PRP. Platelet-rich plasma.  It’s a relatively new treatment used for rehab of injured tissues, and is considered a “regenerative medicine” modality. Blood is taken from the athlete, placed in a centrifuge so that platelets, which are fragments of blood cells involved in the clotting process, are concentrated.  The injection of these platelets into injured tissues stimulates the release of the body’s own growth factors, which in turn stimulate an increase in cells that repair injured tissues.  In theory, the body should in time be able to do the job on its own.  But where there is chronic tendinopathy, as is often the case with proximal hamstring tendons, it’s hard for the body to get ahead of it and an acute problem becomes chronic.  PRP has been shown to be a viable option as reported in the Muscle, Ligaments, and Tendons Journal (is there not a research journal for everything!) Hamstrings are often the runner’s nemesis.  Yet we couldn’t run without them. Our hamstrings allow us to pull our leg backward (concentric movement) so we move forward and when the leg is extending in front of us, they serve as an eccentric brake to keep our gait controlled and rhythmic. They work in concert with the quadriceps.  One … Continue reading


For the past three years I’ve been dealing off and on with hamstring issues.  One side would resolve and then the other would act up.  It has resulted in fairly long stretches of having to rely on deep water running and StairMaster to stay in shape.  During this time, I’ve been limited to 1,200 to 1,300 miles of running per year – not enough to be in top racing shape. At various times I’ve done PT, massage, and dry-needling to work through these bouts.  Eventually, I’d get to the point where I can train and race but in time the hamstrings start talking.  It’s getting old!  My PTs regularly advised me tight hamstrings were a likely culprit though I’ve consistently stretched before and after runs and felt I was reasonably flexible, at least for a runner.    I belong to the local Y and they have free 60-minute yoga classes for members. I’ve known of yoga for many years and had seen plenty of pictures of those deep into the practice, twisted like pretzels.  I wasn’t interested.  I just wanted to be flexible enough to run.  But having noticed an increasing stiffness in my gait along with these hamstring issues, I figured I’d give yoga a try. The classes allow … Continue reading

Inching Along

I tweaked my right hamstring last October 27th.  It didn’t seem that serious.  I stopped immediately, then took it easy for two weeks leading up to the Grand Prix 5K, on November 13 which I essentially did at a fast jog.  I have a great PT and working together we’ve seen the recovery progress, then regress, then progress again.  At a fundamental level, it’s frustrating. But it serves to bring home the fact that with age recovery happens in new and mysterious ways.  As is important at any age, we go one step at a time and take what the body gives us. I had no idea three and half months later I’d still be dealing with this issue.  My training runs are slow, yet I feel the hamstring with every step.  Some days it’s better than others but always there.  Now, I’m looking at the first 2023 Grand Prix race this Super Sunday, a 5K in Cambridge, knowing I am not at my best.  It will once again be akin to a fast jog.  But I decided to go ahead.  It’s always good to see the array of club colors and catch up with folks who live four hours away from the reaches of northern Vermont.  I’m better understanding the adage … Continue reading

Focus on the Process

I’ve been reading The Passion Paradox by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness.   It’s not a long book – 164 pages – but it’s packed with practical ideas and analogies.  Not a quick read.  In fact, after reading it once and putting it down for a few weeks, I picked it back up and am reading it again.  Am seeing more the second time through for sure!  That’s often the case with good books.  For the record, the authors are accomplished runners and coaches.  Magness ran a 4:01 mile in high school.  I’ve heard conversations with each of them on The Morning Shakeout Podcast with Mario Fraioli.  Both really solid, thoughtful guys, which led me to buying the book. The essence of the book is that passion can be the fuel to do great things.  It can also lead us off a cliff.  Rather than seeking a balanced life, when we are driven by passion things can be great – we’re focused and full of energy – things get done – but we need to watch for signs we’re approaching the cliff.  One of the dangers of passion is it is often results oriented: “I do this so I can accomplish that.”  And it may happen, but it may not. They use an example of Brenda Martinez leading … Continue reading

Broken Pieces

For the past 20 months, I have had a desk in a co-working facility in Burlington, Vermont called HULA.  It’s an amazing place.  Visitors marvel that THIS could be located in northern Vermont.  It’s an old oven factory located on Lake Champlain that has been completely modernized and added to.  It’s spacious, very bright due to huge windows everywhere, and boasts net-zero energy usage due to solar panels covering the entire roof.  Like most projects of this scale, it took entrepreneurs with vision and a high-risk tolerance to make it happen.  By all measures, it’s a great success.  There are over 400 “members.”  About half are connected to the 50+ businesses based here with enclosed office spaces.  Another 200 or so are “air disk” members, typical of co-working places everywhere – they have 24/7 access and sit wherever they find open spaces and desks, never a problem to find.   About 50 of us have “designated desks,” which provides us with our own sit-to-stand desk situated next to a window, with a filing cabinet, a small bookcase, and dividers between desks.  There are 16 conference rooms and about 20 phone booths available to all members for meetings or extended call or Zoom. The reason this is relevant to my Run Strategies blog … Continue reading

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


In Again to Carthage, the sequel to John Parker’s Once a Runner, Quentin Cassidy, the fictional Olympic Silver Medalist miler turned marathoner, suggests the allure to racing is “when you’re a competitive runner in training, you are constantly in a process of ascending.”   He muses this is true in various endeavors as we age, including running prowess, but eventually things level off – and then decline.  Moving “up” to the marathon gave Cassidy another chance to ascend and a driving force in his obsessive training regimen.  Parker is a compelling author, who draws on his own experiences as a competitive runner and the last couple of chapters of Carthage are riveting. Unless we change sports, the time will come when we run (literally!) out of options to move up.  For any given distance, our times will erode.  Assuming running is an important part of our lives, this is the masters runner’s dilemma. Our success and happiness in life depends upon finding ways to accept declines in those things we love to do and feel competent doing. In The Master’s Athlete, Peter Reaburn suggests age-grading (AG), developed by Alan Jones and adopted by World Master’s Athletics (WMA), serves to provide such an opportunity.   An AG% is the ratio of one’s time compared to the … Continue reading


Over the years, we get used to going to key races, such as the regional USATF Grand Prix Series, and seeing our friends and rivals there.  That’s a big reason why we travel to these races.  Many of us keep track of our times and places at these events and maybe note who we beat or beat us.  Yes, this can be obsessive, but it’s also part of the fun! Yet, as we age, we see fewer of our cohort showing up.  We invariably hear directly or through the pipeline about the reasons why: an acute or chronic injury; a serious debilitating illness; an unwillingness to train as workouts feel harder and less fulfilling; less motivation due to slowing times; and even death.  The data bears this out.  Results from the 2019 BAA Distance Medley Races (5K, 10K, Half Marathon) with over 23,000 finishers, showed that 80% of the field was under age 50; 14% were 50-59 and just 6% over 60.  Last Saturday’s New Hampshire 10 Miler, a tough, hilly Grand Prix race that weeded out some younger casual runners, drew 1,088 finishers.  Of those 33% were over 50 and 11% over 60, with just 23 runners 70 and older.  It would be an interesting longitudinal study to … Continue reading