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.

Why Some Runners Eat Lots— But Don’t Get Fat

FoodChoiceNarrowNancy Clark MS RD CSSD

Some of my clients seem jealous of their teammates. “They eat twice as much as I do and they are skinny as a rail. I just smell cookies and I gain weight,” spouted one collegiate runner. She seemed miffed that she couldn’t eat as much as her peers—and she couldn’t understand why. They all ran the same mileage, did the same workouts, and were similar in body size. Life seemed so unfair!

Yes, life is unfair when it comes to weight management. Some runners gain (or lose) body fat more easily than others. Unfortunately, fat gain (or loss) is not as mathematical as we would like it to be. That is, if you persistently overeat (or undereat) by 100 calories a day, in theory you will gain (or lose) 10 pounds of body fat a year. But this theory does not hold up in reality. People vary greatly in their susceptibility to gain or lose body fat in response to over- or under-eating.

In general, when people overeat, research has suggested about 85% of the excess calories get stored as fat and the rest gets lost as heat. Overfed fat cells grow in size and in number and provide a storehouse of energy. Obese people commonly have enough fat stores to last a year or more; even lean runners have enough fat stores to fuel a month or more. Fat can be advantageous during a time of severe illness or a famine.

Fighting Fatigue: Why Am I So Tired….???

The Athlete’s Kitchen
Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD May 2016

“I feel tired a lot. What vitamins will give me more energy?”

“When I get home from work, I’m just too tired to cook dinner…”

 “I feel like taking a nap most afternoons. I get up at 5 a.m. to run—but really, should I feel this tired at 3:00 p.m.?” 

Runners commonly complain about fatigue and feeling too tired, too often. Granted, many of them wake up at early o-thirty to run, and some do killer workouts that would leave anyone feeling exhausted. Many routinely get too little sleep. And the question remains: How can I have more energy?

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.

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