performing better as we age

Newport Liberty Half Marathon

The only thing we can do as runners is perform to the level that we are training at.  As we get older, chances are, we will have to work just that much harder to keep up with our younger selves.  It’s a harsh reality, but one that we must face.  But just because we get older, doesn’t mean we have to slow down, it’s just more likely that we will.  There are lots of ways to overcome that feeling of being “let down” by slower race times, so let’s have a look at how we can feel good even though we’re slowing down.

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newport half marathon start
newport half marathon start

Sheila @ Newport Liberty Half Marathon

Sheila ran the Liberty Half Marathon in both 2014 (1:43:00; 7:51 pace) and 2015 (1:41:22; 7:44 pace).  And while she doesn’t like seeing 1:40s for a half marathon, we all understand that a 90 second improvement from the previous year is something to be very proud of!  



5 signs of progress you can take from your next race

  1. Take any sign of progress (namely a 90 second improvement) and use that as stepping stones for bigger and better PR’s.  Regardless of how small, cherish the fact that you’re running faster than you did in previous years.
  2. Race more often: Experience trumps most when you know how to race.  Perfect your racing strategies in lower key races, so when the big race comes, you’re prepared for anything. 

    Sheila at the finish
    Sheila at the finish
  3. Pace yourself: Sheila ran a super smart first 9 miles – averaging between 7:25 and 7:30s per mile.  This helped her maintain her efforts for the last 4 miles – even if she knew she was going to slow down.
  4. Know your “life limitations” as Sheila has.  She can’t fit in 15 mile long runs like she used to be able to.  Her life has gotten more intricate and she squeezes in what she can.  We make the most of it and as the saying goes, “it is what it is!”
  5. Celebrate your age group placing.  Sheila finished 3rd in a very competitive age bracket in a very large race.  Finishing this high up is a testament to the work she does put in, even if it’s not what she’s used to.

When you race courses more than once, do you compare yourself to year’s past?  How do you tell yourself it’s ok if you run slower?
More half marathon reads: When a PR is just a PR, 13 questions about Coach Marc, Every road and every run brings something new

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