Run Strategies is a comprehensive approach for masters, encouraging life-long running and racing. Whatever our age, there are some key elements needed to excel in endurance running:
- A highly developed cardiovascular function.
- Strong bones and the ligaments, muscles, and tendons that move those bones.
- Flexibility around key joints.
- Trained metabolic energy systems.
- Enhanced neural connections.
As we age, some of these systems and elements lose their strength and resiliency. But there are things we can do to address that;
- Strength and Flexibility Drills. As illustrated here, skipping and bounding drills help to maintain and enhance push off and elevation in the stance phase of the gait cycle. Often masters runners can be observed shuffling. The best runners of all ages spend very little time on the ground. Rather, they “float” during much of their gait cycle. Plyometric-type drills enhance float.
- Deep Water Running (DWR). I have found nothing that approximates running better than DWR. Using appropriate form, DWR uses the same muscles as running but eliminates the pounding. Some people run in shoulder deep water and that serves much of the same purpose, but does stress the feet and joints. If you are rehabbing an injury, shallow water running may not be advised.
- Resistance Training. To be at our best and stay healthy, we runners need to regularly lift weights. It’s even more important as we age. I suggest developing a routine of 8 to 10 exercises using machines and weights that takes 20-25 minutes to complete. And get to the gym three to four times a week to do them!
The Bright Side: Consistent training adhered to over many years psychologically attunes the masters athlete to the rigors of competition. No one is better prepared to put the hammer down than a seasoned masters runner! We likely won’t be running as fast, but the effort can be maintained.
I hope the information on this site, including the blog posts, helps with your training. At this time, I am not looking to develop a personal coaching business through Run Strategies. Rather, my aim is to provide tools that have worked for me and may work for you.