Motivation Comments Off on Stay in shape with Running |

Stay in shape with Running

Running is an excellent way to stay healthy and be in shape for any age, writes Deepthi Velkur.

The benefits of running outweigh the risks and helps in reducing the many impacts of aging to a great extent. Seasoned runners tend to have better mobility, weight control, muscle strength, bone density and an overall sense of well-being. According to a recent Stanford university study, frequent runners tend to experience ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, neurological ailments, high blood pressure on an average 16 years later than non-runners. This makes it a great sport to take up at any age and especially for seniors its a great way to stay fit.

Here are some simple pointers to keep in mind if you want to start of your running career in your golden years:

Set realistic goals- Keep your goals small and attainable. There is a loss of muscle strength, aerobic capacity, higher recovery time and rest required as you get older; as a result, you cannot train and race at the same intensity. However, endurance runners who continue running into their older years have a much-reduced muscle loss when compared to inactive people of the same age. Adjust your expectations, pick realistic goals and continue to be active and committed to running.

Check with a professional-If your new to running or taken to running after a long break from being physically fit, checking with a doctor or a healthcare professional is a good idea and helps you build a customized training plan. Senior runners should always take the advice of a physician and the guidance of the coach before endeavoring into running.

Proper running gear- Choosing the right running gear is more important than just your comfort. With the body loosening up as you age, selecting the right type and size of clothing as well ensuring proper running shoes with adequate cushioning is imperative. You will find specialized running shoes in the market so get out and do some shopping.

Strength Training- Regular strength training helps in a slower decline of the muscle mass and this becomes very important when you are taking up an aerobic sport like running. Improved muscle mass helps the muscles to absorb more impact caused due to running and less stress on the joints. A mixed workout which includes swimming, cycling, yoga, simple leg and core exercises such as squats, planks, push-ups, and lunges help in your running performance and improves injury resistance when you are a senior runner.

Balance and flexibility- You can work on improving your balance by standing on one leg for 30 seconds or some yoga exercises like the tree and eagle pose. Legs, back, hips, and shoulders feel stiffer since they lose elasticity with time. Regular stretching and yoga especially post running improve flexibility.

Injury Prevention and proper recovery time-Slight change in body signals should not be ignored especially for senior runners and must be given immediate attention. Ensure your fitness plan includes adequate rest as it gives the body time to strengthen itself. Stretching before and after runs is equally important. Regular massages and foam rolling is also beneficial.

Follow these simple tips and you can hit the road with a calmer and focused mind as a senior runner. Running goes a long way in helping you achieve a balanced state of physical and mental well-being, so what are you waiting for – lace up those shoes and run free.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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Training Comments Off on Quick Fixes to improve your Running |

Quick Fixes to improve your Running

If you want to keep advancing as a marathoner then it is important to become an efficient runner, writes Nandini Reddy.

Runners are always looking to improve timing, speed and technique. The more efficient they become – the faster they progress as runners. In the recent times there have been several new innovative running techniques that have evolved and been adopted by runners across the world. But aside from extensive training schedule changes you can also look to improve your running efficiency sneaking in a few quick fixes.

Learn to Sprint

Sprinting can become a part of your training schedule with ease. You will need to add sprinting at maximum intensity to your training schedule at least 3 times a week. Why does this help? Essentially because sprinting pushes you to your limits of capacity and your energy is purely converted to speed. In the process your stride improves and thus boosts your running technique. Start with doing 5-10 sprints in 10-15 second bursts. This you can alter or vary according to your running level.

Train Barefoot

Most running shoes come with extra cushioning and are fixed with more technology than your laptops. But this extra compensation from the shoe means you don’t pay attention to your strides because your shoes compensates when you over-stride. While this might not be noticeable in the short run, you will notice that you are tiring out faster in the long run. Getting the right stride length is crucial to becoming a more efficient runner. It also reduces the risk of injury and conserves your energy. If you find barefoot too uncomfortable then opt for shoes that have less cushioning so that you can run comfortably in the right stride length.

Get Flexible

Our jobs today do not let us move around much. Most of us are sitting 90% of the time at office. This can stiffen your hip flexors and that can ruin your running efficiency. When the hip flexors are tight, it makes it hard to push off and your stride get affected and you will also consequently use more energy to generate the same thrust. So remember to stretch and work out your hips so that there is improved flexibility.

Squat it

Squats can strengthen muscle groups that are important for running. Work in at least 3 days of strength training and ensure you do squats. Strengthening the muscles means that you can run faster and remain injury free. Watch your squatting technique so that you can get the maximum effect.

Lean it

Leaning slightly forward can make a world of difference. The slight forward lean is a technique that skiers use to engage their whole body. This allows for better form and makes running slightly less tiresome. This also prevents you from sinking into your hips. The idea is the maintain a straight back and then following the skier slight forward lean is a good running form.

Simple changes can help you run faster and longer and make your runs more enjoyable.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.

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