Reader Rebecca writes:
I am 64 years old and started running at 58 yrs. I look forward to your newsletter and often share your ideas and comments with my other runner friends. My running girl friends are a bit younger and come in a different shapes and sizes and speed.
I celebrate the fact that we are out there running for health, exercise and FUN. Some of us feel like we don’t count because we are not in front of the pack to speak. There tends to be some running snobs in our town!! Our lives are not all about pace, personal bests, etc.
However, I would like to qualify for Boston. I have done many half marathons and 5 full ones. I am a 5 hour marathoner. Last year, I ran my best half marathon, 2:07 at the Road2Hope in Hamilton.
I turn 65 in December. Well, just to say I qualified for Boston………………
Here is some of what I am up to: I run 5 days a week, my long run on Sunday with speed work on Friday or Saturday. In addition, I do one spin class weekly, core/weights with a trainer twice a week and yoga once.
What is the best way to improve so that I can qualify for Boston without killing myself? Is it necessary to train every day? I am planning to register for the Road2Hope Marathon (November 7th).
Look forward to hearing from you and reading your articles.
You have a great attitude about your running. Please mention to your friends who feel that they don’t count because they are not at the front of the pack that in running, everyone defines success in their own terms. Success differs for every runner. For some runners, success is getting out there and running regularly. For others, it’s completing a distance or finishing the distance in a certain time. For most, it’s not about comparing yourself to others’ performance. Every runner defines their personal podium to which they aspire to ascend.
The Boston qualifying time for a 65 year old woman is 4:45 (actually its 4:45:59). Your qualifying time is based upon your age on the date of the Boston Marathon that you are running. Therefore, running a 4:45:59 in Hamilton this November will qualify you for the 2011 Boston Marathon.
If you can run a 2:07 half-marathon, you can run a 4:30 (yes, 4:30) marathon, provided you follow a solid, personalized training program designed by an experienced coach and train wisely. Training 7 days a week would be very ill-advised and would quickly lead to overtraining and injury.
It’s been shown that many runners can run their personal best on just three days a week of running and two days of cross-training. Running Your Best on Three Days a Week? Your marathon training program should consist of running 3 days per week, with 1-2 days of cross training and strengthening exercises on 2 days.
Rearrange your workout schedule so that running days are interspersed with cross-training and rest days. Spin class, weight/core and yoga are all good activities for your non-running days and will supplement your running. On Sundays, alternate long runs every second week with race pace runs.
Make sure that you allow for adequate rest between tough workouts. Although rest is important at any age, our bodies need more time to repair and adapt to an increased training load as we age.
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