Jun 09

Is age just a number?

Dara Torres think so. I think a lot of the fiction around growing older is built from our own unawareness of our bodies; how it functions and how to maintain it. Much of what we are capable of, we are told at an early age is impossible. Mentally this colors our attitudes on what we ‘think’ we can achieve.

Yesterday at the track, I was helping some runners. Before they took off, I said a time as a suggestion of what should be possible for that bout. After they finished, they told me that they hit the exact time I had yelled out. Coincidence? Maybe.

For me, my mental aspect is everything. Sure I train hard physically, but on any given day, if I am mentally exhausted, angry or depressed, I’ll have a crappy workout. So, I’m learning new tricks on how to change my focus and mental aspect. It’s not easy and it’s not something that any teaches. But, I feel, it is important and one of the keys to my success.

Jun 09

Humidity and Running in it

Ugh! It’s not just hot, but humid too. Humidity hurts because it hinders your body’s natural ability to cool itself. The air has more moisture in it so the moisture from your body (sweat) really has no where to go except into your shorts, socks and shoes. In the Midwest, it can get particularly nasty for extended periods of time during the summer months.

While you can still run in hot humid conditions, you are wise, at least when the muggies first start, to slow your pace down. Your heart will have to work harder to keep your body cool which means that you are actually getting a decent workout even though your paces have slowed. Revise your training and racing expectations and have fun with it. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and get electrolytes. I prefer taking Elete tablets than dosing with Gatorade or other “sports drinks”. Mostly that’s because of my food allergies. I take at least one tablet a day in the summer and when I’m doing long runs in the summer, I may take 2-3 during the run itself and carrying water with me. Sure I sweat a ton and it gets uncomfortable and I’m constantly doing laundry, but I figure I’ll be in awesome shape come fall!

Jun 09

Summer is here!

Just this week, a friend of mine was thankful for air conditioning. Year after year, I tend to forget how brutal the humidity can be around here in the Midwest. Sometimes I’m not sure if I am running or swimming! Hydration is oh so important when it gets hot and drinking fluids even when you are not thirsty will help to top off the tank. It’s especially important for older runners to continue to drink beyond their thirst because I’ve read that as we age, our thirst mechanism goes a bit daft and isn’t always a good indicator of what we need. So drink up and try to keep the alcoholic and caffeinated beverages to a minimum.