Home A column by Michael Beisty

A column by Michael Beisty

This article marks the beginning of a new series for the mature aged distance runner. My previous two series about training principles and practical philosophy have discussed many topics that relate to the competitive among us. While I have covered a range of information within these series, there have been some gaps in the examination of biological and other factors that are critical to high performance.
Margert Beardslee’s story is not all flash and glamour. Known by many ‘old hands’ as Margaret Ricardo, she commenced running as a young girl, in what I would call a Ground Zero period of women’s distance running in New South Wales (NSW). Women’s participation during the 1970s was in its infancy, a small appendage to a male dominated competitive activity.
Lifetime runners are a rare breed. I certainly was not able to manage it, the selfishness of the commitment dousing the fire of competitive desire and the level of dedication that lifetime running entails. Though a flicker remained through midlife, primed to become a raging inferno once I was ready again. I have come back to running, and I will not, cannot, let it go. This may sound melodramatic, and it is, quietly so, representing the flourish of commitment to a running life that faltered and is now renewed.
Brian Morgan is one of those endurance athletes who just kept on keeping on. His career is impressive and though some of his best performances were swamped by the rapid improvement in Australian distance running from the mid 1970s onwards, they are revered by Newcastle locals who raced during that era. Brian’s name crops up everywhere in the NSW and Australian distance racing scenes, across all disciplines: track, road, cross country, mountain running, fun runs and club association events.
OPPs are the glue that holds everything together as the mature distance runner faces the inevitable setbacks that will occur. They are the bedrock for determination, for it is all too easy to give in or give up.
Anyone of any age who engages in running should be in tune with their body and seek medical advice before embarking on any intensive activity (including changes to said activity) that may unduly extend them. This is critical should the aspiring athlete have underlying medical conditions and/or ongoing health issues requiring medication.
Explore the unique philosophy of self-care for mature distance runners in Part 5B of this insightful series. Discover valuable insights, personal experiences, and practical strategies for preventing injuries and sustaining peak performance as you age. Gain a fresh perspective on running and aging that goes beyond the usual advice, with a focus on finding your "sweet spots" and managing your running career wisely. Learn from one runner's journey and discover how to balance volume, quality, and strength for injury-free running in your later years.
Discover the keys to a long and healthy running journey as a mature distance runner. Explore the intersection of general health, longevity, and self-care, with insights on diet, exercise, and the importance of regular check-ups. Learn from the wisdom of past experts, and find practical tips to ensure your well-being, both on and off the track.
Written by Michael Beisty ‘I have to remind myself not just to stick to my side of the road and grind it out, but to go leap ditches and climb hillocks, to bushwhack, to break out of that rigid plodding that is good for the coronary arteries but not necessarily...
Written by Michael Beisty Joanne Cowan’s story is one of persistence underpinned by a love of running that has never been extinguished. Though primarily a road runner, and specialising in the marathon, Jo competed in a range of distances on the track, road and cross country. A late bloomer, Jo...