Over the Christmas period I’ve acquired four books related to running – the first of them is “Running Past 50”. Can we keep running and become “ageless athletes”?
“Running Past 50” is by American Richard Benyo, editor of “Marathon & Beyond” magazine. It was published in 1998 and I believe it is out of print but available as a Kindle download from Amazon. Mine is a second-hand copy which I purchased after searching Amazon for books aimed at older runners. This book is unusual in that it is not aimed at beginners at all but rather at people who’ve been running for years: people who may feel they are past their prime and are no longer as inspired by running as they once were. The author’s aim is to help seasoned runners re-examine their running and find new meaning and motivation by adjusting their training and goals.
“The beauty of running is that a sport so simple…is so versatile. We have the power to customise our running to our changing lifestyle…”
Given that this book was published more than 15 years ago I was concerned that it might focus on the male runner. When I opened it I was pleased to find that many of the photos are of women and the case studies include Helen Klein and Ruth Anderson, both exceptional ultra distance runners. So far I have only dipped into the text, reading the case studies and a few other pages. I am not the target audience for this book as I only started running in 2011 and still feel that my best performances may lie ahead, however I hope to come back to it for ideas and motivation over my next decade of running (if I can keep going that long). It is full of practical advice on training for the older runner and ways to refresh your approach to running.
I love the fact that this book was part of a series entitled “Ageless Athletes”. Running has made me feel younger as I’ve got fitter and faster since turning fifty and if we can sometimes outrun younger athletes perhaps we really are “ageless”.