Staying fit and active is an important part of aging! We love to hear inspiring stories from those who stay moving
CareLink recently had the opportunity to chat with two amazing athletes
and ultra-marathon runners, Lou Peyton and Pete Ireland. The two have been
running for nearly half a century and have much to say about the sport. Take a look at these inspiring interviews and the runners’ advice for other seniors who want to stay active and healthy.
Q. How long have you been a runner?
Lou: I stated running in 1968 when my son was six weeks old.
Pete: I began running in 1965. Mostly short distances – rarely more
than two or three miles at a time. Back then, I ran almost every day.
Q. What is your typical training week like?
Lou: I meet with a loose-knit running group on three times a week. I
try to cover eight miles. If I am tired I might walk the second half. I am not
too hard on myself.
Pete: With age, my typical training week has changed significantly. In
the last five years, I have slowed things down. Probably 90% of what I do now
is walk or hike. I normally walk at least two miles four days a week. Once or
twice a week I try to do something longer.
Q. How have you avoided injuries over the years?
Lou: I have been very lucky to have had very few injuries. I stop
running if anything hurts with every step. I do something else like swim, bike
Pete: I have been fortunate to have very few injuries, probably at
least in part because of relatively low mileage and very little emphasis on
speed. Doing most of my longer runs off pavement in recent years seems to have
helped. The variations in terrain mean the feet do not necessarily strike the
ground the same way with every step. That reduces the risk of repetitive motion
Q. What has been your greatest achievement (athletic or otherwise)?
Lou: I would have to say running the 1985 Boston Marathon with my
husband. It took me eight years to get to Boston and it was worth every step!
Pete: Finishing eleven 100-mile races starting at the age of 55 would
rank up there. Finishing first in my age group in my final 50-mile race at age
Q. What do you attribute your longevity in the sport of ultramarathon
Lou: Rest, recovery, cross training, and giving my body a break from
training – mentally and physically.
Pete: Moderation is key. I have rarely exceeded 25 miles a week unless
training for a 100 miler. Even then, it would only be for a few weeks or
Q. What advice do you have for other seniors who want to stay active
Lou: Just get out and do it. Whatever your choice of exercise might be –
walking, Zumba, aerobics – find an activity that makes you feel good and go do
Pete: Don’t let what you can’t do keep you from doing what you can do.
Keep at it and it becomes a habit. I have occasional days where it is a
struggle to get myself out the door, but when I’m finished my run or walk, I’m
always happy I did it.
CareLink offers a variety of exercise and nutrition classes at senior
centers across central Arkansas. To find out more, click here.