I am 53 years old and have just signed up to do my first marathon, next spring. My running background goes back to my youth, where I trained and competed in track events, mostly over 800m and 1500m, in the summer, and cross-country in the winter, and did a few road races over 5 miles and 10K in my early twenties. Running took a bit of a back seat until I reached my mid-forties, when I began to train a little more regularly (about three times a week) and take part in the occasional race. I progressed to doing a handful of 10K races, before doing my first 10 mile and half-marathon races last year. It seems that my endurance has increased with age as my speed has waned, so the next logical step is to go the full 26.2 miles. I have a degree in sport science and have always been interested how athletes , especially middle and long distance runners, achieve peak performance.