PROFILE--Budd Coates has been running for 46 years

(11-18) Budd Coates, 61, has qualified for four Olympic Marathon Trials, run 117,000 miles, established a marathon PR of 2:13:02, spent decades at Rodale Inc (then the Runner's World owner) as fitness director, taught hundreds of beginning runners, written a book titled Running On Air, and currently works for Sole Supports, an orthotics company.
Professional career? While I had this fantasy of being a “professional runner”, I didn’t have the confidence that it could support me and my family. So I accepted a job with Rodale Press as their Employee Health and Fitness Director. I was tasked with developing a program for employees and their families. After a modest start on the 2nd floor of a closed factory, our program quickly became a success, and we built a self-standing facility within 5 years.

We were one of the first companies to ban smoking in the workplace, offer cholesterol screening, skin screening, and more. One of the many classes I offered was a Beginning Running Class, and our President at the time graduated from that class and became so interested in running that
Rodale  purchased Runner’s World Magazine! Anyway, our corporate running club progressed from a few to over 100+ and we participated in and won a number of Chase Corporate Challenges, NYC Marathons, Philadelphia Marathons and Half Marathons. It was a great ride, and I and many past employees still cherish those days. I held that position for over 35 years until Rodale was sold last year.

When did you start running and WHY? I started running in the fall of my first year in high school. Our freshmen basketball coach talked many of the team members into running cross country. We didn’t even know it was a sport. We went from cellar dwellers our first year to league champions our senior year. I think the team, Camden Central HS, repeated for the next 6 years. Coach Vince Mellon was a great coach and motivator.
Coates spent many years at Rodale Inc teaching
Beginning Running and other fitness classes.

How much did you run in your peak years, miles/week, etc? I tried to do really big miles (140 mpw) but always suffered with injuries. Lower miles (90-100) and orthotics kept me healthy.

What were some of your top race performances, or running achievements you are most proud of? My first HS league championship was really cool. My first marathon win was a local event (the Prevention Marathon) and my most enjoyable marathon victory was the California International Marathon. But, my best races were the 1983 Boston Marathon when I ran 2:13:02 and the Berwick Run For the Diamonds in 1984

How much are you running and cross-training now? Any recent races?
I’m running (walk/running) 2-3 days a week and cross training the other days. I’m in no rush to train a lot right now, but this will change in 2019. I have the goal in 2020 of running a sub 3-hour marathon in a 6th consecutive decade. I have an all body strength circuit that I do, and I use the Core Sliders 4 times a week for core training. When I visited my son recently at Penn State and ran the the Arts Fest 5k in 22:55 for an over 60 victory, woohoo!

What training routine currently works best for you? I’m doing a lot of Igloi based training while barefoot on grass. Then cycling and or trail running/hiking on the other days.

Does getting slower both you? I ran so slow on my easy days that no one wanted to run with me. I didn’t use a watch, I just went by feel and breathing effort. Now I still run the same easy effort, but it’s much slower. It honestly doesn't’ bother me. I just get to enjoy my runs for a longer period of time.

Has your diet changed much through the years? Your weight? Any supplements? I have always eaten just about any type of food but try to make the prep healthy. As I aged, I cut out deserts and quantity. My weight has gone from about 125 to about 135. I take an Omega 3 for heart health and it is also a natural anti inflammatory.

What injuries or other health issues have you faced through the years? How have you dealt with these?
I’ve had hip flexor, knee, shin, Morton's neuroma, and some stress fractures over the years. For me, orthotics (good ones from Sole Supports) and learning to respect recovery were the key to staying healthy and performing my best.
Coates, on left, and former Runner' s World editor
Mark Will-Weber race at the famous Thanksgiving
Day race in Berwick, PA.

How would you describe your philosophy of life, running, and aging? The gift of fitness allows you to see, experience and enjoy so much more than people who are overweight and out of shape. I don’t want to see nature from a moving vehicle; I want to feel it underfoot.

What are the biggest lessons (life lessons and running lessons) you have learned from running? Smart efforts can pay big dividends.

How does running & fitness help you on a daily/weekly basis? It allows me to function fatigue free and clears my head.

What advice do you have for younger runners who would like to become Lifetime Runners? Jack Foster said it best. Don’t look at it as training, but keep it “play.”

A favorite inspirational quote: Mark Twain once said,
“The happiest of men do at work what they would otherwise do on their day off.”

I’ve lived that my entire life.