Thursday, January 10, 2013

For women after 50

Short notes to start off ;p


So what changes after the age of fifty that has an impact on your running. Well, for one thing everyone’s natural strength decreases. In fact at this point in life its’ been decreasing for a number of years. Muscular strength actually peaks at around age thirty so by time you reach age fifty you’ve lost a significant amount of muscle mass unless you’re doing some strength training to stem the tide.

Another change occurs in our ability to process oxygen. This is known as VO2 max and it decreases about 1% for every decade that we age. As our ability to process oxygen decreases over time you’ll begin to notice this when trying to do speed workouts or when running shorter races where the required effort is greater. The decrease in VO2 max has less of an impact when running longer and slower so many older runners gravitate towards longer events like the half or full marathon.
Another one of the more noticeable changes for me has been the decrease in my stride length. This occurs as we begin to lose some flexibility in our hips. This shorter stride length just naturally leads to running at a slower pace.


So if it’s all downhill after age fifty what is there to look forward to in running? Well, for one thing while we may be slower it does not mean we can’t run longer. As we get older we also get better at pacing ourselves and this has many benefits. Maybe it’s time to start thinking about the half marathons or that full marathon that you’ve always wanted to do? Many runners also just simply enjoy the “experience” more as they are now running for the pure enjoyment of it rather than competing.


So how do we do it? How do we stay healthy when the repetitive process of running for years starts to take its toll? The answer is diversification. Or in running lingo it’s time to mix it up and do some cross training. Instead of running everyday, which I’ve never really been a big proponent of, it’s time to mix in some cross training and even add a day or two off every week.


So what kind of cross training should one do? That depends on the individual and what your interests are. Cycling makes for a great alternative as it takes the feet off the ground while still providing a pretty good aerobic workout. The same can be said of swimming, which just might provide the best all-round conditioning workout.
Mixing in some weight training is also a great way to work on your core fitness and overall strength, with the added benefit of helping to increase your metabolism. Yoga has numerous benefits as well that can benefit your running and is used by many of the top athletes in the world as part of their fitness regimen.
Deciding what activites to add to your routine ultimately comes down to you deciding what other activities interest you and figuring out how to add them to your schedule.


Perhaps the best thing that you can do for your body at this point in your life is to take a day off every now and then. It’s no secret that the body just doesn’t recover as quickly at fifty as it did at twent five. So why not add in a day or two off every week. It can be a total day away from exercise or it can be an easy cross training day. Either way you’re giving your body a chance to rest and recover and that can only be a good thing.


My weekly regimen now consists of three to five runs per week depending on whether I have a race coming up or not. In addition to the running I also do one to two cycling workouts per week. Monday to Friday my day starts with a visit to the gym where I’ll do some stretching and core strengthening and on three to four of these days I’ll do some weight training.

On weekends I always take one day off and reserve the other day for a longer, slower run. If I’m overtired and feel that I need an extra day off I will not hesitate to take a weekday off to help recover. For me the combination of running, cycling, weight training and stretching has resulted in just an overall better fitness level. At this point in my life I know I'm not going to get faster, my priority is to keep doing what I'm doing for as long as possible and to stay as fit and healthy as possible.



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eezard_vazz said...

Awesome entry, Kak Justiffa... Luv the tagline Older n Wiser... Really catchy and definitely the positive side of being 50 plus... The most important is for us to bactive fit and healthy throughout our Golden Era... =D

Justiffa said...

Tq eezard... just trying my best to live a good life and die healthy lol ;))

June Malik said...

cayalah babe .. am still in a stupor lol