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

http://www.seniorrunner.com/

Bruce Silverman
Founder Of Senior Runners



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.

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!

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!



 

 


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 it worth the possible physical toll on our bodies. We are not all the same physiological animals, so keeping that in mind is a 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 onto 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 would say, “take a day-off”, but I don’t want to; I look forward to my daily run! The cliché 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 mean our lives revolve around our passion, whose positive points also carry over into many other aspects in our lives.
We’d love to hear about your streak, please e-mail us your story!

A super mega-nutrition meal

If you can take it – great for the immune system For us runners calories not a problem. I like a homemade vinegar and olive oil with blue cheese added.

I prefer to eat my mega-nutrition meal for breakfast, after my run and a shower. The beets and broccoli bring the nutritive value off this meal off the charts, so try to include them if you can. You can try adding some of your other favorite vegetables too!

Best of health,

Bruce Silverman

http://www.seniorrunner.com/

Bruce Silverman

Founder Of Senior Runners