The Senior Runner YouTube Channel

The Run Strategies website was created in 2015 primarily to explore issues related to aging runners.  To date, the content has primarily been blog posts through my own journey as an aging runner.  I recently surpassed 100 posts and have been thinking about next steps.   When I was taking exercise physiology classes at UVM, I came across Andy Galpin, a research professor at Cal State Fullerton and Director of CSUF’s Center for Sports Performance. Andy has created around 40 YouTube videos, ranging from five minutes to over an hour on a range of exercise physiology topics.  These are fun and informative with interactive video elements.  He hasn’t posted a new one in a year and maybe he feels he’s exhausted the most relevant topics. The primary principles of exercise physiology pertain to all ages.  We all function within the same planes of movement and depend on such things at VO2 max and moving oxygen and glucose in and CO2 and lactic acid out of our muscles during performance.  However, each aging runner need only look at their own experience to know there are differences with aging.  But what are these differences and what drives the change? The Run Strategies blog posts have looked at some of these issues.  But I … Continue reading

Why We Age

We’re all getting older.  So, what else isn’t new?  Recently I was reviewing Peter Reaburn’s The Masters Athlete.  The first chapter sets the stage for the rest of the book by describing the aging mechanism.  Ultimately, it comes down to what is happening in our cells, the building blocks of our bodies.  I thought it might be of interest to readers to review the major theories of cellular aging and function.  The caveat is we are each somewhat unique individuals and as we age our differences are increasingly revealed.  Also, the factors discussed are interactive and some may be more dominant in one part of our lives than others.  Full disclosure, I have drawn liberally from Peter’s book in writing this post. So, here are six theories of aging impacting the senior runner listed in The Masters Athlete: Genetics. Reaburn suggests this is probably the major determinant.  Somewhat jokingly he suggests we pick our parents well!  In any event, our genes influence the other five factors discussed in terms of timing and degree.  Also, the expression of genes is affected by environmental factors, such as whether we smoke or live high-stress lives. Bottom line, genes guide our immune response, the function that helps keeps us healthy. Cellular Degeneration.  Cells respond variably to free-radical oxidation, which is … Continue reading

Give It a Rest (Blog Post #100!)

It’s no secret that as we age it takes longer to recover from races and intense workouts.  While the science clearly tells us that, the proof is in the pudding — we feel it! There is a fine line, sometimes a very fine line, between pushing it and giving ourselves a breather, to take the foot off the pedal for a few days or longer.  Doesn’t mean we’re comatose.  In fact, it’s good to do something aerobic everyday. It’s a good habit to have.  And something to look forward to and plan the day around.   Two weeks ago I ran a half marathon.  I was somewhat undertrained – averaging only 25 miles a week with just one 12-mile run and a couple of 10s in the prior three months.  But I thought I could maintain a pretty steady pace and maybe pick it up at the end.  I made some dumb mistakes: overdressed, didn’t take nutrition on the course, and wore new shoes.  Anyhow, at 11 miles I bonked – a strange feeling I hadn’t had in years.  Simply no energy or drive.  Flat out dead in my tracks!  I might have stopped, but the only way back was to the finish area. So, I walked, then jogged, walked some more, etc., only picking it up … Continue reading