PROFILE--Dave Dial has run 195,000 miles in 58 years, 11 months


(6-2019) Dave Dial has packed a lot of running into his not quite 59 years (59th birthday next month). He ran a 2:24 in the Boston Marathon at age 19, and has already passed 195,000 total lifetime miles. He has achieved this, he says, with a lot of "positive energy" and "being the best person I can be to everyone I meet."

Career/profession? Due to a hardship scenario (severe drought) in 2011, my Dad asked me to return to my home state of Texas to assist him with his land and cattle. It's very hard work; 24/7...

When did you start running and WHY? According to my Mom, I began walking at 8 months and my running career began shortly thereafter! On that note, as I not so jokingly like to say, running is in my DNA. Inspired by runners like Bill Rodgers and Frank Shorter, I began logging my mileage the summer I turned 16 (1976).

Running in peak years? About 140 miles a week.

Top races or proudest achievements? I ran 2:24:18, 42nd place, as a 19 yr old in the 1980 Boston Marathon. Also: A winning 10K of 29:48 in 1989; running almost 200,000 lifetime miles; doing long runs, with my friend Edison Eskeets, to raise funds for Native American causes; chairing the annual jog-a-thon at my son's elementary school for 13 years, raising $200K+ for school programs.

Estimate of total lifetime miles? 195,000+.

How much are you running and cross-training now? I'm currently running 100+ miles/week and I also ride a mountain bike for a half an hour the minute I complete my afternoon run; good way to cool down/cross-train. The work I do is very physically demanding and serves nicely as strength training. I don't stretch but I do began all of my runs slowly and ease into it...
Racing a 10K in Boston in 1988





How have your diet and weight changed through the years, if at all? Any current supplements? My weight has been very consistent over the years and I run enough that I can eat whatever I want. Therefore, I eat what my body craves as long as it's relatively healthy and lends itself to a somewhat balanced diet. I take multi-vitamins and glucosamine daily.


Any serious injury or health problems? I can safely say that 99.9% of my running injuries, primarily tendinitis, resulted from overuse. Needless to say, I've learned a lot about my body per the running I've done and have figured out "short cuts" when it comes to treating injuries. Treatment aside, when I'm injured I try to engage in some other type of physical activity - cycling being my first choice - if I can. Mostly, I've enjoyed good running health for an extended periods.

Does getting older and slower bother you? No, it's all relative! Given the mileage I've put on my body I'm just glad to be able to run daily and currently haven't missed a day in almost 12 years. Again, running is in my DNA and being intrinsically motivated, I never miss a day!

Favorite inspirational quote or two? I've known Bill Rodgers since I was 17 years old and one of his quotes sums up running, if not life, best for me: "To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day, one month or even one year - but for a lifetime."

Selfie taken on the run a year ago in
Texas when he reached 190,000
total lifetime miles.
What 3 short tips would you offer to young/midlife runners who hope to continue running many years into the future?
1--Consistency is key; you can't train hard for a few days, take time off, train a bit more, and so on, and then expect good results.

2--Hand in hand with the above, keep a training log. A lot can be learned by recording what you've done both in terms of what works and of equal importance, what doesn't work!

3--Before my first marathon an older runner gave me the following simple advice: "Patience and pace!" This applies to one's training as well. Good things will come if you stay consistent and give it time. Further, there's a lot to be said for heeding the advice of experienced runners so keep your ears and mind open!


How does running & fitness improve your life on a daily/weekly basis? I feel better physically and better about myself mentally because of my running. You can't put a price tag on that!
What are the biggest lessons (life lessons and running lessons) you have learned from running? How would you describe your philosophy of life, running, and aging? Running has always kept me grounded. Further, since running makes me feel better about myself both physically and mentally, I channel that positive energy into my daily life in hopes it will impact the people around me.

On that note, in being the best person I can to everyone I encounter, I sleep very well at night knowing that both mileage-wise and humanity-wise, I give life my best shot on any given day.