Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good press on Trainers after the Boston Marathon

"Mr. Gordon found that training, if done right, is the ultimate performance enhancer, with effects that can dwarf those of illegal drugs, like the blood-boosting drug EPO, as well as legal stimulants like caffeine. Still, it seems, too few amateur athletes take it seriously and fewer still do it right. Exercise physiologists and coaches say most people who want to run, swim, cycle or row faster or improve in almost any sport do not appreciate what can be accomplished with training nor how to do it."

It's true, folks. The average person stands to gain a lot of fitness by becoming moderately active. The amateur athlete can boost performance and success while racing by knowing when to go hard at training vs. when to take it easy.

As a trainer of several marathoners, many half-marathoners, and some very tenacious triathletes, I know how eager amateurs can be to "stick with the plan" and run through pain. But this isn't smart training. Instead, I can come in with a "big picture" perspective to say which training days really count, and which can be missed. I can also look at injuries in the making and head them off before the dull ache becomes a driving pain. Best of all, I can see how healthy training brings improved times and better races overall. This helps the athlete come back for more racing, more training, and more years of healthy competition!

Source: NY Times "Want to Go Faster? You Need a Trainer" article, 4/23/2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Defying the laws of Aging with Exercise

"We all probably know of at least one senior citizen who seems to defy the laws of aging and remains in top physical shape well beyond their peers. We also tend to dismiss this person as genetically gifted or just unusual. However, research, and more and more seniors, are showing us that this doesn’t have to be the case. Many of the declines in fitness with age are due to lack of use, not just the normal aging process.

While it’s true that as we age we have to work harder than the young, a lot of the declines that we attribute to aging may be reversed with fitness training."

Above RaeLee Elder, 77, exercises wearing a T-shirt that expresses her positive outlook on life.

Over the past two years, Senior has published the following among many headlines and research findings about benefits for senior fitness training:

Strength Training Is an Antidote to Muscle Loss In Elderly

Resistance or "strength" training has repeatedly been shown to be a safe and effective method of reversing sarcopenia, or muscle loss, in the elderly. The condition actually starts around age 45, when muscle mass begins to decline at a rate of about 1 percent per year. Scientists funded by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have been studying the factors involved in gradual muscle loss since 1988.

Boomers, Young Seniors Can Extend Life With Minimal Exercise

A new study gives people in their 50s and 60s another reason to get off the couch and be physically active — especially if they have conditions or habits that endanger their hearts, like diabetes, high blood pressure or smoking.

Elderly Women Should Worry More About Exercise Than Weight

Elderly women should worry more about exercising than about controlling their weight in order to prevent their physical decline, according to a study done at the University of Pittsburgh and recently published in Preventive Medicine.

Exercise also Improves Memory, Balance, Emotional State/Mood, Quality of Life, Bone Density, and even Skin Healing among Elderly. How many more reasons does one need to get active, stay active, especially in their retirement years. Time is on your side if you keep your body healthy and moving!


Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday run

Mile 1.5~ of this run had a fair amount of slush and snow on trails near the McKonin Family Farm. A little further ahead was a nice memorial on the bridge at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Across the Olympic Pkwy was a nice footpath around Temple Bar Shalom, which is shown in construction phase on satellite photo but is now a gorgeous modern house of worship.

I did this run entirely on a multi-use path miles 3-4 along a stream and near colorful desert brush plants which had gold, red, and purple colored stems. All this under blue/white/grey clouded skies and a soaring hawk overhead. Lovely! I only wish I'd taken pictures!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009 - a favorite website

I think it's brilliant how this site works:  login, zoom in, click around the route you just ran, and then save it.  Tell it how long your run took and it tells you the miles per hour or minutes per mile that you just ran!  Who needs a garmin foot-pod and $200+ GPS system when you have this?!  

I use it for 
  1. sharing my favorite routes runs with others
  2. remembering where I've run when I travel
  3. checking my paces on long runs outdoors
  4. finding bathrooms or parks on other people's logged run routes
  5. adding cool maps to my blog  
Gym To Fresh Pond For 2 Loops in Cambridge, Mass