Who’s your healthy longevity role model: Ed Whitlock or Earl Fee?

My Canadian author friend Bruce Grierson wrote the definitive book on Olga Kotelko, who died at 95 after setting a slew of WRs. Now Bruce tackles an interesting question: Should older athletes emulate Ed Whitlock or Earl Fee? His amazing piece in the Globe and Mail of Toronto is headlined: “Ed Whitlock the tortoise, Earl Fee the hare and the run of their lives.” Bruce writes: “Earl is a devotee of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. He hardly ever works out for more than 20 minutes at a time, but he makes those 20 minutes count. He goes for it, typically in a series of sprint bursts – between short breaks – that leave him gasping for air.” Of the late Ed, Bruce says: “Ed had long followed a program of LSD – Long Slow Distance running. He tallied endless training laps under Evergreen Cemetery’s tree canopy, patiently building a ‘race base’ – ‘drudgery,’ he called it, but all that mileage was money in the bank which he could draw on round about mile 22, when other guys were crashing.” As in all his journalism, he relies on the latest scientific wisdom. The answer to the tortoise vs. hare question comes down to your preference and muscle makeup. But borrowing from both Ed and Earl couldn’t hurt.

Here’s how Earl Fee (left) and Ed Whitlock are pictured in Globe and Mail story. Photos by Mark Blinch and Michelle Siu.

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May 7, 2017

7 Responses

  1. tb - May 7, 2017

    Fantastic article. Thank you for not “saving it for posterity”.

  2. Ken Stone - May 7, 2017

    Ed hands off to Earl in “one of the greatest exchanges in track history.”

  3. Michael D Walker - May 8, 2017

    A great article. In a debate like this, both types of training programs have merit and both clearly can provide health benefits and produce great runners. Maybe the secret is to pick out the type(s) of training that fits you the best and stick with it. Seemed to have worked for Earl & Ed

  4. Ebenezer - May 8, 2017

    Such great examples of what can be!

  5. Earl Fee - May 9, 2017

    If you go to my Facebook page (open to public) titled Earl William Fee you can see this detailed over 1 newspaper page article with 10 photos. It explains how 2 different training methods can affect the body in different ways and thus affect youthfulness and longevity.

  6. Peter L. Taylor - May 9, 2017

    You’re the greatest, Great Earl. I’ve enjoyed announcing you ever since the 1996 indoor masters in Greensboro, NC, and hope to be graced by your presence at some point in the future.

    I’m not as fast as you, Great Earl, but that is not a knock on me. Instead, it’s a testament to your greatness.

  7. Lucy - July 29, 2019

    I have tried both styles. Love HIIT training and get bored running the distance. I’d rather be walking.

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