Let’s Not Forget the Lessons Learned…

Ah the fall is just is just around the corner and the change of colors in most of the parts of our great country. And the cool breezes in the season we all seem to love so much. But let’s not forget the lessons learned and lessons to learn with a little less then month left during the sweltering heat of the summer months.

We will not discuss in depth the common sense rules of running in heat and just a reminder of the basics. Keep hydrated to the max and if you run at mid-day in ninety plus and high humidity weather you better be in damn good shape or only blame yourself for the ambulance coming to pick up your not so smart self up off the ground. Also try to run very early in the morning or at evening time when things cool down a bit. And shade is your ally so look for those shaded trees.

Okay some of us love the heat but many of us prefer the fall and spring and the not-too-cold dead of the winter. The summer usually takes on the characteristic in many places of constant heat throughout most of this season where winter can ease off at times so summer months can be intense. So this can be a tough time for the novice runners as well as some of us that do not take the heat well.

But if you’re like many of us, it is a challenge to get in tip-top shape as well as the challenge of never letting the elements taking us down as long as we follow the laws of nature already discussed above.

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So what is it about running in the heat that turns many of us on? For one, the intense sweating and getting hose toxins out of us. The great feeling after a sweaty run with the nice hot shower to the nice cool air conditioned house to a ice cold beer or cold beverage of our choice. You feel so good after a nice summer run even if in some cases we need to relax a little longer during the recovery period.

If you are the social type then people are outdoors doing many activities as well. For us loners this might be the only season we run with others and in some cases just by the chance of running alongside a stranger or someone you see from time to time out there on the path out there.

Then there is beach running as well that one can run barefoot which has some advantages in some folk’s opinions from time to time. And even though not the sweltering heat concept this is one of the few times of the year we can run at very high altitudes because during winter the weather is just too severe in these regions.

Then there is the free feeling of running shirtless if of male gender (or a very liberated woman). So in reality one can wear less which is just part of getting into the swing of this season. The main thing that is that one should take advantage of this time to get into great shape as the sweating and learning to handle the elements, leading to top conditioning.

So in summary, for us that prefer the cooler weather or even better the temperate weather this is a time to accept that we runners must always be up to the challenge and win over our ability to maintain the discipline. And what’s even better is when fall rolls in, Wow! what a great feeling that we can run again in the climate we love and at the same time we are defeating the SWELTERING HEAT OF SUMMER.

Best of health,

Bruce Silverman
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http://www.seniorrunner.com/

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Bruce Silverman
Founder Of Senior Runners


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Many readers will hate this article.

I say this with confidence because I am about to encourage you to incorporate a “hard” run into your regular routine. That means that in this writer’s opinion, our readers should make it a point to get out of your comfort zone–and away from the “fun” runs that we so much enjoy–and do a grueling two-mile “hard” run once or twice a week. Just get out and run–HARD!

There’s no escaping it: running hard means WORK! It also means that there is no escape from the not-so-wonderful experience of pain that comes from running hard. It hurts and it is mostly not much fun–except for the feeling of accomplishment from which your post-run pleasure is derived.

The idea here is to retard the aging process for a runner, and through my experiments, it is my belief that this can only be done by incorporating “hard” runs on a regular basis. We need to keep ourselves strong as we age, and in my opinion, it is very important to get in that fast-paced run once or twice a week.

We all have a training routine.

For those of us who do not race (or who do not race very often) it is easy to get into a pleasant routine of pure “fun” runs–which is of course one of the main reasons we run and enjoy our sport so exuberantly.

For those runners who race, I would assume that there is some kind of regimen undertaken in order to try to do one’s best on a given race day. Speed training on a track could be part of that regimen, and that would be great for those runners who enjoy it.

There are many runners, like myself, who cannot bring themselves around to the habit of so-called “interval” training on the oval. Surges on the road are better for runners like me. I am sure that we are all familiar with the term “all out runs” which some us are in the habit of implementing during the course of our regular run.

I suggest that instead of doing short “hard” runs during the course of our regular run (as in “I’m going to run full-on flat out HARD from tree A to tree B and then go back to my regular pace after that.”) during our daily runs, why not just do some good old-fashioned flat-out “hard” runs in addition to our regular runs.

The important thing to bear in mind, in this writer’s opinion, is that we need these hard runs. We need to do them, training-wise, in order to really keep fit as we age. A hard work-out or two each week has so many benefits. I know from my personal experience that “hard” runs make me feel like I have achieved pure accomplishment. They also, by-golly, make me feel young, young, and younger!

We senior runners can do “hard” runs! Afterwards, we can take tremendous satisfaction knowing that we did it! We can do it! We can amaze ourselves! Talk about a runner’s high!!!

That being said, I now have to say this: Just be careful! The goal is to preserve our bodies by doing the “hard” runs, not injure them!

Strive to keep an even pace during a “hard” run. That said, I have to comment that an even pace is not as significant as knowing–by the sound of your breathing–that you are pushing yourself very hard.

Many runners try to run at an even, comfortable pace–so they look good to passing folks (or to folks that they are passing). When doing a “hard” run, some of us prefer to stick to the two or three mile runs, but others of us, with more ambition, prefer longer “hard” runs.

When I started running “hard” two to three milers–sometimes as often as five times a week–I threw the rules of “looking good” out the window!

I grunt and I moan as I run! Pain from the exertion starts to build and I and start yelling out loud to myself as I run “THIS HURTS!”, I yell, and “I HATE MYSELF FOR DOING THIS TO MYSELF!”. It’s a little unorthodox, for sure, but yelling, for me, releases the stress of the pain and discomfort that the “hard” run generates on my body. As a matter of fact, pushing myself to my limit during a “hard” run, all yelling aside, has turned into an addiction! Running on the edge of my endurance has become a pleasure that I want to duplicate, over and over again!

Okay so down to the nitty-gritty:

• If you run at a slow pace, day after day, there will no doubt be benefits to you physically–so don’t deter one from this routine!

• If you never change your routine and only run slowly each day, in this writer’s opinion, in most cases, you can lose your mental edge.

• My belief is that you have to have some “hard” runs, even if you hate every moment of the pain involved in the process–please keep your eye on the accomplishment instead in order to reap the satisfaction!

• If you have not integrated “hard” runs into your regimen, and if you do not run in races, try adding “hard” runs to your running routine and see great results.

• I know from experience that what I am suggesting is not easy, but it is well, well, worth the price you pay in physical exertion!

Try out my suggestion, and then come up with your own personalized routine and send Senior Runner the results of your experiments and efforts. We’d love to know if, after trying it out, you would agree with this writer.

If you have a special training method you would like to share with us, please send us an email, we would love to hear from you!

As always, enjoy and best of health from Senior Runner.

Best of health,

Bruce Silverman
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http://www.seniorrunner.com/

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Bruce Silverman
Founder Of Senior Runners


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Survival Mode and Runner’s High: Dulled Senses Comes Alive

“Why do people do such things?” we ask, disturbed by the notion that someone could be so unhappy as to take their own life.

On another occasion, we contemplate the big picture. In our world there are nine hundred million people who go hungry daily, and two billion people who are malnourished. There is war. There is genocide. Innocents are hurt or destroyed. A loved one suffers from disease or distress….

How do we not get depressed by the world we live in?

Contemplating the world situation can be overwhelming, and many people in the real world have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning, especially if they might be facing personal problems, health issues, family or possibly financial problems.

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How does one cope with the enormity of it all, and get through these numbing times?

Religion helps many people to cope. Through religion, a person can learn to break down and compartmentalize an overwhelming issue and re-package it into a format that is more manageable for the individual. Ritual practices of established religions also can be a big help, especially if one is active within an organized religious structure, such as a church, synagogue, or mosque.

But for many people, the only means of surviving the deluge of negativity is to establish a connection to the world in which one lives; finding a way of putting matters into perspective that bring dulled senses alive. Despite the suffering and imperfection of this world, it is the only world we have. As individuals, we must find a way to persevere–and to flourish– despite the odds, as survival is the only choice.

I have found that my means of coping with the harshness of reality is by getting high… an endorphin rush generated by an hour’s brisk run and meditation brings on a “runner’s high”, and I can handle pretty much anything!

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I run…therefore..I…can…BE.

The rush is real; the high is real. There is nothing like the feeling of well-being created by the runner’s “high”. It can help to overcome the numbness of the senses that could come to be considered “life” in today’s world. A runner’s “high” creates feelings of euphoria and happiness; it puts the world in perspective. It generates a sense of peace and of empowerment, and in some of us, it fuels the sincere desire not just to help ourselves, but to help others as well. For many people, it brings out the creative juices. A runner’s “high” has been described as going into a “safe zone”, where no matter how bad things may really be, they are perceived to be manageable; while in the zone, nothing is so overwhelming that it is totally bad, or totally good, or even totally great.

Does the runners high help us to survive? YES! In the opinion of many folks I have talked to, absolutely yes!

What effect does a runner’s high have on the dulled senses we acquire from the tragedies in the world, coupled with the constant personal challenges in life? Does it revitalize our outlook on life? Again, many runners believe that it does. After that one hour trot, life becomes clear and focused again; it is good to be alive, and life, despite everything which faces us, is good.

Nothing will ever be perfect in our world on any given day. Does life become even better after breezy, brisk run? How could it not? Have you ever heard anyone in good running shape say, “Gosh! I feel terrible!” after a typical run? Well maybe… but not often! The runner’s post-run “high” tends to make the world wonderful again…even if just for a little while!



 

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