Six Bits Of Advice From The Guy Who Once Weighed 21st Then Ran 27 Marathons In Two Years

5 Things Aging Runners Need To Do In Your 50s, 60s, and Beyond

Six Bits Of Advice From The Guy Who Once Weighed 21st Then Ran 27 Marathons In Two Years

By Andy Jones-Wilkins
CTS Ultrarunning Coach

When I turned 50 I felt an old man, just that. While I know “age is just a number” there was something about the Big 5-0 that felt a bit different. Put bluntly, it felt to me that after 50 I was on the downhill side of life.

So, after being depressed about this realization for a little bit, I began noodling around with thoughts of what in my life gives me pleasure and how I can takes those things and find ways to maintain or enhance them in this stage of life. And, of course, running was close to the top of my list.

It is certainly one of the most pleasurable parts of my daily existence and so, as both a runner and a running coach, I began to reflect on what things are most important to the aging runner. And, in the process, I came up with five key tips to keep running happily into old age.

Here they are:

Start Runs Slowly

At my age, gone are the days when I could just roll bed every morning, jump into my running clothes, and bust out out sub-7 minute miles right off my doorstep.

Now, I spend the first creaky 10 minutes or so of every run making sure everything still works, getting blood streaming out to the extremities, and cranking up the heart rate to a somewhat sustainable level.

As such, it’s important to not stress about the laborious nature of those first few miles, but rather to embrace them as part of the process and allow them to be a gateway into something better during the second part of the run.

Take More Easy Days

Many younger runners have, over the years, practiced the hard/easy training pattern on a weekly and monthly basis. And for much of my running life, I did the same. However, with age I have gravitated toward a hard/easy/easy cycle.

Simply put, it seems the extra easy day between hard efforts allows the hard efforts to actually be hard rather than just another attempt at a slog when I really should be going easy.

Having quality hard efforts also builds confidence, so even though I have fewer of them these days I find I get more bang for my buck them.

Build Up Over Months, Not Weeks

Though we are getting older, many of us still have long term goals, whether they are big summer 100-mile races, an elusive loop we’ve always wanted to complete, or simply coming to the starting line of the local 50K as fit as possible.

In my experience the older athlete needs more time to build to a peak than a younger one. A fitness level that may have taken 8 weeks to achieve in our 30’s may now take 16-20 weeks to achieve. I to think I’ve traded in my old sports car for a large diesel truck.

It simply takes longer to crank up the old engine than it used to.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Your Younger Self

It’s inevitable. At some point, you’ll realize you can’t run a sub-20 minute 5K anymore. In fact, it may be a struggle to run a sub-30.

And guess what, that’s just fine! Rather than being demoralized by the phenomenon of slowing down with age, either live in the moment and be content with the runner you are now, or flip that comparison on its head and be proud of your experience and all the things you know now that you didn’t know then.

Revel in the Fact You’re Still Running

As we come to grip with the fact we are slowing down physically, we must remember we are not slowing down cognitively. As such, it’s important to put our brains to good use and continue to train the mind.

One simple way to do this is to remain positive, optimistic and hopeful; not just about running, but about life.

And the best way to do that is to give ourselves a daily reminder that it is a gift we can still run at all and running is a gift that should be nurtured, savored, and celebrated.

And there you have it, five tips to keep running into the Golden Years. Hopefully, you can use these tips to help stay motivated and fresh even as Father Time marches on.


Six Bits Of Advice From The Guy Who Once Weighed 21st Then Ran 27 Marathons In Two Years

Six Bits Of Advice From The Guy Who Once Weighed 21st Then Ran 27 Marathons In Two Years

Over the past two years, Andrew Geldard, 34, has run 27 marathons. That’s a remarkable feat for anyone to achieve but it’s all the more impressive in this case because before he took on this epic challenge, Geldard once weighed 21st 2lb (134kg). As well as completing those two dozen-plus races, he’s also lost over five stone (32kg).

When you encounter that level of commitment to running it’s always smart to pick up any tips you can, so we spoke to Geldard in the build-up to his first London Marathon, which he’s running for Cancer Research UK. The first thing we learned is to start your running kick on a sunny day.

“It was a nice hot day and the sun was shining through the window and I thought, why am I inside?” says Geldard. “I went for a long walk and over time that turned into running.”

Clearly, not everyone will go on from there to tackle 27 marathons, but everyone can learn from Geldard’s early approach to running.

“Patience is the most important thing,” says Geldard. “Little and often to start off with.”

“There’s no point thinking ‘I’m going to run 13 miles’. Try to hold back to start off with. Do maybe a mile or two.”

Running with other people can also be a big motivator, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a parkrun event nearby.

“Parkrun started up in the area and I started going there as well,” says Geldard, who has now completed over 100 parkruns. “Then I joined a running club and it spiralled from there.”

RECOMMENDED: The Best Parkruns In London

As you can tell from Geldard’s incredible marathon tally, he quickly turned to bigger events in addition to his weekly parkrun. The challenge of having a target to work towards is a great way to sustain a running kick.

“My first marathon was meant to be 4hr 30min,” says Geldard. “I got 4hr 32min and I wasn’t happy. Now I’ve broken the 4hr 30min mark and I’m aiming for four hours. That’s what’s driving me – the fact I didn’t do so well. I want to be better.”

RECOMMENDED: UK Marathons – When and How to Secure a Place

In the course of his marathons Geldard also spotted someone wearing a “100 marathons” T-shirt, a target he’s now aiming for himself. London is an important part of that, and it’s also an event Geldard has wanted to do since he was young.

“You can’t do 100 marathons without doing London. It’s definitely the one to do. Ever since I was about 14, in the back of my mind I’ve always wanted to do it.”

Geldard will be running the London Marathon for Cancer Research UK, a cause close to his heart and another important motivation.

“My mum passed away from cancer. We had a lot of time together and I think that without Cancer Research we wouldn't have had that time. I don’t know if they’re ever going find a cure but they are giving people time and that’s just as important really.”

Slimming World has also played a big part in helping Geldard lose weight since he joined . Never underestimate the motivational power of a certificate, says Geldard. “Working towards each stage – bronze, silver and gold – you get a certificate. It doesn’t matter how old you are – a certificate’s always nice, isn’t it?”

Slimming World’s marathon team is running for Cancer Research UK at the Virgin Money London Marathon this April. To support the Slimming World marathon team and help beat cancer sooner, visit To find your nearest Slimming World group visit


Bill C-60 (Historical)

Six Bits Of Advice From The Guy Who Once Weighed 21st Then Ran 27 Marathons In Two Years

Part 1 implements certain income tax measures proposed in the March 21, 2013 budget. Most notably, it

(a) allows certain adoption-related expenses incurred before a child’s adoption file is opened to be eligible for the Adoption Expense Tax Credit;

(b) introduces an additional credit for first-time claimants of the Charitable Donations Tax Credit;

(c) makes expenses for the use of safety deposit boxes non-deductible;

(d) adjusts the Dividend Tax Credit and gross-up factor applicable in respect of dividends other than eligible dividends;

(e) allows collection action for 50% of taxes, interest and penalties in dispute in respect of a tax shelter that involves a charitable donation;

(f) extends, for one year, the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for flow-through share investors;

(g) extends, for two years, the temporary accelerated capital cost allowance for eligible manufacturing and processing machinery and equipment;

(h) clarifies that the income tax reserve for future services is not available in respect of reclamation obligations;

(i) phases out the additional deduction available to credit unions over five years;

(j) amends rules regarding the judicial authorization process for imposing a requirement on a third party to provide information or documents related to an unnamed person or persons; and

(k) repeals the rules relating to international banking centres.

Part 1 also implements other income tax measures and tax-related measures. Most notably, it

(a) amends rules relating to caseload management of the Tax Court of Canada;

(b) streamlines the process for approving tax relief for Canadian Forces members and police officers;

(c) addresses a technical issue in relation to the temporary measure that allows certain family members to open a Registered Disability Savings Plan for an adult individual who might not be able to enter into a contract; and

(d) simplifies the determination of the Canadian-source income of non-resident pilots employed by Canadian airlines.

Part 2 implements certain goods and services tax and harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) measures proposed in the March 21, 2013 budget by

(a) reducing the compliance burden for employers under the GST/HST pension plan rules;

(b) providing the Minister of National Revenue the authority to withhold GST/HST refunds claimed by a business where the business has failed to provide certain GST/HST registration information;

(c) expanding the GST/HST exemption for publicly funded homemaker services to include personal care services provided to individuals who require such assistance at home;

(d) clarifying that reports, examinations and other services that are supplied for a non-health-care-related purpose do not qualify for the GST/HST exemption for basic health care services; and

(e) ending the current GST/HST point-of-sale relief for the Governor General.

Part 2 also amends the Excise Tax Act and Excise Act, 2001 to modify the rules regarding the judicial authorization process for imposing a requirement on a third party to provide information or documents related to an unnamed person or persons.

In addition, Part 2 amends the Excise Act, 2001 to ensure that the excise duty rate applicable to manufactured tobacco other than cigarettes and tobacco sticks is consistent with that applicable to other tobacco products.

Part 3 implements various measures, including by enacting and amending several Acts.

Division 1 of Part 3 amends the Customs Tariff to extend for ten years, until December 31, 2024, provisions relating to Canada’s preferential tariff treatments for developing and least-developed countries.

Also, Division 1 reduces the rate of duty under tariff treatments in respect of a number of items relating to baby clothing and certain sports and athletic equipment imported into Canada on or after April 1, 2013.

Division 2 of Part 3 amends the Trust and Loan Companies Act, the Bank Act, the Insurance Companies Act and the Cooperative Credit Associations Act to remove some residency requirements to provide flexibility for financial institutions to efficiently structure the committees of their boards of directors.

Division 3 of Part 3 amends the Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act to renew the equalization and territorial formula financing programs until March 31, 2019 and to implement total transfer protection for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. That Act is also amended to clarify the time of calculation of the growth rate of the Canada Health Transfer for each fiscal year beginning after March 31, 2017.

Division 4 of Part 3 authorizes payments to be made the Consolidated Revenue Fund to certain entities or for certain purposes.

Division 5 of Part 3 amends the Canadian Securities Regulation Regime Transition Office Act to remove the statutory dissolution date of the Canadian Securities Regulation Regime Transition Office and to provide authority for the Governor in Council, on the Minister of Finance’s recommendation, to set another date for the dissolution of that Office.

Division 6 of Part 3 amends the Investment Canada Act to clarify how proposed investments in Canada by foreign state-owned enterprises and WTO investors will be assessed and to allow for the extension, when necessary, of timelines associated with national security reviews.

Division 7 of Part 3 amends the Canada Pension Plan to ensure that the Canada Revenue Agency can accurately identify, calculate and refund overpayments made to the Canada Pension Plan and the Quebec Pension Plan in a particular year by contributors who live outside Quebec.

Division 8 of Part 3 amends the Pension Act and the War Veterans Allowance Act to ensure that veterans’ disability benefits are no longer deducted when calculating war veterans allowance.

Division 9 of Part 3 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to authorize the revocation of temporary foreign worker permits, the revocation and suspension of opinions provided by the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development with respect to an application for a work permit and the refusal to process requests for such opinions. It authorizes fees to be paid for rights and privileges conferred by means of a work permit and exempts, from the application of the User Fees Act, those fees as well as fees for the provision of services in relation to the processing of applications for a temporary resident visa, work permit, study permit or extension of an authorization to remain in Canada as a temporary resident or in relation to requests for an opinion with respect to an application for a work permit.

It also provides that decisions made by the Refugee Protection Division under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act in respect of claims for refugee protection that were referred to that Division during a specified period are not subject to appeal to the Refugee Appeal Division if they take effect after a certain date.

Division 10 of Part 3 amends the Citizenship Act to expand the Governor in Council’s authority to make regulations respecting fees for services provided in the administration of that Act and cases in which those fees may be waived. It also exempts, from the application of the User Fees Act, fees for services provided in the administration of the Citizenship Act.

Division 11 of Part 3 amends the Nuclear Safety and Control Act to authorize the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to spend for its purposes the revenue it receives from the fees it charges for licences.

Division 12 of Part 3 enacts the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act, sets out the powers, duties and functions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister for International Trade and the Minister for International Development and provides for the amalgamation of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Canadian International Development Agency.

Division 13 of Part 3 authorizes the taking of measures with respect to the reorganization and divestiture of all or any part of Ridley Terminals Inc.

Division 14 of Part 3 amends the National Capital Act and the Department of Canadian Heritage Act to transfer certain powers, duties and functions to the Minister of Canadian Heritage from the National Capital Commission.

It also makes consequential amendments to the National Holocaust Monument Act to change the Minister responsible for the construction of the monument to the Minister of Canadian Heritage from the Minister responsible for the National Capital Act.

Division 15 of Part 3 amends the Salaries Act to add ministerial positions for regional development responsibilities for northern Canada, and northern and southern Ontario.

It also amends the Salaries Act to replace a reference to the Solicitor General of Canada with a reference to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

It also makes an amendment to the Parliament of Canada Act to provide that the maximum number of Parliamentary Secretaries who may be appointed is equal to the number of ministers for whom salaries are provided in the Salaries Act.

Division 16 of Part 3 amends the Department of Public Works and Government Services Act to remove the requirement for the Minister of Public Works and Government Services to obtain a request from a government, body or person in Canada or elsewhere in order for the Minister to do certain things for or on their behalf. It also amends that Act to specify that the Governor in Council’s approval relating to those things may be given on a general or a specific basis.

Division 17 of Part 3 amends the Financial Administration Act to give the Governor in Council the authority to direct a Crown corporation to have its negotiating mandate approved by the Treasury Board for the purpose of the Crown corporation entering into a collective agreement with a bargaining agent.

It also gives the Treasury Board the authority to require that an employee under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Treasury Board observe the collective bargaining between the Crown corporation and the bargaining agent.

It requires that a Crown corporation that is directed to have its negotiating mandate approved obtain the Treasury Board’s approval before entering into a collective agreement.

It also gives the Governor in Council the authority to direct a Crown corporation to obtain the Treasury Board’s approval before the Crown corporation fixes the terms and conditions of employment of certain of its non-unionized employees. Finally, it makes consequential amendments to other Acts.

Division 18 of Part 3 amends the Keeping Canada’s Economy and Jobs Growing Act to provide for increases to the sums that may be paid the Consolidated Revenue Fund for municipal, regional and First Nations infrastructure through the Gas Tax Fund. It also provides that the sums may be paid on the requisition of the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

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