Run For Your Life

27th March 2015

When you’re over the age of 30, training for and running marathons can deliver many benefits that are often not the case when you’re younger, says enthusiast Curt Davies. Sit back – just for now; you’ll be putting your kit and your trainers on soon – and absorb the six best things about being an older runner…

1. Gaining a healthy body and mind

Running changes you for the better. The first, and in some ways the most evident, point is that when you run marathons, you become more physically and mentally healthy. You’ve also probably heard that the key to a good race is a healthy mind, correct?

When you first begin to run marathons, you’ll find it particularly hard as you don’t have much experience. As you become more qualified and experienced as a marathon runner, you’ll notice how much easier it is to run the distance in comparison to when you just started. You’ll also begin to notice how much better you feel for doing so. Your mind will be clear, and your body will be capable of doing things you never thought were possible. Not to mention that you’ll look and feel younger the more fit and healthy you are.

2. Having more energy for important things

When you’re over 30, you begin to cherish the more important things in life you never really appreciated. This includes your siblings, family, friends, spouse, and other significant others. When you have children, it can be draining to spend a lot of time with them. They can be high-maintenance and a handful at times, but that’s the joys of being a parent (you’ll be more appreciative of this when they grow up and won’t want to spend as much time with you, trust me.). When you run and train for marathons, you begin to feel more motivated and energised for playing and spending time with those whom you consider to be important. This isn’t restricted to children, of course: it can be pets, hobbies, travelling, and whatever else you sometimes don’t have the energy to do.

3. Meeting awesome people

If there’s one thing I love about marathon running, it’s all the awesome people I get to meet. From all ages, races, sexes, heights, personalities (you get the point) it really allows you to open your mind, which helps you become a better person. Marathon running is a community event – everyone is there for one another, supporting each other from start to finish. I have known strangers helping strangers push through the race, with encouragement, both words and actions. I find that some of the most positive people are marathon runners, and we’re all in it together!

4. Being rewarded with a medal at the end

This may not seem like a big deal to many people, but to me, it is – for psychological reasons. Receiving a medal at the end of a long, exhausting marathon is a huge moment, and one you should remember for the rest of your life. The weeks of training put into the marathon are rewarded with sentimental value at the end. It’s shiny, it looks cool, and it’s proof you finished a marathon. When your friends and family are over, you can wear that medal around your neck with pride – after all, you earned it.

5. Travelling to wonderful places

No matter where you live or what your background is, when you become enthusiastic about running marathons, it opens doors to many different travelling experiences. This can get you outside your own county, even outside your own country, and allows you to experience the cultural differences of the location you’re travelling to. Through this, inevitably, you’ll meet people from all over the world who are there for the same reasons as yourself, and it’s an ideal way of making new friends with similar interests as you. And at the end of your travels, you’ll have an abundance of memories, pictures and videos to share with others for the rest of your life. Just imagine travelling from America to, say… the Buenos Aires Marathon in Argentina. What a story that would be. I can guarantee you your grandchildren would love to hear that one.

6. Benefiting from a natural antidepressant

Prescription antidepressants do carry risk. Depending on your health status, age and many other factors, you could be putting your body in potential danger. For example, if you’re over the age of 65, you’re more likely to be prone to falls, fractures and loss of bones caused by an antidepressant. Of course, you wouldn’t simply stop taking the tablets; you’d need to discuss matters with your doctor – but running is a natural, healthy antidepressant and can be done by almost anyone completely free. Running to help with depression is recommended by all renowned, credible psychologists.

If you’re over 30 running and training for marathons like never before, then I bow down to you, and congratulate you for bettering yourself and your life. It takes heroism to fight against the grain to change your life, and that needs to be acknowledged…

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