Turning the clock back

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13/05/2006 at 03:02
Karl - some great observations but a bit of a downer for me when I logged on this morning at 5 a.m. - looking for some inspiration for my last 20 miler before my marathon 6th June.
Almost felt like I should go back to bed.
Yes, my body is as weak as sh*t, couldn't even to 1 proper push up, not very flexible, but I did learn to run tall, does that count.
Yes, I'm sure if I did try all the things you advocate I certainly would look better, but I find it hard enough to motivate myself to get out the door to do a run once a day. I'm sure if I tried one of the sessions you are advocating - my running would be ditched.
I look to the results of Derek Turnbull from Invercarill NZ who holds all the World age records from the mile to the marathon set in 1992 - I'm sure he never knew about all these other things he was supposed to do. These are his times:
mile - 4.56.4 29.2.92
3000m - 9.47.4 8.2.92
5000m - 16.38.8 15.3.92
10000m - 34.42.2 15.3.92
Marathon - 2.41.57 12.4.92 London
Think he was on a bit of a roll. If you haven't seen the movie "The fastest Indian" featuring Anthony Hopkins - you show get it out. It's not about running but about a crazy old guy wanting to know how fast he could go. This old guy from Invercargill just didn't know that anything was not possible - he reminds me a bit of old Derek!
13/05/2006 at 04:14
NZ Christine - Are you running Christschurch?

I remember Derek Turnbull. I believe he was a sheep farmer and got a lot of his training done by running around his farm.

I think this gave him balance. The hard manual work complemented the running, and he was using all his muscles in different ways. A form of weight training. It did not allow him to develop fixed patterns of movement. His times are very impressive for a 65 year old.

Tom & Christins - I am a bit of an anatomy fan, and have always liked to know what goes on inside my body. I think Grey's Anatomy should be compulsory reading for all runners! Exploring these alternative therapies stems from my inquisative mind when it comes to the human body.

I think you need to find something that works for you. As Arthur Lydiard said. I can give the same training to 30 different runners and they will all react in different ways.

Seb Coe's sister was a ballet dancer and he gained some of his ideas on flexability from her. This worked for him, but might not worked for e.g. Peter Elliot.

13/05/2006 at 08:11
Karl,
I'm surprised you know Derek - I thought you were British.
Yes, you are correct about all the muscles he would have used around his farm.
Jack Foster was another, although not a farmer, did most of his running off-road, running lots of hills and jumping fences.
Just think we all come in different packages.
Bill Ballie - very stocky, a completely different style to Jeff Julian who was a great x-country and marathon man. Of Arthur's boys Barry Magee looked like the ballet dancer - beautiful style, just ran effortlessly. But I don't think Lydiard worried to much about style, he had a very good woman runner who used to kick her legs out to the side - she was also a great x-country and marathon runner - he never tried to change her style.
Yes, I'm running Christchurch. I've never run it before, only running it 'cause I missed Rotorua as I was in the Gold Coast with my family.
Arthur loved hills for strength training, thought the most important muscles were your quads.
13/05/2006 at 09:51
Christine
I am British, but I have many autobiographies:

Peter Snell - No bugles no drums
Murray Halberg - A clean pair of heels
Arthur lydiard by Garth Gilmour

I also have Running with Lydiard by Arthur & Garth Gilmour.

Thats just my NZ section. I am thinking of trying to get Richard Tayler. I know he had to give up running because of Ankylosising Spondulis (spelling dodgy!) I have seen quite a few copies for sale via search engines on the net.

I like Christchurch. When I was there a couple of years back I caught the train over Arthur's Pass. While I was in Auckland I did a couple of the Loaded Hog 5k's down by the harbour. I stayed in a motel near Green lane train station and went for runs round Cornwall park upto the Obelisk. I also ran out west to the Waitakeres and down to Bethell's beach. The hills are killers, they just go on and on and on!
13/05/2006 at 11:23
Karl,
Tell me about it!
Ran from Titirangi this morning through to Henderson Valley and up Mountain Road which then winds up to the mast and then back Scenic Drive to Titirangi.
So I am strong but slow!
I think Richard Taylor has arthritis. I think the big thing with Lydiard, once you could do his 100 miles a week, was his ability to motivate. There are very few coaches with that ability.
With the passing of Arthur some other coaches are coming through like John Bowden who coached Nina Rilstone to 2.29.46 in the Nagano Olympic Commemorative marathon. He also coaches world mountain running champion - Kate McIlroy. John Bowden was a very good x-country runner.
The Loaded Hog is a fun event isnt it!
Sounds like you tried out most of the good running spots in Auckland.
14/05/2006 at 17:16
I think this thread is starting to run out of steam. However before it disappears into that great out tray in the sky - one final point.

Something that RB raised in one of his early posts. How do older runners come to terms with not being able to run as fast as they used to.

The short answer of course is they don't. Even if you can distance yourself from the performances of your youth, you still have the problem of coming to terms with being beaten by runners who are younger than yourself (in my case that's almost everyone else). Realistically I know I'll never run as fast as I did back in the 70s, but I really hate getting beaten by younger runners whom I would have hammered in my younger days.

When I started back to running I set myself the target of reaching a standard comensurate with that of a reasonable club runner (irrespective of age). This took a lot of miles and a lot of effort but I think I just scraped it. About 15 months ago someone asked me on the forum, why it was that despite regularly running over 90 miles a week, I could barely manage sub 60 mins for 10 miles. It made me realise that even with all that effort, I could hardly aspire to the standard of a reasonably talented eighteen year old.

I know that anyone reading this will think, quite rightly, that I'm being unreasonable. There's no way in the world that a 58 year old can sensibly expect to beat a serious runner 30 years his younger. However my uncompromising approach does enable me to beat more than my fair share, which I suppose is some justification.

I've always been wary of taking refuge in the adjusted age performance approach, as I think its a slightly artificial construct. Firstly I'm not really convinced of their accuracy and secondly I think they are specifically designed to make older runners feel better about there performances - seems a bit complacent to me. Unfortunately as I get older I suspect I'll increasingly have to seek solace in them however.

Despite the above, I'm gradually becoming more resigned to being beaten by younger runners, but I vehemently hate being beaten by runners in my own age group. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often.
14/05/2006 at 20:24
Tom - I see where you're coming from. but one reminder if i may.

At least you have the benefit of having been a younger runner. This for you does have a sting in the tail, but at least you got to have the experience of running in your younger years.

I wish I had found running when I was younger, but it wasn't to be. I did not even consider it! Didn't know it existed! But if I knew then what I know now, i.e. how fantastic running is, I would have been out that door. But I did not know. So I feel grateful that at least I have found running. I can't help but look around me at people that have not found something in their lives, and not necessarily runing, but something that drives and inspires them. I would never voice it to them, but do you know, I feel sorry for them. All too often they write things off before they have given them a go and that's a real shame. At least we can say we go out there and have a go and despite everything - at the end of the day - how rewarding is that!

I think we all have our crosses to bear. And for me thats what makes running so interesting. Its way way more than just running....

14/05/2006 at 20:47
Tom,
Although you like to beat the younger guys, I think you should have a go at Vet racing at the top end of the scale - get yourself to a World Vet Games and see how you get on. I've never competed in one but my mates have. Don't right it off as too easy - there is some tough competition to be had. Either that or do some become an essential part of club team competition. I'm sure you'd get just as much satisfaction running hard in a team situation.
For me, I just don't have that same drive anymore but Scooby, even though you are over 40 - someone like you who is new to the sport who has so much enthusiasm, and if you can get on top of your injuries, anything is possible - you've got lots to look forward to.
14/05/2006 at 22:41
Scooby, great post.

Tom, I know that I will never be able to hold back the tide of young runners that continue to wash up along the beach. But I do know that "on my day" there are very, very few of my peers that can kick my a$se on the road or track and from that I draw enormous motivation.
14/05/2006 at 23:56
Soda - I think too, because you are getting your coaching qualifications you are also getting more out of your running.
Sure, it is great to get out there and have a good race but being able to help the younger ones in our sport is great too. Probably because you haven't been running forever your body and legs are able to do more of the things you are asking them to do than the rest of us can.

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