Most people who get into running start with a 5K as an initial goal. But then what? On this episode, Rachel and Allan discuss how to train for longer distances.
Let's Say Hello
[00:02:03.700] – Allan Hey, Raz, how are things going?
[00:02:05.890] – Rachel Good, how are you today, Allan?
[00:02:08.800] – Allan I'm doing great. We're not really going to have much of a preamble for this one because I want to get right into the meat of this. I'm going to have my favorite running coach on the show, Rachel Everett.
[00:02:21.070] – Rachel Thank you. Thanks so much. Thanks for having me back.
[00:02:25.840] – Allan So, yeah, to the last time you were on, we talked about training for running, just getting started running. And for most people, that's going to take the form of something like a couch to 5K type program, where they're just building up some basic endurance to be able to do a little over three miles, probably not in the overall training. They might not make it to three miles, but in a race, they would feel confident that they could keep going and complete the 5K, which is a 3.1 miles.
[00:02:55.390] – Allan Today we're going to talk about running longer distances after 40, which is a different beast.
[00:03:03.550] – Rachel A little bit.
[00:03:05.890] – Allan A little bit. It's something that a lot of us do because we we we master the 5K at least, you know, we realize that we're not going to be able to run any faster than we are. So we forget PRs in the 5K and we start looking to longer distances as that next challenge that's going to keep us excited about running. So, you know, we'll talk about some of the basic distances when someone saying, OK, I've run the 5K, what's kind of the things that they could see coming up and training for that, they would be in a really good position to to reach out and do?
[00:03:45.040] – Rachel Well after the 5K is the 10K and then the half marathon. And I lump those two together because they have very similar key points in training that we can talk about today.
[00:03:57.070] – Rachel But before we get to the 10K, I want to celebrate the 5K, in that you've made it this far and you should celebrate your accomplishments because not very many people run 5Ks, but the 5K is actually a special kind of race in and of itself. It's a challenging distance. You can improve your time. You can find different races to support. You can do them all the time. You can do one or two a month or three or four a month if you're so inclined. So the 5K is really kind of like a perfect distance for running in that it will maintain your weight, it'll improve your health. And there's still a lot of joy that you can get out of the 5K for sure.
[00:04:38.530] – Rachel But when you're ready to run longer distances after 40, the 10k I fully recommend is the next step.
[00:04:45.250] – Allan Yeah, and the other thing that I think is really cool about the 5K is when you're in 10k or even marathon shape, the 5K can still be a fun run. It can be a part of the training. So, you take you do a 5K and you use that as your speed or you run. That is an interval set. So you're trying to run faster and then, trying to use that as that.
[00:05:08.350] – Allan Or, when I ran my first marathon, it was the Blue Angels Marathon. The Sunday after that, they had a 5K over the bridge into Pensacola Beach. So since I was already in town, I didn't live in Pensacola at the time. I was like, I'll just stay over one more night. And instead of just getting up in the morning and driving, I will go ahead and get up and I will do a slow 5K as a way to get my muscles moving because I was pretty certain with the first one I was going to be I was hurting. And I kind of was.
[00:05:45.040] – Allan But it was good to get out there and kind of do that that short distance. I mean, at the time, relative to a marathon, the shorter distance just do it casually. In fact, I was running along at one point this woman passed me, she was pushing a stroller. So, yeah, I wasn't in any hurry. And I did it. And then then I was good to go for my five-hour drive home.
[00:06:07.840] – Rachel Oh, wow!
[00:06:09.610] – Allan If I had just gotten in the car right after the marathon and tried to do that drive, I wouldn't have recovered as well. And we're going to talk a little bit about recovery later. But to me it was a good way to flush the legs, get some more blood going through what we call active rest. So you can take these 5Ks and make them really cool.
[00:06:32.740] – Allan And the other thing that's really interesting about most 5Ks is there's usually a pretty cool charity associated with the 5K. A lot of the 10Ks is do too. And sometimes there's 5Ks and 10Ks in the same race or at least the same day. And sometimes there's even marathons, half-marathons, all kind of paired together. It's just a pick your distance kind of deal. And a lot of times they do have charities. But what you'll find with the 5Ks is that there's a lot more participants. And as a result, those can raise quite a bit of money for charity. They're typically not that much I mean, you pay something like I guess right now it's probably somewhere but 30 to 40 bucks in that range for most of the 5Ks.
[00:07:16.970] – Rachel Yeah.
[00:07:17.240] – Allan You get into some of the longer races because of the costs associated with the time distance that you're covering, they can get a little bit more expensive. Plus, for most people who are doing marathons, there's not five or six marathons going on a month in your general location. You're going to be traveling to many of these. So and that's also a big cool part of the whole half-marathon, 10K is to go someplace you've never been and make a weekend of it.
[00:07:42.080] – Rachel Oh, absolutely. I do love to play in races around vacations or maybe vacations around races. Either way, it is nice to get out of town, that's for sure.
[00:07:51.320] – Allan Or even work trips, because that for me that was a big part of it, me saying, okay, I happen to be working in Washington, D.C. when the Marine Corps marathon was going on. I also did I also did a 10K there. And so, yeah, I just happened to be there and I'm like, okay, I'm flying in already. I'll just fly in a day or two early and I'll just do this little race.
[00:08:13.870] – Rachel Awesome. That's wonderful.
[00:08:16.040] – Allan So yeah, there's lots of opportunities to do these, these runs. And so, Rachel, if someone is considering running longer distances after 40, what are some of the key things that they should consider?
[00:08:30.170] – Rachel Well, right off the bat, I would suggest you talk to your spouse and your family and friends and share your goal to run a 10K or a half-marathon. Like I said, we're going to lump both these two distances together. And the reason why I say that is because you're going to be spending a little bit more time on training for this longer distance than you had done for the 5K. And what that means is there's going to be a slight disruption of the balance of responsibilities at home.
[00:08:57.800] – Rachel You're going to have to balance your responsibilities at work and you may not have as much time to spend with your friends and social engagement. So you're going to be spending some time on training and that might kind of disrupt the balance of your normal daily life. So share your plans with your friends and family for sure. Yeah, I know.
[00:09:19.430] – Allan When I started training, I basically had a membership at a gym. I couldn't run around D.C. because it was just all concrete. And I didn't feel good running on concrete ever. I never have. I've never liked running concrete, but so I just went to the gym and I'm like, okay, I'll do, you know. 20 minutes on the treadmill. They limit me to 20 minutes on the machine. So I go to machine and do 20 minutes and then I've moved to a different machine somewhere else and do something else. And so I was doing elliptical, I was doing stepper, I was doing all kinds of stuff and so up about 20 minutes at a time and I built up to a point where I was doing that for four hours and the only way I could really do that was to leave work at six o'clock. And so to be able to do that, I had to be at work at eight o'clock and work my ten hours and not take a lunch to get my training in.
[00:10:09.890] – Allan And so I had to talk. I even had to talk to my boss because it impacted my work schedule if I wanted to get that training in. And so that's basically what I would do. I would do four hours for three days of the week and then Friday would Thursday be my day off. And then Friday would be another kind of medium speed day. And then Saturday and Sunday were my long runs. But I had to do my Sunday run early in the morning. My Saturday was kind of free. I could do it when I want to. But yeah, I had to have a conversation with my significant other at the time and say, hey, I'm going to be doing this run. And that means I'm not going to be at the house for potentially three or four hours on a Sunday.
[00:10:54.080] – Rachel That's right. Yeah.
[00:10:55.550] – Allan While I'm going and doing this thing and what's your schedule look like and just trying to make all that fit.
[00:11:00.650] – Rachel Yes. And when you have kids and school and other outside responsibilities, it does get kind of tricky. That's why you want to have the buy-in of all the important people in your life.
[00:11:13.040] – Allan Now, the second one you have on here is is pretty interesting because I think a lot of people think to run longer distances after 40, you just run more.
[00:11:23.120] – Rachel Yes. And most runners like that. Most runners like to run more, but there's actually more to it. And when you're moving up to a 10K or a half-marathon, many of the training plans you'll find will include specific drills like speed drills, hill repeats. They will also include cross training. You don't want to spend all of your time running and and hurting all your joints and just damaging your body. You just need to give your running muscles a break every now and then. So that's why there's cross training built into plans as well as rest days.
[00:11:58.190] – Rachel So a lot of training plans will have you bike or swim and a rest day is not necessarily sitting on the couch and binge watching TV all day, they might have to do some act of rest and that could be just taking your dogs for a walk or just getting around the house, doing chores around the house, yard work, whatever. As long as you're staying busy, you don't want to sit too long.
[00:12:19.930] – Allan Yeah, I know. When I was doing my training, it was it was kind of one of those cross training things where I was like for a marathon distance. I needed to be able to move for four hours. That was kind of my target time was to finish the race within four hours. And that's how I trained. I trained to keep my body going. I recognized that there would be hills. And so you got to run some hills, although I was in Pensacola, so there actually weren't that many hills for my first one. Big Sur was an entirely different matter.
[00:12:54.220] – Allan But, you know, you you know the course, particularly if you know the course, that you're going to be trying to run understanding, okay, there's a hill and this is you know, this is what people are doing. And so if you're talking to people that know the race, they'll be able to tell you, yeah, there's actually a section of it that's in sand and that's really, really hard to run in.
[00:13:16.840] – Allan And you have to do that for a period of time that's going to really where your legs out if they're not stronger than you would think you would need to be to run on asphalt.
[00:13:25.880] – Rachel Oh, so true. Yeah. If you do have a goal race in mind, if you've picked the place where you want to run your first 10K or first half-marathon, it is good to check out some of the race reports and see a description of the race to see if there's a lot of vertical gain. If if there is a trail or like you said, sand. I've run a couple of races in the sand. So if you know what to expect on race day, those are things that you can practice during your training to make sure that you get some extra hill repeats in there or practice on the trails in the parks around your home or something.
[00:13:58.780] – Rachel So that type of specificity is important as you do get closer to race day and at the other cross training things are other ways that you can build up your muscle, strength and endurance as well as your cardiovascular system without beating up your legs by running day in and day out.
[00:14:16.870] – Allan Absolutely. So now the third one you have here on our list is clothing. One I would say with clothing, I think we're actually going to talk about this a little bit later. But there's a there's a lot of options out there, some that are very bright and shiny, fluorescent so people can see, which is important. And while people will tell you and it's true, running can be the cheapest sport there is because you literally have all the equipment right there with you right now, you don't even have to buy shoes. You can run barefoot if you want. Most people will buy shoes. And I advise people to invest in at least one good pair of shoes to start with. But let's talk a little bit about what should people be considering with apparel, particularly when they're trying to run longer distances after 40?
[00:15:13.870] – Rachel Well, I'm going to start with the shoes again, because the proper fitting shoes is probably the most important gear that you can possibly have. So take a look at the bottom of the running shoes that you've been wearing and see if you can see signs of wear and you'll see the lugs, the little knobs on the bottom of your shoe. They'll wear down in certain places. After some time, you'll feel the foam on the inside or the insole that you have in the shoe just doesn't feel quite as bouncy and cushiony as you had felt when you had first put them on.
[00:15:44.380] – Rachel And that means the shoes have worn. There's kind of a rule of thumb. Your shoes can last anywhere between three and five hundred miles, which sounds like a lot to a new runner. But you'd be surprised if you're wearing them and walking the dog or walks in the park as well as during training. The shoes get beat up pretty fast and even the foam needs about 24 days to recover after you pound them down on a run. So shoes are so critical.
[00:16:11.710] – Rachel I know that they are expensive because I buy a lot of them myself. But I can tell you too that they are a lot cheaper than visiting the doctor and rehabbing an injury because you stuck in the same shoes. So make sure you invest in the proper fitting shoes.
[00:16:26.980] – Allan Yeah, I'm a pronator and so the outside of my feet, that part of my shoe will wear down when I'm running. I went to a running store when I was training for the marathon. I said, okay, I'm going to be doing some running and training for it. And this I was getting into it and the guy goes on, he says, okay, I want you to run down the street here and then run back to me.
[00:16:50.830] – Allan And then he kind of sized me up and you said, okay, you're a pronator. And so he he kind of he said to measure my foot. You've got very wide toe set. So you to. I Toback's and you need something that's going to provide stability, and so he recommended a couple of different brands of shoes, I tried them on and found one that I liked that I didn't have to mortgage my house for.
[00:17:18.650] – Allan And I think the other two things I would add with shoes is one. One is more expensive. Doesn't necessarily mean better.
[00:17:26.670] – Rachel Right.
[00:17:27.330] – Allan OK, that's one thing is, you know, just get just look for better and you can pretty much go online to the running magazines are running really good running sites and they'll review the shoes every year. So you can go in there and kind of get an idea because they'll tell you, this is an overpriced shoe. Don't pay $500 for this running shoe, $120 is probably about as much as you would have to spend to have a really good running shoe, maybe even less than that in some cases.
[00:17:55.410] – Allan And the other thing is, I would say wear the shoes that you're going to run in to train it. Don't have a race pair and a training pair. Replace your shoes regularly, but have shoes that you break in and feel good with in training because the things you do in training will reflect how you do in the race as long as what you're doing in the race is the same thing you did in training.
[00:18:23.490] – Rachel Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And don't pick out shoes by color. They're all kind of crazy colors these days. And that's okay because then people will see you.
[00:18:33.600] – Rachel And similarly with their apparel, with your dry-fit shirts and shorts and socks and everything. This is where you're going to want to pay a little bit closer attention to what you're wearing. Now, when you were training in the 5K, you might have been running for 20 to 30 minutes at a time. And now as you're training for a 10K or half, that might extend into maybe 30 or 40 minutes at a time. And you might also even have a little bit of a walking warm-up and maybe walking cool down.
[00:19:06.810] – Rachel So you're going to be spending a lot of time in these clothes. And what you're going to want to watch for would be chafing and blisters on your after your socks and your shoes. So with chafing a lot of the tags and the neck of your shirt or in the back of your shorts that can irritate the skin around your neck and on your back, the seams that go around your shoulders or around the bottoms of your shorts or even on your waistband, they can get irritating as well and really irritate your skin causing chafing, which hurts a lot. You don't want that.
[00:19:42.900] – Rachel And you won't recognize that when you're training, when you're only running for maybe 20 minutes at a time, you may not notice. But when you're wearing that same shirt or that same pair of shorts for 30 or 40 minutes, you'll start to feel this friction, which is why you want to have clothes that fit well and that have that dry wicking quality so that when they do get wet, they can dry a little bit faster and not irritate your skin quite as much.
[00:20:08.310] – Allan Yeah, I had all kinds of blister problems. And I can just I can you know, it took them longer distances and really I didn't have a solution that got a lot better stuff today than they had when I was running. But moleskin is your friend. So if you do find that you're doing some training and you get a hot spot on your foot, go out and invest in some moleskin that will save your skin and keep you from blistering.
[00:20:31.530] – Allan So if your shoes giving you a hot spot, just be aware of that and you might have the wrong size shoes, as we mentioned before. So you might need to be fitted with another pair of shoes. But beyond that, moleskin can be your friend. If you just start noticing the hot spot and you notice it early enough, a little bit of moleskin can go a long way. And then the other thing I'd put out there, just as a general advice, don't wear a tutu.
[00:20:56.508] – Rachel Tutu's are fun. Skirts are fun.
[00:20:59.640] – Allan Skirts are probably fine. I don't know. I don't have any experience running. But we were doing a we were doing it but run it was a warrior dash. And the guys, we were kind of joking around about different things are going to wear. So we were going to wear these football jerseys. The girls wanted pink and they voted pink. And so they got pink. And then they also wanted us wearing tutus. So we were all wearing tutus. And I'll try to find a picture of that and put it in the show notes you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/480 and I'll see if I can have a picture of us in the tutus. But yes, chafing I didn't have I couldn't carry my arms high enough to not shave on the on the tutu. So I don't advise running with a tutu.
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[00:23:17.190] – Allan So, Rachel, then you talk about we talked I talked a little bit about this, the optional gear, the other things that you would potentially want to have with you or be have on you to help you while you're going through and doing your runs.
[00:23:31.530] – Rachel Yes. So when you're spending more time on the road, chances are you're going to be getting up early at the crack of dawn, maybe running later at night and reflective gear and lighted vests, any sorts of lights that you can put on your shoes, your visor, a vest. Those are all going to be really important, especially if you are spending any time on the roads or where there's traffic. There's no shortage of lights that you can get from any sort of running or a big box athletic store. That's super important.
[00:24:03.120] – Rachel But the second thing is, is that, again, now that you're spending more time outside at all, different times of the year, you want to have clothes that are going to be weather appropriate and comfortable. You never know if it's going to rain on race day. So you want to make sure that you have the running the rain gear, that you want to have to keep you as comfortable as possible while you're running in the rain or in the snow like I do up here. Go through the apparel section of your local running store and ask for input from the salespeople for maybe what type of gear that you can get for these different types of scenarios.
[00:24:40.800] – Allan One of the things that I think is really important, if you have any form of medical condition or things like that, make sure you have something on you that's going to tell someone that that's there. So like, if you're allergic to certain medications or just anything else that someone should know about you, if they find you. Just have that on you. So some ID so someone can contact someone. If they find you and they're taking you to the hospital, you're going to want that on you if you're not conscious and not that that's going to happen to you. But you're going on this run. You don't necessarily want to carry a bunch of stuff. So you're not running with your purse or maybe not running with your wallet, but you need some identification and maybe some taxi fare in case you just got a little too far out of and have to take a taxi back, but just kind of be situationally aware of what your needs are.
[00:25:38.070] – Allan If you're doing an out and back run as you're trying training run, you do have to make that back. And so just kind of being aware of that and having with you what you need is going to make that a much safer run
[00:25:50.250] – Rachel For sure. And when I when I personally run long, I actually do carry my driver's license and maybe a few dollars just in case I need to buy a water at the gas station or something. So I'll stick that in a Ziploc bag so that I don't sweat all over it and stick it in one of my pockets somewhere. Yeah, there's a lot of road ID type bracelets, medical bracelets. If you do have a serious allergy or something, have your stuff with you and as well as ID.
[00:26:18.900] – Rachel The other part of the gear that you might consider too, is some sort of a hydration item. When you're running a 10K and definitely a half-marathon, you're going to be spending a lot of time on the road. And although races have aid stations, in training you're not going to find those same aid stations quite as handy. So there are handheld water bottles, which I have plenty. And there's and I also frequently wear a hydration vest where I have a bladder in a backpack for longer distances and more water. So it's a point where especially in the summer when you get dehydrated, you're going to want to have water or electrolytes with you. So this would be one other item that I think would be very handy.
[00:27:00.030] – Allan Yeah, one of the things I used to do was I would set up my own aid stations before I did my run so I would drive the route that I was going to run, in particular, if it was going be an out and back or something like that. And I would set up my own laide stations and I'd have water sitting there, you know, at each just a little, you know, little bottle of water.
[00:27:19.770] – Allan And so I guess I came up on a location. I have that bottle of water. I'd scrunch it up and stick it in my pocket to keep going and not leave the plastic behind. But, yeah, I created my own aid stations. And, that's why I actually encourage people, if you're going to do some training, training on a loop other than when you're trying to do, you know, maybe hills or repeats or something. But if you can try to find a lap, you know what you're doing shorter laps of. Let's say you wanted to go do a 5 mile training run. If those can be half mile or one mile laps, that's going to give you an opportunity to have that regular aid station right there where you started.
[00:27:59.610] – Rachel Oh, absolutely. That would be ideal. That would be perfect.
[00:28:03.150] – Allan So let's dove a little bit deeper into nutrition and hydration.
[00:28:08.070] – Rachel This is a good topic, Allan, and I really think that we could spend probably a whole podcast talking about it, because, as you know, there are going to be carb-burners out there as well as the fat burners, which I am. I follow the keto-type of eating. Nutrition is still a really highly individualized situation that really you just have to experiment with and see what your body needs to run long distances or fast, as well as what you can tolerate, whether what your stomach will tolerate. Because as you're out there for longer, your stomach may not like the things that you've been eating and you might have a problem. So this is a big topic.
[00:28:55.190] – Rachel Let's start with hydration, you're going to want definitely water and or electrolytes with you, especially in the summer. If you find that you're that you sweat a lot and you're a salty sweater and that that little white grip is left on your face or on your arms, you're sweating out a lot of salt.
[00:29:12.140] – Rachel So in that case, you're going to want some electrolyte products, Nuun and Ucan are really great electrolyte products. Even Pedialyte is a proper electrolyte product. And you want to mix that up with water on occasion just so that your stomach doesn't feel like you just had the sugar bomb dropped on it. Although there's no not a lot of sugar in Nuun or Ucan, just the sweetness of it can irritate your stomach. So alternating that with water is very helpful.
[00:29:41.960] – Allan Yeah. You know, I think that that was that was one of the big wake up calls for me is I was running my first marathon, I think it was in the spring. And then by the time I was running my third or fourth, we were getting into the winter months and. I was running this, and it was it was in Mississippi, it was a long flat course, but it was cold, really, really cold. And I actually got more dehydrated running that race in the cold than I did running the marathon in Pensacola in the spring.
[00:30:19.110] – Allan And so, you know, it was warm and humid for that first one. And then for this other one, it was really cold. I wasn't expecting it. I occasionally ran by an aid station thinking, I'm not thirsty. But I realized after the run that I didn't hydrate properly. And so, you know, making sure that you're staying hydrated and in your training runs, there's no one there to look after you.
[00:30:45.230] – Allan So you're responsible for you, making sure that you have what you need and what you do and what you do in your training, again, must be something that you consider doing in the race. So don't change up your fuel. Don't change up your hydration. Find something that works for you. That's why you're training so you can learn your body and learn what you're capable of. And then in the race, that's when you're going to try to push yourself. You want to be doing the same thing so that you have a base for what you're trying to accomplish.
[00:31:17.570] – Rachel Yeah. And this is a good point to add. Again, maybe having a hand-held hydration water bottle of some sort is also a reminder for you to drink periodically. It's really interesting between heat and cold running, your body is just as thirsty on both occasions. However, in the summertime, it's obvious that you're you're sweating, you're feeling thirsty. The air is dry and it's almost as much of a habit as it is a physical need to drink in the summertime, whereas in the winter you don't feel quite as thirsty, just like you had experienced.
[00:31:52.370] – Rachel But your body is thirsty. It's just not recognizing that the same kind of sensations as you feel in the summer. So it is important to drink whether you're on a hot day or a cold day. And if you had that handheld water bottle, that might have been a good reminder to sip at every mile or a couple of miles or something.
[00:32:12.830] – Allan Absolutely. So, Rachel, number six on your list, I think, is maybe one of, if not the most important thing for people who are running longer distances after 40. That's recovery.
[00:32:26.900] – Rachel Yes, more recovery. And then when you think you've done enough recovery, do some more recovery. This would be a good time to really prioritize foam rolling and stretching after your run. I mean, mark that on your calendar and make it an item on your calendar that you do foam rolling and stretching after your run. It's really important to loosen up those tight muscles, especially as you're adding more miles to your training program. And then if you add strength training, biking, swimming, and other activities or on a day that you did speed work or hill repeats, you want to do more foam rolling and stretching to loosen all those muscles that you just tightened on a run.
[00:33:08.690] – Rachel And in addition to foam rolling and stretching, this might be a time to experiment with some compression gear, like there are calf sleeves and arm sleeves that can help promote circulation. There are socks that go all the way up to your knee that help promote circulation and ice baths and water baths are another recovery tool that you can experiment with.
[00:33:33.980] – Allan A lot of times people will not listen to their body and they'll push and they'll push and they'll be like, well, this is what my plan is. And so they had a plan and the plan was, okay, it's Sunday, it's my long day. But they're not really recovered from what the work they've done that week. And they get out there on their long run. And the next thing they know, they're hurting in a way that they can't run anymore.
[00:34:05.420] – Rachel Mm hmm.
[00:34:08.870] – Allan Your body is incredible. It's capable of doing so many incredible things. But if you don't let it recover. The way it needs to that wear and tear, and that's one of the things that a lot of people struggle with running is it is a repetitive activity.
[00:34:28.490] – Allan If you're doing it on concrete, I hated that because when I was heavier as a runner. So every impact on concrete for me was just huge. And I would run as litefoot as I could, but at one 195 pounds, there's a lot of hitting on my legs. And so I just had to be really, really careful to make sure that I wasn't overdoing it, or else I would have injured myself and potentially been out.
[00:34:58.640] – Rachel Well, that's a good point. And, you know, we've been raised with the no pain, no gain mantra. If it's not hurting, it's not working. But this is the time to really put that aside, especially after 40 when we are getting into these longer distances, pain becomes a different kind of signal. And, you know, your body is adapting as you're doing more miles and cross training and doing all these different things.
[00:35:21.740] – Rachel Your body is going to have the DOMS, the delayed onset muscle soreness that you often feel when you're doing a new activity. That's fine. A little bit of ache or soreness that's normal because you're doing all these new things, then pushing your body in a way you haven't done before. However, there's a really fine line where that becomes a pain and that is a signal to take a minute and reassess the situation. I have seen a lot of runners have a pain, which is very subjective, but it shows a stress fracture. And that stress fracture, if you don't listen to it, will become a real fracture and then you'll be spending a lot more time on the couch than you'd ever wanted to before.
[00:36:03.080] – Rachel So there could be muscle tears, you could have tendon injuries, and it could be just inflammation. But you don't have an x-ray machine or an MRI. So this would be the point where you go to a doctor and get a proper diagnosis. And the sooner you get to the doctor, even if it's a minor pain, you'll get one, the reassurance that it's nothing more than DOMS or a muscle ache that you need a day or two off or you'll get the treatment for a more serious condition and you'll get treated faster so that you can get back on the road faster.
[00:36:33.470] – Rachel So pain is a signal that something is wrong and you need to do something about it.
[00:36:38.060] – Allan Yeah, there's another version of recovery I kind of want to get into, because for a lot of people, particularly when they start trying to run longer distances, they'll find that they get this little ache right under their ribs. I would typically get it right on my right side, right up under my ribs. We called it a stitch. And for me, there was a particular strategy as I was. It was because I didn't want to not finish the run. And that was not enough. I was in pain and I didn't like it, but it was not a kind of pain that I knew I should quit running. So if someone gets something like a stitch or something like that, what's what's the recovery method for them to to be able to still complete the run and get and not and know they're not hurting themselves.
[00:37:23.630] – Rachel Sure. I've got inside stitches before. It's been a while, but I would I would stop and walk it off and do some deep breathing techniques, try and stretch out your abdomen, do some stretches, try and loosen up those muscles, practice some breathing, deep breathing to calm down a minute and then see how that responds. But what was your technique?
[00:37:45.530] – Allan It was it was basically just slow down the core of it. What I knew was that my diaphragm was not aligned with the way I was running and so it's just creating kind of a for lack of a better word, a cramp in there because things were getting tight and I just needed to slow down and let my breathing resume. You've got to get past the ego. You know, we're over 40 now. I had way too much ego back then. It was always just to me, devastating that I'm like, I've got to slow down and let this go. But I just knew it was not something that was going to go away on its own. I needed to slow down and let my body recover and kind of get its mojo back for lack of a better word so that I could complete the run.
[00:38:36.080] – Rachel That's absolutely perfect. And it's actually a bigger point there, Allan, because running longer distances after 40 means you do need to slow down your 5K pace will not be the same case that your pace that you run a 10K or a half-marathon. So pacing yourself slowing down is a good way to to run safely and injury free, especially over 40.
[00:39:00.590] – Allan Yeah. One of the things I like about the longer distances is that they become a thousand times more social.
[00:39:09.740] – Rachel Oh yeah.
[00:39:10.640] – Allan You know when you run a 5K for some reason or another, most people that want to have a good time, they're just running all out. There's like no conversations in the first two-thirds of the pack of a 5K. The walkers in the backyard or they're having a blast.
[00:39:28.080] – Allan But when you get into the longer distances, people kind of let go of the fact that we're racing something and it's more about completing the distance than it is about beating yourself or beating someone else. So it becomes a much more social thing as you start doing longer and longer distances. But you have one on here that I think's actually really, really cool, because a lot of times when we're trying to train running seems like a really lonely thing. And it's kind of hard to explain. It's like, no, you'll have more conversations on a marathon because you're running for four, maybe five, maybe six hours.
[00:40:07.020] – Allan That's one of the most social days of your year because you're making all kinds of friends as people are running slower or faster, walking or whatever is going on in that race. But you you recommend that people join a run club?
[00:40:19.890] – Rachel I do. And there are run clubs probably associated with the running shoe store. There could be just groups of people in your in your city or town that you live in. And the RRCA has a listing of run clubs. That's rrca.org, where you could look up different run clubs in your area. And the best thing about a run club is that you're going to find like-minded people trying to do the exact same thing you are. You're going to find other people trying to get faster at the 5K or maybe doing their first 10K or first half-marathon.
[00:40:53.850] – Rachel And you will find people that are at your pace. And it would be so much fun to meet people at the run club nights or different days depending on your schedule. And running with people at a similar pace is really fun. It's entertaining is a great way to meet people.
[00:41:10.260] – Allan And I think that you just touched on something that's really, really important is the longer runs are really are about pacing. To finish a longer runm you have to understand a pace and understand the pace, you have to practice the pace. So having someone else, maybe somebody who's even a little bit more experienced than you and you go into a run and you're like, okay, we're going to do an 11-minute mile for four miles.
[00:41:36.720] – Allan And so having someone who understands how to to do that versus we're going to say sprint out and leave you there and then you'll see him at the finish line, you know, later, you know, having someone there. I think one of the coolest things is, you know, if you and Michael couldn't find a run club, you started what we did.
[00:41:58.950] – Rachel Yeah, we did. Because everywhere that we have moved so far, there's always somebody who also likes to run. And so why not get together and run together and enjoy some conversation and the scenery at the same time while also getting fit. Run clubs are a great way to meet people and also push your speed because there's going to be somebody faster than you. There's also going to be somebody slower than you. But it'll be a good way to be pushed and see what other people can do.
[00:42:27.810] – Allan Yeah, and it's actually really cool to have people that are fast or news. So when you do the race, they're there to cheer you when you finish.
[00:42:33.860] – Rachel Yes, yes, yes.
[00:42:37.380] – Allan That was what was so cool. And I ran with was Redbud. Yeah. You guys are Redbud. You were Pea Ridge in Florida. That was so cool. I ran with you guys on that one run and everybody finished before me I guess because so many people stand at the finish line yelling my name. That's so cool.
[00:43:00.510] – Rachel Yeah. It's nice to have a bunch of people supporting what you're doing. It's just so encouraging and very motivating. Cool.
[00:43:07.710] – Allan All right, Rachel, so now that someone's considering running longer distance after 40, can you kind of just go over a quick recap of the seven things that they should be paying attention to?
[00:43:18.330] – Rachel Absolutely.
[00:43:19.350] – Rachel First of all, share your plans with your friends and family and get their Buy-In and support because you're going to be spending a lot of time on the road. Make sure you find a training plan that works for you. There's a ton of training plans out there from the couch to 5K, which they have the 10K. Jeff Galloway, Hal Higdon, if you're having problems finding a training plan, hit me up. I could probably give you some advice on how to choose a training plan for your abilities.
[00:43:44.520] Proper apparel shoes will always rein king. You need to have good shoes so that you can stay healthy and start to look at the shirts and shorts and other apparel that will keep you comfortable for these longer distances. As far as optional gear goes, reflective gear, lighted gear, weather-appropriate apparel as well as hydration items would be nice to have as soon as you can afford that or find a need for it.
[00:44:09.180] And nutrition and hydration is very individualized. We could have a whole podcast that talks about this. The best thing you can do is experiment with the products, the food products and drink products that agree with your stomach and training days always try and training and don't forget to do recovery and then maybe some more recovery. Prioritize foam rolling and stretching, just like you do every other training session. Make sure you take your rest days when you're training plan says to take a rest day, but that's an act of rest, not a sitting on the couch all day kind of a day.
[00:44:43.520] – Rachel And lastly, find a run club, get inspired and motivated by other people in your town and join other people in the same goals that you're trying to accomplish as well.
[00:44:55.220] – Allan All right. Well, if you have a run that you want to do and you see it on the horizon, you want to start training for that, I'd strongly encourage you to reach out to Rachel. Rachel, your site is strong-soles.com. And you have a strength training course there that will help someone with their cross-training as they're trying to get to these longer distances.
[00:45:20.540] – Rachel Yep. On the first page of my program on my website, strong-soles.com, scroll down to the runners' workout that'll be emailed to you directly. And if you have any other questions, there's a contact page on the website as well.
[00:45:35.550] – Allan Awesome. So you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/480, and I'll be sure to have the links there. All right, Rachel, this was a great conversation. I hope you have a great week and we'll talk next week.
[00:45:49.790] – Rachel Thanks, Allan. Thanks for having me on again. Take care.
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Dr. Don Rose is an endurance athlete and author of the new book, Average to Epic: A Mid-lifer’s Guide to Endurance Sports and Lifelong Fitness. This book serves as an introductory guide to a wide range of endurance sports and helps readers discover how to be successful as endurance athletes.
Dr. Rose discusses several guiding principles within the book, including:
Almost nothing is impossible
Understand your motivations
One person’s epic is another person’s easy workout
Enjoy and appreciate the journey
Think sustainable and long-term
Be prepared to examine your self-image
Have an attitude of gratitude
Don’t forget to give back
Dr. Rose encourages readers to do something bigger, or to adopt a big hairy audacious goal (BHAG). Think of something that you may think is impossible to do. BHAGs should be transformational, outrageous, outside your comfort zone, somewhat risky, time-based, and meaningful. They should also have a clear finish line, but with a long-term aspect.
Setting goals without a lot of experience can be frustrating. Dr. Rose encourages people to get some events under their belt to determine their starting point.
Dr. Rose also discusses his 10 truths of training, which define the essence of training that can be applied across many sports. These include:
Everybody and every body is different.
Know thy body.
Training is more art than science.
Know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em.
Recovery, recovery, recovery.
Planning is important. Flexibility is part of reality.
Consistency is the key.
Find a training rhythm.
Avoid the middle ground.
Don’t use a workout as a measure of fitness gains or losses.
To learn more about Average to Epic: A Mid-lifer’s Guide to Endurance Sports and Lifelong Fitness or to connect with Don Rose, visit https://average2epic.com/.