Learning From Longevity: an interview with Dick (Running and Weight Loss)

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I know I’ve been a little obsessed with Dick in my last few posts. I’ve teased you with Dick but not actually given you any real substance. So here it is: an interview with Dick, a man almost 70 years old who has been running for 50 years.

(Dick will list his favorite books on running and strength training at the end of this blog).

DS: Welcome to my Blog Dick.

Dick: Thanks for having me Diane.

DS: First off, how did it all start?

Dick: Back when I was nineteen, my baseball coach in #Texas told me I needed to run a mile before breakfast every morning to be a better #baseball player. Since then, running has evolved like so many other things. It turned into 2 miles on the track, then in the late 60’s and early 70’s during the running boom it turned into racing 10K’s.

DS: You’ve been running for 50 years, why do you run?

Dick: I get asked that question a lot and I ask that question a lot. I hear good answers: lose, weight, get in shape, feel good, etc. But there is only one correct answers, it’s “Because I enjoy it, it’s fun”.

DS: How do you avoid getting bored, and breaking down?

Dick: I always tell people the same thing: Never run the same distance, in the same place, at the same pace two days in a row. Change it up. This keeps you from getting bored AND hitting a plateau in your fitness.

Choose beautiful places to run, that helps too.

I used to run every day, but now that I’m 69, I run about 4 days a week. The other days I am in the gym. I am huge believer in weights and resistance training. All of my exercises involve my core (The core involves all muscles that attach to your hips, pelvis and lower back). Everything we do in life requires a strong core- running, lifting, bending, even sex.

DS: Thanks for mentioning sex Dick. If you were losing any of my readers, they are back now. I should mention that you have run 31 marathons since October 2001 (before that you had only run 3). What is a typical week for Dick?

Dick: Monday: 7-10 miles with 5-miles of intervals (my intervals are from repeat 400’s through repeat 1.2 miles)
Tuesday: 5-6 easy miles
Thursday: Hills 8-10 miles with a 5 mile tempo run in the middle
Saturday: Long run- Hills- 15-23 miles

DS: People always ask me if I’m scared running on these remote and narrow roads here in Kentucky. What about you, do you worry about getting hit by a car?

Dick: No, and here is why: 1) I don’t listen to music or wear a headset while I run. I can hear a car at least a mile away. 2) I wear bright clothing. 3) I run low-traffic roads. 4) I get off the road if necessary. Run smart.

DS: What is your advice for dealing with the highs and lows in temperature when running?

Dick: Dress appropriately, know your route, and prepare with water. Wear good high-tech clothing in layers that you can take off as needed. Know your roads, know the houses you can go to for help, the barns you can dive into if there is lightning. Plant water bottles along your route before your run if it’s really hot. Freeze them the night before if you need to. You can even drop some dry clothing mid-way in your run if you think you will be sweating a lot. I change right on the side of the road (see limited traffic roads above).

DS: A lot of people out there run to stay trim or get trim. Do you have any advice on losing weight?

Dick: Many people want to lose weight and think that if they run/jog that’s all they have to do. NOT so simple. My thoughts are:
First, don’t be concerned about “weight”. To me, body shape is much more important. How do you get on appealing body shape? Two ways: Diet and Exercise

Diet: Stay away from fad diets. Use basic common sense.
a) No fried foods
b) cut out/reduce simple carbs like sugar; candy, cereals, ice cream, etc.
c) EAT BROWN: brown rice, brown (whole wheat) pasta, brown (whole grain) breads
d) limit processed foods
e) very, very, limited fast foods
f) very, very limited soft drinks (see b above)
g) eat lots of fiber
h) eat beans
i) eat lots of fruits and vegetables

All of this must be in moderation. Limit your calorie intake.

DS: Now for some random questions. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you while running?

Dick: Once on a run at 5:30pm, about 50 yards from a main highway I ran up on a couple screwing in a pick-up truck. Boy were they surprised.

DS: What’s the craziest thing that has ever happened?

Dick: One early morning, when it was completely black out, no moon, I ran head to head into another runner! I was so surprised, I thought I was the only one crazy enough to run at that time on my road. We both suffered black eyes, but other than that we were fine.

DS: What is the longest running stretch you’ve ever had?

Dick: Back in the 70’s I went 34 months without missing a day of running at least one mile.

DS: I know you have a list of books that you swear by. Let’s list them for people who want to still be running at age 70?

Dick:

Books on weight management: The Okinawa Program by Willcox, Willcox and Suzki
Dr. Bob Arnot’s Revolutionary Weight Control Program by Dr. Bob Arnot

Training: Power Training by Robert dos Remedios (A must read for weight training
The New Rules For Lifting for Abs by Lou Schuler and Alwyn Cosgrove

Running article: The Life of A Runner by Amby Burfoot in Runners World

#Running #training #weightloss #fitness #marathon #racing

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7 thoughts on “Learning From Longevity: an interview with Dick (Running and Weight Loss)

  1. Diane, a friend of mine, Dr. Timothy Tays, was a great distance runner for Kansas University. He has just written a book titled “Wannabe Distance God” which will be out in a few weeks. I’ve had the pleasure of pre-reading his book and I found his writing excellent, full of tenacity and life. Tim is just new to twitter and getting followers, figuring how best to promote his book to all, but, particularly, among runners. He has known and has competed with some of the best distance runners of our time (e.g., Jim Ryun) – very likely, one will write a cover comment or perhaps a ‘forward’ to his book.

    In any event, just wanted you to know about Tim. He is a clinical psychologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, and a really great guy. If you would have any ideas for him, I’m sure he would be most appreciative. His twitter address is @timothytays. (Only when your time allows.)

    Don’t mean to impose on your time but, because of your love of running, thought I would mention Tim and his book effort.

    Stay away from Dolan! 🙂 (Still one of the great author interviews of 2012!)

  2. Pingback: Learning From Longevity: an interview with Dick (Running and Weight Loss) « runningawaywithme

  3. Wow! What a fantastic and inspirational runner! Thanks for the Twitter follow so I could come across this post! I especially like Dick’s tip about running different course and different speeds to avoid boredom, he was speaking right to me today! 🙂

    • Dick is pretty amazing, I’m honored to be his friend and have the opportunity to learn from him. I hope to bring more tips from him and experiences from other runners I know too. We can all learn from each other.

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