Category Archives: Training

Over 40 and Stealing the Show

WomanRacingsmMasters 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!

Should You Run Through Discomfort or Pain?

PainsmThis is a question Bennett frequently hears from coaching clients.  Discomfort, aches and pains during training can be expected.  When to run through and when to stop running? When is the ache or pain a red stop light?

Guidelines

During a workout, it’s OK to run through an occasional muscular twinge.  If the twinge persists, worsens or forces you to alter your gait, your body telling you “this way more stress and strain than I can handle”.  Cut your workout short and head home.  Ice the affected area several times daily for the first 48 hours.  See Icing – No Muss No Fuss for tips on icing.

Why Women over 40 Need More Rest Than Younger Women Runners or Male Runners

Take time to recharge your battery. You won’t get the Golden Egg without first taking care of the Goose.

Frank McKinney

Daphne was a 64 year old nurse who had started running at age 56. Bitten by the running bug, she began to enter local races, working her way up to the marathon. She was now running 5 days per week.  In addition, she hit the gym for two strengthening sessions and a spin class every week.  She did yoga too.  Her dream was to qualify for Boston.  Daphne needed to reduce her marathon time by 23 minutes to qualify.

She asked me: “What is the best way to improve so that I can qualify for Boston without killing myself?”

We redesigned her training program to include more rest and recovery.  We reduced her running from 5 days per week to 3 weekly runs; two faster paced runs and either a long run, race pace run or shorter recovery run.  She kept the spin, yoga and modified the strengthening classes.  She was running 40% less frequently!

She implemented her new program. The increased rest and recovery paid off big time!  She slashed a whopping 33 minutes off her marathon, qualifying for Boston with 10 minutes to spare – just 6 weeks shy of her 65th birthday! (from 5:08 to 4:35:39 at the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon).

 

Why Are Rest and Recovery Critically Important for Women Runners Over 40?

Overtraining – One Train You Want to Miss

OvertrainingsmI was once asked to write a scientific article on overtraining. My response was that’s the simplest article ever.  It’s two words long: “Avoid it.”

Jack Daniels
Legendary running coach
Author of “Daniels’ Running Formula”

Sylvia Cashmore (Peterborough, Ontario) was training for the 2012 Boston Marathon.  She was running 6 days per week.  Being an avid triathlete (often placing first in her age group), Sylvia was also cross-training 2-3 times weekly.  Unfortunately, all of her hard work resulted overtraining and developing a severe nasty cold which jeopardized her training and racing plans.

One Run Away From Illness or Injury?

How to tell if you are courting illness or an injury that will derail your training and racing plans?

Like the canary in the mineshaft, a running log can provide an early warning sign of impending danger — illness, staleness or burnout – before the physical symptoms show. When you enter your workout details in your running log, rate your workout on a scale of 1 to 10; 1 is awful, 10 is Nirvana. If you have three consecutive runs with a rating of 4 or less…

Are You Making This Common Training Mistake?

AAWrunningAs a runner for 36 years and a coach for 14 years, a common training mistake I see many runners make is running their long slow distance runs too quickly. Medium pace is their default running speed.

When they should be running slowly, they don’t run slowly enough. When should be running fast, don’t run fast enough. Thus, they fail to derive the particular benefits that each specific type of run should provide. The result? Even though these runners put in many long hours of training, they never come close to reaching their full potential on race day.

By running their long slow runs too fast, they cheat themselves out of the benefits that these runs are designed to provide, such as:

Is Your Training Polarized for Maximum Benefit?

YellowTanksmAs mentioned in previous articles, one of the most common errors I see runners committing is faulty pacing during training runs.  They run their slow runs too quickly. They run their fast runs too slowly. Medium is their standard speed. As a consequence, they fail to obtain the particular benefits that each specific type of run should provide.

The result?  Even though these runners put in many long hours of training, they never come close to being the best runners they can become.

As reported by Alex Hutchison in the May/June 2013 issue of Canadian Running, recent research from Scotland provides more evidence supporting the benefits of polarized training – mixing low and high intensity training.  The researchers split cyclists into two groups.  Each group went through a six week training program.  Group #1 conducted 80% of their training at low intensity and 20% at high intensity.  Group #2’s training consisted of 57% low intensity, 43% medium intensity (a.k.a. threshold training) with no high intensity efforts.

Flying Is Hazardous to Your Training

Many of us know that runners are more susceptible to catching colds after racing and running longer distances. Research has shown running longer than 90 minutes increases the risk of developing an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI). How to Prevent Colds and Illnesses after Racing and Running Long.

What other common activity increases your risk of illness? It’s not going outside without a hat during winter (sorry, Mom).

It’s flying.

The Most Accurate Training Monitor is Free

Yes. It’s called the brain.

Australian researchers at Deakin University reviewed 56 studies comparing objectives measures of training load (e.g. heart rate, blood markers, oxygen consumption) versus subjective indicators of training load (perceived stress, mood).  Their results, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that in over 90% of the studies reviewed, subjective measures were equal or more reliable indicators of training load than the objective scientific measures.

In other words, how you feel during and after a run is the most reliable indicator of how your body responds to your training.

WordPress Website Design by Lisa Marie Designs