First Marathon for Veteran Runner

by Ron

I am 68 years old. I have been a runner for 33 years doing mostly 5 and 10K race with one 1/2 marathon. I usually run a 5K in 25-27 minutes and the 10K in 50-55.

I am retiring next month and for the first time in my life I will have the time to train for a marathon.

Is this reasonable and what extra precautions should I take due to my age?

marathon pacing
Answer by Dominique:

Hi Ron,
Thanks for your marathon question.

Before I continue, in order to get proper advice you really need to speak to your medical practitioner.

Other than that you are 68 and have been running ever since I was born(!) I do not know anything about you.

The marathon is a very demanding distance.

Training for it is tough as you may know. You need to do 20-milers and lots of middle-long distance runs.

At your age, it takes longer to recover from such strenuous high-mileage workouts. This may hamper you in getting the required mileage in to run a full marathon.

Finishing a marathon may still be possible though. If this is a life-long dream, I would definitely talk to your doctor to see if he agrees with you doing it.

An alternative to, what I would call, normal marathon training and running a marathon, is to consider an alternative like run/walk training and running and walking your marathon.

Jeff Galloway, famous marathoner developed his Gallowalking method and has led many people to successfully finishing a marathon. This can be a viable alternative and it would still give you that satisfaction of going that whole 26.2 miles.

I hope this helps a little bit. Enjoy a well-deserved and healthy retirement with lots of running ahead of you!


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