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Running On Empty, But Still Running, pt 1 of Boomer Marathon

Get the shoes and the dog, then get up and take a run for both of you

Running over twenty six miles at once is like breathing: if you stop for too long, you’re finished.

Do it too fast and you pass out. One step at a time drives you crazy, but what else is there?

Current marathoners pay little attention to the first marathoner who finished his run and fell over. He wasn’t wearing his Nikes.

You’ve thought of doing one, heard others talk about doing one. A big guy at your gym says he did one.

If he did it, so can you, which is usually a fatal thought, but don’t let it stop you. There are plenty of other obstacles.

You will run your marathon in over three hours. Take this test: can you move for three straight hours, let alone run? The exciting answer lies before you.

If you’re a boomer who insists on running a marathon, make a checklist.

Start with current conditioning. Do you tire easily? Get winded running for the bus? Marathon training means building an endurance base.

  • Walk ten minutes a day one week, fifteen the next, then twenty. You get it. If you need a rest day, take a rest day. If your feet hurt, look at new shoes. Once you log a thirty minute a day walking week you’re ready to run a little. Notice how distance plays no part? Not yet.
  • Add a five minute run to your thirty minute walk. Now you’re out thirty five minutes. Add another five minutes of running the next week. That’s a thirty minute walk and a ten minute run. Keep the walk time and add running time five minutes a week.

At some point a friend will ask if you are sick, but they won’t ask you directly. You’ll hear about it from whoever they ask. You’re losing weight and taking on a drawn look.

This is good.

Assure them you are fine, that your appearance comes from LSD. Then explain how Long Slow Distance workouts are part of marathon training.

Your times are good. Your running suit is good. And you have a race in mind. You’re getting rest and the right food.

You’ve never felt better, more in control of yourself. You are a marathon runner, maybe not Olympic caliber, but you know what they know.

Keep telling yourself this. The only way to fail now is making basic mistakes.

It’s time to run.



About David Gillaspie
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