"You don't stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running." -- Bob Cooper
Have you heard this common phrase: "I can't do this..because I'm xx age"? Some of the strongest people I train with with have 15-20 years on me. They are strong runners, cyclists and swimmers. Why? They have consistent discipline in their actions and they refuse to give in to the notion that we must be less mobile as we age.
I read an article in the November 2012 issue of Runner's World which showcased a devoted runner - Amby Burfoot - who has been running for 55 plus years. He recently ran the Five-Mile Manchester (Connecticut) Road Race for the 50th year in a row. He has run it in many conditions, including during blizzards, cold rain, sunshine...and one thing remains: he has finished the event every year. He says "We learn little from hitting one finish line; we absorb much more from a lifetime journey." Burfoot gives a lot of good running advice in his article, stating that the best way to avoid injuries is to prevent them from getting worse. If it aches, stop running for a while. His advice is simple, but effective. I mean, he has been running for over half a century! :)
He also speaks of the power of cycling - how easy it is on your joints- on your non running training days. Also, he mentions swimming as a very beneficial cross training exercise. I end with this piece of advice from Burfoot's article:
"Some say running is a selfish activity, and I am no doubt partial proof of that. But I also believe running is additive, not subtractive. It increases our energy and our potential for good deeds; it doesn't diminish."