When is it too late to start running? And when are you too old to run?
From what I have seen, the answer is never. I am overtaken at races and events by the mature runners more often than the “young and spritely” looking ones, which inspires me to be better because as I get older, I want to improve, gain experience and leave all the younger ones eating MY dust! Anyone who saying they are “too old to run” in my opinion is using it as an excuse because they don’t want too or are afraid to start.
When my dad started running at the age of 56, he was faced with quite a few “aren’t you too old to start now” and although age can definitely make you more prone to injury (something he found out very quickly when he decided to dive right in – as he does) it is a great way to stay in shape as you get older and he has made great strides towards his health (and more importantly to him) his timings!
Now he absolutely loves it! (he acts like he doesn’t but anyone who is willing to get up at 7am to go to Parkrun* on a saturday morning defintely loves it) we’ve done events together and I’m trying to convince him to do a half marathon this year (he’s not buying it yet) but this is all at 57 now and he has only just started!
*if you don’t know what Parkrun is you should check out my previous post on 6 Things You’ll Learn at Parkrun*
There is a stigma to starting exercise programes when you are older and I have no idea why? Obviously check with your doctor first to make sure you are in tip top shape but other than that exercise keeps you young, healthy and definitely keeps me from going insane! I don’t want to slow down or stop as I get older just because a number tells me I “should” and it definitely shouldn’t stop you from starting altogether!
Someone who I really hope to aspire to be when I get older is Sue from Sizzling Towards 60. As an avid runner, she is taking life and owning it in my opinion and I wanted to get her take on age relating to running since she started later in life!
A Bit about Sue & her running background.
I’m Sue from Brisbane Australia, wife, mother and grandmother and I’m Sizzling Towards 60. I’m riding the wave of midlife with positivity, fun and laughter. I love keeping fit and active and part of that is running. I run with a group of friends and we call ourselves the Saturday Sisters. We meet each week for a run and a chat. It is a great way to keep motivated, enjoy our friendship and keep healthy at the same time.
We usually enter a few fun runs each year so we have a goal to work towards. Otherwise we might skip our run and just head for a coffee LOL 🙂
What age did you start running?
I started running about 8 years ago just before I turned 50. I was working with some younger girls and they encouraged me to enter a fun run with them. When I started I couldn’t even run from one light pole to the next but I kept at it and eventually could run 10km.
I had caught the running bug and then ran my first half marathon a month before I turned 50.
What has been your greatest running achievement?
My greatest achievement was running a full marathon 42,2kms two weeks before I turned 55. I trained hard and had a very supportive husband because something like this takes commitment. I followed a training program and my husband made sure I ate well to keep up my stamina.
I was ecstatic to cross the finish line and achieve my goal of running the whole way and in exactly the time I wanted to, right down to the minute!
I can’t describe the feeling of elation at achieving this goal. You can read more about my marathon journey here How Running a Marathon Taught Me Anything is Possible
Has age ever restricted your running? If so, how?
No, I don’t believe my age has restricted me. Obviously, I will never be as fast as someone half my age but I just keep competing against myself, no one else and I try to keep improving.
As you get older do you feel like you should/want to stop running?
Not at all. When I ran the marathon I was running part of the way with a gentleman in his 70s who was encouraging me! Age is just a number and if you are healthy and fit there is no reason why you should stop running – IF YOU ENJOY IT!
Like anything else if you don’t enjoy something then move on to something you do enjoy otherwise you won’t stick at it.
What would you say to older people who say they are “too old to run”?
Well I don’t think you are ever too old. As I said if you are fit and healthy with no injuries you can work your way up to running. My husband is 67 and he is now sprinting as fast as me in his P.T. sessions and he has only started doing that about 6 months ago.
You are never too old to try!
Anything Else You Would Like To Add?
I never thought of myself as athletic and would not have even contemplated running especially in my midlife. However, running the marathon made me realise I can do anything, if I want it badly enough and I am committed. That goes for anyone with a dream or goal – just go for it! What do you have to lose?
P.S. I love getting the medal at the end of a run LOL 🙂
How Sue can help you too!
Sue has started a new hashtag #couchpotatotofabfit where she’s encouraging everyone to get healthy together in 2016. She would love you to join so i’ll leave the link here so she can motivate and inspire you the way she does me! 🙂
Where can you follow up with Sue?
So as you can see, you really are “never too old to run!” and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!
Are you a runner? did you start late? let me know in the comments section!