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.