Chapter 5: Conclusion

Eddie Brocklesby

Eddie Brocklesby

My running club has members aged from 17 to well over 80 years old.  Remarkably, because we share a common interest, there are strong friendships across the years.  We have formed deep and lasting friendships that enrich all our lives. Running transcends all ages.

For young people, it is a gateway to sports of all kinds.  It is an affordable, accessible and safe way to embark on a life of healthy exercise.

There is nothing inevitable about the deterioration in performance that comes as we get older.  With smart training, you can offset or reverse the effects of ageing, and continue to grow and improve as a runner.  Some of my running friends are running marathons well into their seventies.  I hope that I too will have the courage, wisdom and good fortune to go on enjoying running as long as I’m still breathing.

As we get older, running helps to reduce the impact of age on our fitness, strength, mobility and independence.  It can thereby give us many extra years of good quality of life.  George Sheehan, the philosopher of running, wrote this a few years before he died:

“The unfit youth or young adult or even middle aged person can still be independent and enjoy life.  The aging cannot.  The normal loss of physical powers that occurs with inactivity makes fitness a necessity. …

In time, regardless of how we play, we will all depart.  What we must avoid is having our actual leaving precede that departure – to die in effect before we die in truth, to live out our years in a joyless, dependent existence, our body and mind and soul already waiting for us on the other side of the divide.”

8 Responses to Chapter 5: Conclusion

  • Patrick auletto:

    Did anyone ever have meniscus surgery wondering if I will be able to run long term at age 59 does this mean I will need knee replacement.

    • Ed:

      I had meniscus surgery about 5-6 years ago ( I am now 66), I was not able to run for at least 4 months , but today I have to look at the knee ( for small incissions) to see which knee was operated on,today I have no running limitations.

  • 2632:

    I am a woman who had a serious squash injury at age 31, torn ACL and mashed up medial meniscus which was partly removed after a later tennis injury. Because I didn’t take care of it, the knee had serious damage. The joint is enlarged, and it gets fluid in the joint when hiking in hot California weather. Recently I took up running, at age 62, and have been doing 5 miles X 3times per week. The knee does not swell, although sometimes it twinges. I don’t know whether the health benefits of running outweigh the threat to the joint, but so far it is holding up fine.

  • Margaret Lasslett:

    I am so glad I found this site. I have recently turned 64 and want to start running again, I used to run regularly until about 10 years ago and when I stopped the battle of the bulge bagan in earnest. I loved running and still want to get out there. But, as another person has said the running magazines only seem to cater for the young runners, and, I know that I need to take it slower and steadier. It is encouraging to see so many older people defying the numbers and not being put off because someone says they are too old to run. I am encouraged to really give it a red hot go again.

  • gord phillips:

    life has great moments for us…some we can feel the joy and some we know we have to re think our goals…its like we have a frame of a moment…the beauty of running is the black and white of time to grade us on our success…so when I turned 50, I wanted to run a sub 5 minute mile…the clock said 5:04…when i turned 55 I wanted to run a sub 5:30 minute…the clock said 5:28…when I turned 60 I wanted to run a sub 6 minute mile …the clock said 5:58…and so I go forward…I only run the mile once a year but train year round and compete in about a dozen races a year…most days are not race days and I enjoy trail and street racing…
    We really need to do is to SHOUT OUT encouragement to other runners, if someone passes me I say “good pace go get em” or if I see someone running I say “Good Job “…all I give is encouragement, all I get is a smile or a thumbs up saying we are the running community…

  • ihab:

    I’m 49 years male . I used to do inregulare swimming years ago . 2 years ago I bought a bike and add cycling to my sports activities. I never think to run until I decided to participate in 5k race . To me hiting the ground while running is worst compar to cycling and swimming. I did 5k race in 29 min. Later I found doing swimmin, cycling and running are well comination exercise for group of muscles then I start thanking about triathlon race and I just finish sprint distance tri this month.

  • Carol:

    I’m 68 this year & used to run 8minute miles in my 40′s. Now it’s taking me 34mins to run 3miles. How can I improve or am i expecting too much?

  • Michael Biferno:

    I am 68 and train with a Stairmaster combined with moderate weight lifting, road running and treadmill. The machines help reduce impact on joints while enabling me to train on a regular basis unconcerned with weather and helping me focus on adjusting my training load to avoid injury with the easy-hard day approach. Road and hill running insure I can perform when I race. I find the combination has kept me relatively injury free so far… At my age, strains and pains see inevitable, but at least I earned them…

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