Masters Division Running – Gracefully Transitioning to a New Normal

Masters Division Running

Masters Division running should be approached with excitement as it provides an opportunity to restart your running career or find new and unique running challenges. Too often it is simply considered a reflection of age, with many runners considering it the end of being competitive or the slow decline out of running altogether. Instead of giving into the stigmas associated with aging as a runner, embrace being a Master and make each footfall count, as you focus less on age and more on the “Mastery of Running”.

Resetting Personal Records… While Remembering Running Lessons Learned

Joining other runners as a Master does not require you to forget your past running experiences and personal records, but rather take this as an opportunity to remove the pressure these PRs and expectations have created. This is not to state that you can’t compete (if you are a competitive runner) or you won’t win an overall race, but that entering Masters Division is an important time to evaluate where you are, and where you want to go as a runner.

Getting a Fresh Start

Resetting your personal records is exactly that, a reset, not a forget everything you have achieved. Try writing down your pre-masters PRs and even converse with other runners regarding your previous records and expectations. This removes the pressure to compete against your greatest adversary… the younger you. This goes for all running levels, from non-competitive to elite runners. By separating the pre and post-Masters records, you can set new goals and get a fresh start on running versus attempting to reach goals that may bring about injury and frustration.

During this process, also evaluate if the distances you are running are suitable for your body. It may be a time to embrace shorter distances, such as 5K and 10K, versus a full Marathon, given the toll Marathon training has on the body.

Use Your Experience

As you transition into a fresh mindset of obtaining new goals, it is critical to acknowledge your previous experiences and let these help craft the future Masters runner you want to become. This includes knowing what routines have worked for you in training and on race day, especially stretching (where you should be dynamically stretching before any workout or race).

Write down some of your favorite and worst running experiences, and if possible, document previous races and running experiences in a scrapbook. This will literally allow you to turn the page into a new chapter of running… but do so without fear that this is the final chapter, as runners have run well into their 90s, and Masters Division can be one of the most competitive divisions to race in!

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I have been a lifelong fitness student and enthusiast ever since winning the gold at conference in the 100 butterfly and 200 IM back in my “glory days.” I am also a writer and the marketing wizard here at My Top Fitness. I have an ever-growing list of interests, including swimming, running, golf, bowling, speedcubing, speed running (old Nintendo games), locksport, cooking, chess, tournament poker, fishing, hiking, camping, and sleight of hand, just to name a few. On some platforms, you can find me as the self-appointed “Jack of all Hobbies” I am a proud husband and father of 2 children, a.k.a. gremlins, and I am super excited to help as many people as possible on their individual fitness journeys.