In mileage, that is, and still run a respectable marathon. Running expert Jeff Galloway, in an effort to devise training schedules that everyday runners could handle, came up with a 30 mile a week schedule. But Austin’s Dr. Fred Taylor took it even lower.
Taylor, who studies tectonic shifts and changes in global climate at the University of Texas’ Institute for Geophysics at the Pickle Research Campus, is a pretty busy guy. He does like to run though, and a few weeks ago, he posted a 4:03 at the Boston Marathon.
Taylor, 61 has running about 30 years, but it took him a while to get around to the marathon. Like many runners, he started off getting in his runs around Lady Bird Lake- that was back in the early 80s. And like many, his first real race was the Statesman Capitol 10,000.
“I didn’t run a marathon until I was 58,” he said. I ran Austin. It turned out to be completely doable. I ran a 4:10, and wasn’t really that tired. I wasn’t pushing that hard.”
Remarkably, Taylor only trains about 15-20 miles a week—far less than the typical marathoner. But that may be the secret of his longevity. He’s certainly not concerned about boosting it.
“I’d been training with the Austin Fit group,” he said. “You’re supposed to get in some mileage during the week, but for the most part, I’d just showed up for the weekend long run. I’ve never been injured, so it seems to be working,” he said.
In 2009, he ran the Austin Marathon in 3:59:03, which turned out to be meet the qualifying time for Boston- the only marathon (aside from the Olympic trials) that requires a time to be met. “I didn’t realize I had qualified at first, but I looked it up on the Internet and found out I did.”
While some people stop running because of knee problems, Taylor started running to relieve a knee problem. “My knee used to get off track occasionally, and I’d have to pop it back. I actually took up running to help condition it. After I started running, I’ve never had a problem with it.
“For me, running is a real stress buster. It has amazing affects on your psyche. I’m just glad to be able to still do it. A lot of people get injured—maybe they try too hard, or run marathons too soon. I ran for years before I did a half-marathon. And I went for another 17 years before I ran a marathon."