5 Things That Can Keep You Going Strong
September 12, 2019
I'm always amazed to see not only category listings for 70 year olds, 80 year olds and 90 year olds in some of these local running races, but actual finishers, too! While I'm not quite up to those category levels yet, one day I hope to be. And I'm sure I can learn something from these "old timers" to help get me there.
I've been running since I was 12 years old. I have over 4o years of miles under my belt, but I like to think I'm still going because of "youth". My body has held up pretty well, but my 50 year old body is starting to talk sense to my 2o year old mindset. I'm slowing down and feeling the aches, but I always assumed that would be the course.
I certainly know a few things about running, but I don't know what it's like to be 90 and running, so I took a look at some of the philosophies that keep these senior citizens motivated and on the road. Here are 5 things that I learned that can keep you going strong.
Discipline involves the ability to do our mind-numbing, monotonous workouts day in and day out. Of course, after we do these workouts, we feel great and look forward to do them again, until the witching hour arises. This is where discipline kicks in and kicks our butts to get going. This is a common trait of the successful 70+ athlete.
Didn't your mother always tell you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day? A healthy breakfast is a key element in living a long and healthful life. Having a plan for what you’re going to eat— and knowing how you’re going to properly fuel — can help make sure you make good choices when you eat pre and post run and not get tempted to stop for some fast food on your way back. A multi-grain cereal with some fruit and nuts is a great start (but after your morning run).
Peace of Mind
Finding something that brings peace of mind helps hold you to your routine. Whether it's religion or meditation or a combination, finding that peaceful place helps us maintain our regimen. As we get older, we also realize that holding onto anger really doesn't get us anywhere. Sure, we don't have to forgive and forget everything in our lives. In fact, maybe a little resentment helps keep us on guard. Taylor Swift follows this philosophy. But true anger is like drinking poison in hopes the other person gets sick. The only person hurting is you and that does not lead to a healthy life.
Healthy competition is a great motivator. It helps us set goals and goals require a regimen in order to reach them. And while we may not always attain our goals, we can certainly get inspiration to keep trying. Besides, if you stick around long enough, your race category competition will get smaller and smaller and maybe you'll have some hardware to bring home to show off your feats (only you have to know your true time).
Listen to Your Body
Pushing past your physical limits can spell disaster, leaving you injured and off the track in more ways than one. That’s why it’s important to let how you feel guide your workouts, especially as you get older.
Sometimes, you'll wake up feeling great and get a good workout in. Other times, it’s not so smooth. On those days when the bod
y isn't feeling it, do less. You should know by now, there's always tomorrow.
It’s important to acknowledge your body’s changes as you do get older. For example, running longer distances is probably going to take longer to do and recover from than before, so you won't be able to do that every day. But getting consumed by that would only distract from your goal which is being able to run well and run long for as many years as you can. On those days, where you have to do less, use that extra time to further appreciate your health, family and friends.