Speed in Your 60s and the Fastest Mile That Didn't Count: Dan King 10-28-2020


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Speed in Your 60s and the Fastest Mile That Didn’t Count: Dan King

Dan King is blistering fast at 61 years old. We’re talking world record breaking fast. He just broke the masters record in the mile for the 60-64 age group, running 4:49:08 to beat the 4:51:85 record set in 2012. But this amazing feat won’t count. Why? Listen in to find out.

Dan also talks about his surprisingly low-mileage training routine, how he incorporates a lot of cross training into his daily life, and his plant-based diet which he believes is key to his performance.

Despite being super fit, Dan has suffered a number of injuries, including plantar fasciitis that has plagued him for years. He talks about a procedure he had to alleviate his heel pain, and how he’s adapted his training and overall lifestyle to stay both fit and injury free.

Dan hails from Boulder, Colorado. At the University of Colorado-Boulder, he ran an impressive 5,000-meter PR of 14:34, but didn’t complete too much after graduation. After building a successful start-up company, he sold his business and retired in 2017.

As of this recording, Dan was preparing to run another mile race that would officially count as a world record if he repeated his August performance. Coach Claire will share Dan’s results at the end of the episode.

Dan is definitely proof that you can train well and be fast at any age, and that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all training plan that all runners must follow. Whether you’re a masters athlete or just aspiring to keep on running as you age, this one’s for you!

Photo credit: Todd Straka

Questions Dan is asked:

5:18 This past August, you ran 4:49:08 in the mile, which is faster than anyone in the world in the 60-64 year old age group. Now, I understand that this may not count as an official world record on a technicality. Can you explain this?

7:16 There’s another race in South Carolina on October 17th that will be USATF certified, and that should count for the world record. And by the time this airs, you will have already raced it, but hopefully you’ll get your official time at that one, right?

8:04 Can you tell us about the race and your strategy?

9:59 You've been a runner a long time. You ran for the University of Colorado in college. But you were not a miler back then, right? What made you decide to specialize in the mile now?

12:43 I would love to talk about your training. Your training is a little unusual for somebody at your level I would think. Can you talk about what a normal week looks like for you?

14:49 You’re missing a big element that most runners think is incredibly important, and that’s the long run. So no long run for you?

15:55 You’re not running a ton of miles or pounding a lot by running over and over again, but you’re spending hours and hours on your off days of running doing something aerobic. So you’re still building that aerobic engine, just not running all the time.

17:18 You have no rest days?

17:27 About 25 miles a week is all you put in for running?

17:52 I would like to go a little bit deeper into your injuries, and especially the plantar fasciitis. You had what’s called a Tenex procedure for that. Can you talk about that?

19:42 What was the recovery from the Tenex procedure like?

20:29 What is the eccentric calf-raise exercise?

21:13 Let's talk about diet and nutrition. Like me, you are 100% plant based. Can you tell us how you decided to become plant based, and what the benefits have been for you?

23:30 You’re plant based, which is not always the same thing as being a vegan. Is that correct?

24:30 What do you eat and where do you get your protein?

26:29 What are your favorite things to eat before a workout or after a workout?

28:19 I’d love to know what lessons have you learned being a Masters athlete that maybe you didn’t have to think about so much when you were younger?

30:17 What do you do for mobility and strength and stretching? How do you fit that into your routine?

31:12 After the race on October 17th, what’s next for you?

Questions I ask everyone:

32:54 If you could go back and talk to yourself when you started running, what advice would you give?

34:23 What is the greatest gift running has given you?

35:20 Where can listeners connect with you?

Quotes by Dan:

“I was still under a five-minute mile equivalent, and that was when I was 56. And so it just sort of put a goal in the back of my head that when I turn 60, I want to see if I can still run a five-minute mile.”

“When I turned 40, I just redefined myself as an endurance athlete, not as a runner, and I haven’t not been fit since I’ve been 40.”

“I have gotten really consistent this year in terms of doing electrolytes post-workout. I feel like a lot of the injuries I get as a Masters athlete are because I get more easily dehydrated than I used to.”

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Mentioned in this podcast:

Younger Next Year

The China Study

Skratch Labs


World Masters Athletics

News Article - Dan King's Second Try at Official M60 Mile

“... was more than 4 seconds off his August mark of 4:49 at a meet in the same city. It barely missed the listed M60 American record of 4:53.01 by Nolan Shaheed in 2012.”

Runners Connect Winner's Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page


Follow Dan on:



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