Running After 40

When you are training for a longer race or you are just beginning a running program after 40, you need to build up your mileage slower than if you were younger. Many runners do a walk/run program. They will do this and then slower decrease the amount of time that they are walking until they are running the entire distance. This is a great way to keep from getting injured by doing too much too soon.

An important thing for runners is to listen to what their body is telling them. I feel that this is important for all runners (and is what has kept me out on the roads for over 30 years), but even more important as you get older. If you need an extra day to get over a long run or a speed workout – take it.

Doing a weight workout a couple of times a week is great to keep your muscles strong. Make sure that you are doing both upper and lower body work. Leg extensions are a great way to keep the muscles around your knees strong and pain free. Just use a light weight – your plan is

Run Slower, Gain Speed

5k and 10k specific training

Aerobic System? What is it?

Aerobic training is the scientific fact that to move your body at higher intensities, the body needs to break down sugar and convert it to glycogen so it can be used as energy.

The aerobic system plus oxygen starts a chemical reaction known as Aerobic Glycolysis which continuously powers continuous endurance activities. In the aerobic system energy ATP is produced through Pyruvic Acid and Lipid/Protein fragments entering the Kreb Cycle and the Electron Transport Cycle.

Uh… what?

During aerobic respiration (yeah, that’s breathing) the body uses all the oxygen it needs to power the muscles. When you are running in your “aerobic zones” (easy runs), your muscles have enough oxygen to produce all the energy they need to perform.

See? Improving your capacity to transport and efficiently use all the available oxygen to produce energy will enable you to race faster since this makes up 85-99% of the energy needed to race.

Since running easy is aerobic development, what better way is there to train the aerobic system? There is none.

What goes on in the body during aerobic development?

Warm-Up Stretches

Calf Stretch

Aims to stretch the lower leg muscles for better running performance. Start in an upright position. Place one bent leg forward and place the other leg straight backwards. Hold this position and count from 1-10. Repeat this pattern and alternate your feet.

Quadriceps Stretch

The quadriceps stretch works the front thigh muscles. To do it, stand upright and hold your left foot with your left hand, bring it backwards, with the sole of your foot touching your buttocks. Use your free hand for balance. Hold this position for 10 counts and repeat with the other leg.

Hip flexor Stretch

To do a hip flexor stretch, stand with feet apart and place one leg in front of your body. Bend the front leg so your thigh is parallel to the ground. Your other leg should be slightly bent and almost touching the ground. Tilt your pelvis backwards and push your hips forward. Hold the position for 10 counts and repeat on the other leg.

Hamstring Stretch

Stand upright with legs about a shoulder’s width apart. Bend your hips and try to reach the ground with your hands without bending your

Tempo Runs

Tempo runs should be done once a week. They will help to increase your fitness level. Tempo runs also train you mentally by giving you the feeling of running faster which will help to build confidence for your road races.

As you begin, you want to start out easy to warm up. Most runners will run slowly for 10 – 15 minutes (I usually do 1 mile of easy running). Then you want to increase your speed until you are running about 15 seconds slower than your 10K speed. If you don’t know what that is, run at a speed that is a hard effort. You can judge this by using the talk test. If you have trouble talking – but not gasping for air – then you are probably at the right pace.

You want to continue at this pace for 15 – 20 minutes. Don’t worry if you can’t run that far at that pace when you are just starting tempo runs. Try it for 5 minutes and then each week build up to runner farther. Some runners will also break it into chunks of fast running. 5 minutes of quick paced running, followed

Running In The Rain On Race Day

First of all, make sure that you are wearing a cap. A cap to me when I’m running in all types of weather is a must. When it’s sunny, it helps to protect your eyes and face. When it’s a rainy day, a cap becomes even more important. The brim on a cap will keep the rain off of your face. This helps in many ways. First of all, keeping the rain off of your face just makes you feel better. And, if you wear contacts or glasses, it helps you to be able to see better.

A big mistake that runners will make is to overdress if it’s raining. This will cause you to be very uncomfortable during your race – especially after you start and get warmed up. If you put on several layers, they’ll all get wet due to the rain and sweat and you’ll be carrying around that extra weight. See what the temperature is and dress accordingly, as if it were a dry day.

However, you can wear a garbage bag while you are waiting around the starting line to keep the rain off you. Get a large size bag and

Elements Of Marathon Training

Interval Training

Interval training is essential to increase your running pace. Use treadmills to help you with this training. Treadmills allow you to simulate sprints or hill runs and they also allow you to have fun and effective workouts to get your pace to the max. Most treadmills also have tracking features so you can track your progress and improvement.

Strength Training

Increasing resistance or strength training will improve your muscular endurance. As a runner, you want to focus on your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. These muscle groups will be the ones abused the most during marathons and it is important to keep them strong.

Core Training

The stronger your core, the better your conditioning will be. Use numerous functional movements to train all of your major core muscles.

Pacing

You must be able to maintain a consistent and comfortable pace during training. A comfortable pace is at around 70 percent of your maximum heartbeat rate. When you can hold a short conversation while running, maintain your pace at this rate and stay there for your marathon. Remember, that this is a marathon, not a sprint. You must be able to

Prevent Running Injuries

Take it slow

Experts have devised a set of guidelines called “The 10% Rule.” Simplified, this rule recommends an increase in training mileage at 10% per week and no higher. The motivation behind this rule is to avoid training errors which occurs when the human body is subjected to sudden changes in running intensity and mileage.

The body requires a recovery period so that it can respond well to the demands of training. Rushing the body may result in muscular and soft tissue injury. Experts in sports, biomechanics and kinesiology all agree that pushing too hard is not the answer to advancing forward. On the contrary, it can even delay successful achievement of running goals.

The best approach to training is to increase the monthly and weekly running mileage total based on the 10-percent rule. A person who is injury prone must also consider a lower target such as 3% or 5%. Even top runners base their training program on this rule and they apply the same principle when they engage in interval training, trail running, and hill running as well as other training activities. This approach is also helpful to a runner who wants

Lonely Pleasure of Long Distance Running

To hear the way some people talk, it makes running sound like some kind of quasi-sexual experience. Which, it is not. In any case, I don’t mean it that way. No pleasure is derived from running ten kilometers unless you enjoy experiencing pain. In fact, long distance running is a bit like taking a vow of celibacy. It’s about denial and sacrifice and spiritualism. Running shoes and heart monitors and pacing your self. That’s what I thought until I tried it.

I wouldn’t say it was an epiphany. Let’s just say I got it. I got what they were talking about. I understood the serenity and the solitude and the understanding. Listening and talking to your body. Challenging yourself to go faster and longer. In my fog of negativity I forgot. When you hit the wall of pain something miraculous happens. A small hit of happiness called Endorphins that flood over you. It’s the most natural form of pain relief there is. It refreshes and revitalizes the mind, the spirit and the body. You can keep going even when you think you can’t.

So what have I learned from this? For a start, I have a

Road Racing In Hot Weather

As with all road races, make sure that you are aware of what the weather is going to be on race day. On the days prior to a race, you want to make sure that you are drinking enough water. However, if you know that the weather is going to be warmer than usual that day, staying hydrated is even more important. The urine test is the best way to make sure. If your urine is clear or pale yellow, you are adequately hydrated.

If you know that race day is going to be hot, be sure to increase your salt intake before the race. You should be eating some salty foods and even taking salt straight up with water – a packet that you get in a restaurant is the perfect size. Some races will even give you one in your race packet to have during the race. If you are doing a half-marathon or marathon, you should get some salt during the race, also.

Don’t push yourself too hard if the weather is hot. – readjust your race goals. Trying to overdo it on a hot day can lead to heat-related illnesses, such as

Dynamic Stretches For Runners

Russian walks

To do this exercise, you need to walk in a straight line and bring your knee up high on every step. This exercise will really loosen up the hip joint that plays a crucial role in your run.

Walking bum kicks

Walk forward using an extended back swing so that your heel makes contact with your glutes with every step.

Lateral lunges

Step outwards with one foot and bring your buttocks down towards the floor and then bring your other foot across using a lunging motion. Make sure to do both sides.

Standing side on, step outwards with one foot and bring your bum down towards the floor and bring the second foot across to meet the first one in a lunging movement. Make sure to do both sides.

Single leg deadlift walk

Bend your standing knee slightly and bring your head down towards the floor. At the same time, bring your back leg up towards the ceiling. You need to work this exercise on both sides.

Stiff leg swing

You need to stretch your hands outwards and then swing your leg up to touch the