Toivo- add to your list:
-Don't wear a watch most days
-Instead of watch, micro- wear mp3 loaded with rockin' beats
-Run EVERY run at the pace that allows you to run with the BEST form you can manage on the day. If it is only 10min./mile, then run it like a world-class runner would run it (and some do!)
-SMILE on your easy runs. See how many passers-by you can get to return a smile. Does wonders for your head and puts a little spring back in the step.
-Strides on slight downhill dirt path (good footing). Allows you to practice relaxed speed.
-NAPS. Free HGH boost; doubles recovery rate. If it works for the Africans, it works for me.
-Seasonal break from serious running- focus on hiking, sking, biking or something else for 4-6 weeks a year to let the running-specific micro-damage heal up.
-Stretch constantly throughout the briefly rather than one longer session. Integrate recovery-movement into your day.
-Watch vids of excellent runners to motivate and model excellent form. I never tire of watching Coe, Ovett, Craqm, Kipketer, Geb, Bek, etc..
There's more, but you get the idea. It's a lifestyle thing...for the rest of your life.
Toivo- add to your list:
Maybe you need some time off. 6-9 months of working on felxibility?
As I get older, I need more recovery. If I don't build that in, I start to feel worn down and eventually the wheels stop turning.
I'm already an advocate of some of these things Nipples.
Naps are an exquisite luxury, video, IPod, idiotic smile when I run... but that long break that you and the last poster recommend... I don't know. Quite a commitment.
I suppose after Boston would be the logical time for that. the permafrost will be leaving mother earth, I could maybe bike, or jump on that 200 mile trail that goes right past my house for a series of hikes.
I guess what it all boils down to is at 53 we have to pay attention. No more self-abuse without consequences eh?
Thanks for adding to the list.
Aging and feeling good are oxymoron's. I feel good that I can still run but that powerful flowing feeling that I had in my 20's and 30's is gone and I am not just talking about prostate problems.
I have been running for over 40 years. I am now in my early 60's but at 50 I could still run in the low 18's for 5K and the low 5's for the mile.
I run 60-80 minutes every other day. That way my legs feel better when I do run. On the alternate days I walk the dog or just don't run.
I run for time, not distance.
I use the HRM. I tend to keep most of my runs at 70% or below.
I don't race anymore but that is really just a personal choice. I was a never big time racer even in my 30's when I could run in the 15's for 5K. But once my times had declined to a 5:50-6:00 pace in races in my early 50's, I lost interest.
Bowerman said that age is a relentless competitor.
I get it.
I remember this local runner who, before turning 40, spent most of his late 30s skiing and biking due to chronic injuries. Then, as he turned 40, he returned to full time running, kicked ass, and made some heads turn. Do you know what I'm talking about?
You may have already covered this angle as I have not read all of the posts...
I think the phenomenon you are referring to is called "the New Love Groove."
Spikes the old testosterone levels I think.
Everyone should try it! (Just not with anyone I know...)
Very worthwhile thread ,toivo.
Your performance level is the envy of many a 50 year old.
Remeber Sheehan said we are all an experiment of one, these posts give us lots of new recipes and ingredients to spruce up the mix. I for one am going to look into the promptings of TDF and 51. When Alex Ratelle was tearing up the 50+ results in the Midwest 25 years ago he relied on a lot of cross-training.
The consensed wisdom seems to infer that 50 year old bodies do better on a diet of frequent subtle prompting, than hardshocking inducements.
Thanks for your insights all.
I am not anywhere close to the PRs of the original poster, but have been running 28 years and put in 10 to 12 milers 3 times a week, 37,000 miles total.
I agree that recovery time is longer.
Also, with me injuries caught up to me - major meniscal tear at age 47, almost didn't run again. Then later, changed my biomechanics and major hip stress fracture, healed once, then almost got another one last fall. So I changed my biomechanics back to the original way I ran for 26 years.
I'm just happy that I burn 100-and-some calories per mile at age 50 just like I did at age 21. It is still the same amount of exercise per mile, even if my times are slower.
Secondly, I focus on those shorter speedwork sessions, but not as many as I used to do. Keeps it interesting.
Third, I focus on beating friends I know who are my age, which I can still do because we all seem to slow down at the same rate.
I used to be able to go out and run 35 miles, then bike another 40 miles...Or run a marathon, then lift weights...
Now, I am happy to push it for an hour on the treadmill and get in 3 or 4 intervals at 6 minute pace...I still feel like I'm working hard, and it still benefits my heart and mind.
Best advice I ever got.
a) old men run like they're afraid to leave the ground. (don't remember who said that one.maybe I did)
2) don't just scruff along! (John Gilmour, Australian masters champion)
3) and don't get fancy (Oliver Hardy)
It's all attitude. Yeah I know, I'm slower than I used to be, but ya gotta admit I look reasonably like a runner out there.
and ps-stop yer whining. You beat my skinny arse at grandma's last year. you smell weird too.
The Norwegian Jackrabbit
You can't imagine how much fun riding a kickbike really is. Fast downhills and turns, like a bike and a running type stride that makes you feel an Olympian all combined into one exercise. That, and no saddle sores or locked in positions like you would have on a bike. I would love to be able to race on one!
Oh and the Z-health continues to work well for me. I have had a busy and stressful week, which is usually tightens up my Psoas muscle and other muscles and throws everything out of alignment, but it has been kept at bay. If I feel things start to tighten I do the exercises and I get back into balance and the running is just fine.
Sure, I beat you, but if you'd been CLOSE enough to me you would've heard me wailing and gnashing my teeth.
-I'm not AFRAID of leaving the ground; I'd love to be able to. Plyometrics?
-Question...What's the LEAST fancy advice you see on this thread? 150 meter strides?
Kickbikes: I wonder if they ever miss when they switch legs? Looks like they switch every 4 kicks or so. At 65 KPH (on that downhill) that would hurt!
I am 52 and have been running for 33 years. I was following the no stretching path as well. I raced a bit when I turned 50 and was doing 5k at 17:30 or 18:00 minutes. I didn't have any problems until I had to find a new shoe to run in. I'd been doing fine in NB 764's, but cannot seem to find a new shoe that doesn't create some sort of issue in one knee or hip. I think if I order and return another pair from RoadRunner Sports they are going to put me on the banned list. Anyway, I've decided to try the stretching and monthly massage route to see if that helps me adjust to another shoe. I'm just maintaining at this point because my last pair of the 764s has no cushioning left and I have used enough Shoe Goo to create an unsightly mess on the soles. I can't figure out what it is that makes the 764 work and others to cause problems.
WxBoy ...Too much ShooGoo!( I bought my first tube of that last year for the first time since the 70's!)? Maybe your "no cushioning" 764's are so beat up and broken down that your feet have adjusted to a less than optimal position? Do you need to stengthen your feet? Try walking around bare foot? rolling a tennis ball under your feet? What your feet are doing can create havoc with your hips and knees.
There are two types of aging runners.
Those who didn't run earlier in their lives (or ran in school and took a big BIG break)and their legs are fresh.
Then there is the second type. Those who have been running continuously for 25-30 years or more. They have many (many) miles on their legs.
I am the second type. Somewhere between 90-100K on my legs.
The accumulated wear and tear is too great so we are just lucky to be running at all.
The only times I have run over the last 15 years was when I was forced to take two months off from running by non running related injuries. I came back each time slow as mud but within about 3-4 months I would snap back into shape and run faster than I had in the previous 3-4 years.
Nothing else was different except that each period of improvement was preceded by several months of no running (or cross training..sorry).
Nolan Shaheed takes one month off every year before gradually building back up to 12 miles a day , 6 days a week. He starts out with 4 miles runs. The next month they become 5 miles and so on each month until he is at 12. No speed work until he is at full strength. Of course he is exceptional. Read it and weep.
Are you and/or the Rabbit doing Grandma's again this Year?
It's on my to do list. I jogged it with my Bro-in-law last year but hope to put some effort into this year if it's cool, like it used to be.
Jackrabbit is trying to get in the Half, and I am running Boston...and depending on what you all decide is best for these aging legs, MAY be on the starting line again.
See you there one way or another. Happy training!
I'd agree with TDF. Strengthen those feet. Assuming you don''t have any plantar problems walk around the house at first barefoot. Light rope-skipping maybe, on carpet.
Replace shoes regularly. Shoe Gu is make-up for broken down shoes!
Add to the list:
-minimalist shoes worn on dirt for 80+% of mileage.
-heavy rotation of shoes (at least three different pairs/week)
- solid weight training sessions, at least 2x week
-skipping, bounding, tip-toes on moderate 100m incline
-Don't try to "mark the hydrant" with the studs in training group; instead, hang back and amuse the ladies :)
-regular checkup for ferritin if that is even a possibilty, be aware of seasonal effects (low-grade infections, heat, allergies, etc.) and adjust training to be better in-tune with your body.
- all runs done progressively in effort and pace. Some of my best runs feel like $*#@ the first few miles.