I’ll be 47 in April. So I am well into what we would call “Masters” running. So as I age, even though I am fitter than I’ve ever been, and eat healthier than ever, I must remain cognizant of the changes in my body as I train for marathons and beyond. What I did with Caleb is ask him a series of questions about the masters runner. How does one coach a masters runner? What changes should masters runners expect? And so on. Since these are lengthy, I decided to post one Q&A each day this week. I hope you enjoy. Many thanks to Caleb for doing this.
4) Yogi Berra once said “Baseball is ninety percent mental. The other half physical.” Running is just as mental a sport, as we well know. Talk about the mental advantages and/or disadvantages that masters runners bring to their running and training lives. Does chronological age necesarily equate to running maturity–the ability to take construcvie criticism well, to follow a running plan without deviation, etc?
There is definitely a distribution of “mental fitness” among masters runners just like any other age group. Some people are hard-headed and stubborn, and will bring that to training and racing. Of course, masters runners tend to be more mellow as a group in their approaches to training and racing, and are generally more pragmatic in the strategic sense. This means that they will have less of a tendency to go out too fast in a race, but it also means that they have more of a tendency to leave time on the table. In terms of training, the patience that masters runners usually have is generally a benefit. Seasoned masters runners will often have the same drive to push themselves as younger runners. Newer masters runners will often need a bit more prodding to really push beyond their comfort zone.