Sunday, 3 November 2013

Never Too Old To Run A Half Marathon

I spotted a headline in a magazine that said "never too old to run." Well, that just got me thinking about the many half marathon races that I have done. To be honest the only time I had ever considered age was when I was thinking about the times for running the actual race.

It was only when I say this that I started thinking about the different age groups that I would normally see when I am getting ready at the start line. I would estimate that the majority are probably in the 30-45 age group for the bulk of the runners. There were some younger people as well and probably most interesting for me, there were a good sized group of older people.

Can You Be Too Old To Run A Half Marathon?

If you are fit and healthy then the answer has to be no. I know that many half marathons have an age restriction but that is at the younger end of the scale. Many of those state very clearly that you have to be 17 years or older. When I checked the last set of rules for the Glasgow half race, there was certainly no restriction on the upper age.

Oldest Marathon Runner
I guess the only restriction is if you are able to cover the distance of 13 miles. That means being in decent shape and good health. In fact, the oldest man to complete a full marathon was Fauja Sikh who was an amazing 101 years old. That is the most inspirational news item that I could find and must be an encouragement for anyone considering taking on the half distance marathon. He is nick named the "Turbo Tornado" and this great-great grandfather has completed 9 marathons.

Oldest Half Marathon Runner
Ron Hill, aged 70 ran the half marathon in 1:49:59. Now he was an ex-marathon runner and in a quote he said,
That was my final half marathon, on the same course where I ram my first
I think that it is pretty clear that as long as a person is in good health, then age is certainly no barrier to running.

Tips For Older Runners

As people get older, and even those who keep in shape, will eventually start to lose what is termed "leg strength." That tells us that as well as running exercises, older people also need to include strength training as part of their plan to run the half marathon.

Some form of resistance training is usually the best kind and can easily be done in a gym or even at home. The "squat" is the ideal exercise for strength training of the legs. Here is a video of how to do this properly.