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Keep running until you're 101

Marketwatch.com—February 1, 2013

Most marathon runners peak in their 30s—but then there’s Fauja Singh. Singh, an Indian-born British citizen, began running marathons in 2003, when he was well beyond his 90th birthday. He’s run eight of the races so far, and while his finishing times have ranged from 6 to 8 hours, he’s often been the fastest in his age group, earning the nickname the “Turbaned Tornado” from the sports media. Singh has now announced he will retire from marathoning after competing in the Hong Kong marathon on Feb. 24–at the age of 101.

Singh says retirement won’t mean he stops running completely. He told the Times of India newspaper that he will continue to run for four hours a day. “Running is my life. I will keep running to inspire the masses,” he said.

Acting on Singh’s inspiration isn’t always easy for a mature runner, of course. While all runners are prone to injuries of the knees, back and hips, we’re more vulnerable to these issues as we get older. “The number of people running tends to decrease with age due to wear and tear on the body,” says Dr. Robert Marx, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

So what’s an aging runner to do to prolong his ability to pound the pavement?  We spoke to experts who gave us the following tips:

Cross training: Cross training can help reduce the risk of injury by building up muscle throughout your body, says Marx.  “You can run, but also try to mix in swimming, stationary bike, the elliptical, other types of cardio—and definitely do strength training,” he adds.

This story originally appeared at marketwatch.com.


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