An article I wrote, The Untrained Marathon, appeared in a Canadian fitness magazine in 2009. The premise of the article was that a reasonably well-conditioned recreational athlete could complete a marathon without following an intense, time-consuming marathon training program. Though my experiment was a success, an unexpected outcome was a newfound appreciation for all runners, novice and elite alike.
Knee surgeries and arthritis forced me to approach running differently than I had my entire life. Now, cycling, light weight training and soft surface running take the place of fifty-mile weeks, and enable me to continue to register for an occasional trail run. Low impact aerobic exercises, healthy training practices and moderation cultivated throughout life will increase a runner’s longevity. It’s natural to disregard such practices when you are young and invincible, but age teaches humbling lessons. Fortunately, with age also comes wisdom.