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Thats an interesting article.
It is the opposite of what most of us older ones do and its in the areas that need improving most strenght and speed.

It was not until my late fifties that I noticed a lack of strength and base fitness, and when I got back into running in my sixties I found I needed more time for recovery.

Perhaps I would be better for me to cut out some of the steady runs and replace them with shorter tempo runs.

I'm doing weight training again but the weights I use are much lower than in previous years also had to cut down to once a week or my running suffers.
 

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It's an interesting article but at my time of life I'm afraid I pay little attention to what such articles say. Not that I ever did. I've run mainly for fun and fitness, and for love of being in the great outdoors, ever since I started and that's still my main priority. When people start talking about VO2max, lactate thresholds and the like, I'm afraid I haven't a clue what they're talking about, and don't want to know. My little brain can't cope with such things. I've never had a structured training plan, only lift weights on rare occasions when I go to the gym, eat what I enjoy (which is mostly fairly healthy), have a regular glass of red wine, and try to get an adequate amount of sleep. Why complicate matters? Why make it an obsession? There are other things in life (though perhaps not many left in mine!).
I'm reminded of a poem I once read:

A centipede was happy, quite, until a toad in fun
Said "Pray which leg moves after which?"
Which raised her thoughts to such a pitch
She fell exhausted in the ditch
Not knowing how to run.

No, I'm very much in favour of the Nike motto - Just do it!
 

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Someone tried to explain to me what VO2 max was, I haven't been so confused since we did all that Pythagoras stuff at school, I like to run to get rid of stress not add to it with a maths degree going round in my head.
I think Gordon's keep it simple method of just do it has a lot going for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think the article is only relevant if the 'it' that you want to 'just do' is beyond you due to age related decline.

If your goals match your physical condition then it's not relevant.
 

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It's and interesting article and this bit:

"As we age there is a tendency to increase duration at the expense of intensity. Workouts become longer and easier. The aging athlete needs to do just the opposite if he or she is to slow the aging process."

is definitely true for me, but part of the reason for this is that I have found by reducing intensity I can do more running, as I find longer slower runs take much less time to recover from than shorter faster ones.
It all depends what you want I suppose; to me its much more important to enjoy running and, within reason, to be able to do as much of it as possible, without worrying too much about how quickly (or not) I am going, or becoming over tired/injured as a result of pushing myself too much (been there, done that!)
Admittedly I do have a tendency to plod along at a very slow pace if I'm not careful, and I'm not saying I have no interest at all in ways to get quicker - I do do some speedwork (honestly :p) its just that I don't seem to be able to 'bounce back' from it as quickly as I used to so inevitably the amount of it that I do now, compared to say 10 years ago, has reduced.
I think for the author to say 'The ageing athelete needs to do just the opposite' is maybe oversimplifying things a little.

All just my opinion (albeit based on experience) of course. :)
 

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I think the article is only relevant if the 'it' that you want to 'just do' is beyond you due to age related decline.

If your goals match your physical condition then it's not relevant.
This is my case, although I did 16:32 for a 5000m some forty years ago which would now put me up the front of the local park run my current best of 50:04 is almost 10 mins slower than the faster MV60's. It would cetainly help me if I could get away from spending so much time training by doing more effective training as I have other hobbies and interests.

I think if I lived in Gordon's part of the country I would be more inclined to 'just do it' running on the steets of Reading with the local chavs shouting at you is not pleasent.

I'm hoping to keep running until I'm in my seventies, not many seem to make it to MV70 some races don't even have a V70 class.
 

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It's and interesting article and this bit:

"As we age there is a tendency to increase duration at the expense of intensity. Workouts become longer and easier. The aging athlete needs to do just the opposite if he or she is to slow the aging process."

is definitely true for me, but part of the reason for this is that I have found by reducing intensity I can do more running, as I find longer slower runs take much less time to recover from than shorter faster ones.
It all depends what you want I suppose; to me its much more important to enjoy running and, within reason, to be able to do as much of it as possible, without worrying too much about how quickly (or not) I am going, or becoming over tired/injured as a result of pushing myself too much (been there, done that!)
Admittedly I do have a tendency to plod along at a very slow pace if I'm not careful, and I'm not saying I have no interest at all in ways to get quicker - I do do some speedwork (honestly :p) its just that I don't seem to be able to 'bounce back' from it as quickly as I used to so inevitably the amount of it that I do now, compared to say 10 years ago, has reduced.
I think for the author to say 'The ageing athelete needs to do just the opposite' is maybe oversimplifying things a little.

All just my opinion (albeit based on experience) of course. :)
When I got back into running some three years ago I used to train in the lunch break at work for only 25 mins three time a week. The first 10 mins of the session was just a steady warm up for the next 10 mins which was a gradually increasing pace with the last 5 mins hard. All running was done over hilly heathland. It was enought to get get me 57 mins for my first 10k.

According to the article it was the right thing to do for someone of my age. I found it tireing but not as bad as the 12 mile runs since then.

As you say it all depends on what you want and for me its the excitement of competing against others of my age group.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I expect it's a matter of 'just doing the opposite' very gradually? Your body needs a chance to get used to the new demands. But ultimately what counts is what you enjoy. There's nothing wrong with going longer and slower as you age if you're doing it because you enjoy it! The key thing is that research shows that it doesn't NEED to be that way - which is good to know for those of us that enjoy the challenge of trying to get faster no matter how old we get.

OldBoy, a couple of things that I'm experimenting with:

Hill Sprints: These apparently boost human growth hormone (anti-aging, body fat reducing, muscle toning....AKA the youth hormone). I have to say that they make me feel great and they do seem to boost my recovery. They build muscle and therefore speed, but because they do it by working your muscles under load there's less actual speed so less risk of muscle pulls - so in a way a gentler way to build speed than getting out on the track and running fast. Although they're called hill 'sprints' you go at your fastest speed - be that walk, jog, run or flat out sprint.

http://www.mattfurey.com/hill_sprints_fit_101904.html

Form Drills: Your body always tries to find the most efficient way to do things. When you're young that's typically the right way. As you get old and develop muscle imbalances, weaknesses and postural problems you often end up doing things in ways that the human body was never designed for. Maybe you can keep doing it for a long time, but you struggle to move fast. These drills can help you to run as you did when you were younger (so they say - I've only just started trying these):

http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=17578

Strength Training: Someone from my club recently sent me these links. They explain exactly how you should go about strength training for running. I found them very interesting and the nice thing for many people is that it doesn't require a gym!

http://www.mile27.com.au/resistance-training-for-runners-part-1/
http://www.mile27.com.au/resistance-training-for-runners-part-2/
 

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I expect it's a matter of 'just doing the opposite' very gradually? Your body needs a chance to get used to the new demands. But ultimately what counts is what you enjoy. There's nothing wrong with going longer and slower as you age if you're doing it because you enjoy it! The key thing is that research shows that it doesn't NEED to be that way - which is good to know for those of us that enjoy the challenge of trying to get faster no matter how old we get.
With me it was more a case of my body not being able to cope with with old demands, let alone get used to doing any new ones. :lol:

(I'm with you on the hill training by the way - I've been doing this quite regularly lately and am sure it has helped me a lot more than 'normal' interval work.
Also I have found cross training (in my case spinning) seems to help as well - I do two shortish but fairly intense sessions a week - possibly this has a similar effect to strength work?)
 

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Ultimately what counts is what you enjoy. There's nothing wrong with going longer and slower as you age if you're doing it because you enjoy it!
My sentiments entirely, as you'll gather from my Blog, but I also enjoy running fast - if you can call it that nowadays! Today, during a 7 mile run, I stuck in 15 x approx 200m intervals just for the joy of it and that exhilerating feeling of speed. The first ones were at 6.43 pace but gradually speeded up to 5.45 pace.
The main problems for me, as I get older, are loss of stride length and inability to maintain fast speeds over any sort of distance. In my sixties I could keep up a 6.36 pace for the duration of a marathon: nowadays I doubt if my cardio-vascular system would allow me to maintain that pace for a mere mile.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
My feeling is that cross training is a good way to go as you get older (I'm just a couple of years older than you Jeanette). It lets you do more without pounding the same muscles and joints over and over. It also helps ensure that ALL muscles get worked out - not just the running muscles. But I'd have thought the drawback to getting your high intensity sessions from spinning is that it's not load bearing. All the experts say that regardless of your sport, masters athletes really must weight train (or strength train rather - load bearing, sports specific stuff).

*Maybe* (just a thought) the answer is to cut back on mileage in order to do the higher intensity sessions? As you age you loose fast twitch muscle fibers and gain more slow twitch. Older athletes actually get better at endurance than youngsters. You need to do specific training to hold onto fast twitch fiber strength. Your percentage of slow twitch fibers will increase whether you train or not. So, for performance purposes I think this is why you're advised to cut back on mileage in order to cope with more high intensity training.

Say for example you did 2 speed sessions and 3 longer, slower runs in your 20's and 30's. By 40 you're starting to struggle to recover from the speed sessions due to loss of fast twitch muscle fibers etc. So you cut a speed session and do OK for a while - but your fast twitch fibers are atrophying at a much faster rate now. 10 years later you need to cut another speed session. Now you're doing nothing to negate the effects of aging. You'll go downhill fast and if you try to re-introduce your speed sessions you'll struggle as you don't have the muscle anymore. Although it's never too late - the more you've allowed your muscles to atrophy the slower you'll need to build this kind of training back in.

If however when you'd first started to struggle you'd cut a long run instead and kept the speed sessions going you'd be in better shape today (in theory!).

That's just my understanding of it all. For the older athlete the biggest gains will come from the high intensity workouts - speed, strength etc. So they're the last thing to cut out when you start to struggle - not the first!
 

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Say for example you did 2 speed sessions and 3 longer, slower runs in your 20's and 30's. By 40 you're starting to struggle to recover from the speed sessions due to loss of fast twitch muscle fibers etc. So you cut a speed session and do OK for a while - but your fast twitch fibers are atrophying at a much faster rate now. 10 years later you need to cut another speed session. Now you're doing nothing to negate the effects of aging. You'll go downhill fast and if you try to re-introduce your speed sessions you'll struggle as you don't have the muscle anymore. Although it's never too late - the more you've allowed your muscles to atrophy the slower you'll need to build this kind of training back in.
That's describes my experience so perfectly its a little uncanny!

If however when you'd first started to struggle you'd cut a long run instead and kept the speed sessions going you'd be in better shape today (in theory!).
Where were you 15 years ago! :d

*Maybe* (just a thought) the answer is to cut back on mileage in order to do the higher intensity sessions? As you age you loose fast twitch muscle fibers and gain more slow twitch. Older athletes actually get better at endurance than youngsters. You need to do specific training to hold onto fast twitch fiber strength. Your percentage of slow twitch fibers will increase whether you train or not. So, for performance purposes I think this is why you're advised to cut back on mileage in order to cope with more high intensity training.
The thing is though, faced with the choice of cutting out something that it takes you longer to recover from and you don't enjoy that much (in my, and I would think many other peoples cases, higher intensity runs) as opposed to the type of running that you love and doesn't seem to tax you so much physically (longer slower ones) what are most people going to do? From an enjoyement point of view its a no brainer. I guess it just comes back to whats more important to you.

All good food for thought though! :) (I'd already made the decision this year to cut back a little on mileage and try and concentrate more on 'shorter and faster' - I feel spurred on to do this even more now! )

(I understand what you say about spinning - it might not be perfect but I think it is doing me some good and although only doing small amounts I am almost addicted to it as I am to running! Somewhere along the way I seem to recall being advised to do harder intervals standing up as its more beneficial from a running point of view. Perhaps that mimics the effects of weight bearing exercise more?)
 

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I think at the end of the day you have to do what you enjoy - I agree completely!

I've always liked high intensity training. My background is in martial arts and that is ALL I did - perhaps 5 days a week and a lot of it for more than 20 years. Nowadays I find long slow runs much harder to recover from than high intensity training.

Now I'm sure that's partly genetic - we'll all select the type of exercise we're best suited to. But also I think it's a case of being good at what you practice. You've been running long distances for a long time and that will have built up lots of fitness allowing you to work hard in speed sessions. But because you haven't been practicing speed sessions you've got lots of weak links in the chain. This leads to injury and slow recovery. So my guess would be that the answer is to be very patient and go back to basics with the speed work. Start out doing less than you're capable so that the weakest links get a chance to catch up?

Another thing that I do (because I get bored on long runs) is to reward myself with a little sprint every kilometer/mile/ten minutes etc. What would happen if you cut a mile or two off of a couple of runs and put some little short, sharp burst in? 30 seconds I think would produce results and start to build up the body for speed without you feeling you're cutting out a long run??
 

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Now I'm sure that's partly genetic - we'll all select the type of exercise we're best suited to. But also I think it's a case of being good at what you practice. You've been running long distances for a long time and that will have built up lots of fitness allowing you to work hard in speed sessions. But because you haven't been practicing speed sessions you've got lots of weak links in the chain. This leads to injury and slow recovery. So my guess would be that the answer is to be very patient and go back to basics with the speed work. Start out doing less than you're capable so that the weakest links get a chance to catch up?
That's kind of what I've been doing. :)

Another thing that I do (because I get bored on long runs) is to reward myself with a little sprint every kilometer/mile/ten minutes etc. What would happen if you cut a mile or two off of a couple of runs and put some little short, sharp burst in? 30 seconds I think would produce results and start to build up the body for speed without you feeling you're cutting out a long run
Interesting idea - I'm not sure I'd see a sprint as a 'reward' though! :p:d. Seriously though, I'm all for a bit of experimentation so I'll give it a try. The only thing I can think of against it is that it would interrupt the rhythm of a long slow run too much - for me they are just about switching off (I don't get bored) and chugging along at an easyish pace without thinking about anything too much but I'll give it a go on my next one and see how it feels.
 

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Thanks for the links :tup:
OldBoy, a couple of things that I'm experimenting with:

Hill Sprints:
I was doing these on a short hill near home but used some real hills which is a 15 mile drive away but its out in the country so its a pleasent session. found they helped alot in last years hilly half marathon.

Form Drills:
These are always done at the club after a warm up before interval sessions. I suppose I ought to them at the local park before a run

Strength Training:
I'm already doing weight training similar to what was suggested in one of the links with a single leg at a time for the press, extension and hamstring curl. I thought that by using both legs there would be a tendancy to favour one leg over the other and become out of balance. I have found that my left leg is slightly stronger than the right but being right handed my right arm is stronger than the left.

It does look as though the type of training I first did as I mentioned in my previous post is what I should be doing at my age. In a way it was like the HIT training in last nights Horizon programme but it got me under the hour for my first 10k. Getting it right first time perhaps but it was after a number of weeks of taking it steady plus my asthma was a problem when I started running.

I read somewhere a while back but can't remember where saying that older runners should be cutting back on the volume of training but not the intensity.
 
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