women) is my iron levels – sometimes I just don’t have any power and then I discover I’m low on iron. I’ve been like that all my life but possibly it has more of an impact as you get older.

  53. I am 68 and from the UK, and I still run 2-3 times a week, anything from 8-12 miles. Its getting harder, and I need more time to recover, but I am so grateful I can still run! I do weight training and other exercises as I am about to start another career as a Personal Trainer and running coach for the over 50’s. I spent 9 years in the army, and then trained to be a Registered Nurse and have been a university lecturer for 20 years. I completed the Marathon des Sables at 60 and the ‘Fandance Race’ (SAS special forces selection event in the Brecon Beacons in Wales) twice-once at 63 and again at 64. I am planning to run an ultra when the pandemic allows! I mention all this only to show that its all in the mind-which controls everything, and that age may slow you down but does not stop you finishing! Take care all- and whatever happens-do not die in the chair!

    1. Wow..bravo..i can only run 3 x 30 minutes…

      Some days i feel great…other days…especially when it hot outside…i find it difficult..

      Bravo again…

    2. Hi,
      Running Coach for the over 50’s caught my eye.
      I’m intrigued, interested, as a 61 year old male runner, making a return to running but have hip issues to consider. Currently running alternate days, mostly on grass, anything from 5-10K, depending on easy, interval or Long slow runs.

      Coaching would be of interest to me.


    3. Not quite Dave. I boxed at school and in the police – and boxing training is merciless. Luck plays a big part in life since accidents and ill health – like cancer – can cause the best laid plans of mice and men to gang dry.

      However, at 78, I am back on the running machine doing 2 miles a day plus walking the dog another 2 miles. Catching you up I will never do. But we can try.

  54. I’m 78 and have been running for 46 years- never competition- just day to day logging miles at mostly 10 minute miles. I’m somewhat concerned that I don’t train- I just get out there and log 4 miles a day at probably 12 minute miles. And I don’t warm up- I just start. Seems to be working for me- nothing hurts, I’m never out of breath and I feel great later.

    1. Hi Dale, my only training for my runs is as follows.
      I do a plank every day , I started off doing it for twenty seconds .
      After a few weeks I upped it to thirty seconds
      I’ve been doing that for a few years now and I’m up to three minute planks
      Great for your tummy muscles
      Core strength helps my running
      Makes it easier to keep good posture when running
      I capped my planks at three minutes because I think it’s a time I will be able to do for years to come

      After my runs I do some of the exercises I picked up from the livestrong website niki Hollander does these training sessions they are called “ stronger”
      it’s on YouTube as well
      I also incorporate a wee bit of yoga to warm down or I clean my car or mow the lawn immediately after my run before I stiffen up I definitely helps

  55. 10 years ago I hung up my running shoes for cycling after a heel spur. Now with the pandemic and no access to a gym, at 67 I purchased new running shoes prepared to hit the road. That’s not exactly what happened. The first few steps,… even minute felt fine, even great. Then things started to hurt: not in my knees but the structures around them. Understanding I have pretty strong legs from cycling this surprised me. It was that same discomfort you get when starting to twist an ankle. This I know wasn’t worth running through the pain. I’ll try it again in a couple of days. Maybe this is just my body telling me to stop it and I need to keep at it to allow it to adjust.

    1. Hi Joel

      I’m 57 and only started running in January. I did the couch to 5k which took about a month. It was at that point I started getting Runner’s knee. All the tendons were so painful I thought it was running over. But I did lots of knee stretches and wore knee supports, and after three weeks my knees recovered. I’m after a 30 minute 5k time, and now have 44 seconds to knock off to reach that. Keep at it for a while, it might get better for you too.

  56. Interesting article but take a look at the Book “Fast after 50”. Excellent read. The biggest problem with aging is the lack of info for athletes over 70. I am 76 and can’t find info dealing with older athletes. The other problem is finding people my age to run, bike or play games with. It appears you must end up playing with people who are 10 to 20 years younger than you. Not that I have a problem with it but 20 years difference does affect your speed and agility to compete. I used to play soccer 5 years ago but had problems with hamstring pulls but was able to keep up with players 20 years younger than myself and it was fun to play in a league that was put together for fun of playing and not just winning. It is tough to keep training without finding others with your same interests and age group. Looking forward to getting back on the basketball court and the “pitch” when the Boomer Remover is over.

    1. I am 74 and wonder what happened to all the women I used to run against 20 years ago. Am I a rare bird blessed with the health and ability to run a 30 min 5k whereas others have not been so fortunate? Or did other people just give up? My 83 yr old husband also still runs, bikes, swims and kayaks and runs a 5k around 36mins or so. It is sometimes hard to stop people carting him away to a museum, but I fear I may soon be a candidate!
      p.s. Would love to hear from other women runners in my age group and how they deal with being an oddity.

      1. I’m a woman 74 who still does triathlons but mostly short ones because of bone on bone in my knees. I just wear a brace on one knee and alternate walk/run.
        I don’t know anyone like me just some girls are around 50 yrs. I just tell them I’ll ride with them on their recovery days.
        Women our age never did get into much physical fitness so we are an oddity.

      2. I am not a runner at all but took it up in my my d 1970# in modest way.
        Now I very much want to train to improve. So interested in communicating about ongoing training ideas. Congrats on staying in the game. I am 80

      3. I’m 72 and started running at age 50, but very active in my younger years with ballet. I am with you, Dawn, able to run 30 min 5K, but I’m afraid that I may have to move some of my cardio to the eliptical. I tore my achilles tendon 15 years ago and the imbalance in my running gait has caused problems with my SI joint which has led to significant nerve pain. Of course, I love running, but I’ve been told by my docs that the nerve pain can become permanent due to the constant damage being done. My heart rate averages 156 bpm when running and I’ve been able to achieve that on the eliptical as well when I pump up the resistance and move at at least 150-160 steps per minute. Although the endorphins get flowing and I feel pretty good, I have to admit it’s not the same as the amazing feeling I get from running. I will still “sneak in” some running now an then, but nerve pain is no joke and as an RN I know that there is not much I can take to lessen it without living in a fog. I’m blessed that the pain is improving and at least the eliptical provides another way for cardiac strengthening, but I am envious of you and all those who can continue with running as you do. Just in answer to your question. Some of us haven’t given up, we just have to modify and do the best we can.

  57. Pingback: How To Run A 5k For People In Their 50’s. – RunningWabbits

  58. I ve just discovered CTS as I searched for a solution to my latest difficulty.I ve been very active all my life after playing rugby till the age of 40.I mix running twice a week .tempo mix,Cycling ,Gym until lockdown in March.I do two yoga sessions a week.Over tthe last 7 weeks I have taken to doing 200 press ups a day to compensate for no gym access.Howevr my lung capcity seems to have drooped sharply over last 2 weeks.Is there anyone out there who can advise me is there a connection between increase in press ups and lung capacity?Have a vo2 max of 43 and I m 69 years old.Many thanks and stay well everyone.Regards Shay

    1. Wow, I found someone with the same problem I’m having. Without access to a gym I started doing a lot of pushups and planks to keep fit. I noticed when I run I seem to-be struggling to get air. There is no pain, just a heaviness in my upper chest. Very uncomfortable. I have been a runner for years. I’m hoping its just some kind of strain, and not something more serious. Last check up heart and lungs were good, but who knows. I’m 65

  59. Hated distance running as a kid, never enjoyed it, I was more of an explosive runner preferring short distances. However, around the age of 52 I decided to give it a go. Always done plenty of walking with our dogs, three or four miles a day so had kept myself pretty fit, but with a work related back problem.

    Started doing just one mile a day, built up to two and within six months doing a regular 5k. At 56 I’m now at a 5k (3 miles) every other day averaging 7 minute miles with a bike ride or shorter run on the off days. I really enjoy it and feel like I’m missing out if I don’t run. I’m quite flexible for my age and my back problem although still there is much better.

    I am happy with my level of fitness (my resting heart rate is sometimes as low as 50) and wishing to preserve my joints I have no desire to run any further.

    Anyone considering it, it’s never too late and don’t be put off by those who scoff at your distances or time. Some is better than none!

  60. Im now 58 and last year i ran my first marathon in heavy head wind, lightning and rain. Starting out your first marathon soaking wet is not fun, but its only water and keeps you cool. Finished 3.49.08 and felt good. Recovered within 5 days and started eating more and more delicious french pastries since i now live in Antibes France having moved from SanDiego CA. So i gained 5 kg and developed ankle problems but after going to a doctor and he said its tendon issue, started slowly running again and now I’m up to 15k and the pace is
    I ve been running for 20-30 years on n off and had ran a couple 1/2 marathons in AZ.
    All i can say from my personal experience is older runners should walk for 15-20 minutes and then START SLOW into a comfortable pace. Drink, stretch and rollout knots. The beautiful Mediterranean sea is perfect for swimming and cycling is life here in the south of France.
    Keep on moving and stay active, and don’t take risks just because you’re feeling great during a run. And most importantly watch what you eat and stay off french pastries. Keep moving in to older age, instead of sitting on a couch.

    1. I just retired from the Military, “Army” after 32 years and a dozen surgeries. I just started running again after 2 years idle for my last surgery on my right shoulder and Cervical fusion. It has been a very difficult road and with type II diabetes, knee injuries, shoulder injuries and back injuries I am very happy to run 3 sub 9 minute miles every other day. I was a speedster in high school and right after graduating I went into the Military where I ran my first 2 Mile PT test. My time was 11:23 in which I was very disappointed but had people staring at me with open mouths like they were watching a movie star on set. Oh I so miss those days where sub 6 minute miles were a warm up to a 6 or 7 mile run. I have never attempted a half marathon much less a full but wish sometimes I had. It still feels great to get out and run at 55 especially when I consider how many of my Army buddies can hardly walk much less run. Great job on those marathons though and keep it going as long as you can.

  61. Funny to read an article where years ago I would have said to myself, ” So this is where those old guys go to talk about the good old days.” But I too, am here.
    As a former competetive runner, running distances from 800 meters in 1:59, to a half marathon in 1:08:46, it is truly the love of running that keeps me going. In fact at the age of 57 I have found longer distance runs to be quite boring ( funny how age can change you as i am a former 70 to 80 mile a week runner),and enjoy track workouts, where I run intervals from 200 to 400 meters.
    I no longer race, I simply enjoy pushing my body and being outdoors in South Florida running on a sunny day.
    I do on occasion, maybe selfishly, look down at my stopwatch after a 400 meter sprint and think, “81 seconds! pitiful! I used to run 5 miles in under 25 minutes. That’s sub 75 second laps for 20 laps”.
    Age takes it’s toll. Yes, I still sprint with a stopwatch, just an old habit. But it’s the joy of running, sprinting and pushing myself that keeps me out there …quite simple.
    Great stories by all of you.
    Thanks for the good reading.

    1. 81 seconds for 400m is really good for 57. I recently turned 64, but I joke with my friends that people probably think I’m an out of shape 40 something year old because I don’t look 64. I still cycle, run, swim and lift weights. My biggest challenge is to avoid injuries. I currently run 10-11 min pace. I’m working (intervals) to lower it. My last marathon training was in 2009, age 53. I was so much better at running then than now (discouraging). I spent 11 months training to ensure no injuries. I was doing 10 mile runs at 9 min pace. It was 3 weeks before the race and I was about to begin my taper and knew I could make the 26.2. One night I did a 9 mile tempo run and felt so good, I ran a faster than normal pace – one of those runs that don’t happen often enough. Immediately after the run I felt a slight tingle in my left knee. When I woke the next morning, it was swollen and difficult to walk. I was so upset and disappointed. I knew I could not start the marathon. Went to Dr and I had a meniscus issue; not a tear that could be repaired, it was worn down from 40 years of running. Dr said if I kept running I’d need a knee replacement in 5 years. So I hung up the running shoes for a couple of years, then one day I thought I’d go for an easy 2 miler, to see where I stood. Even though I’d been doing other cardio work, nothing quite nails the heart and lungs like running. Made the 2 miles and no knee pain. I slowly worked up to 5 miles and my pace got faster, but then my knee hurt. This went on several years; a continued effort to run regularly again. Now at 64, my knee is holding up well. My cardio stinks and I’m slow, but I can run. I achieved this by accident through strengthening my leg muscles and those that support my knee thru cycling and weights. My current goal is to run a 10k. It’s been 11 years. Wish me luck, pray for my knee and don’t ever let anything keep you from your goals. I plan to run until the day I die even if it’s only one block. All the best, Kelly P.

      1. OK. I love all your comments. They say to me that at 63, I’m not doing so bad. I ran track in High school. Nothing to brag about. I only broke 2:10 in the 880 once – running a 2:07.7 (880! The youngsters wont know what that is.)
        Since then, the only races I trained for were a 5K at age 34 (I ran 20:10), and a 3.5 race at age 48 (I ran 25:10, and swore I’d never train that hard again!)
        At age 49, my “easy 4 mile runs” were at an 8:30 pace, and I enjoyed these runs.
        But it seemed like the day after my 50th birthday, my body betrayed me. I then struggled to complete 3 mile runs at 9 minute pace, and I hated every stride.
        Today, at 63, I gotta psyche myself up to go out and run. Today I did 3 miles in 30 minutes, and felt good about that. Sometimes I think I’m pathetic, and other times I remind myself that at age 63, I can probably out run most 20 year olds!
        So we all gotta hang in there, and set different goals every year. Actually the goal should never change: Run what you can, do more bike riding, and eat right (well, eat right six days a week, and “pig out” on Saturday). The true goal is to stay physically healthy, and you will enjoy life better!
        -Phil Guzzardi

        1. I’m 58 and just doing some light runs after a few years of lay off. (Phil I very much associate with all your comments :)) – been back for about 6 weeks and managed 28.12 for 5 k the other day then Ive been so tired barely just getting 29.30 now…I think its wish ful thinking from the days when I could easily manage 41 for 10 k in my 30s. And trained at 6.30 pace..ahh the days. I think I need to rest up more. I do execise cycling on non run days and also weights. Mark (U.K.)

      2. Good luck, I hope you do well but more importantly, hope you have fun regardless of the outcome. I’m 58 and I’m a slug. It’s not really the speed but the cardio, or lack of, kills me. I live just outside of Pittsburgh and there really isn’t a flat place to be found so I’m faced with alot of hills. I just take it slow and try not to get discouraged.

  62. It’s interesting to hear people who run races talk about how they feel about running but, if you’re an average person, you can’t realistically infer much from their experiences when considering your own. It’s like listening to millionaires talk about buying cars. They have resources you don’t.

    I just turned 68, and ten weeks ago I decided to build up my aerobic base. I started out with a run, three days a week, of about two miles. This is at a rate of about ten minutes a mile. Now, ten weeks later, I’m doing about four miles, having raised my daily distance by modest increments every two weeks. Has this actually changed the way I feel in my day-to-day living? Not really, but I wasn’t sick or lame before I started. (I have neither joint nor back pain, which is a blessing at my age.) I can say that I’m a stronger runner than I was ten weeks ago. It is probable that my running will postpone age-related illness.

    Sometimes, when I run too hard, I am hit the next day with severe fatigue. Sometimes I have gone out for a run and quit in the middle of it, because I was too tired to continue. That’s normal for an old man. Other days, I feel pretty good, and I always feel good for that two hours or so after a run, although this is mostly a smug pride in what a tough old guy I am to be running at my age.

  63. I’m 60…i started walking to work…1.87miles…one way…I tell my wife I want to be able to run…in the past every time I start to jog i pull a calf muscle. I don’t run never was a runner…I want to run…what’s your opinion..

    1. Hello my friend iam 62 the advice is start slow dont get hurt walk first then until you feel comfortable walk and run short distances until you get to a level that you can run without stopping make sure you get into a stretching routine before you start eat well and you will see your body getting better and stronger guareented .

    2. From what I’ve read, and after experiencing my first running injury after I don’t remember how many years, sound like as we age the soft tissues in our lower legs are the first to go. So I roll out those areas as much as I can before and after runs, I do self massage, and I do strengthening exercises (primarily calf raises on a step focusing on the eccentric movement), and I take collagen (not sure if this actually works but I’m going with it). I believe you can make running happen in your life, but it’s going to take a slow intro and lots of maintenance. For me, it’s been worth every minute. Don’t give up if you really want to run.

    3. Hydration is the response. Every time i pulled a calf muscle it happened because i did not drink enough water. Drink before and during your run. Water and not junk drinks. Do some tests to determine how much and how often you need to drink.
      Good luck

    4. I totally concur with Cesar’s advice. The only thing I’ll add is to be careful stretching muscles that are not warmed up. Perhaps cycle for 10 mins if you have a stationary bike, or just warm them walking. Then you can do a modest stretch. After your run, once you cool somewhat, stretch your calves, hams & quads really well (10 minutes), then stretch all the other parts of your body that you feel need stretching. With me that’s almost everything. Get to where you can really stretch you calves well and after your legs strengthen and your body adapts to running, you shouldn’t have anymore muscle pulls. If you do, lay off several day and test the pull by just taking a few jog steps in the house. You’ll know immediately if you’re still unable to run. You should be back to running within 2-3 weeks depending how badly you pulled it. I wish you all the running success you desire.

    5. If I may, running is something people like myself started as children in grade school. High school track, football, and other sports. Then a career in the Military continued my running on a weekly bases. If you have not built your body for running, joints, muscles, cardio, respiratory, those things need to work together to not just be able to compete but they need to work together in order to prevent injuries. Considering your age, your diet, your previous activity, water intake and lots of other variables, you need a professional runner to guide you for at least the first 6 months to get you started, “SLOW”. Other wise you can and most likely will incur injuries that you will never recover from. Kind of like when I got to a new lake to fish for the first time I don’t spend my entire time trying to learn a new lake because that can be time wasted. I hire a local guide for a day and then use what he teaches me for the rest of my fishing trip. That is how you should approach running. Let a professional teach you the basics and then you can run the rest of your life at your own pace without injury. Good running and be safe.

    6. I am a newbie to running … I am 66. The last time I ran regularly was when I was about 13. So … I use the Run180 Running made Easy program and run to a beat. I have been doing this for about six months … there are 5 levels I’m on Level 2. I would highly recommend this program as a starting point.

      My painful knees are now quite manageable.

      Hope this helps


      1. For me, glucosamine got rid of aching knees. I developed those in my late 40’s. Read about glucosamine and started to take it and after a week or so , the ache was gone. I’ve been taking it ever since and no more ache, I’m 61 now. It works if taken consistently.

    7. Perhaps your not warming up enough it happened to me once I tried to run across a road from standstill in winter and done the same thing, very painful had to have a day off work.

    8. To help with calf strain. You will need insoles to lift the heal of your feet to take the strain off calf muscles. Superthotics insoles works for me

  64. A friend and I have started running at ages 54 and 55, and asked my doctor if long distance running, although fantastic for weight loss, is going to cause knee damage, or if running is creating cell reproduction around joints,. He seems to think there is growing evidence that it is the latter, do any of you know if this is proven?

    1. I live in Alberta Canada and started longer distance cross-county sking in my 40’s. I had no confidence in running long distance. It was recommended that I join the local running club for year round fitness so I joined at age 49. The first Saturday we went for a 5 km run, almost further that I had ever run. Boy was I tired. But within a few weeks I was enjoying it and haven’t looked back. I have run one or two half marathons a year.

      I have heard statistics that say runners that don’t run real long distances have less knee injuries than other people. But is because runners tend to be lighter and run as they have healthy knees? But I believe your legs and knees get stronger. So far no injuries for me, except for a slight hamstring pull (and that was from swimming ). For cross training I bike some, and don’t run much in the winter, and ski when the weather and snow allows.

      I am now 62, and feel I am slowing down a bit. It is now a challenge to run a sub 2 hour half marathon, I feel I have to train more. It’s hard to run the same pace as 7 or 8 years ago. With age I will have to change my expectations and hope to keep running for many more years.

      For the past couple of I have had a running watch with a heart monitor. I have to run really slow to keep bpm at 135-145. For the pace I like (around 5.30/km) my heart rate is 155-160.
      I guess I have to find my maximum heart rate to see if this healthy or not.
      Any Ideas?

  65. I am 59, ran competitively through College. Ran in my 20’s and took a 20 year break from racing (went to gym and stayed in good shape but 3 kids sucked a lot of time). At 50, decided to get back into 1/2 Marathons. Run a few including, BQ’ed and ran Boston. Found too much running resulted in injuries. Bought a road bike and transitioned to Triathlon at 57. Found it much easier on my body. While I run just 3 times a week, I swim 2-3 times a week and I bike 3 times a week plus hit the weights 2x a week. Find the variety is helps and my run times actually improved a bit. I can still kick out a sub 18 minutes in the 5K and 1.25 1/2 Marathon at 58. My strong bike and run allowed me to break 2 hours 10 minutes in the Olympic Distance triathlon as well.

    1. Wow…your times for your age are beyond impressive. It sounds like you are at record times for your age group. Wonderfully impressive…wow!

  66. Being a fitness specialist at a wellness & spa center in Australia, I can easily relate this blog with many of my customers. I personally guide many of them about daily routine and at least try to be busy with some physical activities. It is must to follow a strict diet with a proper plan to stay fit once you cross your 40’s.

  67. While I ran one Ultra in my younger years (age 31) I didn’t pick back up on them until after the age of 50. At 61 now, I’ve run more than 70, with a number of DNF’s in that group. What I would add to this list and discussion is to push yourself, keep pushing yourself, by doing things that are at, or beyond, your limits. Don’t be afraid to fail, to miss a cutoff, to give it all in the pursuit of a goal even if the outcome is uncertain. In fact, that is the one bit of advice I would give beyond all others.

    1. I can see the appeal of your philosophy, Charles, but not the wisdom. When you are young you can exercise to failure with confidence that you will recover. When you’re old you cannot. The failure you induce won’t go away. That’s how injuries happen: people believe that the capacities they had at 25 are undiminished at 50.

      I sprained my knees by over-running when I was in my early 40s. The second before I tore the ligament in my knee for the first time, it worked perfectly. I spent the next ten years running with a limp. If I’d just looked at the calendar and deduced from that I needed to ease up a little, I would have saved myself a lot of pain.

      Arnold Schwarzenegger is a fine example of somebody who wrecked his body because he refused to admit that he had lost the natural resilience of youth. I am now healthier and stronger than Arnold was when he was my age (which is 68). You’ve got to be careful.

      Right now I can run a seven minute mile, which I would have considered a trivial feat when I was 35. At nearly 70, it is fine capacity, and one that greatly improves my quality of life.

  68. “When I turned 50 I felt like an old man, just like that.”

    Oh good, it’s not just me…. 🙂 So much of what you wrote is what I’m experiencing. I definitely noticed running get much harder after turning the 5-0 corner. A few year later and now it’s sometimes a chore just to get started but I know things’ll feel better after I do. When I was younger my competitive side definitely showed up on event day and the race’s outcome was the goal. Now I really like just being out on the trails and experiencing the day with the other runners and volunteers.

  69. Humm….my partner is 61 years old and was an enthusiastic runner until about 5 years ago when her knees said enough. She cannot kneel. She has to be very careful when walking down hills. Some days are better than others. She is lucky that we can still walk uphill for about 10 miles but enjoys cycling now. As a former Consultant in a hospital, I do wonder whether the warning signs of joint damage are sufficiently well known. Artificial knees can be very good but clinical outcomes can be disappointing.
    And before you ask, yes, she was careful in her shoe choice.

  70. Good morning to all of you. I commend all your accomplishments. I mention my age, 86, only
    because it seems part of the general introduction. I can not say anyone should run, walk or ride.
    I have spinal stenosis and the body gave some instructions to choose from. One was to ride a
    bike and it was a blessing. Being associated with Carmichael Training and a wonderful coach has been part of the blessing. You all seem to be moving and that seems to be what counts.

    Merry Christmas and a Healthy New Year.

  71. In general, I agree with you AJW. We need to accept the physical and physiological changes in our bodies as we age. And then we need to adjust how fast, how hard, and how often we pursue our passions. As you point out, the main thing is finding ways to continue to enjoy the things that bring us happiness and health. As with anything, if you find intrinsic value and joy in your athletic pursuits you will figure out how to stay with them.

    1. I’m 60…i started walking to work…1.87miles…one way…I tell my wife I want to be able to run…in the past every time I start to jog i pull a calf muscle. I don’t run never was a runner…I want to run…what’s your opinion..

  72. Pingback: Ultramarathon Daily News | Tue, Dec 10 |

  73. I’m a relative youngster at age 52, but I’ve run 88 marathons and ultras (mostly ultras) in the last 3 years. I celebrated turning 50 by running 10 marathons in 10 days and a year later upped it to 10 x 50K in 10 days. I ran my first 100-mile race last year, two more this year and I’m still happily working up to harder races, new challenges. I’ve started doing my running club’s interval training sessions and have finally started strength training. My goal for next year (having spent the last 3 years rebuilding confidence and endurance after some non-running-related injuries) is to get faster at distances from marathon to 100-mile. I’m probably fitter now than I’ve ever been in my life – and I’ve always been fairly active. I realise that at some point I’ll get slower, but at the moment I’m taking inspiration from club members such as Keith Simpson (who posted earlier) and others older than me who are still running PBs, at distances variously from 5K to marathon (and in Keith’s case beyond).

  74. AJW, I can’t believe how many comments this post generated; this topic clearly hits a nerve! As a now 50-year-old, I agree with what you say. This line resonated especially, “it’s important to not stress about the laborious nature of those first few miles, but rather to embrace them as part of the process and allow them to be a gateway into something better during the second part of the run.” My first couple of miles — especially here living at 9000 feet high altitude — feel so difficult, I hike most of the way until the blood starts flowing, and I normally can’t really run until 2 – 3 miles into it. Keep up the good work.

    1. 58 years old and nothing gives me more pleasure than passing a High School cross country singlet in a race. Bring on the trash talk, you are inspiring!

    2. I’m a woman 74 who still does triathlons but mostly short ones because of bone on bone in my knees. I just wear a brace on one knee and alternate walk/run.
      I don’t know anyone like me just some girls are around 50 yrs. I just tell them I’ll ride with them on their recovery days.
      Women our age never did get into much physical fitness so we are an oddity.

  75. Want to find out why running in old age is good? Stop running. Very soon you’ll experience a diminution in quality of life. The chronic aches you get from running are a small price to pay for the health benefits you will forego if you quit running.

    When you’re twenty, running really doesn’t have that noticeable an effect on your health because, in youth, you are going to be healthy no matter what you do. You can eat what you want, and smoke and get drunk, and quickly recover. But in middle and old age it really does matter if you don’t exercise, or you eat too much. The natural resilience you had in youth, the sturdy resistance to illness and fatigue, is gone.

    So run, you codgers. It’ll save you a lot of grief. It’s like brushing your teeth.

    1. I am 60. Have been walking 3-4 km almost regularly but was never running. Few months back I started running 4 km daily and achieved this mark in 25 minutes. Then after continuous training of 2 months, at the advice of others, started taking a break now and then. Then my hip and ham started aching, forcing me to take longer breaks. I came to realize the importance of stretching. Now I think after 2 months of under-activity I m am once again ready for the running. Can you please tell me if it would again result in return of those aching experiences.

  76. These comments came just as a ring to the finger for me. I started running 14 years ago, I’m 64. Have run marathons and a couple of trails. And this year started to note and feel that I was too slow, and could not increase my pace. I’m healthy, except that this year had a problem on my low back that goes and come again. My doctor suggested to stop running al least for 6 months. Anyway I’m going to do this half marathon and see what happens.! I take the warm up advice, now I understand why. Also stretch enough and rest. Great tips and you’re right to thank for the gift of still be running and healthy. Thanks!!

    1. Congratulations Brenda! Keep it up!

      I am practically 59 and I also started running when I was young, 15. I have managed to run all these years and it has been the best thing I have been able to do, despite the fact that about 10 years ago my doctor told me that I had already run enough and it was time to stop … of course I changed doctor!

      About 8 years ago I started trail running and now I am an ultra runner … running up volcanoes and mountains.

      I run with a group of youngsters that has helped me stay young as well, last year I qualified for Boston 14 minutes below the qualifying time for my age.

      I wish you the best of luck

  77. Started running after I retired early aged 60.
    Did my first marathon at 64 then 25 others (in alphabetical order of the marathon name, in different countries, in the next 3 and a half years.
    Then I ran 13 multi-day ultra-marathons in a year, then 4 50 milers and a handful of other ultras in the next year.
    This year, at 70 I have run my first 100 miles race finishing almost 4 hours inside the 30 hour cut-off.

    1. Wow! Amazing bio!
      Do you attribute your fitness and endurance to the fact that you didn’t start racing until “later in life”? What was your fitness/exercise routine during your working years?

      1. Hi Jan
        I suspect not putting my knees, ankles and hips through too much stress for their first 60 years must have been a benefit but maybe I’m just lucky that I can run. I did a bit of sport when younger but nothing serious, and for 30 or so years nothing but playing with the kids. The fact that I have a daughter who is an elite endurance athlete, she represented GB in the World 24 Hour Championships last year suggests that maybe genes are playing a part!

    2. Keith, I see you did the South Downs Way 100 Miler? I’m turning 64 and looking for one in 2020 that’s age doable. Can you recommend it? Thanks!

      1. Most definitely Brian, but I have my doubts that anyone will be able to run it this year. I think any of the Centurion 100s are doable if you really want to and can put in the training. I also did the A100 last year and should be doing the hard one, NDW100 this year but am not expecting it to take place.

    3. So inspiring!

      I am a 47 year old mother of two (7 and 9 years old). I started running after my first born at age 38.

      I always wished I had not waited so long to start running, because there is still so many places I want to go with it! My family is a priority right now, and i look forward to future adventures in running when I have more free time. In the back of my mind there is sometimes a nagging worry that I might be too old, when I will actually have the time to do these adventures!

      I just loved reading about what you are doing! So awesome!


    1. Thanks for your coment
      I’m 59 and I have been running
      For 40 years, and I have to say
      That I am grateful and thankful
      That I can still running with
      Literally no problems or pains,
      And yes, like you, I will keep
      Running until the end

  79. At 62, I’m out there or on the treadmill 4x/week, but there is no joy in Mudville. I used to do my treadmill runs in front of a window where I could view a bright glowing blue Tony Stark heart powering me from one fast 5k to (break for 2 minutes) a second. Now I watch myself in that same window and there is not bright glowing heart, not even a spark. My speedwork pace is what my 5K pace was just 5-6 years ago. That’s just tragic. No consolation from the fact that I can still put in the miles. Just sadness at the inevitable slide downhill.

  80. If I can make another comment, most of the posters on this thread have run marathons. I have never even dreamed of doing such a thing, and in fact I doubt if I have ever run a sub-six minute mile in my life. Running marathons has nothing to do with what most people would reasonably call physical fitness. People who run marathons are probably extremely strong to begin with and (in my opinion) more than a little compulsive.

    Running has served me well since I took it up at age 25. When I was in my thirties I commonly ran about twenty-five miles a week. Twice a year, I would run in 10k races that were open to all comers. I’m a man of average strength and health, and it turned out that aerobic running was the exercise that was right for me. I could do it reasonably competently, I enjoyed it and I certainly never thought of it as an obligation, or something I dreaded doing. (Which is how I thought of gym class in school.) I have run regularly for more than forty years, except for about four months when I couldn’t run because my knees wouldn’t support my weight. After my knees healed enough to run, I ran regularly again, even though the doctors I consulted told me never to run again.

    I don’t think running is for everybody. I doubt if endomorphs should run, and mesomorphs are probably better off weight-lifting. But for thin people, running is a very good thing.

    The aging process is real, and if you ignore it you’ll do yourself damage. At 67, my health goal (which I’ll concede is probably unattainable) is to have the take-it-for-granted health I enjoyed when I was fifteen. Remember how that was, before the gym teachers had got their hooks into you, when you just used your body any way you had to, and it worked, and nothing in it hurt, and you didn’t even care that much how it looked? That’s what I’d like, and running helps me to a fairly good simulacrum of it.

    Most people my age have at least one chronic health problem, for which they must take medication. I myself have sore, tired legs, but my heart and lungs and all my other innards are so healthy that I don’t ever think about them. I do believe that running can be credited for my healthy organs, and also blamed for my achy legs.

    1. Thank you for speaking for those of us who simply love to run and enjoy it benifits (no marathons for me either thanks!).

    2. I am 61, have run 5 marathons, but no more. Too many aches and pains. Just a fun 5K now and then but mostly just light and easy stuff. You don’t have to run marathons to say in good shape.

    3. I started running in my early 40’s, still running about 25 miles per week at 50 now. 2 times per week on treadmill and 2-3 times outdoors. I have built one out door day up to a ten miler, feel fine except my legs overall ache throughout my work days. I run those ten mile days on weekends. Beginning of work week my legs seem to ache the most. I have been wrapping my lower legs in ice packs to help. Any advice?

      1. Hi Marcie, I’m 57, started running at 49. My legs used to always ache until I started stretching. Now I try to do light stretching before a run and almost always after a run, especially long runs. Hamstrings, calves, glutes, and thighs. If they are a little sore, I massage with some moisturizer until they feel better. Not sitting down after a run seems to help too. I usually walk the dog after.

    4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts… restarted running at 55/56… finding it enjoyable for the most part and like you can’t picture the marathon as a part of my reality… however I’m working toward my 1st 1/2 marathon this December… I have similar goals, keep everything working to the end!

      🙂 ERS

    5. I started running about 8 months ago,I’m 58 yr old male,i ran some when real young and was pretty good,but after 4 yrs in military ,I didnt run until now,I really enjoy it and getting a little better ,no competition events ,just me and my music ,the therapy of running is what helps me deal,, thank you for the stories

  81. I’m 67, and I run a slow two miles about five times a week. This is a long way from my late 20s, when I ran six days a week without much in the way of discomfort, although I was never anything but a duffer when it came to things like 10k races.

    I ran into injuries when I was in my early 40s. These were the results of aggressive foolishness, which led me to attempt to outrun middle age, and I ended up spraining both knees. I declined surgery for those injuries (which was recommended by an orthopedic surgeon) and my knees have slowly healed and are now pain free. When I say “slowly” that is certainly the word, as the process to pain-free knees took seventeen years.

    I’m in good overall health for my age. I have young man’s blood pressure, and I’m not on any medications, which is rare in a Canadian my age. But I ache a little. Often the soles of my feet are numb. But I do enjoy running still, even if it is often just an old man’s shuffle.

    I do a few calisthenics. Push-ups, sit-ups, toe touches and deep knee bends. I never do these to the point of failure. At my age, if your body fails it may not recover.

    My big health tip for anyone is, don’t let your weight creep up on you. I have always been thin (I’m six foot four and I weigh about 175 pounds), but I do moderate my food intake to avoid growing a paunch. I am convinced (maybe whimsically) that this will aid in maintaining my health. But after 70 years, I’m pretty sure that I won’t be able to run even at the light pace I can manage now, so I’m on borrowed time and I am mindful of that, and I enjoy the running capacity that still remains to me.

  82. Great tips. More discipline around rest and recovery is what I’m finding essential. Diet is increasingly more important. I’m 65 and do a Olympic distance triathlon each summer. I spend 4 months training and my diet gets equal attention during this time.

  83. I’m 74 now. I ran in H.S. and college, then only intermittently after that. At age 60 I began running in earnest. For the next 7 years or so, I set my ‘old age’ PR’s each year. But then, as I neared 70, I began running slower and slower. I usually win my Age Group in all races from 5k to Half-Marathon, but I’m running slower each year by about 30 seconds in the Half. And now, I’m even cutting back on my training, running only every other day and doing 100 crunches on my off-days. I don’t know if running only every other day is hurting me or not. But I have no desire anymore to run 5 days per week like I was. I guess I’ll find out this summer in my next Half. I’ve won the Top of Utah Half Marathon for my age group 5 years in a row now. But I’m worried this year. Does anyone have any advice for me on running every other day thing?

    1. my issue is whether training at our age really helps or hinders…..I need the rest and I run 2-3 marathons a year with an obligatory 1/2 in Indy, so my schedule is full. I’m finding the need to rest longer and longer between events….even mowing the lawn seems a chore. I suggest to pick 1 race to concentrate on a year and just do the others plus some training for the love of it….

      1. oh by the way….I’m 67…..75 marathons and 41 states…..Crater Lake and The Tunnel in Oregon and Washington in August 2019…….”remember that REST is part of training”

    2. Here’s a good article on running every other day, Bob…

    3. I have been running for 48 years off and on. I am now 74 and require two days off between runs. Currently I am running -10 minute miles or 28 minutes for three miles. This training cycle has been about 8 weeks and my heart rate during running as slowly been going down to about an average of 140 BPM which I consider good.

    4. Bob, you are doing the right thing, I have stopped running on consecutive days and I think this is an advice our bodies are giving us if we listen and feel, so we can still run slow when others can hardly walk anymore.

  84. Thanks for this article! At 64, the “slow-warmup” advice is definitely on target. After running the NY Marathon in 1977, I took 31 years off before running LA in 2008 and I’ve been running since.
    Running has been my therapy as a few years ago I was hit with all the symptoms of Meniere’s disease (a balance disorder). So I head out the door point my self down the road and if I don’t stop, I won’t tip over! But I thank God for what running has meant to me and the sanity it has given me battling vertigo and balance issues. To date, I have been a Clydesdale runner — over 220 lbs for most races — but I absolutely love just being out there and seeing what I can do. I try to train consistently but have had off on on periods over the past few years where I will take a month or so off. I’ve done 11 straight LA Marathons and would love to think I can break my Steamtown marathon PR of 4:21 but it’s getting harder and harder to get even close. So, knowing that I got in the lottery for NY Marathon for 2019, I have decided that — if I want to continue running marathons, I have to drop about 30 lbs. Don’t know how that will affect my time, but I know it will be a major plus for health if I manage diet and training. Regardless of how fast or slow I might be, I plan to keep running 1/2s and fulls for as long as I can – -and when I can’t run anymore, I’ll still try to get out there and do my best. Most of all, there is something mystical about pushing yourself to the limit and when you put your foot on the plate at the finish line, it’s worth it — and all the people I’ve met and places running has taken me to is a gift I will always cherish.

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  86. I will be 53 in 3 months’ time, I have been running in my teens off and on, half marathons, full marathons. During this period I learnt that stretching is a must before and after, including yoga etc. It helps recovery and prevent injuries. In other words this pre- preparation (stretching) but sometimes overlooked, increasingly becomes the most import element of the jog as you get older. Mathematically, the time you spend doing stretching increases at an arithmetic progression rate as you get older. I am hoping to run into my 70s and possibly 80s. I mainly jog at a steady pace to keep fit, although I sometimes increase my speed when I see fellow joggers.

  87. Another thing to remember is that we all don’t age at the same rate. Just as in our younger days some are more gifted (bigger VO2, more RBC, more natural testosterone, etc.) and can run faster so too older athletes can be more gifted (the aging process takes place slower). I’m 59 and have gone from being in the top 5-10% of my age group to now being in the bottom 20% of my age group. I have gone from running dozens of marathons to having difficulty running 1/2 marathons. Like others have said it is good to still be running. I have adjusted my PR’s. For example this year I ran my fastest 10 Km at age 59. Cheers.

  88. Hmmmm, seems like you’re still a youngster (coming from a 62 year-old). And it seems like most of what you wrote is intuitive (?). But who knows. At 60 I realized I was never going to get faster than I am (competitive Nordic skiing, road biking, trail running, etc.) but that’s what is not important. What is important is 1) deriving joy from what you do; 2) doing what you can to be as good as you can be; and 3) passing it along to others.

  89. Jesse no reason at 50 you cannot run well and set some PRs…It has been said it takes 7-10 yrs for a endurance runner to mature regardless of the age they start…Ok I have some pretty good self proof…ran my 1st 5k age 42,5 yrs later ran my 5k pr 17:29 8 yrs later my best 10 miler 1:03 excatly 10 yrs I ran my best half 1:21:42,from there my speed kept decressing every year natural occurance,did manage a 1:28 half when I was 56,I then turned to Ultras,hey top gear was stripped but the low gears were working just fine,Ran a hundred miler in 08 age 58 no record but respectful I think,age 64 ran my Pr 50k 8 yrs after my first4:29…slowed down since but no one at any age keeps top form forever.

    1. That’s a nice sentiment .. but it’s not v realistic. Big cliffs happen regularly sprinkled throughout the forties .. and yea another one happened at 50. I doubt that makes me unusual. Too many headwinds to not be slowed : beyond the known ones of lower max heart-rate, lower v02max, lower tendon/muscle elasticity (and possibly strength though I’ve managed to keep most of that) – there is the longer recovery and the susceptibility to injuries. I went from four years injury free in mid forties to four years mostly injured.

  90. When I was in my early 70s, I knew from studying the results of large races that I would have a precipitous increase in running times in my mid-70s. Sure enough, it happened at age 75. When I was 70, I ran a 1:52 half marathon and a 1:21 10 miler. Now, at 77, I feel fortunate to beak 2:30 for a half or 1:50 for 10 miles. I agree that I should celbrate that I can still make it to the starting line and cross the finish line with a smile, but I sometimes regret the slowing.

  91. I retired this year aged 65. I used to trail run intermittently in my 40s but acquired two meniscal tears and so mostly was a regular swimmer. Started doing yoga aged 55, loved it, despite breaking my l kneecap (bowling) at 57, but when I retired I needed something to get me outdoors. So I started trail running again. Built up slowly, got a stress fracture nonetheless, so eased right back and just listen to my body. Knocked 12 minutes off my pb for 10k last weekend to get in under 60 minutes (I know it’s not v fast, but remember where I’m coming from here) Just had a great 16k mountain run and getting ready for my first 50km next month. Age isn’t a barrier, just a parameter. Will do this as long as I can, then probably resort to walking. Doing what I can and enjoying it. That, to me, seems to be the point.

    1. Follow up – can’t remember when I posted the above, but it must have been two years ago. DNF’d the 50 but did my second, easier route, The Serpent 50, in 7 hours, which I thought was ok. Did the Hong Kong Moontrekker 42Km in 7 hours also, and most recently finished 25th overall and first in my age category for the HK Summits 27km with 2500m of vertical in just over 5 hours. I find I vary, week to week, some weeks feel great, other weeks, too pooped to do much, I just listen to my body, try to enjoy it and am more modest in my expectations. But 2 years on, my VO2max has increased 6% and my Garmin tells me I’m in the to 20% of 20 year olds, which is probably not where I was when I was a 20 year old. Do what you can and enjoy.

  92. One of the things I started to do as I passed the 60 mark was to focus much more attention of my heart rate, heart rate variability, and Strava freshness and fitness numbers as a way to measure what level of effort my body was ready for each morning. Individually, I have found it hard to trust any one number, but the combination of these resulting in a warning signal to slow down has been very useful. That, in turn has also allowed me to better understand days where I can really push myself.

  93. February 11th I turn 59 and have been running since 1980. Six road and one trail marathons, one road 50K ultra with 15:55 5k, 32:55 10k, and 1:16:00 half marathon bests. Today, trying to get even close to those times achieved in my 20’s in unrealistic. What is realistic is seeing what my 55-59 and 60-64 age group winning times are and using these as goals, if so motivated to being on the age group podiums like I am. I also am a huge believer is stretching and using intense runs cautiously only when my body feels good enough. I’ve never been one to strictly adhere to a structured training plan. I always loved Joan Benoit Samulson’s statement that within her first twenty steps out the door will determine how she will run. While I need more steps, depending upon how my first minutes go will determine whether this will be a slow HR Z2, temp, or intensity run. Listen to your body and embrace rest and eat well. Doing so will elongate your ability to continuous running.

  94. The responses referencing intensity and strength training would be better framed as reminders that we can benefit from Andy’s points by reviewing our training plans (including type, frequency and dose of intensity and strength training), with his thoughts in mind. The article and points regarding intensity and strength training aren’t mutually exclusive—I don’t read him to be addressing those specific points at all. Most of what Andy writes resonates with me, a 56-year old endurance athlete who has moved from being a sub-5 5000 meter and XC runner in his youth through decades of weight gain and loss of strength and CV fitness to return to train to run ultra distance. The CTS team I’ve worked with fully supports my 2-3x weekly strength training, as well as prescribing (at appropriate points in the training plan) interval training on track 2x weekly, along with tempo intervals on dirt, fartlek, hill repeats and steady state workouts. I doubt Andy is suggesting we lay back and adopt the easier path of using only LSD to train after 50. I get my share of workouts requiring an RPE of 9/10. Of course those referencing strength and intensity training are right—I agree that the importance of the strength, stability and pliometric training I do is indispensable to improved performance as is speed work. I also agree with Friel and Andy that, while guarding against falling into complacency and a fear of injury that leaves us doing only LSD is critical to both retarding the inevitable declines the same research referenced in comments demonstrates is associated with aging and to optimize performance, it pays to be smart. Putting a realistic and positive attitude around our training and competition plans will be appropriately protective and instructive when rehabbing back from injury and illness when they do occur. In my opinion, we won’t accomplish what we’re capable of as Masters (which includes Open podium appearances at some events), if we don’t embrace both the fact we’re capable of pushing ourselves much harder than easy miles represent as well as understanding when to apply some clutch and brake. Frankly, all Andy is doing is framing the findings of the IOC Medical Committee Meta-Analysis identifying training dosage sweet spots relative to injury/ illness risks and performance in the context of a particular variable—aging. That study applies to all athletes, including international elites in their prime.

  95. I appreciate the tips in this article and AJW is definitely an inspiration for his running/endurance feats. I started running at 45, completed a mountain ultra at 47 and will be 50 on Friday. I just came off my best race ever in December and am looking for ways to gain strength and endurance to do my first 50 miler later in the year. “50 t 50” has a nice ring to it. I feel like if I just had more time in the day/week to train that I could still improve my running by leaps and bounds. I get it that I can’t look at Dylan Bowman’s or Sage Canaday’s Strava activities and expect to hit the same kinds of workouts that they do but I do expect to get better with more experience, increased mental toughness and more consistent training miles under the belt.

  96. Wait til 70, all these apply even more now. need to stretch a lot & yogi helps.
    Just thankful that I can still run 10Ks. Most of my old running buddies are not running at all.
    If you can’t out run them, out last them.

  97. Agree. “start out slowly…live in the moment … it’s a gift we can still run”. Please. That advice could apply to anyone. Your problem is not age it’s an enormous inferiority complex that you are working out in public.

    1. Dude, come on- that’s a rude and completely unproductive remark. And probably not true- but even if it were, so what? Even if he did have an inferiority complex (which again, I doubt he does) he has every right to write about it, and I have every right to be encouraged that people far more gifted and accomplished than I have struggles.

    2. It’s the love of running and the gift from God we can still do it . Always be thankful we can still run. Many cannot .give
      God the praise if you can

      1. At 75 I was thankful to be competing in triathlons, getting back to running 28 min 5ks and a 2.15 half marathon. Then suddenly (after intense neck pain) being told that an urgent disketomy with cervical fusion was needed or terrible things would happen to my body. Grateful that a top-ranked neurosurgeon negated this, and that, with help from a trusted chiropractor, I am now power-walking 5k races, biking upright and hoping to soon be able to swim in a way that does not require head movement. I thank God that I can still do what many people my age (and younger) cannot. Still consider myself blessed.

  98. As I’m entering my 40th year of triathlon competition and my 45th year of road racing, here are the keys I’ve found for master’s level runners:
    1. Consistency of Training: our body reacts positively to regular training as the “training effect” comes into play. This in turn creates the all-important muscle memory that we can rely on as we get older. As a certified coach I all to often encounter athletes that do not train regularly and wonder why they cannot perform close to what they did in the past.
    2. Interval Training with Intensity: at 68 I’ve been training with intervals since I started running in the early 70’s when the running boom hit the U.S. Now I run intervals 2 times/week (Tuesdays on the treadmill and Thursdays on straightaway neighborhood sidewalks) and have been able to maintain my speed over the last 8 years. If you do not practice running fast do not expect to run fast in competition. Your body will only produce what you’ve trained it to do.
    3. Functional Strength Training: this is probably the single most important factor in older competitors maintaining their running/fitness edge as they move on in years. Overall strength is rapidly lost as we age, so strengthen those key running muscles and don’t forget to stretch and stay loose.
    4. Weight Management: we have a natural tendancy to gain weight as we get older. What gives us the ill-founded logic to gain this weight since we’re actually not getting any toller? The faster runners are the leaner athletes; and yes there is a big correlation to body weight and speed in cycling and running.
    5. Active Rest: take a day off after hard days of training by doing light, high cadence cycling to keep your legs loose, yoga, or swimming followed by stretching and rolling.
    Final Thoughts: in my associations with age-group athletes over several decades I’ve found that there is a mentality of complacency that can sneak into our minds that becomes the biggest barrier to our success as older athletes. This can start with a nagging injury that is causing us frustration. Find out quickly what the cause is and get it rectified…and get back to training!

    1. This is a *great* comment: consistency, intervals (need that speed!), strength (if you use it you can keep it – but it wants to “run” away), and fix/deal with injuries aggressively and completely. It takes real attention to do so: maybe deep muscle massages, maybe significant PT – but keep after it.

  99. I don’t think he is discounting intensity or strength training, but instead referring to a general ethos to training in our older years when we are bound to find slower times and may get discouraged and want to hang up our shoes. Not sure what the “lazy fluff” you are referring to is, when he clearly talks about being able to train hard on your hard days.

  100. At 58 I feel stronger than ever, probably because I’m not as stressed as before even though I still have a full time career and train more consistently than in younger years. High intensity intervals, weight training and good nutrition are essential to keeping in shape (an untra runner and CTS athlete myself)
    Nice read. Thanks

  101. Great article! I have noticed many of these same things. I am not quite 50 yet but it does take me longer to warm my body up now & I have noticed a little extra rest time is needed between those highly focused intensity workouts. But what I love most about the article is that your sport makes you happy, not just the author, all of us.

  102. As a 61 year old Functional Ageing Specialist and triathlon coach high intensity sessions become more important as we get older in order to maintain VO2 max especially if the intention is to race endurance events such as Ironman. This article is contrary to current thinking.

  103. If you want to give good advice to athletes over 50 how about consulting the latest studies and start out with, ‘older athletes can still train/compete with intensity’ and ‘strength training is important as we age’ and not lazy fluff like “start out slowly…live in the moment … it’s a gift we can still run.”

    1. It’s a balance between enjoyment of a sport some of us have been doing for thirty to fifty years with achieving “alpha” goals which may or may not be important to all of us. Your attitude, which may, in fact work well for you, may be “ego driven nonsense” to others.

      1. What I do at age 82 is try to get out as often as I can in shorts and singlet even in mid-winter here in Scotland. I particularly like hills because my view is it gives a good cardiovascular workout without having to do too many miles. The weather in December thru early January in Glasgow was cold but bright and calm so I was running the hills and moorland of the Roman Antonine Wall in singlet/shorts and meeting all these walkers clad in heavy jackets and wooly hats as if in the Arctic. Gosh how much of a buzz did that give me, in my mind that even at 82 I could be a superman type. The kids would gaze at me as if from another planet! Just go out and do your own thing and let them see what’s possible ..

  104. This was very comforting to read. I’m 52 now, was a life long cyclist and, over the past three years, have worked to transform my body to being a runner. Something definitely changed after 50 and I can’t take my physical health for granted anymore. I’ve found that it’s necessary to pay more attention to details such as diet, consistency in year round training and self-care, but am grateful for more patience than I used to have in my younger years.

    I’ve also found that mobility plays a huge role in my body as to the comfort of running and even just getting out of bed. Yoga has become my new best friend and challenged my body to become stronger, especially from the core out. It made a huge difference in working toward the longer distances last year and completing R2R2R. After that I felt it was okay to now call myself a runner!

    Thanks for this article, it is much appreciated!

      1. I starts running… But i find my nees are panning so i stop running. i m very sad… but sir Andy Jones bog is encaraged me. So therefore i starts running slowly… Thanks Andy Jones Sir.

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