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Any 60+ road racers out there?
Old 02-05-2020, 07:26 PM   #1
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Any 60+ road racers out there?

I have been running and doing road races (5k to marathon) since my early 30s. Of course, there were times when I was more serious than others. I also had some breaks where I did no running and no races. Though I was never anything close to elite status, I did occasionally win an age group award and I did manage to qualify for Boston when I was 41. Since turning 60 in 2018, I have not run any races, and my training has been on-again, off-again. But now that I am retired, I am getting the fire to again test myself against my peers.

Any of you older folks out there in E-R-land still racing competitively? If so, I’d be curious how you answer the below questions. Seeing how other people have successfully adjusted their training regimen might help me put together my come-back training plans. I have given my answers below.

On average, how many days per week do you run? I am currently trying to shift from every other day to a two on, one off schedule…but being careful not to push too hard.

How many miles per week do you average? Am around 26-28.

Do you have a disciplined, planned training approach, or do you just wing it? I am in between. I try to include hill repeats, some interval running and tempo runs on a regular basis, but I don’t have a calendar drawn up.

What cross training do you do? I kayak occasionally and do 45 minutes of weight training every other day. Also do a fair amount of brisk walking with my wife.

How often do you race? I have done a 10K and 2 15K in the past 4 years and that is it. But plan to do more once I feel I am in decent racing shape.

How do your current race times compare with your peak running performances? My most recent races are between 1:00 and 1:15 minutes per mile slower than my best performances, which occurred in my 30s. Of course, if I were to race today they would almost certainly be slower still.

What do you think are the most important factors in your training for keeping your race times competitive? Since I am not currently competitive, I can’t answer this. I occasionally do some stride work, but haven’t run on a track in years. I probably will need to incorporate that back into my plan at some point.
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Old 02-05-2020, 09:06 PM   #2
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I'm 58, is that close enough? I've had some health issues unrelated to running, that have been keeping me from training and racing as much as I like, so I'll answer what I was doing and what I'm doing now.

I'm going to say it once rather than repeat for every answer. You really have to listen to your body. I know 3 people, including one around my age, that have run every day for the past 5-10 years. I also know people who perform well on just 3 runs a week. What works for one does not necessarily work for you. I suggest rebuilding gradually, and back off if you don't feel right. Sometimes it's just a matter of having an easier week, or it could be you've found your limit.

On average, how many days per week do you run?
I'm running 2 to 5 days as I can. I was running 5 or 6 days a week before, would like to get back to 5. At least 1, maybe 2 of those days would be a slow recovery run, which means about 2 minutes slower than my marathon pace.

How many miles per week do you average?
I'm on about 20-30. Would like to get to around 50. The last time I was really able to train hard was for a 100 miler in 2016. I averaged around 70 mpw then, and got a little over 100 one week.

Do you have a disciplined, planned training approach, or do you just wing it?
I have 2 modes. If I just want to finish a race I'm training for, I wing it. If I want to do well, such as trying to qualify for Boston, I lay out a plan. I let it be flexible to work around my life, weather, and how I'm feeling, but I try to stick closely to it. 10 years ago, when I first qualified for Boston, I read a few training books, and Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning made a lot of sense to me, so I based my plan pretty closely to that. Pfitz is challenging, and you'd better be in decent shape when you start, but each run has a purpose. The hard runs are hard, but shouldn't be so hard that you can't run the next day. The easy runs are meant to just stay loose and allow for recovery from the harder runs.

What cross training do you do?
Less than I should. In winter I ski most days. I try to do some stretching and core work most days but drift in and out of the habit. I hike a decent amount.

How often do you race?
I have 4 marathons/50Ks planned this year. Only one will be a goal race, trying to qualify for Boston 2022. I do some 5 or 10Ks as they occur, to replace speed work for a week.

How do your current race times compare with your peak running performances?
My peak was 10 years ago. My last 2 marathons were a little over an hour slower than in 2010. I have some notion that I could get back to within 10 minutes, but more likely it'll be about 25.

What do you think are the most important factors in your training for keeping your race times competitive?
I'm over 30 pounds heavier than 10 years ago, so dropping at least 15-20 pounds is the starting point. Getting back to the Pfitzinger plan would be next, as would consistently doing the core and stretching work. This is what I did in 2010 and it all came together.
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Any 60+ road racers out there?
Old 02-05-2020, 10:17 PM   #3
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Any 60+ road racers out there?

Iím 64. Running on and off for 40 years. Still run occasionally, but currently facing toe surgery, so Iím waiting to see how that goes before ramping the mileage back up. I ran my most recent races in at age 61 - a marathon and a 20 miler in 2016. Training for 5kís since with the thoughts of running a 5k or two 5k races post 65 yo. Depending on the toe outcome, and depending on how my knees feel, I may or may not run post toe surgery.
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On average, how many days per week do you run?
no more than 3
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Originally Posted by whitet View Post
How many miles per week do you average?
I peaked at 30 when I was marathon training. Now 9 when running.
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Do you have a disciplined, planned training approach, or do you just wing it?
Planned. I had a 10 month marathon plan, and the 5k plan is a 3 mile run, then 2 days off, then 3 mile run....
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What cross training do you do?
hiking, biking, weights, kayaking
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How often do you race?
once or twice a year max. Sometimes go a few years without running a race
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How do your current race times compare with your peak running performances?
last marathon was 45 minutes slower than my best.

[QUOTE=whitet;2365769 What do you think are the most important factors in your training for keeping your race times competitive? [/QUOTE]not currently competitive, but training for future 5k races will involve some sprints to get speed up.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:43 AM   #4
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66 and can't run any more. 20 feet and my knee is done! I do walk EVERY DAY 3 miles or 4 miles, depending on my loop.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:47 AM   #5
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My younger sister is 62 and regularly runs 5K to Half-Marathon events - with a bad knee. She didn't start running until her 50's.
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Old 02-06-2020, 04:58 AM   #6
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I've never been "competitive" but I still enjoy running in my 70s. My goal has always been simply to finish in the top half of my age group.

Still do the occasional half marathon, and never think about my time. I just do it because I enjoy it.

My training is simply 3-5 miles around the neighborhood, 3-4 times a week. If I'm planning on doing a half, I'll ramp the distance up for a couple of months beforehand, but nothing special.
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Old 02-06-2020, 08:24 AM   #7
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60 years old now. I've been running 5ks for about 10 years, mostly for fun and to stay motivated to keep up the running. I'm not competitive but it keeps me active and helps raise money for the charities. I plan to keep running into my 80's when I will win my age group by attrition.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:05 PM   #8
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I'm going to say it once rather than repeat for every answer. You really have to listen to your body.
Agreed! Of course distinguishing between your body's ordinary muscle and joint complaints (particularly with the added aches and pains that advancing age brings) and genuine warnings of overuse is always the tricky part.

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10 years ago, when I first qualified for Boston, I read a few training books, and Pfitzinger's Advanced Marathoning made a lot of sense to me, so I based my plan pretty closely to that.
For my marathons I followed Jack Daniel's running formula (the noted coach, not the distiller). It worked pretty well for me, though I had trouble completing some of the speed workouts as written. I often wonder if there is someone out there who has used science to develop training plans for the older runner. Will have to do some googling.

After my last marathon attempt, which failed around mile 18 due to IT band issues, I decided that I wasn't cut out for distances that long. I like 10k up to half-marathon, though at times I think it would be great to get back to Boston.

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Getting back to the Pfitzinger plan would be next, as would consistently doing the core and stretching work. This is what I did in 2010 and it all came together.
Twenty years ago I read an article that argued that stretching was at best, unnecessary and at worst potentially harmful. Since I always hated it, I decided to abandon ALL stretching once and for all. To the best of my knowledge, I have not suffered any ill effects from that decision. I guess I have been blessed with healthy joints and good genes.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:46 PM   #9
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For my marathons I followed Jack Daniel's running formula (the noted coach, not the distiller). It worked pretty well for me, though I had trouble completing some of the speed workouts as written. I often wonder if there is someone out there who has used science to develop training plans for the older runner. Will have to do some googling.
I bought 3 books when I got serious: Pfitzinger, Daniels, and Noakes. I have 23 hours of college math, and I still couldn't follow Noakes, though picking that huge book up should count as cross training. Daniels seemed fine, but when I started in on Pfitzinger, I found myself highlighting stuff and folding corners of pages down, and I knew I had the one for me. I know a lot of successful runners who follow Daniels.

If you do find something for older runners, I'd love to hear it.

Quote:
Twenty years ago I read an article that argued that stretching was at best, unnecessary and at worst potentially harmful. Since I always hated it, I decided to abandon ALL stretching once and for all. To the best of my knowledge, I have not suffered any ill effects from that decision. I guess I have been blessed with healthy joints and good genes.
Stretching is probably not the right word. I hate it too, and have generally been fine. I get a lot of aches in the hips, so I work on strengthening that area, with planks and a few other exercises like lunges and leg swings. I get calf strains once in awhile so I do toe raises on the stairs. Things like that to address problem areas.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:08 AM   #10
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I plan to keep running into my 80's when I will win my age group by attrition.
This is a great goal! To be honest, I find it very hard to envision myself still running 20 years from now. There are days when it is all I can do to run through the standard foot pain I experience during every run. I have come to the conclusion that this is just something I have to deal with now.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:18 AM   #11
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Iím 64. Running on and off for 40 years. Still run occasionally, but currently facing toe surgery, so Iím waiting to see how that goes before ramping the mileage back up.
Good luck with the surgery - saw your bunion thread. Keep us updated on the outcome. Hope you can get back to it in relatively quick order.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:29 AM   #12
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This is a great goal! To be honest, I find it very hard to envision myself still running 20 years from now. There are days when it is all I can do to run through the standard foot pain I experience during every run. I have come to the conclusion that this is just something I have to deal with now.
Do you also get some burning and numbness? Does it feel like there is a rock in your shoe? If so, it's likely Morton's Neuroma. I use orthotics with a metatarsal pad, and wider shoes like Altras and I rarely feel it anymore. Even if it's not that, perhaps more cushioned shoes like many Altra or Hoka models will help.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:00 AM   #13
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Just to provide a little encouragement to folks, it's good to realize that if you can't run (or just can't run any more), you can still be a walker.

DW has never been able to run, but when she stopped being a couch potato she developed an interest in walking. We have a good active walking club in town so she gets lots of support and encouragement. She loves walking half marathons. Later this year she will do her 50th state half marathon (51 counting DC).
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:37 AM   #14
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Very true. Walking is probably more sustainable. Personally I'm more motivated by running, but if you don't have that call, then walk, swim, bike, play pickleball or tennis, and so on.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:59 AM   #15
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Just to provide a little encouragement to folks, it's good to realize that if you can't run (or just can't run any more), you can still be a walker.

DW has never been able to run, but when she stopped being a couch potato she developed an interest in walking. We have a good active walking club in town so she gets lots of support and encouragement. She loves walking half marathons. Later this year she will do her 50th state half marathon (51 counting DC).
Yes, the day is coming for me, and I worry about what will happen to my weight when it does. Running is the only way I have ever successfully kept my waist in check.

Congrats to Mrs B! Covering 13 miles on foot is a huge accomplishment, and 50+ times, no less!
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:41 AM   #16
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Do you also get some burning and numbness? Does it feel like there is a rock in your shoe? If so, it's likely Morton's Neuroma. I use orthotics with a metatarsal pad, and wider shoes like Altras and I rarely feel it anymore. Even if it's not that, perhaps more cushioned shoes like many Altra or Hoka models will help.
Very interesting that you mention neuroma. Back in my high-mileage days, I saw an orthopedist who was also a runner for pain near the base of my 'index' toe. Naturally he counseled rest. With over 2k miles invested in an upcoming race, the kind of rest he recommended was not really something I was going to consider. He agreed to one cortisone shot and that got me through the race.

When the pain returned, I started seeing a chiropractor who specialized in sports injuries. He administered some kind of deep tissue massage that was supposed to break up scar tissue. It was absolute torture to endure. After 5 or 6 sessions I gave it up, because it didn't really seem to be helping. From there I went the self-diagnosis route and after much googling decided that I had Morton's Neuroma. I took nearly a year off from running, and it finally went away.

My pain now is spread across all the toe joints on both feet, so I think it is probably arthritis. Nor do I have that knob at the base of my toe. But I do have to use extra-wide shoes, so may have to look into those brands you mentioned. They are not familiar to me.
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:48 AM   #17
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I was originally a competitive swimmer but now I like to mix it up and do triathlons. I am not what I would consider a competitive athlete anymore, I do it to stay fit and it’s fun.
On average, how many days per week do you run? I run about 6 days a week depends on the weather and how I feel.

How many miles per week do you average? About 25.

Do you have a disciplined, planned training approach, or do you just wing it? I just try to keep a pace … faster on a shorter run such as a 5k slower on distances greater.

What cross training do you do? I bike(2 or 3 times a week), swim(2-3 times a week but not now due to pool shut down) and lift(3 times a week) or a regular basis.

How often do you race? Just a couple of times a year. I’ve done at least one 70.3 mile triathlon every other year for the past 6 years. I am planning on doing another in a year or so.

How do your current race times compare with your peak running performances? I don’t really care too much what my times are my goal is to stay reasonably competitive and stay in good physical condition.

What do you think are the most important factors in your training for keeping your race times competitive? I have found now that I am older I need to be very careful not to push as hard as I used to so I will avoid injury. I had really bad tendonitis a few years back and it put me out of commission for about a year.
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Old 04-25-2020, 05:58 AM   #18
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Currently walking 3-4 miles 5x weekly. Not really comfortable running long distances anymore.
Hoping to get back to playing competitive pickleball 6x weekly.
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