The fun of being an old runner

I’m old. Maybe not for a human being, but for a runner. I mean, I (re)started running at the age of 48. But it’s fun being an old runner.

I’m old. Maybe not for a human being, but for a runner I am. Especially for a newbie runner. I mean, I (re)started running at the age of 48. Sara started at the age of 43. But it’s fun being an old runner.

Okay, I might not finish among the top 10 percent of a race anymore, but I don’t care. To be honest, there is not such a big difference between finishing as number 31 or number 263 at a local race with 300 participants. In both cases you’re far away from the win.

Having said that, when I ran the Tulpenloop in Switerbant last year, I did finish in second place on the 10 kilometers. Not that I would have been able to win it. I was just the fastest slow runner there. The number one was far, far in front of me.

RELATED: How slow (or fast) am I as a runner?


Fast versus far

I could focus on my age category, but to be honest, I can’t be bothered. Speed doesn’t interest me. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested in breaking personal records (p.r.), just not those on the short distances. In this case I mean with short the 5, 10 and 15 kilometers and the half marathon. Let’s say the distances I ran in my first running life.

All these short distances mostly have to do with speed. I’ve never been fast. Now I’m 50 years old I will only get slower. But there is more to achieve than running faster. What about running further? Last February I ran, for the first time ever, further than a marathon; 44,5 kilometers at the Ommerland Trail. Last month I broke that p.r. by running 53,2 kilometers at Endurance Life Sussex.

RELATED: I am no good at any distance


New personal record

At that ultra in Sussex I also set another personal record: 1.611 meters of altitude. I never climbed that much during a race. My old race record was 793 meters, which was also this year, at the Houffa Trail in January. Although at the end of February I already broke by climbing 1.118 meters in Spa, but that was during a training run.

As for Sara, all is new for her. Today we did a Fartlek training to find a good pace for her to run during her first Lactate Threshold Test. One of the intervals we ran 1 kilometer in 6 minutes. That’s her fastest kilometer ever.

RELATED: She is so much fun since she is a runner


Sara is a newbie

Sara only started running in October last year. Her personal record on the 5 kilometers is 32 minutes and 12 seconds. Her fastest time on the 10 kilometers is 1 hour, 6 minutes and 16 seconds. I am sure she can break that. The longest distance she has run is 12,59 kilometers. She can break that as well.

So yes, we’re old runners, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get better at running anymore or that we can’t break personal records anymore or that we can’t have fun running anymore. It just means we have to choose different goals. That’s all. So, let’s keep on running.

Today's training

Yin Yoga for Runners
1 hour

Fartlek Run, with Sara 
5,01 kilometers in 33 minutes and 4 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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