Molly Friel, 47, ran an Olympic Trials Qualifying time of 2:41:30 at the California International Marathon(CIM) Sunday December 7, 2014. Molly lives and trains in Fresno, California and runs for the Sacramento Running Association team: SRA Elite. Prior to CIM, Friel’s personal best was a 2:44.16 that she ran at the Napa Valley Marathon in 2013. Since Molly’s first marathon in 1995 she has improved her time at this distance by over an hour. 2016 will be here second trip to the Olympic Trials. In 2004 she competed at the Olympic Trials in St. Louis.

Now that she has secured an Olympic Trials Qualifier (OTQ) Molly plans to focus on running some fast 5 and 10k events next year. She also looks to improve her half marathon time before ramping up her training for the 2016 Trials next fall in Los Angeles.

Over the past 34 years that Molly has been running she has learned a lot about training, racing, and staying healthy. We caught up with her after CIM to find out her top 10 tips for running strong at any age!

Top 10 Tips for Running Strong at Any Age:

  1. Make time for yourself to run -whether its 30 or 60 minutes -once you get out there you’ll wonder why you procrastinated so long.
  2. Set a goal. It’s easier to get out the door when you have something to work towards.
  3. Reward yourself for reaching your goal. Whether the goal is running for two weeks or finishing a race it will keep you motivated.
  4. Be flexible. Remember it’s okay to move a workout to the next day
  5. Find a group or an individual to run with. Meeting someone makes you accountable and you most likely won’t want to let them down. Four legged training partners are the best; they never let you slack off and they always want to go, go, go!
  6. Make your hard workout days HARD – on the flipside take advantage of the easy days – your body needs recover from the hard days sufficiently enough to keep improving.
  7. Incorporate some strength/core training into your schedule. This can be achieved at home with pushups and core exercises and doesn’t take as long as most people think.
  8. When something hurts, take a day off – and if it still hurts take another day off. Running through an injury will just make it worse and guarantee you a month or more off rather than a few days.
  9. Believe in yourself – it will get you through the hardest workouts and last stretches of a race.
  10. Have FUN! The best thing to me is going for a run and saying “Good Morning!” to everyone I pass. If I see a dog – I’ll stop and love it up before continuing on. I love hearing the birds chirping and the leaves blowing in the trees. Enjoy every minute of the freedom you have from all the technology we have now and just enjoy being in the present.