Tuesday, February 2, 2016

My plan for running

During the past week, I haven't run in order to let the stress on my left knee reduce and the knee heal. I don't consider this stress a serious injury, because the knee improved in three or four days. However, I've been thinking about my future running, and here is my plan for that.

1. I'm going to be more diligent in stretching before or after I run/walk. I ran for 40 years with no injuries, because I stretched regularly and my body adjusted to the running. In recent months, I haven't stretched much, although I was stretching (but not enough) when my left knee reacted to the stress.

2. I'm going to start with a distance of half a mile and increase my distance every week or so by about 10%. This will, I hope, allow my body to adjust to the running and become stronger. When I was younger, my body adjusted more quickly, but now that I'm older, my body needs more  time for adjustment.

3. I've been using a run/walk ratio of 60 seconds walking and 40 seconds running (actually more of a jog). That ratio seems good for my body, and I plan on keeping it.

4. I've been running/walking 2 to 3 times per week, and I plan on keeping that.

Time will tell if this plan works for me. The key to running without injuries is to keep the stress level below that which can be handled by ones body. Keeping the stress level low implies keeping the distance and pace below that which would cause injuries, and keeping increases in distance or pace to 10% or less. Also involved is recognition that ones body needs at least 48 hours of reduced stress between bouts of increased stress, thus the limit of running and walking to 2 to 3 times per week.


  1. Allen,
    I admit I had to look twice to make sure my eyes were not lying me. I absolutely admire your attitude towards the sport, your mental toughness and 42 years of running.
    Even though I love running, there are days when I just don't feel like it. I need a good bit of motivation to drag myself out and start running. I am embarrassed to admit it, but sometimes I even make excuses. BULLSHIT. After reading your plan, I felt like a whiny kid.
    Thank you for giving me another reason to keep running!

  2. Hi Nancy, there are times that I don't feel like running, and I usually don't go. My goal is to run or walk three times per week, but you'll notice that there are weeks when I run or walk less than three times. My enjoyment of running is the main motivation to go out. I don't listen to music and just enjoy being outside.My wife usually walks with me along the Jordan River in Utah, but she is faster than I am. We enjoy going out together and talking about the birds and animals we saw while we were out, even though we were separated from each other.

  3. Just a further comment, Nancy. When I was younger I ran five times per week. I didn't notice much difference in my body until I was in my 70s. The past five or six years have really made me feel old, and I now do mostly walking. I did a lot of walking when I was young, but I started running when I was 38 because my feet hurt (thanks to my driving everywhere I went instead of walking). I ran four marathons while living in Massachusetts. I was also a Scoutmaster during that time, and my running kept me in great shape for the scout hikes.

  4. Even though you feel you are doing much less than you used to, it is actually much more than most young people.
    I have occasional problems with my knees too (chondromalacia). I had to start running to keep the pain at bay.
    I think the key to being active is making it a habit exactly as you did. I still struggle with this

  5. When I read the domain "oldmanrunning", I said it's a fancy name, but when I saw your pics I got amazed at what I saw. You're very inspiring, sir. Keep it up.

  6. Thanks for your nice comment! I'm sure that my running has extended my life. I go in for a skin-cancer check every 3 to 6 months, and I see people younger than me using canes, walkers, and wheel chairs. I'm just glad to be alive and as mobile as I am!

  7. Nancy, I have a lot of nice memories of being younger and running faster and longer. But, I do what my body tells me I can do.