Too old to run a marathon?
“I would like to start running but am I too old to run a marathon?” is a question I get asked frequently by emerging runners who take up cardio exercise for health, fitness, or weight loss.
If there are no contra-indications, there is no reason for you or any person to start running and to start training for that lofty goal of a marathon. One lady who came up to me at a social event, mentioned she was thinking about starting a running career. This lady had just turned 70 the week before! Not only was I amazed at her spirit and determination, I was also curious what ‘stories’ she had convinced herself of as to why she had not started running before.
I shared with her that there is no reason you can’t start running as you get older. By the measure of my lovely client, most of us are very young when we start running. What scares most people is that society deems that you “deserve a rest” and “take care of your ailments and deteriorating body” as you get older. Although considerate, that might very well be ill-advised. Too often we see people age faster once they become more sedentary.
Inactivity drives aging
“You are not inactive because you are old, you are getting older because you are becoming inactive.”
Cardio and strength training should be part of your daily routine as you age. There is no physiological reason as to why you could not be as strong at 70 as you were at 25. In fact, by the time you get to 45 you probably have got life figured out a bit more and you don’t have to deal with how society expects you to behave. Be a role model, get out there, grow strong and run far. You have what it takes, you are purpose-built to run.
If you have never run before then start slow and build up speed and distance over time. Focus on form first, volume second and pace third. Age is not a barrier to running and you can still be a good runner in a couple of years.
Find a coach, start with a plan that focusses on good running form first. Effortless Running plan do exactly that. Follow our training plans and you will gradually turn yourself into a runner. It doesn’t matter if you are 20, 45 or 70. Learn to run well in order to run well first and then set out to run those 42.2 kilometers!