Summer Time for a Change
Depending when you read this month’s installment, the month of June ushers in the hot, humid days of summer. The weather forecasters are predicting a hotter summer this year. Luckily, the days are longer for more daylight to squeeze in that run.
As I have aged as a runner, I have begun to dread running during the months of July and August. The old body has become less tolerant to the humidity more than the heat. I can begin a run feeling pretty fresh, only to finish many efforts feeling drained. I still recover fairly quickly, but the effort seems wasted.
Heading into this summer, I plan to take a different approach. I plan to spend less time pounding the pavement and substitute the efforts doing more core work and attending to more details I have ignored for several years.
I got a dose of reality during the middle of May. As part of our annual staff retreat, we ended our final day doing a couple of hours of “games” including activities like seeing how many push-ups and sit-ups we could do in a minute. In addition, we did some “warm-up exercises” like lunges, squats, and the likes.
Surprise, surprise, surprise!
I was sore for three days following the two hours of activities. I am in decent running shape for my age. Heck, I am in good condition for many age groups, but for a former competitive runner like myself, I did not measure up to what I consider the basics!
My thinking is if I can strengthen my core, improve flexibility and maintain my aerobic capacity to a respectable level during the upcoming summer months, come the fall when things cool off I should be better than I started the year. One possible outcome I hope to discover is improved tolerance to the summer extremes.
It is worth a shot. What do I have to lose? I am realistic though, because I am way over 50. And for others in my age group, be smart and don’t overdo it. Particularly if you haven’t done a whole lot in recent years. Same holds true to newcomers to running. It is all about being consistent in your training.
During those three days of soreness in May following the two hours of intense activity, I did not sit idle until the soreness went away, nor did I load up on anti-inflammatory pills. I worked out the soreness by staying active by running and doing some of the activity (push-ups and sit-ups) that made me sore in the first place.
The secret to aging is you have to keep moving! I have been blessed that I can still run and pretty much get around pain-free. Many folks my age experience knee, hip, and/or joint pain.
But I have to change with the times. Running in straight lines isn’t enough anymore. I have grown too casual in my training routine. I need to take advantage of the summer months to make these changes and observe the effects. Hopefully come September I can give you a status report.
In February I wrote about training for success. It is time for me to put that to the test myself. Be an example. Preach what I teach.
I am looking forward to this summer! Stay cool, stay hydrated, and have fun!