Return to running after 36 years

I ran from 6th grade all the way through 2 years of college. Once I left school and didn't have a team to run with any longer, I just stopped! I was a decent runner back then, 4:25 1600m, 9:40 3200m, 15:30 5K, 33:20 10K. My last real hard-core training was around age 20, although I ran a 10K here and there until I was 26 years old and my daughter was born.

Fast forward to age 56! I had found myself 65 lbs heavier than college and getting slightly out of breath at the top of a staircase. I also have some major back issues. I finally said "enough" and joined a local gym that has daily classes and a nutrition program. I was able to shed 40 of those pounds over the course of 2 years and found myself attempting to run again. I ran a couple of times in the neighborhood and ran a 5K. I had absolutely no idea I'd find myself running 26:00 for 5K. I wish I'd kept running all those years and seen the slow progression, instead of all at once! I've been running more and more since April. I'm creeping up the mileage to 20-24 miles per week. I throw in an interval workout per week. It such a slow progression. My 5Ks have gone 26:00 to 25:00 to 24:00 and then I found a nice flat course to run 22:45 :) I'm starting to come to terms with running my race for my age. I guess this is my mid-life crisis! I can't afford the sports car, so I'll continue to run!

Comments for Return to running after 36 years

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Oct 04, 2022
by: Nicole

Hi, what a great story! You definitely seem to have kept some of your fitness and speed from your younger days. If this is your midlife crisis, then it is not bad at all :).

Oct 29, 2022
Thank you Nicole.
by: Anonymous

I found another flat course today after a few hilly ones and got down to 22:03. Progress :) I've been slowly upping my milage. Still only 20-ish miles per week max.

May 22, 2023
2023 Update
by: Anonymous

Early in 2023, but I found more flat courses! I'm up to running in the 20-25 miles per week with 1 interval workout. I've been dealing with a lot of calf issues. But my last two 5Ks have shaved more time with a 21:45 and 21:15.

Keep moving!!

Mar 25, 2024
Carry on!
by: George

The opposite thing happened to me: I have been running for 36 years, since I was 19. I took it up to keep up my fitness for ice hockey. I continued to run after I stopped playing ice hockey. My peak running was in my 20s to mid-30s when I would go from 30–56 miles per week. When I hit my 50s it was a bit like hitting a wall in that I began to suffer injuries more frequently. For most of the time I have run about 5 days per week. I have cut down my distance so that I am doing between 19–25 miles per week, so I can keep doing it for as long as possible. I encourage you to keep going, you’re doing well! The important thing is that you’re back in action and have made impressive gains. Crack on.

Mar 25, 2024
Keep going George!
by: Mike

I have a friend who is older and runs in the 82% for his AG. He got stuck in a rut for a little while, but is now back, faster than ever! You'll get through it!

I'm up to 30-35 miles per week. I'm just under 21:00 in flat 5Ks. I ran my first and second half marathons this year at 1:40. I'm running with the local club and group runs on the weekends as well as volunteering and running with Special Olympic athletes. It's really been a very productive and satisfying "mid-life crisis" :)

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