9 Keys to Stay­ing in the Race

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight Health & Fitness -

Jonathan Bev­erly, Velo­press (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $18.95 (240pp), 978-1-937715-69-4

As an ag­ing run­ner whose love for the sport is un­abated, Jonathan Bev­erly be­came cu­ri­ous about other run­ners who, like him­self, have come to re­al­ize that even though their per­sonal bests will never again be what they were back in the day, are able to say, “To­day is the one day we’ve got, and we’ll seize it with more pas­sion than a teenager.”

When he was a nerdy thir­teen-year-old, too small for foot­ball, and lack­ing the co­or­di­na­tion for base­ball or bas­ket­ball, Bev­erly went out for cross coun­try. Now in his 50s, the Run­ning Times editor still runs, putting him­self in league with other life­long run­ners who, no mat­ter the sea­son, put on their run­ning shoes and chal­lenge them­selves to get fit­ter and faster, even if that doesn’t mean the same thing it did in their youth. Many of them still com­pete.

One thing that dif­fer­en­ti­ates those who sus­tained their fire and abil­ity to run through the decades from those who quit is their abil­ity to man­age their ex­pec­ta­tions, he says. Namely, be con­sis­tent, lis­ten to your body, train wisely, self-iden­tify as a run­ner, value im­prove­ment over glory, and feel joy in your sense of fit­ness, speed, and power re­gard­less of the ac­tual pace you run.

Bev­erly’s in­ter­views with ag­ing run­ners, from av­er­age folks who run for the love of it to for­mer Olympic ath­letes, touch upon what it is that keeps them run­ning de­spite the ef­fects of time, in­juries, life­style changes, and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to fam­ily and ca­reer. The re­sult is a book that’s as much about life as about run­ning.

Life­time com­peti­tors ac­cept that to­day, though not per­fect, may be “as good as it gets,” writes Bev­erly. “And it is enough.”

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