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3590 Views 12 Replies Latest reply: Jan 7, 2009 4:00 PM by Meriadoc7
Meriadoc7 Rookie 6 posts since
Nov 11, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 11, 2008 9:11 AM

A real "NASCAR"


I am so glad to have found all of you.  I am a 60 year old.  While at points in my life I threw myself into fitness (mostly weight training and swimming), I have never been a runner.  I was always late to my my class after p.e because it took me so long to finish the track runs.  I never knew I could run.  I never felt as though I was athletic at all.  Do you remember during the presidential campaign, when Hillary C talked about how boring sports for girls were during the 60s- playing bb meant standing either in front of or behind the center line because defence and offense were segregated.  Girls were not expected to be athletes.



With that said, I have always known that I could "swim forever"... lots of slow twitch muscles, I guess.  I didn't consider running because I had knee surgery for torn cartilege in highschool that never healed properly and caused pain and instability.  On my 60th b'day, my husband gave me a gym membership, and being out of shape and 30 pounds overweights, I began working out again.  Now, 10 months later, I am back to my high school weight and am a real "nascar".... a non-athletic senior centering around running.  I had been interval training on the elliptical trainer for months and suddenly realized it was like jogging.  I jumped onto the treadmill and began running... and I fell in love with it.  I have worked up to between 2-4 miles on the treadmill, and have been adding weight training.. esp. legs for my knee and back (also support for my knee) on off days.  Sometimes my knee hurts, but it is getting stronger.  I am experimenting with different foot strikes for a style that supports my knee.  I was reading  about the ball of foot strike with flexed knee and that seems to work, as does the heel first method.  I have been afraid to leave the treadmill for the road because of my knee.  Today, however, I decided to brave it and went for almost a two mile run.   It was a bit tougher than the treadmill, where I hit a stride and can go forever... but using the ball of the foot/flexed ankle method, my knee caused very little discomfort.  I want to transition for the road, because, although I have only been treadmill running for 2 months, I would like to get to the point of training (and running) a race.



Do you have suggestions about 1)training schedule at my age (I love running and would love to do it as often as possible without injury or burnout) (2) knee pain from the cartilege surgery (I keep the quad muscles strong to keep the knee in place) and (3) transition to the road. (4) cross training: can I focus on weights or keep cardio intervals on the bike or elliptical?  I love running and hope to do it the rest of my life.  I had thought I was too old to begin this, but, thanks to your site, I may not be a freak.... just a nascar.



Thank you for any help you can give



  • runs4fun Pro 169 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Nov 12, 2008 6:22 AM (in response to Meriadoc7)
    Re: A real "NASCAR"


    1)training schedule at my age (I love running and would love to do it as often as possible without injury or burnout)



    Follow the rules of progressive overload (don't add more than 5%-10% per week to your total weekly mileage), overload and recovery (alternate slightly longer days with shorter days, thus "overloading" one day and "recovering" the next) and specificity (cross training that looks like running - i.e. walking or elliptical trainer - will help you more than cross training that doesn't look like running - i.e. swimming).



    (2) knee pain from the cartilege surgery (I keep the quad muscles strong to keep the knee in place)



    Don't just work the quads - but work the hips and lower back as well!  Also don't forget to maintain adequate flexibility with gentle stretches for all your leg muscles.  You can find some basic stretches and strength exercises here and here.



    and (3) transition to the road.



    as you've found - running on the road is a bit harder than the treadmill.  Make your transition gradually and if you can find a relatively smooth packed-dirt path that will be a bit more forgiving a surface than asphalt.  Doing some of your runs outdoors and some indoors on the treadmill will be a gentle way to make the transition. You mentioned trying to alter your natural gait pattern to alleviate pressure on your knees.  Keep in mind that your knees will be best helped with strong hips and flexible calves and your gait pattern will naturally migrate to what feels comfortable for you.  Conscious alteration of your running style may or may not be the right thing to do.  



    (4) cross training: can I focus on weights or keep cardio intervals on the bike or elliptical?



    the more your cross training looks like running (weight bearing, upright) the more the carryover of specific strength.  You can train your cardiorespiratory fitness with any form of rhythmic continuous exercise (swimming, bike, elliptical, cross-country skiiing, etc).  However if you want the greatest carryover of both cardio strength and muscle strength... the more it looks like running the better.  Walking, elliptical trainer, cross country ski machine... all have an element of weight bearing that you don't get with a bike.  Deep water running mimicks the running motion but avoids the impact so it too can be used as a form of cross training. 



    Best of luck to you in your journey and congratulations on finding your inner athlete!  Janet



    Train smart, achieve your goals... runningstrong



  • runs4fun Pro 169 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Nov 12, 2008 1:41 PM (in response to Meriadoc7)
    Re: A real "NASCAR"


    " 1. Is it o.k. to run more than 3 days/week (say 4 or even 5)? I take one complete day off a week at this point, and also, when I am totally fatigued. 4 days/week would mean I would have 2 cross training days- frankly, I love running and just tolerate bike or elliptical as necessary "evils."



    In my opinion, if you work up to it carefully, running 5 days a week is doable for most people.  Many runners divide a 7 day week as follows - one LONG run (no more than 33-35% of your total weekly mileage on that day though), two REST days, two EASY days (perhaps 10% of total weekly mileage these days) and two medium days.  It might look like this:   0 - 2 - 4 - 2 - 4 - 0 - 6 (total weekly mileage of 18).   If you're doing that - you'd probably do your strength workouts on your short days (the 2 mile runs) in order to give yourself two totally off days to recover.  Alternately you could do the cross training or strength ex on your "zero" days -- but that eliminates the opportunity for total off days. 



    "2. On cross training days I have been weight training, and have moved from standard to more interval weight training such as Turbulence Training or Crossfit. After a run, I also do some leg extensions, leg curls, Romainian deadlifts (this has completely eliminated my lower back pain) and abs. When I do TT, I also do a bike or elliptical interval- but the Crossfit seems to eliminate any need for more intervals. I know I should also be more structured in a stretching regimen, i.e. Yoga or Pilates. Question is could following an alternating running system you describe on, say, 4 days, and then 2 days of weight circuits/stretching work in lieu of regular running-simulating cardio?"



    Cross fit is pretty intense, so be gentle as you work your way into that form of training.  Listen to your body - especially in light of your history of back problems. A "structured" flexibility routine can be as simple as doing a series of gentle stretches after your run - or as complex as a Yoga class.  I prefer not to be locked into a class but if it works for you that's all that counts! 



    Good luck on your journey!  Janet



    Train smart, achieve your goals... runningstrong



  • runs4fun Pro 169 posts since
    Aug 23, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Nov 13, 2008 11:36 AM (in response to Meriadoc7)
    Re: A real "NASCAR"


    Elaine, I'm glad to help.



    "I have been reading in such places like Barry Sears' "The Zone" that after 45 minutes, free radicals run amok. At my age, I don't want that! I found an article on a running site that cited research that the fitter the body, the better it deals with the free radicals. I also take antioxidants, eat fruits/veggies, and drink green food. Obviously, as I run more, there will be days over 45 minutes. Any thoughts? "



    I wouldn't worry too much about the free-radical thing.  Yes your body produces things as a result of the exercise but the benefit of overall cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and metabolic fitness probably outweighs it. You're doing well with your food plan - stick to it.  Some of your runs will be shorter, others will be longer - don't fret too much about the free-radicals.



    "Question 2: I was reading one of your articles about building a base with long runs. The long, steady runs seem to work well with me, but I believe that I got to the cardio state to be able to run by my intervals on the elliptical. I don't really enjoy intervals on the elliptical, but don't mind running intervals or interval/hills on the treadmill. a) Should I be doing intervals? Were intervals the reason for my cardio development for running? b) Could I use Turbulence Training circuits or Cross Fit intervals for the cross training? c) Would the treadmill (or road) intervals/hills work as cross training or be too much of the same? I am really wondering that since I am only 2 months into running and building a base, are the intervals something I should be continuing."



    When to add interval training or hill work to a schedule depends on your long term goals.  If your goal is a particular race then the sequence is to build your base first (all runs at easy pace) and then when your base is established at a total weekly mileage and long run mileage consistent with the race you're targeting, then adding in a day or two a week of higher intensity running (either intervals or repeats or hill work) usually puts the finishing touches on your performance.  Your improvement to date was the result of your consistent training, not so much the intervals.  They helped.... but the higher intensity stuff carries with it a higher risk of injury and only an incremental reward of improved performance. You have to weigh that risk vs reward thing when you're designing your training plan.  As for the higher intensity cross training - again just watch the risk to reward thing.  If your "off" days consist of high intensity Cross Fit workouts... then techinically they're not "off days"! If you're only 2 months into running, you may want to focus more of your attention on easy pace or easy effort.  Two months is a critical time in the bone remodeling cycle (very common time for stress fractures to "pop up"). 



    Feel free to e-mail me directly if you wish - janet at runningstrong dot com. 



    Train smart, achieve your goals... runningstrong



  • fred-urie Legend 830 posts since
    Dec 17, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Nov 15, 2008 10:12 AM (in response to runs4fun)
    Re: A real "NASCAR"


    Hi. I'm 60 and have been running since 1975. I know the limitations of my body, and how much stress it can take.



    If I were you I would go at it carefully, maybe running every second day, and not bump the mileage for a while.



  • fred-urie Legend 830 posts since
    Dec 17, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Nov 19, 2008 8:39 AM (in response to Meriadoc7)
    Re: A real "NASCAR"


    My last off day was in 2002 when I was injured.



    I often run with a 56 year old guy who  does 2 hard boxing workouts for  total of 6 hours every week. He gained fitness by



    keepng his HR elevated by hitting the bag, etc.



  • fred-urie Legend 830 posts since
    Dec 17, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Nov 24, 2008 10:47 AM (in response to Meriadoc7)
    Re: A real "NASCAR"

    Yes, I run 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year.


    Here's my workout today:







    Indoor 200 track




    25 min. warmup




    15 min. of straights @ 5:30 mile pace and jog the curves




    20 min. easy running




    30 min. hamstrings and quads on the machines




    25 minutes running easy




    5 min. quads and hamstrings




    10 minutes running with a mile @ sub 6 ( HR over 160 on HR monitor )




    5 min. quads and hams




    30 min. basketball




    15 min. slow running



    I built up to get through this workout today.

  • Capt Gull Rookie 1 posts since
    Oct 22, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jan 7, 2009 3:31 PM (in response to Meriadoc7)
    Re: A real "NASCAR"


    I am similiar to you at 60 years old just started running this summer.  I have spent alot of time reading about running and have found little information aimed at seniors just starting.  Important things I have gleaned out of articles are :



    1) Treadmill must be .5-1% incline minimum to approximate the resistance your body moving forward against the air does not encounter on the treadmill. You'll notice the difference.



    2) Shoes should have very good cushioning as "older" muscles do not take the pounding as well. I feel less tired with heavier, well coushioned shoes than with 4 oz lighter and softer shoes.



    3) Muscles of our generation need more time to repair after workouts than what the training schedules geared for younger folks allow.



    4) Quads & calfs will build much faster and overpower the hamstrings. Hammys need more attention than running alone to keep up.



    5) Sreaching--read up- important after run/workouts. Don't overstretch prior to warmup.



    Hope this is food for thought. good luck.

































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