Category Archives: Training

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.

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):

Should Your and Your Man’s IT Band Pain Be Treated Differently?

injury prevention running

Conventional studies on gender differences in running injuries focused on comparing injured women to their injured male counterparts. The research then concluded if certain injuries were more prevalent among women or men. Traditionally, the prescription for rehab for men and women suffering the same injury was identical.

That may no longer be the case!

Alex Hutchinson, in his Sweat Science column in the May 4th Runner’s World, wrote about exciting new research conducted by Dr. Reed Ferber at the University of Calgary’s Running Injury Clinic. Instead of comparing injured women to injured men, Dr. Ferber and colleagues have been comparing injured women to non-injured women; at the same time, contrasting uninjured male to non-injured male runners.

Is Your GPS Watch Hurting Your Running?

We rely on our GPS watches to track running distance, overall pace, instantaneous pace and other variables. Is your GPS watch really accurate?

Training for Grandma’s Marathon was not going well for coaching client Diann.  She was experiencing difficulty completing workouts that should have been doable.  She was chronically tired.  Her lower back and knees were painful.   She was forced to take frequent breaks from training to prevent her nagging injuries from developing into full blown injuries that would force a long layoff.

This didn’t make sense.  Based on her fitness and experience, her workouts should have been doable; the training load should have been manageable.

We searched for a solution.  On a 7 mile (11K) run, Diann insightfully observed:

“Here’s the aha – at the end of the run my (GPS) watch said we ran a 10:00 (6:15 min/km) average. Throughout the run I saw 10:30 (6:34/km) frequently floating by for pace, so I assumed I was running pretty casual.  But my girlfriends’ GPS watches said 9:15 (5:47/km) to 9:22 (5:51/km) pace.  That’s a big difference.   I believe my watch has also been contributing to the injury issue and I’ve been at times inadvertently running too fast”

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