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


Runner’s High

Early evening runs, where I go out and run at a nice, relaxing, pace for half an hour to an hour or more, are just heaven!

Most folks work during the daytime, and morning runs are a perfect meditation for the upcoming events of the day ahead. For me, those early evening runs, when the sun is going down while I take my last long strides, are what elevate my mind out of the humdrum of the day and bring me to a higher, happier, mindset.

When I lived on the beach in California, after my evening ten miler from the Venice Beach Boardwalk to Santa Monica–five miles there and five miles back– it was my habit to always follow my run with a cool down on the beach, breathing deeply of the wonderful sea air. Nowadays, living as I do in the mountains of Baguio City in the Philippines, it is breath-taking vistas of trees and more trees, luxuriating in the perfect climate that is the hallmark of my post-run cool down. I feel so filled with wonder, so blessed, that when my run is finished, I can be here admiring nature’s beauty.

After my evening run I am relaxed, and hopefully I can have nothing more strenuous than leisure time to look forward to for the rest of the evening. Many runners I know, like myself, have post-run rituals that we indulge in as we reflect on our lives and savor the last of our running meditation. I love taking a long hot shower.

I enjoy stretching in the shower or getting down on my knees, just to appreciate life and to remind myself not to take life for granted. It is not a religious act, being on my knees, but part of a ritual encompassing the daily cycle of life.

Running, in my opinion, creates a positive domino effect on life. If we run, then we care about our diet. If we are relaxed as a result of running, then we are better parents and better people. Okay, I know I am being a little “preachy” and idealistic here, but I believe that there are many positive results that can be achieved directly because of our addiction to running! When one’s health is good–thanks to running–then most all else takes a back seat; because one feels good – – great even – – and life’s difficulties are easier to handle.

At the end of the run, and after the rituals which follow it, it is my habit to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages of choice. I think of it as my reward for a run and meditation well done and well enjoyed. Indulging in a few drinks is not the reward of choice for everyone–we each have personal preferences as to what we consider a reward. My reward is a few vodka tonics, or a few glasses of wine, served together with a delectable array of appetizers and, if possible, good company as well. Others may consider their reward a great cigar, or a healthy meal. Irregardless of what constitutes an individual’s idea of a reward, each of us deserves that indulgence because we worked for these rewards with our running.

What a great, healthy, life, both mentally and physically, we have that to attribute to our positive addiction to running!

Best of health,
Bruce Silverman