The Sprint & Marathon of Life by Roger Black MBE

The Sprint & Marathon of Life by Roger Black MBE

Whilst researching this piece, I came across an inspirational life analogy famously quoted by my friend and business partner, fellow Olympian Steve Backley OBE: “The sprint is like life… Blink and you miss it”. I agree with Steve but would also add to the quote, to include: “Slow down… don’t peak too soon. Life is also a marathon”. Here’s why.

When we are young, we tend to want to reach age-centric milestones linked to status and having fun. Life cycles seem eternal – witnessed during Lockdown and how so many young people struggled with the monotony. Even Summer holidays for children or grandchildren seem never-ending. We want to move fast towards our goals, and hopefully, our minds and bodies keep up with our drive.

Our modern culture also supports ‘The Sprint of Life’, with the advent of scrolling, fast eating and a limited attention span. The luxury of choice can make us impatient and dissatisfied. Choice can be overwhelming so what do you choose?


As an athlete running a fixed distance, there is defined science behind inertia and when to push yourself and when to hold back. Energy in all senses is precious and the same is applicable to putting one foot in front of the other, in real life.

As we get older, in the main, we tend to slow down and this can be a good thing. The Marathon of Life kicks in, albeit naturally, through the gift of Mother Nature. This doesn’t mean that we stop altogether – far from it. I am inspired by the regular flow of communication I receive from customers who are 80+ and regularly exercising and embracing life. 

According to The Centre for Ageing Better “It’s estimated that by 2036, one in four of the (UK) population will be over 65”. Such data logically dictates that we have to become better prepared for a marathon (and a few sprints) when it comes to the Race of Life.

Roger Black Fitness the home of fitness for the over 50’s. You can browse our range of home exercise equipment. 


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