Bernd Heinrich On Aging As A Runner


I’ve never met the naturalist and ultrarunning champion Bernd Heinrich but he’s kind of a hero of mine. I’m glad the 81-year-old is doing well after a recent car accident and as usual, I found a lot of wisdom in this interview he recently did with Amby Burfoot for Outside.

“Well, it’s clear that slowing down with age is not just speculation, it’s a biological reality,” explains Heinrich. “I’m sure there are ways to minimize it, just as there are ways to accelerate it. I think it’s largely a matter of use versus abuse, and where the tipping points are. For me it’s best to regularly engage in some sort of consistent running. For the greatest benefit, I need different distances, speeds, terrain, and scenery. I like to go by feel. Does it feel good? Then fine. Or does it feel killing? Then be careful, because maybe it is.”