The Ultra-Marathon Runners Are 35+ Years Old
There are many reasons why some people decide to start running marathons. Some may have been inspired by other activities such as cycling or swimming. Others might be motivated by their own health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease etc.
Still others run because they want to see how far they can go without rest.
For me, it was all those reasons. I wanted to see if I could do something that had never been done before: run a full marathon (26.2 miles) in under four hours!
My first attempt ended with my legs giving out due to exhaustion after only two and a half hours of running. So much for starting out strong!
I knew that I would need to improve my performance if I were going to make another attempt at this goal. However, I didn’t have any ideas what to try next. I thought about doing a shorter race or even just a 5K but neither seemed very challenging.
Then one day while reading an article on the Internet about ultra running, I came across an interview with someone who ran a 26.2 mile ultramarathon in 2008! That sounded really impressive so I decided to contact him for advice.
The first thing he told me was that as I got older, I should really think carefully about whether this goal was still something I wanted to pursue. He said most people his age (he was in his 60’s) were into activities that involved less running and more relaxation; such as golf or shuffleboard. He also said the time to train for a race like the one I was interested in was at least three years!
Now, I knew setting the goal of running a marathon in under four hours was ambitious, but I didn’t think it would take that long to do it!
On top of that, at my age why couldn’t I still be doing something like running ultramarathons instead of playing shuffleboard?
Age is just a number and it doesn’t mean you have to stop doing things you enjoy.
I thanked him for the advice but told him I would still like to try running an ultramarathon. He wished me luck and said that if I was going to do it, I should start training right away. So that is what I am going to do.
Hopefully in three years I’ll be ready to give this another shot! And this time, I won’t stop until I finish!
You may also be interested in: Can You Train For A Marathon?
You can find more about over at our home page.
Sources & references used in this article:
Age-related changes in 100-km ultra-marathon running performance by B Knechtle, CA Rüst, T Rosemann, R Lepers – Age, 2012 – Springer
Sex differences in 24-hour ultra-marathon performance-A retrospective data analysis from 1977 to 2012 by L Peter, CA Rust, B Knechtle, T Rosemann, R Lepers – Clinics, 2014 – SciELO Brasil
Physiology and pathophysiology in ultra-marathon running by B Knechtle, PT Nikolaidis – Frontiers in physiology, 2018 – frontiersin.org
Does muscle mass affect running times in male long-distance master runners? by B Knechtle, CA Rüst, P Knechtle… – Asian Journal of Sports …, 2012 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Do non-elite older runners slow down more than younger runners in a 100 km ultra-marathon? by CA Rüst, T Rosemann, MA Zingg… – … Science, Medicine and …, 2015 – Springer