Category Archives: Archive of FREE Articles

Over 40 and Stealing the Show

It is possible for middle age and older runners to run faster while reducing their risk of injury. It just takes a few special key ingredients!

Masters runners (runners over the age of 40) are fastest growing demographic in running. An article written by Gretchen Reynolds (that appeared in December 21st, 2011 New York Times Well Blog) quotes French research that studied New York City Marathon finishers.  Dr. Romuald Lepers, one of the authors: “The percent of finishers younger than 40 years significantly decreased, while the percent of master runners significantly increased for both males and females.”

Even more impressive – the French study also found that in recent years, the average finishing time of the fastest men runners age 60+ decreased by 7%; older women’s times dropped a  whopping 16%!!

On a related note, research has great news for older runners who aim to improve their running and racing!

Maintain Fitness and Keep Weight Off This Holiday Season

During the holiday season, many runners are strapped for time but not for calories. How can you keep your hard-earned fitness and not gain weight under these conditions?

The answer is to substitute the CESW (Convenient Efficient Speed Workout) for one or more your regular runs.

Why?  This workout really cranks up your metabolism so that you burn calories long after finishing.

Convenient? You can perform the CESW right out your front door, without having to travel to a track or gym.  You can also run the CESW indoors on a treadmill.

Efficient?  The entire workout including warmup and cooldown takes only 30-40 minutes.

What Age is Too Old for Running and Racing?

Getting older does not mean you have to slow down. Susan Schwartz shares her inspiring story and soulful connection with running.

By Susan Schwartz

As I stand at the first corral for this Women’s Half Marathon, I look around. I notice no one my age. I am over the age of 60 now and I idly wonder how much younger they are. I mean, I know for sure that statistically that they have to be of another age. Even so, I stand waiting for the anthem and then the start gun and do the usual wonderings if I am well enough trained, should I have done faster and longer runs, etc.

I have participated running in races for many years. Each time it brings on nerves and challenges and a certain level of excitement.  In addition to running, I am a Jungian psychoanalyst and I know how the spirit has to be there and what it takes to get in the zone and to stay there.

Another Myth Laid to Rest

running shoesConventional wisdom holds that overpronation (the foot rolling in too much upon footstrike) is a major cause of injury. And using shoes to control excess pronation decreases injury risk. There’s a multi-million (or is it billion?) dollar running shoe industry based upon this premise.

We’ve written previously that this “fact” is nothing more than a myth. It should be laid to rest.  And researchers are drawing the same conclusion.

In a 2011 University of British Columbia study of women runners (yeah! we need more studies with women runners), wearing the “correct” shoes did not lower the incidence of injury. In fact, runners who pronated exhibited higher injury rates wearing stability shoes than when wearing neutral shoes. The authors concluded that the practice of prescribing shoes based upon foot type not only had no merit … but was “potentially injurious”.

Cure Your Gastric Distress and Race Faster

cure gastric distress while runningLike many runners, our coaching client Linda has difficulty tolerating sports drinks during training and racing. The resulting severe stomach cramps have ruined many long runs and has dashed race plans. It makes fueling during long runs and races very challenging.

Well, a solution may be at hand.

Alex Hutchinson writes in his Sweat Science blog  — over the past nine years, several research studies have shown that swishing a sports drink in your mouth and spitting (not swallowing) boosts performance in endurance events longer than 30 minutes in duration When and Why to Swish-n-Spit Your Sports Drink.

It may be hard to believe, but it’s hard to argue with ………. as the evidence mounts.

Is a Cooldown a Waste of Time?

Like stretching, cooling down after a run has long been accepted as a best practice.  Isn’t it a good idea to gradually reduce your heart rate with 5-10 minutes of light jogging? Doesn’t a cooldown help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness?  Doesn’t a gradual shift from running to non-exercise help speed recovery? Isn’t it bad for your heart to just stop running with no gradual transition to non-exercise?

The much touted physical benefits of a cooldown may also prove to be just another myth to be exposed.  Neither holding up under the harsh light of scientific scrutiny.

The Truth About Plantar Fasciitis

The Truth About Plantar FasciitisQuestion from the “email bag”: For about the past month I have had severe pain in my right heel (plantar fasciitis I assume). I have read about how to treat this through rest and ice, etc. The problem is, I am stubborn and a bit too regimented when it comes to training/exercising. Needless to say, I have not rested. To add to this, I have started my marathon training. Obviously, I want my heel pain to go away; however, I am scared to rest when I am supposed to be building up my mileage. The pain usually goes away after the first mile, but then returns once the run is done. I would greatly appreciate any advice.

Thank you so much,

H.R.

Answer:

Although what you are describing definitely sounds like plantar fasciitis, I recommend getting it diagnosed by a sports medicine specialist.  This will rule out the possibility your pain is caused by a more serious condition, like a stress fracture.

Let’s assume for the moment your condition is plantar fasciitis.  The traditional explanation that this injury is caused by acute inflammation is now believed to be incorrect.

Clear and Present Danger — Outdoor Running with Headphones

running dangerRunning with headphones results in a reduced awareness of your physical surroundings. Like it or not, all runners (esp. women) must run defensively at times.

Today’s Featured Article is not about nutrition, injury prevention or how to run faster.  It concerns a more serious matter – personal safety.  Many runners consider headphones a mandatory article of clothing.  You can’t run without tunes.  However………

Safety (a.k.a. proving a point to your teenager)

Running with headphones results in a reduced awareness of your physical surroundings.  If you are treadmill running, by all means, hit the playlist. Outdoors, being less than totally conscious of your physical surroundings compromises your personal safety.   Like it or not – all runners (especially women) must run defensively at times.  Headphone wearers range from being less attentive to totally oblivious of other people, cars and dogs – all of which are potential attackers that can pose real threat to a runner’s physical safety.

How Soon After My (Half) Marathon Can I Race?

women runner

Bennett was recently asked: “Is it safe for me to run a half-marathon five weeks after running my first marathon?”

There is no hard and fast rule regarding the length of time one should wait after racing an all out effort before stepping up to the start line again.  The higher your pre-race mileage, the shorter your recovery period and the sooner you can race again.  For many runners — especially women age over 40 (we’ll explain why soon):

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