For me, 2018 has been the year of the 5k. Or, the return to the 5k. Through the first half of the year, I’ve ran 7 5k’s. I’ve improved my time in each one, but I’m still not close to my PR.
Left, right, left, right.
This could be a very short post. Actually going out for a run isn’t difficult, but really getting into running, making it a lifestyle habit can take a commitment and if you’ve never done it or it’s been a long time, it can be intimidating.
I joined a running group in the past year and it has a list of nearly 100 members, but only 20-25 regularly show up for the weekly runs. Why? A lot of people find ripping the band-aid off to get started overwhelming. Here are 5 steps to get started in running. It’s worth the effort. Running is one of the most beneficial exercises for both mind and body.
Just drink plenty of water and you’ll be fine. Right? Not exactly. Anyone that has run in the heat and ran face first into “the wall” can tell you that sometimes figuring out what enough means can be complicated. With summer training comes the heat and humidity, two of Mother Natures tougher foes for endurance athletes.
If you don’t have access to a coach or a lab, how do you figure out how best to hydrate so you don’t end up crawling along the sidewalk?
I’m currently dealing with a hamstring strain. So much for trying to do more strength training! Tuesday’s HIIT session ended prematurely as I felt my right hamstring tighten up and then give off a disturbing series of cracks and pops as I tried to stretch it out.
Ice it? Heat it? Stretch it? Rest it? Roll it? What is the best approach to healing and rehab that will ensure you’re only out a few days or a few weeks and not a few months? It’s a common question to any injury.
Here are the best ways to treat and prevent 5 common runner injuries. Don’t neglect those aches and pains and definitely do no try to run through any nagging niggles or tweaks. Listen to your body. Heal it up and then get back to running or exercising at full strength.
Here’s what I’m learning as a master’s athlete (i.e., an old man), there isn’t a lot of room for error. All those things coaches have been telling you for years (nutrition, strength training, stretching, rolling, recovery), if you don’t do them now, or try to skimp, like you did in your 20s or 30s, you will get injured or see impacts to your performance.
So far, the biggest impact to maintaining speed and fitness as I age has been to increase the focus and consistency of my strength training. I think I’ve finally hit on a formula that doesn’t make me dread going to the gym to lift.
The second biggest impact has been a return to the track and consistent speed work. It doesn’t have to be the gut-busting, lung burning intervals of high school or college. I’m learning that consistency over intensity is also a key to success as a master’s athlete.
I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a morning person, but I do realize that I am most productive in the morning up until about 2 pm. After that I end up in a downward motivational spiral until I land on the couch by 6:30 barely able to contemplate turning the pages of a book.
If I am going to get anything of consequence done, it’s usually in the morning. I’ve especially noticed with the Addison’s that if I don’t workout by lunch, it’s likely not going to happen.
Your cortisol levels peak in the morning and slowly bottom out by the late afternoon to allow you to begin to get ready to sleep. My synthetic dosages follow the same pattern to try to mimic the body. My motivation to lace up the shoes or get on the bike is highest in the morning.
But knowing something and being motivated and then actually doing it are somewhat different things. I’ve developed a few strategies that help get me out the door and get my morning workout done.
Before I transition to triathlons for the summer months, I have one month and one more 5k (you can read my recaps of the previous three here, here and here) to tackle in the spring season. My times have been inching downward and my goal is to get back under that 20 minute barrier. I’ve written in the past about the mental and physical demands of running a fast 5k. Now, I want to talk tactically about the 4 key workouts for a faster 5k that I’ll be using this final month of training.