Over 60s training.

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03/01/2013 at 00:56

I think Bob's list of excercises especially hip mobility will help with being able to lengthen your stride and maintain a good cadence. I also found that Spinning at 90 revs per min for 30mins really helped me programme my legs for the right cadence.

The issue for me is what happens in practice.
Here is a 5k race from last summer, a bit slow because of my injury 23:16 but it shows the problem.








03/01/2013 at 01:07

As you can see my cadence started out good but continued to drop as the race progressed. My stride length followed suit until I decided to push over the last k where it significantly increased while my cadence continued to drop.

I know this is a big no no and I know I need to fix it. I don't typically see this in my training runs. It will required maintaining my concentration especially over the last k.


I managed 10k on the treadmmill today. For some reason or other my cadence is always lower on the treadmill but today when I picked up the pace on the last k my stride length jumped again while my cadence remained low.



03/01/2013 at 08:50

Morning all
Must be brief as on my way to work soon.


Welcome to Bob and Farrochie.
The only advice I'd give you about marathon training is don't follow my plan!

I've now qualified for being a fully-paid-up thread member. Have been injured and just getting back into training, plus rethinking what running I wan to do since I had a session at the Running School here in Bristol (through work - I work for a well-known running retailer). Farrochi - I've done the Cape Wrath Challenge seven times so could well know someone you know.


Nice work! I have been in the wonderful situation of having to walk up to collect my prize on several occasions.


All for now. Have lovely days.

03/01/2013 at 09:08
For those who do not have an access to a gym, try the exercises shown below.

What's really needed is specific strength training for runners - exercises that target the muscles and neuronal pathways responsible for actual energy return during running. Although this sounds complicated, it shouldn't have to be in actual practice, and it isn't. In the paragraphs that follow, you'll find three key power-building exercises that are easy to carry out, won't take much of your time, and will rejuvenate your running - because they replicate key motor movements involved in the process of running.

The power triad
Please perform the three exercises in the order in which they are presented - and only when you are well rested. Specific strength training aims for positive adaptations of the nervous system as well as the muscles. Completing the exercises when you're over-tired leads to poor neuromuscular coordination and movements that are slower than desirable.

That means that the trio of specific exercises should be completed before a running workout, not after, and in fact the best-possible time is immediately before an interval, economy, or lactate-threshold session, not before a slower workout. While that may sound paradoxical (some might fear that strength training would slow down a subsequent training session), the truth is that positioning the exercises right before your high-intensity workout will help you run faster. In fact, at least five different scientific studies have shown that a high-intensity strength session activates the nervous system, increases the 'firing rate' of nerve cells which control muscles, and improves the overall 'recruitment' of muscle fibers during a workout (see Paavo Komi's 'The Stretch-Shortening Cycle and Human Power Output,' in L. Jones, N. McCartney, and A. McComas, eds., Human Muscle Power, pp. 2742, Human Kinetics, Champaign, Illinois).
One final caution: perform the third exercise, 'One-Leg Hops in Place,' only on an aerobics floor, wooden gym floor, grass, a rubberized track, or any resilient surface which offers some 'give'. Hopping repeatedly on concrete or asphalt may increase the risk of overuse injuries to the lower leg and shin.

(1) The high-bench step-up: This exercise strongly develops the hamstrings, with complimentary development of the gluteals (the 'buttock' muscles) and the quadriceps. Simply begin from a standing position on top of a high bench (approximately knee height), with your body weight on your left foot and your weight shifted toward the left heel. The right foot should be free and held slightly behind the body. Lower the body in a controlled manner until the toes of the right foot touch the ground, but maintain all of your weight on the left foot. Return to the starting position by driving downward with the left heel and straightening the left leg. Repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions as shown in the training programme, and then switch over to the right leg. Maintain absolutely upright posture with the trunk throughout the entire movement, with your hands held at your sides (with or without dumbbells).

(2) One-leg squat: This exercise strongly develops the quadriceps and gluteals, with a complimentary boost to the hamstrings. To complete one-leg squats in the correct way, stand with the left foot forward and the right foot back, with the feet about one shin-length apart (your feet should be hip-width apart from side to side). Place the toes of the right foot on a block or step which is six to eight inches high. As in the step-up exercise, most of the weight should be directed through the heel of the left foot. Bend the left leg and lower the body until the left knee reaches an angle of 90 degrees between the thigh and lower leg. Return to the starting position, maintaining upright posture with the trunk and h
03/01/2013 at 09:14
---- and holding your hands at your sides. Complete the prescribed number of repetitions with the left leg before switching to the right leg.

(3) One-leg hops in place: This exercise builds strength and coordination in the entire lower extremity, including the foot, ankle, shin, calf, thigh, and hip. The resilient, bouncy nature of the exercise makes it the most specific of the three - extremely close to the actual movements involved in running. Simply start from the same position you used for the one-leg squat, with the toes of the right foot supported by a six- to eight-inch block. Hop rapidly on the left foot at a cadence of 2.5 to 3 hops per second (25 to 30 foot contacts per 10 seconds) for the prescribed time period as shown in the training programme. The left knee should rise about four to six inches, while the right leg and foot should remain stationary. The left foot should strike the ground in the area of the mid-foot and spring upwards rapidly - as though it were contacting a very hot plate on a cooker. The hips should remain level and virtually motionless throughout the exercise, with very little vertical displacement. After hopping for the indicated time on the left leg, switch to the right leg and repeat the exercise.

Why hop on one foot instead of bounding from foot to foot, as runners usually do during their drills? For one thing, it's very difficult to move fast while you are bounding, so bounding is not very much like sizzling through a 5-K or 10-K race. By contrast, you can move very quickly during the one-leg hops, so your power expands dramatically and your coordination during high-speed running improves greatly. Eventually you'll learn to move more quickly and efficiently. Research carried out by Russian scientists indicates that one-leg hopping is far superior to bounding at inducing improvements in leg speed ('Muscles and the Sprint,' Legkay Atletika, No. 5, pp. 8-11, 1992, cited in Fitness and Sports Review International, pp. 192-195, December 1992).

For similar reasons, the one-leg squat is superior to runners' traditional exercise - the two-legged squat. While a much greater load can be hoisted on the shoulders during a two-legged squat, that weight is distributed through two legs, not one, so the actual resistance per leg is often less. In addition, the trunk of the body is often inclined significantly forward in a two-legged squat but remains nearly vertical in a one-leg effort, so the latter more closely parallels the form required for running. Plus, for purposes of maintaining balance, the feet are often angled outward during the two-leg squat, which is unnatural to running, while the feet point straight ahead during a one-leg effort. Overall, the one-leg squat has the added advantage of being safer, since less total weight is used.

Overall, the strength-building triad carries little risk of injury, takes little of your time, and is very specific to the actual act of running. The three exercises will improve both your coordination and leg-muscle power, and after several weeks you'll notice that your legs feel much stronger and that your stride length and frequency have improved. You'll move quickly and aggressively from one foot to the other as you run, and you'll reach the finish lines of your races in faster and faster times.

Walt Reynolds,
03/01/2013 at 09:35


Thanks, I was reading your early thread posts and making notes of some of the advice:

plenty rest days to avoid injury, 40 mile per week, stride length, cadence, flexibility, stretching and race every few weeks.

I'm going to try to turn my shuffling jogs into training runs, with a bit more quality.

ceal, I got given a bunch of exercises by a physio to do to try to fix jumpers knee, but I still get knee pain, helped a bit by a jumpers knee band, but definitely worsened by squates. But I'll start slowly with those you are suggesting and see how I manage.

Just to throw in I had childhood polio, leaving one thigh a bit thin and some limitation on flexibility in one foot, resulting in hard heel strike on left and flat-footed running on right. So my expectations have never been high.

Thanks, Bob, Mick6 for the suggested flexibilty training and the graphs. I can relate to this, especially that fall-off in performance in the later stages.


03/01/2013 at 13:02

Good Morning all,
A bit nippy today, -23c, and some more snow on the way. The treadmill calls me again. We have already had as nearly as much snow this winter than the whole of last winter.

Obviously avoiding injury has to be a very high priority but I am not sure about lots of rest days.
I have found that I need a rest from running but not a rest from exercise so xtraining is much perferred to a day off. During the heat of the summer I tend to switch my long run to a long bike ride. We have a lot of bicyle paths and trails and I can do a 60k ride without going on a road.
This doesn't help much with speed but it maintains endurance very well.

Great post, I have done these before but never as a set. I will try them today before the dreaded treadmill. I have sent them to my Kindle via Amazon's free conversion and transmission service. You can download a PC app that will allow you to send any web page or document to your Kindle at a click of a mouse, very cool. I will make sure that I do them correctly.


03/01/2013 at 13:08

Great time from you. You seem to be returning to the progress you were making.
You have a good body weight for a runner but have you noticed any increase yet from the gym work you have been doing. 
I have now reached 13.5 stone !! 
I have not put on a lot of fat so it must be from the gym work. I have backed off on the heavier stuff and have started to cut out all of the good stuff I like to eat. I would like to drop at least 10 lbs as I know it would be a big boost to my speedwork.
How much do you weight now? 


03/01/2013 at 13:18

I hope your legs have recovered now, you normally start with a run/walk don't you after a lay off?

Another splendid race. strange about the V60 runner. I hope you are able to satisfy your curiosity on that one very soon. Are you in pocket over the cost of the race versus your prize money?

There is research being done on master athletes. The present one is being conducted in Canada. But on the whole most of these projects concentrate on sprinters rather than endurance runners.

I think as we age it is our hips that aid the shortening of our stride so think perhaps about pushing back as hard as you can on each step. Use the buttocks and hamstrings to do so, very much the way you might push out hard from a set of starting blocks. Run from your hips - not from your knees'. But only try this when you are well warmed up, perhaps on the treadmill. Also if you are loosing your stride at the end of a race then surely that could also be to do with muscle tiredness. Perhaps more work on gaining power in the legs rather than just strength would help. Because muscles are tired and there is not much one can do to make them not tired, the only action to take is to take smaller steps and use your arms. Try it in training and see what difference it makes.

It's bad luck about the jumpers knee. I guess your exercises you have been given are aimed at strengthening your quads. Do you think as a result of the Polio that the affected leg could as a result be shorter than the good leg?   

that is a set of impressive exercises.

I hope your Mum is recovering well.  

03/01/2013 at 13:29

Yesterday visit to Imperial W M didn't happen, luckily I looked at the website before our visit and discovered that it was closed for 6 months from and including yesterday. They are doing some renovations. So we went to Tate Modern and did stuff there plus walked along Oxford street spending a bit of money here and there. Well one had to keep the economy going somehow! We had wanted to climb the dome at St Paul's but because it was going to cost £102 for 2 families and Stewart and myself we quickly made a decision not to do that!

I had a rubbed area on the side of my Achilles (from a pair of boots), it happened just before the Christmas period, there is now a large scab plus some inflammation and it has been a bit uncomfortable but nothing too noticeable.

I set of running along my trail this morning only to find after 4k I had to stop because my achilles became very sore and uncomfortable. So I stopped and walked some 3 k home which was marginally more comfortable than running. It took AGES.

There appears to be some inflammation around the largish rubbed area which is aggrevating the achilles. I hope it  is just that which is causing the soreness. Anyway, I am going to rest it with no running. I haven't had any time off my running for some considerable time now. I normally take time out after my track season but because I finished my season in June, which is 2 months earlier than normal I didn't take any time off.

 I have no problem about taking time out but I do have a problem with having an injury. There is no way that I am going to start running in the water etc which I have done before when injured, and enjoyed it. But not this time around. NO reason to at all. Nothing much on the cards.

I did some kettle bell training yesterday and when I got back from my run and walk I did some more, enough to feel that I am going to be pretty sore in several muscles tomorrow.   

03/01/2013 at 13:34

23c that is Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I found it interesting that the article advised that the exercises should definitely be done in the order shown. I need to sort out a bench/chair. I can do 1 and 2 in the kitchen, but not the hops as we have a solid tiled floor. You seem to have your technology sorted out well!!

03/01/2013 at 13:46

ceal, how depressing to have to walk back from your run but obviously the sensible thing to do, as it having a complete break until it heals. At least you're pretty sure what caused it (the boots), so that's better than it just appearing out of the blue for no apparent reason. Hopefully rest will see it healing before too long. To answer your question about my voucher, it was £15 for a £7 entry fee so I am indeed in pocket. The other three prizes I've won have been for £10 and have more or less covered the entry cost and nothing else - not that I'm complaining of course, it's nice to be recognised as an over-60 in the first place.

Mick, currently my weight varies from exactly 10 stones to a couple of pounds more. Since I was 15 it's always been about the same and 10 and a half stone is about the highest (when not running). All the gym work has made no visible difference, although I know from the increased weights I'm handling that I am the stronger for it. I just have the kind of physique which is hard to do anything with, no matter how hard I try (and in my early 40s I tried very hard for a period of several months, frequent weight sessions and protein supplements). Only steroids would make a difference. I know I'm lucky not to have any weight issues. I can't overeat anyway as my tummy just protests and I feel ill.

03/01/2013 at 17:06

Evening all

Wecome to Bob and Farrochie
I have been there and done it in a large number of sports over too many years.
I see you have already been deluged with advice so I won't add to it at the moment.
Generally I sit on the sidelines nowadays nursing my failing body  back to some sort of functioning norm and watch enviously as others get going.

great result from your 11K  and a very good time to boot - nice way to start the new year off.
I heard of a local 1 mile road race held between Christmas and New Year's Eve which may be "fun" to tackle at some stage.

-23C - naw you can keep that for now thanks. It has been 12C here today and the bulbs are pushing stalks a long way out of the ground
I haven't got down to 131/2 stone yet!!!

how bl**dy annoying for you. Is the actual achilles inflamed or is it the tissue surrounding it as a result of the chafing? Remember I know all about achilles recuperation 

I know what you mean about charges at some of London's tourist spots!! The National Gallery and the British Museum fill in the odd hour I have spare in London on occasion becasue they are free!!

Do you know a really good remedial physio in Bristol. My colleague on the project down there has just had a back spasm similar to mine and he was looking for some advice. My first words were find a really good physio, then read the papers I am sending to you on back recuperation that I got from my physio and if the selected physio doesn't know what they contain find someone else!!!

03/01/2013 at 17:21

I will break with what I just said above - if your physio has given you remedial exercises to do, do them until all stages of recovery have been completed before  tackling any others. It is very important in remedial recovery that things are done progressively to build up muscle, tendon and neuro muscular responses.
I have been very fortunate to have found an excellent physio locally who is progressively rebuilding me ridding my body of all/most of the imbalances and irregularities that a lifetime exposed to contact sport have left me with!!

New Year's Eve became rather more lively than planned and I eventually got to bed about 0500!! This would not have been so bad but the Hash had planned a house to house run in Knaresborough on New Year's Day at what I thought was 2:30 but when I got there fouond it had been 2:00 and so I had a lot of running to do to catch them up which I was not fully equiped to do! Each house was providing refreshments and fortunately the first one provide real Alf Tupper grub - pork pies, pasties and sausage rolls and some decent beer!!
Four hours later and five houses offering similar refreshment we were back at the starting house and embarking upon emptying a barrel of finest Dents Brewery bitter and eating huge quantities of chicken curry or chilli - or both!!
excellent way to start the year but it may be  a reason why I am not yet down to Mick6's upper weight level 

This morning was back to my usual 5K tempo run which went quite well despite a fairly long layoff - 24:09 (7:47m/m). If I could believe my HRM I had an avHR of 112 and a max of 149 - not likely!

1m 7:40 
2m 7:53
3m 7:50 had to push hard here on the hills
.1m 0:44

Must pursue Garmin about the crap HRM readings this week 

I then did my full range of remedial exercises for the first time in a week or so including the 15kg one legged heel raises for the achilles. Now that was hard work and the sweat poured off me!!

Edited: 03/01/2013 at 17:25
03/01/2013 at 18:05

Ceal - that long post - or 2 posts - look(s) really useful; I shall print it out and keep it. Might even follow it. No gym anywhere near me which is any good (one gym in town but everyone that's been there says it's no good and not even clean). Not that I have a bench "about knee height" but may be able to improvise.

Impey - my fast-walking brother lives in the Sarf'East, and I don't think you do, do you?

Mild and damp here today. Decided to get some sort of organisation back into my life, and did 20 hill reps (30 seconds each) with 1 1/2 - 2 mins break between each set of 5, plus warm-up and cool-down. Didnt feel as hard as I'd expected. But hard enough. 

03/01/2013 at 18:07

After a phone conversation with a helpful young man at Garmin yesterday morning, I have sent my Garmin back for refurbishment. Apparently it will cost me £40 but that's still cheaper than a new one.

03/01/2013 at 18:18
I was getting concerned that you had succumbed to the family germs, but luckily you hadn't! Your hash run sounded great fun, although I think I might have been sick along the way. Excellent run again from you this morning.

I 'think' it is the soft tissue surrounding the Achilles, mostly to the outside above the ankle which is quite inflamed. I don't 'think' that it is the actual Achilles. The Achilles does have a small lump on the back but when pressed that doesn't hurt. I think that has been there for a while now. My R calf muscle has been tight but has been worked on a couple of weeks ago by my Physio and by me since. There may well still be a small deep area in her calf which is an issue, as a result of night calf cramp. The grazed/rubbed area is quite large and doesn't look that healthy. Mainly I guess because the blood supply to the area is not very plentiful. Also not helped by walking for some 4 hours in different boots yesterday and one's which I hadn't worn for that long before!

I am better in running shoes for everything!

Bob & Farrochie's,
TS is very knowledgable on running and training matters. He has helped me a lot.
03/01/2013 at 18:23
Try a kitchen chair, then you could hold onto the back of the chair if necessary for balance. Admiration from me being sent in out in your direction for tackling some hill reps today.
03/01/2013 at 22:18

I'll email  you re physios.


03/01/2013 at 22:44

I think I may have to abdicate...............

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