I’m 50 years old, half of the work is done

Picture of John with traffic sign 50, being 50 years old

I want to run an ultra race of 50 kilometers, when I’m 50 years old. Well I am 50 today. So half of the work is done. The easy part. Now I only have to be able to run 50 kilometers. 

I don’t know why, but it kind of feels special to be 50 years old. I mean, it’s a serious age. For me at least. I remember when I started working at 18, I looked up to all those 30 years old people and just thought; ‘Wow, they are so grown up’. Now I’m 50. Way past 30 and I still don’t feel grown-up. 

Maybe it’s because Sara and I don’t have kids. Maybe it’s because we run our own company and don’t have to listen to a boss or have to work from 9 to 5. Maybe it’s just a feeling. 


Ultra trail at 50 years

My mother thinks my desire to run an ultra trail, is me having a midlife crisis. I don’t think so. I’ve always loved running. I ran 2 marathons. I just had to give up running, because of an ankle injury. Now, after all these years, I’m picking it up again. 

So far, my ankles respond in a good way. That makes me curious what they are capable of. What I’m capable of. That’s why I want to run the ultra. 

It’s not something new, it’s something I’ve always done. I didn’t run the Rotterdam Marathon to be fast, I ran it to know if I could do it. I love yoga, but I definitely did poses, like Pincha Mayurasana (the underarm stand) to see if I’m able to do such a hard-looking asana. 



I’ve fasted. The longest being 5 days. Not because it would help me to lose weight. Believe me, I don’t need to. I just wanted to know what the effects of a fast are. How it feels and if I can do it. 

Intermittent fasting feels good, so I still try to apply it most of my days. Yoga feels good, so I still practice it. Running feels good, so I run. 

“I am a science nerd. If I do something, I want to know everything there is about it.”

I’m a nerd. A science nerd. A bookworm. If I do something, I want to know everything there is. I’ve been studying yoga for the last 15 years. I’ve spent a lot of time looking into Western science to explain why and how yoga works. I’ve studied the body, the brain. I looked at Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese medicine. 

Now I’m running again, I do the same. I studied 80/20 training. I just finished a book by Kilian Jornet, Above the Clouds, and I’m now going to read Daniels’ Running Formula. For my birthday today, Sara gave me more books on running, to satisfy the science nerd in me. 

If I study something, I don’t want it to be just words. I want to feel it for myself. That’s why I fasted. That’s why the last couple of months I’ve been training with the 80/20 method and why I created a training schedule for Matteo, based on the same method. I’m a guinea pig. He’s my guinea pig. Sara is my guinea pig, as I have created a schedule for her as well, based on what I’ve learned so far. 


Never getting old

See, I think getting old isn’t so much a physical thing. I think it’s mostly a mental thing. As long as you have a fire burning inside of you, as long as you are chasing a dream, as long as you have a reason to get up every day, you won’t get old.

I still have lots of reasons to get up. I still have lots of dreams. I’m still this little child that runs behind a butterfly. Every day I have more ideas than I have time to do something with them. So yes, I’m 50, but I don’t feel old.

Today's training

Running with Sara, day 21
3.91 kilometers in 29 minutes and 16 seconds


John Kraijenbrink

The Running Dutchman

I run. Trails mostly. I am Dutch. That makes me The Running Dutchman.

I am also a massage therapist, yogi, sports science nerd, and journalist/writer. Everything I learn and research about trail running, I share here, on this website, with you.

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