How One Runner Is Still Breaking Records at 99

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Think you're too old to exercise? Orville Rogers will singlehandedly turn that excuse on its head. As he approaches his 99th birthday next month, Rogers is a proud holder of several world records in track events, and is poised to break more as he continues running into his next century.
 
Rogers became a runner relatively late in life. He was in his 50s when he picked up a copy of Kenneth Cooper's "Aerobics." First published in 1968, the best-selling book touted aerobic exercise—particularly jogging and swimming—as the most effective way to condition the body and ward off illness. Until then, Rogers' physical activity had been limited to occasional games of handball or racquetball, but the day after finishing the book, he laced up his sneakers and set off for his first slow mile.
 
He's never looked back.
 
Over the next four decades, Rogers completed countless races, including five marathons, and has more than 42,000 miles under his belt. When he turned 90, he started noticing the records set in running competitions for his age group and realized he could beat them, so he started competing. Rogers currently holds the world record for the 800-meter, the mile and the 3,000-meter, and the national record for the 200-meter and the 60-meter.
 
Most recently, in March of 2016 at the USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Rogers won all five of the events he competed in, and also set a new world record for the 1,500-meter distance.
 
Today, Rogers' regular routine is to run three times a week, along with two to three 45-minute strength training sessions. He doesn't do much on his days off, allowing his body to recover for the next session.
 
Nutrition also plays a key role in his success. "On a typical day, I eat a lot veggies and fruit, and more chicken and fish than beef or pork," he says. "I eat a substantial breakfast, a light lunch and a light dinner."
 

Orville's 3 Tips for Injury-Free Running

  1. Always stretch before each run (and during, if necessary). It can be tempting to skip the stretches to save time, but they're important for proper muscle recovery and increased range of motion, especially for older adults. At a minimum, squeeze in these six essential runners' stretches.
  2. Never increase length and intensity at the same time. If you're extending the distance of your runs, keep the speed the same. Conversely, if you're pushing your pace, stick to your regular distance.
  3. Follow the 10 percent rule. Rogers has kept injury at bay by never exceeding the length or the intensity of his runs by more than 10 percent each week.
What does Rogers say to those who think they're too old to exercise? In a word, "Nonsense." In 2013, Rogers shared some of the secrets of his success with Runner’s World, including his perseverance. "It’s never too late to start, as long as you don’t have a physical problem that would prevent you from running,” Rogers says. "It’s always a good idea to get a physical examination before you begin exercise, but I’ve read studies that senior citizens can gain strength and muscle mass even past the age of 90. That’s very encouraging for me."
 
Although Rogers credits his running for helping to extend his longevity, he's more motivated by how it has enhanced his quality of life. "Every scientific study shows that if you exercise, you live longer, but that’s the icing on the cake," he says.

"Your health is the incentive. The enjoyment comes after that.”
 
Orville has recently completed a memoir, "The Running Man," which will be published by Clovercroft Publishing on February 1, 2017.

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Comments

MNCYCLIST 9/10/2018
Very inspiring! Report
LISALU910 8/25/2018
I LOVE this story! As someone who is running again in my 50s (after a few years hiatus) I had my doubts about how long I'd be able to keep it up. I love to run, and am inspired to see that I could possibly be doing it the rest of my life. This is a great story, and I'm thrilled to see an example of someone running in their 90s - it gives me hope! Report
KHALIA2 4/16/2018
CONGRATULATIONS! You deserve it! Report
MIYAMO 2/18/2018
What an inspiration. Report
ALABAMASUSAN17 2/6/2018
You are a beautiful and inspiring Miracle! Report
MUSTANGMOM6 1/26/2018
Great article Report
LESSOFMOORE 1/21/2018
Inspirational! Report
HONEYSPOILSME 1/8/2018
GREAT Attitude and Outlook. Thanks for the inspiration! Report
TCANNO 12/31/2017
It is nice to know that it can still be done Report
DIROB57 12/4/2017
Now THAT is inspiring! What a great example of how getting older doesn't mean we have to sit on the sidelines! Way to go!! Report
DEE107 11/29/2017
way to go Report
USMAWIFE 11/28/2017
great inspiration Report
WBERRY57 11/23/2017
Wow! What an inspiration you are. I've just turned 60 and love exercising. Great to see someone almost 40 years older than me still going strong! Report
KHALIA2 11/6/2017
WOW! And I thought I was too old at 74 to run. Report
NOLAHORSERIDER 10/31/2017
Wow.. What an inspiration! Congratulations!!!! Report
Thanks for the inspiration! Report
At times we all get to the blahs. This man's story inspires me to just keep going. Report
You are never too old Report
He's such an inspiration! Amazing! Report
He is such an inspiration!!! Report
Awsome Report
In less than 25 years I'll hit Mr. Roger's mark of 90. His endurance is motivation enough for me to ' get up and move more '. Report
awesome Report
I love his tips for injury free running. So many people who "can't run" or "tried it and got hurt" didn't realize how important those tips are. They try to go too far, too fast or too soon. One recent change is the recommendations is not to stretch before getting warmed up when muscles and tendons are cold or if you do, it should be very gentle. So warmup, stretch, run, cool down, stretch. The extra time it takes is worth it. Report
What an inspiration Mr. Rogers is! I like walking, but he makes me want to be a runner. Report
Way to go!!! Report
I agree, very motivating. Way to go Mr. Rogers! Report
That is awesome and inspirational!
Report
I saw on OPRAH many yrs ago, while she was the "regular" channels an older lady. I forget exactly how much older, I want to say she was 85 up. She was totally muscular!! BUILT !!! She hadn't started this until she was in her 70s !! She was not at all healthy when she started, but at that time of the show,,,, she put most teens/20s yr olds who are in excellent shape to SHAME !! That's when I decided I'd NEVER stop moving.

I am 58 and can still lift my foot (feet one LOL at a time) up to my chin. I am working at getting my split back !! I have like many others a number of health issues but this will NOT stop me.

Orville is an AMAZING man because he has NOT stopped living,, and I DO NOT WISH to either !!

Dream of anything you want (it's free,, its inside of us so we can do this ALL we wish) and than find out how to get there,, small steps at a time. WE CAN DO IT !!! Report
I love, Love, LOVE seeing these kinds of stories! Truly inspirational. Our society, unfortunately, does not often recognize what older people can do!! Report
SPARKYFLOWER
What a wonderful roll model you are. Your Great. Report
Love it! I just read about an 80 year old runway model and I love these older role models of physical health. Report
What an inspiration!!! I am a Runner and hope to keep Running like Mr. Rogers. Report
this young man has truly inspired me!! He is young in his spirit, mind and body. He encouraged me to continue my work outs that I started last year Report
Thank you, Orville, for giving each of us hope that we can do better than what we could imagine. I will be turning 71 in December, and I never would think some of these things are possible for me, but after reading your blog, I've changed my mind. Report
Way to go Orville!!! Thats my motto "Keep on movin on" Report
Very inspiring! I will refer to this often. Report
Mr. Orville what an inspiration you are. You are proof positive that age is just a number and that if we take care of our temple, it will reward is in kind. Keep running Mr. Rogers and BTW I would have NEVER guessed your age as 99 (LOL) Report
I'm glad he seems happy, but don't want to be him at all. Report
SHERITEMPLETON3
Very inspiring, will keep up my doing for self. I WILL MAKE IT FOR ME. I love me now. Lol long story Report
Look up Ed Whitlock. Sub 3 marathon at 70+ years old. Report
What an inspiration to keep moving! Report
My father always said "People say I wouldn't want to live to be a 100, but then they aren't 99." This man is 99 so we can see why he keeps going. Report
Great story!! Report
he puts me to shame. Report
This guy looks great
I want that to be me at that age.
Working at it right now:) Report
One Word... AMAZING! I started running in my mid 50's and have enjoyed the thrill of finishing. I'm not fast by any means, but one of these days I hope to be old enough to be considered "fast" for my age group. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing you break more records. Report
MYGOALIS20
I feel very inspired by Mr. Rogers, I now have no excuse for not exercising! Don't know that I will take up running but I can certainly start walking more often. Report
 
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