Diet

The best policy in my opinion is the old adage that if you leave it on the table and two days later it is spoiled, then it is good for. But reality is as follows. We all have different constitutions.

I feel like crap after a Big Mac and fries so I stay away from that kind of food. I feel great after my breakfast which is a salad which consists of fresh broccoli and carrots, lettuce, tomatoes, hot chilies, beets, onions and any other fresh veggies I can find at my local market. Then I add any of my favorite salad dressings. This is my breakfast and it works for me but many think I am nuts.

Every time I eat a lot of fruit, I feel the sugar highs in a bad way so I nibble only from time to time. But a chocolate bar before my weight workout and I feel great.

Rule of thumb is we runners are taking care of ourselves and we have little weight problems because of our hobby so we need to find a diet that’s right for us.

I love pasta but i can only eat it at certain times of the day. If I eat oatmeal for breakfast I am shot as I feel like my stomach has cement in it. But that same oatmeal as a night time dessert with a little fruit added and I feel great. Find out what works for you and perfect it. Try to experiment and try to follow some of the laws of the food gurus, but do not take them as God-sent laws. Enjoy food from time to time that are what you love such as hotdogs, hamburgers and fries.

The idea of drinking lots of water throughout the day is a winner so try to drink as much as you can handle. Sports drinks is your call as i am not a fan. Chocolate milk or powder protein are great for many and makes me fill like a brick wall after. Coconut water many believe is great and it does work for me especially where i live in the Philippines where this fruit is in abundance.

But let’s sum this up as you are a runner and diet is so important, yet it should allow us from time to time to indulge ourselves in the less healthy elements in our diet. The key is through trial and error to find the right diet for your energy and health, as we all have different constitutions. So find what is right for you.


Beginners

Okay, so maybe you ran many years ago. Maybe you loved basketball or soccer or weight training. So running after many, many years away from the sport puts you at the beginners level at age 50, or older. So how does one go about it? Well first of all, do the right thing and get a clean bill of health from your doctor. After getting the ‘okay’, start very very slowly. Listen to your body. Try to just enjoy yourself at the start, it might be a good idea to start at a school track to measure your progress. For me when I was in my early fifties, I made the decision to really stick with it after years of off and on again running, mixed with walking and hiking. I knew if I stuck with it, that it would save my sanity, and for dramatic purposes it would save my life.

So to keep it simple, nothing is better than coming back after years of not running, or being truly new to the sport. Out in the open space huffing and puffing and feeling alive from the positive benefits of running.

This beginner section is full of cliches, and IT’S NEVER TOO LATE and IT IS A SPIRITUAL RE-AWAKENING are amongst a few reasons to give it a shot.

For the recent Senior Runner new comers, please relate your experiences and your trials and tribulations.


The Streak

Many of us have “running streaks” which consist of many years of not missing a day of our favorite addiction–running. We do have to consider the price we might have to pay for not taking days off, and consider whether it is worth the possible physical toll on our bodies. We are not all the same physiological animals, so keep that in mind as part of the equation we have to consider.

Maintaining the streak can also be tricky at times. I live in the Philippines, and when I travel to the U.S., it involves more then one day of traveling time. I make arrangements on my layovers in Hong Kong or Japan to figure out a way to get in a short run. It is complicated to leave the airport building as one needs to go through immigration and then later through airport reentry. Sometimes I can run in an isolated area of the terminal, and in one case I had my run on the airport roof top! Anyway, with a little creativity, my own “streak” has stayed alive. It is going on eight years now, and I am blessed in that I have not had even one major injury in all my running years.
In this man’s opinion, my home weight training program has helped to keep my body in balance, so I think that aspect is an important part of the formula. The shorter runs, when the body says, “slow down” are important as well. It is a universal belief to pay attention when your body “speaks”. The mega-nutrition meal I consume once a day is, I believe, a great boost. I will give you my mega-nutrition meal recipe later on in the article.

What is the significance of the streak? The discipline it requires carries over on to all aspects of life. The daily calming influence is very important in this highly stressful world we live in. Running truly is a lifestyle, and it is for sure a positive addiction. Most people say, “take a day-off”, but I don’t want to; I look forward to my daily run! The cliche of wanting to “maintain balance” in daily life is really the key to keeping “the streak” alive.
Minor aches and pains come about, of course, and various rubs and heat ointments are needed to ease these, but that is all part of the charm of the streak.

I have a friend, now in his 70’s, who was a world class runner. He came in eighth in an Olympic marathon. Over the years he rarely missed a day of running, but now he can barely run. He did not round out his running program with weight training, and by using only the same muscles, day in and day out, the resulting imbalance in his body has become apparent. All-around fitness, with the emphasis on running, is a “must” in my belief, for the longevity of one’s running career .

For many of us, the idea of missing even one day of running is impossible to consider, unless we are physically unable. We are runners, and we think like runners, which means our lives revolve around our passion, whose positive points also carry over into many other aspects of our lives.

We’d love to hear about your streak, please e-mail us your story!

Best of health from,
Senior Runner