Featured post 1

Customizing P90X and Running.

This is default featured post 2 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

This is default featured post 3 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

This is default featured post 4 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

This is default featured post 5 title

Go to Blogger edit html and find these sentences.Now replace these sentences with your own descriptions.This theme is Bloggerized by Lasantha Bandara - Premiumbloggertemplates.com.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Racing Weight

Hey gang working on my new Running weight program
Going well except the diet , I need to stop the FUCKITS 

My body is sore in new spots from the up hill sprinting 

This is what I did yesterday :

Hill Intervals 
Run 15 easy
4X30 sec hard up steep hill
jog down recovery
Run 15 easy

This what I have to do tonight:

Strength Workout
Lunge, plank
Chinup,step up
alt single leg rev crunch
Pushup,balance ball leg curl
Eccentric heel dip
Reverse plank,inverted shoulder press

Plan to hike at Callahan State Park tonight with Trevor after wo.

Bring it everyone we all have a lot to be thankful for God, Peace and fresh air!


Friday, June 15, 2012

Running and Hiking on

Paul you are my primal man , GROK ON !!!

Got home from work at 6:45pm last night loaded the BACK pack and Trevor and we hiked up & down and back up over & down Cedar Hill, nice hike at Dusk! it is a beautiful "forever wild " forest owned by the Sudbury Valley Trustees, there are a lot of cool trails around my area. I ran this trail with the running club a few weeks back!

Tracked the hike on Backpacker pro on my Droid , 2 miles in 49 minutes , up and down the 400 foot high "Hill" Twice not bad, Even shows an aerial view of the route . Trevor had a tick on his foot pad this morning, I had one on my leg , got it off before he bit@ me f;;;;!!!

Therapy is on ongoing on the two fingers, it has been three - four weeks, two to go , not going well!

Starting my "Racing weight program" on Monday, needed to get ramped up , had to get a new step, a new stability ball and get the diet program down.

Ran a nice 4 miler this morning. I need to go back to POD runner!

have a great TGIF and an awesome weekend!

I have attached the program here 


Friday, May 25, 2012

Trail Run

Went for my first trail run last night led by fellow Highland Strider, Dom Naples.
the group was decent size and included  Dom, Jim, another Mike, Julie, Pat and Ted. We ran at Crane Swamp in Southborough /Westborough.
Here is what i posted last night:

 Ran my first trail run at Cedar swamp with the running club , asthma is still killing me but I 

finished ! The view at the top of Cedar hill was beautiful!

4.1 miles in 50 minutes

Just a slight strain in one ankle!

Time for a bath and final tick check

Looking forward to next week!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Why We Don't Walk Anymore | Mark's Daily Apple

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Well I got the cast off last week and it is nice to have the hand free again!
Two fingers are pretty stiff !
So we had a busy weekend helping a neighbor lay out a deck
I did not do too much hard labor but my knee took a tweak from jumping up and down from the ground and scaffoldhbor lay out a deck
No running until sat see how it feels How are you all doing?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Evidence Favoring Shorter Stride

I have been trying to improve my speed, tough as we get older.
We are  told there are a few things to work on.

Endurance( running the longer runs at a slower pace)
Speed work

Here is an article from Runners World on shortening the stride!

Enjoy !

More Evidence Favoring Shorter Stride

RSS   |   LIKE   |   TWEET
By Amby Burfoot
A new study from Japan's Waseda University adds to the growing evidence that a slightly shorter running stride is better than a longer one. The Japanese study found that, when runners increased their stride frequency by about 18 percent, while holding their pace at a steady 10:45 per mile, they registered lower loading rates and impact forces. Conclusion: A shorter stride "may be practical in reducing the risk of developing a tibial stress fracture by decreasing lower extremity loading variables."
In March, researchers from the University of Wisconsin published a paperreporting similar results. They suggested that the shorter stride could help runners who have problems with knee pain.
Lower impact forces could also make you a more efficient, faster runner, at least in distance racing. Norwegian researchers found last year that impact forces were inversely associated with running economy at 3,000-meter race pace. That is, the harder you hit the ground--due to a bouncy stride, or to overstriding--the lower your running economy. Running economy is believed to be one of the strongest factors behind distance-racing success.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Strong Minded at Runner's World

Strong Minded at Runner's World

Monday, April 16, 2012

Good Luck at Boston!

Good morning Striders,

Tomorrow is the big day for six Striders who will be running the 116th Boston Marathon – we will be tracking them and reporting results.  The Super Six are:
Hopkinton%20Boston%20Marathon%20Start.jpgGary Cattarin - 1520,  
Danny Milton - 9398, 
Bernadette Noel - 24290
Michelle Symonds - 25823, 
Keiko Tanaka  - 21358 and
John Tanner - 9946
For Bernadette, this is her very first marathon and by the time she passes the halfway point, it will be her first half – so how’s that for taking on a big challenge???  Your friends in HCS wish you all the best - may the wind be at your back!  Drink lots of water out there!  We’re proud of you!!
Didya know that you can track the Super Six on line using AT&T athlete tracking system.  Please visit http://www.baa.org/races/boston-marathon/participant-information/att-athlete-alert.aspx.  You must sign up not later than today and you can track up to 5 athletes.  Have their bib numbers handy when you sign up.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Running update ~ 5 minutes !

5 minutes of FATE!

Hey Friends busy Mike here, Started a new job with 8 fingers on April 2nd.Here is the story:
Okay I needed to give blood on the 28th at 6pm , so you can't get a workout in after that per Red Cross guidelines.
So I got up at 5:20 and was out the door by 5:45 to tun 4 miles , I had been eating bad since I accepted the new job and gave notice at the old place. I had been there 4 years, had a lot of respect for the people there just need security and more money! Stessed, melancholy , uncertain etc...

So instead of losing weight I was gaining! OH no , I don't have bigger pants anymore. I was five minutes past my GET UP deadline but needed this run for all of the aforementioned reasons.
I should have stayed in BED...

I ran up the hill to Forest St and continued on Williams past the ballfields towards town proper
( East). There are three fields there, and the town allowed them to put guardrails against the road, no shoulder or sidewalks! It is a beautiful country road with Lake Williams and the courthouse on the left and farms and fields on the right , old country road like I said, the sun comes up over the City of Marlborough and is beautiful on these runs!
Anyways I was facing traffic going by the first field, when I see a police cruiser turn his lights on a 1/4 mile ahead to pull a car over. The Car stops and then creeps towards me. Now I am in full night gear, reflective hat, gloves , jacket; blinking armband and a six LED headlight. The car pulled into the driveway where I was trying to get out of his/her way. I have been pulled over for speeding in the past so I know people can panic. I was blinded by Police lights and went into the driveway to go around the car on the inside of the guardrail, you never know what would have happened had I stayed on the road and tried to go around them:
a) the car could have ran me over
b) the Cop could have came out with gun...

Anyways I ranb imnto this driveway, not fast at that point I'm sure and I tripped over a curb.
Not sure how I fell , I had reflective gloves on too. But when i got back up went past the two cars, the cop asked if I was okay I said yeah I guess. I wnt over the guard rail got afew steps and took my glove off, finger bent slightly and hurt like a mother. The Cop said are you okay?
I said no I broke my finger. He said do you want an ambulance I said no I need to go to work after I go to the hospital , so i walked/ jogged home and showered, dressed and did so. I did call the Police for a report, he came to the hospital , and was po'd at me, I said hey I have a badly broken finger through no fault of mine and will incur medical costs that I don't want to pay.
Hand was swelling up badly at this point.

I was there for 4 hours, a bunch of X rays, Yep broken pretty bad a base. I had Novocaine and the doctor and a nurse reset the finger. they put a long soft cast on the two finger 4th& 5th digit.
BTW my wedding ring finger was swollen pretty bad too and badly bruised, good thing I took the wedding band off before the hospital!
I had to go to an Orthopedist the next day for more X Rays and he put a metal splint on it. I had an appointment last Thursday the 5th and he was able to see more as the swelling was down a lot, he said my finger was still off 60 dgrees at the base and i would have hook finger if left alone. They scheduled surgery at 8 am the next day Friday the 6th and i had anesthesia , the whole ball of wax, missed an entire day of work
I woke up with this, tough missing a day on my first week of the new job .

Anyways 5-6 week to recover, running a little bit , but my push-ups and pull-ups will be badly setback again all because of FIVE darn minutes! Not able to complete simple tasks at home yardwork will have to wait...

Scared to run hard now twist of fate!

Keep bringing it, glad to be alive and breathing good breaths

I will!

Saturday, April 7, 2012


Hey everyone it is two finger Mike here

bummed that I can't lift weights for few more weeks I was just getting back to BIG Business too!
Way to go Paul with the pushups, I need to see how I can modify pushups or bench presses!

I had to go for Surgery to have the knuckle / finger joint "reduced"( yesterday) it was off by 60 degrees, I need to contact the insurance company of the driver who caused this!

The bills need to be a 5000 by now!
I have a report from the cop who pulled the car over so that is a start!
This old guy wAS GETTING COMPLIMENTS in the Hospital with my 48 BPM heart rate in the hospital bed!

New job is cool , love the responsibility, they don't have an office for me yet but the painters were working away on a couple of new ones . here is a pic or two!

Be good all I will RUN carefully a couple of times this week to keep in shape!

Happy Easter all

love ya Mike

Monday, March 26, 2012

Training for a marathon? Consider chi running

By Deborah Kotz Globe Staff
March 26, 2012

Training for a marathon? Consider chi running
Most novice runners who decide to train for a marathon focus on finishing the race, but they might be better off paying more attention to the process, rather than the race itself.

Most novice runners who decide to train for a marathon focus on finishing the race and garnering that finisher’s medal, but they might be better off paying more attention to the process, rather than the race itself. That’s the premise behind a new book called “Chi Marathon’’ by Danny Dreyer, a running coach, t’ai chi practitioner, and former nationally ranked ultra marathon runner.
It’s not just about running far, Dreyer told me in a recent interview, but about running well. “Most people don’t really know how to run well to begin with,’’ he said. “When they start training for a marathon, their technique gets worse not better, and this increases their chance of getting injured.’’
He believes adopting the right mindset and running form can go a long way toward reducing the likelihood of chronic foot pain, knee pain, or pulled muscles, especially when training for a grueling race such as a marathon. Dreyer, who coined the term chi running, bases his ideas on the principles of t’ai chi, a martial art that incorporates meditation and body awareness into gentle physical movements.
While this may all sound a little too new age for traditional hard-core marathoners, Dreyer’s theories make a lot of sense. Using the mind to relax the body, untense muscles, and adjust posture can help the body move more efficiently and effortlessly for mile after mile.
The first step in becoming a chi runner, Dreyer said, is to adopt the proper posture. You should run with your feet pointing forward, with a straight back, shoulders relaxed, and core muscles engaged by keeping shoulders in front of your hips.
You also want to lean slightly forward from your ankles to allow gravity to assist your forward strides - though you shouldn’t crane your neck like a turtle. Arms should be bent at 90 degrees with fingers curled and thumbs on top.
(See the inset photo for correct running form.)
Landing correctly on each stride can also help reduce the risk of injury, Dreyer said. That involves landing with your entire foot making contact with the ground rather than a heel-strike, which increases the impact on your knees, quads, and lower back.
Like with any well-ingrained habit, changing your running form can be tough, which is why Dreyer’s training schedule in the book recommends focusing on making one change at a time, such as proper spine alignment one week and leaning forward another.
“I would say people who generally have a really good relationship with their body will have no problem learning chi running,’’ Dreyer said. “It usually takes an average of one to three months of practice.’’
And chi running has a strong mental component, requiring runners to tune into their bodies - instead of their iPod playlist - to ensure that they’re not tensing their neck and shoulders, slouching or landing incorrectly. “It’s about listening to your body and learning how to make adjustments,’’ said Dreyer.
That said, chi running isn’t for everyone. “I wouldn’t tell someone who’s pain-free with their running and not getting injured to change the way they run,’’ Dreyer said.
In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
After all, researchers have yet to determine just how much body alignment when running affects a person’s risk of getting injured. While it may seem to make sense that avoiding a heel-strike will minimize wear and tear on the joints, studies haven’t confirmed this.
I’m also not certain about Dreyer’s endorsement of minimalist running shoes, which have little padding and arch support to mimic barefoot running. While these sneakers make it easier to automatically land on the full foot instead of the heel, the jury is still out over whether they protect against or increase the risk of injuries.
But I do think I would have drawn more meaning from the marathon I ran several years ago had I taken the time to mentally prepare, as Dreyer recommends. “You should really connect with why you’re doing it,’’ he said. “Do you want to raise money for a charity, join a social running group, see how far your body will take you? What do you really hope to accomplish beyond finishing the race?’’ Deborah Kotz can be reached at dkotz@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @debkotz2. Training for a marathon? Consider chi running
Globe Staff
Most novice runners who decide to train for a marathon focus on finishing the race, but they might be better off paying more attention to the process, rather than the race itself.
By Deborah Kotz

Monday, March 5, 2012

Day 28 ~ 7 Mile Run

It was time to get out and run 7 miles the 6 milers have gone well needed to up the distance.
Although I had a sore hamstring I stretched and warmed up well and off I went to

Who says there is not a lot of interesting things in or near Marlborough!

Okay points of interest:

1) Dav Lin Farm

check out the goats

2) Dav Lin Acres

Notice the canoe in the Tree!

Okay then you run up Chest hill road , Chestnut hill farm is a 131 acre forever wild property given to
Southborough by the Beals family.

Check out the cows

4) Chestnut Hill farm sign

Okay now on to Route 30 and East to Sears road, Running is going well except that Chestnut Hill and route 30 are both hills to challenge!

Sears Road, This is a ritzy section of town, here is an original marker, 27 miles to Boston!


Okay up Sears Rd past many Very expensive homes and up another steep hill ! Und
er the railroad bridge and left on Route 85.

6) Back in Marlborough

Up Maple Street/Route 85, left on South St, love the open farmland and another hill! Left on Beach street up to the ICC cemetery!

7) ICC Cemetery

Left on Clover Hill


Up CLOVER Hill and home bTW Clover Hill is about 120 feet up!

9) Clover Hill
Notice the girl running up it ahead of me!

Finished Run in about 1:15.
Average heart rate 147 , Calories 1601 NICE
Longest run in about 15 years and as you can see quite scenic too!


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Presidents week

In Celebration of Presidents weeks we are giving away, a Vi Shake sample, Nuero and a Nutracookie, Just need to sign up on the 90 day challenge,
Get your samples or your freebies!
Message me!


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Keeping the Fire of Youth

Keeping the Fire of Youth

New ideas for older runners
An ancient French book describes a foot race for older runners, and enthuses, "How good it is to see they have kept the fire of youth under the creases of age. As they run, they look like a sunny day in winter."

Nice image, a sunny day in winter--Ed Whitlock to the life. For the aging runner (and, to state the obvious, we are all aging), the issue is how to stay sunny as the winter of life advances. What kinds of running, exactly, will best keep the fire of youth burning?

I sought the answers from 20 or so runners, aged 37 to 80, of widely varied ability and fame, both genders, and from six countries; several are also coaches. I chose those who think well about their running and are still interested in running well, whether that means a sub-5:00 marathon or a sub-2:04/2:20 one. (The first runners I questioned were Haile Gebrselassie, 38, and Paula Radcliffe, 37.) All have long, continuous running experience, because I needed comparison across age groups, to understand the aging/running process. I wanted to learn how these thoughtful men and women are changing their response to the eternal challenge of running as well as you can run.

I'll summarize their responses as tidily as I can. There is consensus on many things. But dealing with aging is always a tangle of senescent cells, wisdom, denial and defiance. When you add the demands of a vigorous sport mainly associated with youth, it's a complex subject.


Do more of a warm-up, the older you are. "I need a longer warmup before hard running now, including an easy 2 miles and some fast pick-ups" (Norman, 73). "The whole body comes slowly to the point of fast running" (Ger, 59). The older body seems to need longer to catch on that it's time to work hard. You can't blast away from the gun cold as high school runners can.

In a repeats session, you feel sluggish on the first one or two, and then they get easier and faster. You feel reluctant in the first half mile of a race. So stir things up. "I include skipping and hopping in warm-ups, as older runners are inclined to get heavy-footed" (Diane, 73). "My warm-up routine often includes a 1K swim and stretches" (Bernie, 64).

Above all, be prepared. "My days of going out the door ready to take whatever life throws at me during a run are over" (Deb, 52).


There's total agreement that "peaking" is even more important as you age. If you want to race well, pick goals (say, two or three a year) and shape your whole training to be ready for them. "I do base work, then gradually gear up fitness with speed work and races to peak at the right time" (Grant, 43). "I structure training to peak for a half in March and a marathon in April/May; then similar in the fall" (Ton, 55). "It's more important than ever to plan the steps to your goal race" (Bernie, 64).

There's also wide (not quite total) agreement that if you want to race well, whatever your age, your training program needs the same elements as before (long runs, faster repeats, tempo, recovery). But Jonathan (47) nails the problem that "you must face a reduction in options. Time was if I had the chance for a good 15 miles, say, it didn't matter too much if I'd done speed work yesterday. Now it's hard even to put two strong 10-milers back to back."


The long run gets shorter. You have little choice. You can do the same workouts and mileage until your early 50s if you're lucky ("At the same perceived effort albeit at a slower pace," (Alan, 54).) After that your options are reduced, as the long run gets more demanding. "The last three years have challenged my ability to hold progressive overload. I cannot now insist on 20-plus miles every Sunday long run" (Chris, 63). "Not as long and not the intensity--the recovery took too long and interfered with the whole week's training" (Bernie, 62).

Dan (67) points to the danger that, unless you make the longer runs slower, they become too near your new (slower) race pace, and leave you flat for races. Scott (47) runs more time now, sometimes 3 hours, to log the distance he wants, but recognizes the cost/benefit problem, "given that goal No. 1 is to remain uninjured and keep running daily."

It was the ever-lurking injury issue that caused Les (59) to shift to mostly long, slow running, which has given him extra endurance (as a Team in Training coach, he's often running for 8 hours back and forth supporting his beginners through a marathon). Coach and runner Diane (73) has perhaps the best solution: "Run similar amounts of time, so shorter distances. Those who have already built a solid base need less focus on adding up the miles."


Yes. At any age interval training is the shortest cut to race preparedness. Even Ed Whitlock (80), who famously runs round and round his local cemetery, told me two years ago, "I haven't run intervals for five years." OK, but even my math can figure that means he ran intervals to age 73. "A qualified yes--the intensive work gradually gives way to greater volume" (Dan, 67). That seems the consensus--retirement-age runners have less inclination for intensive training, and it may be less essential.

Against that general trend, however, set the revival of Norman's racing by running long repeats for the first time at 70: "The long intervals--3 minutes up to 10 minutes--were really important. They taught me the physical and mental discipline of racing for 40 minutes" (Norman, 73).

Handle intervals with care. Always build a base of miles first. Be aware of the "reduction of options" (see above), which means as you get older and recovery is slower, you can't fit everything into each week. "On Tuesdays I alternate 8 x 3 minutes with a 10-mile tempo/pick-up run" (Grant, 43). So try a two-week training cycle, a brilliantly simple solution proposed by British guru Bruce Tulloh.

Shorten the intense phase. "Track and tempo sessions are still key, but now I do them for only four weeks before a big race instead of eight" (Gabby, 44). Ger, a Dutch coach, does the same. Reduce the impact/injury risk. Almost all my respondents have given up training in spikes. Paula (37) no longer races on the track. Bernie (64) often does her speed work on grass. Jo (38) does hers on a straight trail because track bends aggravated a foot injury. Norm (73) does his on a rail-trail, by time--6 x 3 minutes, say, instead of 6 x 800m, which cured his crippling anxiety about lap times. Haile (38) and Chris (63) do their speed work on a treadmill. And see "Warming Up" and "Recovery."


Yes, especially if you race marathons, but they may have to alternate with intervals. "You can do too many tempo runs as you age and run yourself right out of your aerobic base" (Chris, 63). "Don't let them turn into mini-races" (Dan, 67). "Slower now, keyed more to marathon pace, and often on grass" (Bernie, 64). "I love to run at various paces. Would you cook the same dish every day? I do more impromptu tempo runs now, especially after a miserable work day, going hard for 30 minutes or so" (Scott, 47).


The older you are, the longer it takes to recover fully from hard races. And aging bodies are cunning. If you race too often, yours will find a comfort zone, and you'll become a 75 percent racer without realizing it. As you age, you need increasingly to make your body aware in training of the difference between a 25 percent day and a 100 percent one.

Be selective. You're old enough (if you're reading this) not to have to impress the crowds every week. Learn to treat some races as building blocks in your training program, alternatives perhaps to your tempo run, starting at a casual jog, then picking it up with, say, 2 miles to go. Or fit your interval session into a race--race one mile, jog one mile, and repeat, which will give you a useful 3 x 1-mile session in the course of a local 10K. Successful racing is always a balance of hot effort and cool judgment, and you can use minor races to teach yourself that self-control.

"Targeting one key race as the aim of the whole program really gave me a focus, and put the other races into perspective. In the past all races were equal to me, but this time each had a place and a purpose, a different objective from what the watch said" (Norman, 73). "My body now has only a certain amount of races and hard training without injury. You have to pick your goals" (Bernie, 64).

If you want to stay part of the weekly racing community, volunteer! You'll be surprised how much you learn about running. A day at the races is never wasted.


This is the key. Pete Magill's revelatory "It's the Recovery, Stupid," in last October's issue, should be required reading for all masters: "Physiological adaptations can only occur with proper recovery. … You shouldn't be doing a long run on tired legs." Essential stuff.

There are two aspects to recovery. First, as you age, the familiar hard day/easy day principle will become hard/easy/easy. You need more very light, 25 percent days (not necessarily days off running completely): "I pay greater attention to recovery days. I resent them, but I'm clear about the consequences of running unrecovered" (Chris, 63). "When I was younger, my body would tell me how long it took for the impact of training to wear off. Now I have to take charge of that process" (Dan, 67).

Second, there's recovery during sessions. Experimentally coaching a 70-year-old who could handle a session of 8 x 400m, I had him recover for 3 to 5 minutes between each repeat, instead of the 1 minute I would give a 25-year-old. Between longer repeats (of, say, 3 minutes or 6 minutes), we strolled along conversationally until he felt ready, maybe after 7 or 10 minutes. No one else seems to have tried these "relaxed recovery repeats" for older runners. It worked. It enabled him to fulfill what I call the "quantity of quality"--a total of 40 minutes' race-pace training for a 40-minute race. He trained like a 25-year-old. He could do that because he got a 70-year-old's recovery time.


"Unclog the wheels of life, to increase the motion of the machine," wrote the novelist Tobias Smollett in 1771. We get stale doing the same thing. One of the greatest dangers for the experienced runner is that if you simply keep repeating the same training, your body gets too efficient at it. Improvement comes from adaptation to recurrent overstress--that's the basic principle of human skills at any age. Watch a 1-year-old learn to walk. So revise your forms of overstress and refresh your program.

"Seriously, I think I need to change something" (Alan, 54, on the eve of his 25th New York City Marathon). "After 33 years you can get stale without knowing it. So adding long reps off the track gave me a new kind of freshness" (Norm, 73). Les (59) discovered in his 50s that "slow running can be good for you, and has much improved my endurance base. Now I even do an occasional speed workout without getting injured." Jo (38) added 15-mile tempo runs with a consistent heart rate. "It's hard for a lifetime track runner to accept that a long run is equal to a hard interval session, but it's working."


My respondents loved this bit. They all do stuff. "I need physiotherapy every day now" (Haile, 38). Several advocated stretching, others waxed lyrical about massage. Five of them chilled me by enthusing about ice baths. Here's an alphabetical list of other things they variously recommended: active isolated stretching, avoiding direct sun, balance improvement, bone density scans, compression clothing, core-strength exercises, electrolyte tablets, flow-type yoga, foot pad, gym work, heart monitor, hydration packs, pool running, stationary bike, strengthening quads, swimming, t'ai chi, touching your toes, treadmill, umpteen nutritional ideas, Wharton-sanctioned strengthening.

I confess to being out of my depth. I'm with Chris (63), who tried various new technologies, and concluded, "I returned to water, food and hard work."


Is it worth it? Only a tiny minority are willing to push themselves physically and mentally in their 50s, 60s or 70s instead of retiring to the couch. What are their rewards?

Bernie annually asks herself the question. "Decide each year if your passion and enthusiasm are still strong enough to enable you to enjoy your running no matter how hard it gets with age. Then just do it!" Scott defines the motivation. "Do what you can to keep your body as close as you can to how it was when you were at your best."

Walter Bortz, M.D., gives one medical-scientific justification: "Research at USC shows that a fit person of 70 has the same oxygen-carrying capacity as an unfit person of 30." University of Pittsburgh research published last fall found that in fit older runners there's little decline in muscle mass and quality (lack of fat infiltration) between age 40 and 80. When all Peter's cardiac arteries were found to be blocked at age 68, his life was saved because his 50 years of competitive running had created a whole network of ancillary routes for the blood.

Dan reveals the underlying passion: "I asked the 26 contributors to Running in the Zone why they all continue to run in later life. In one form or other, all 26 replied, ‘Because I love it.' They didn't say winning, just running. The time may come when old age catches you. But running demands mental strength, and so does adjusting to what time will slowly do to all of us." Homage therefore to both John Kelleys, Ron Hill, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Dick Beardsley, Paula Radcliffe, and all those greats who have loved running so well that they kept competing, not too proud to be older and slower.

Norman trained for a year for a 70-plus world championship under a cruel and remorseless coach (me), only to fall sick with Lyme disease four days before the big race. He could have felt it was all a waste. Quite the reverse.

"The program was outstanding. Although of course I was slower than at 40, I was in better shape for a race than I had ever been in my whole running career. I had confidence, excitement and the knowledge that I could give it everything. I never felt like that before. I was putting in as much total effort as when I was younger, and I was training smarter and better. I really enjoyed the process. It was a whole new experience. I'm happy that I was lucky enough to have that in my 70s."

That sounds like reward. It also sounds like the "sunny day in winter" that we started out seeking. As Shakespeare put it, in another perfect motto for older runners, "Though I look old, yet am I strong and lusty."

Roger Robinson's Heroes and Sparrows: a Celebration of Running was republished in 2011. It includes the classic "Running through the mid-life crisis." Order it at www.rogerrobinson.com.

Thanks to the multinational runners and coaches who generously shared their thinking: Jonathan Beverly, Peter Coughlan, Dan Cumming, Scott Douglas, Haile Gebrselassie, Norman Goluskin, Ger Janssen, Les Heffernan, Grant McLean, Deb Meier, Gabrielle O'Rourke, Diane Palmason, Jo Pavey, Bernie Portenski, Paula Radcliffe, Brian Rhodes, Chris Risker, Jim Robinson, Alan Ruben, Ton Ruckert, Ed Whitlock.