Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chuck Norris' Birthday

A truth that I live by is the theme of the Senior Olympics, "Age is only a limit you put on yourself". One of people who is living that truth is Chuck Norris, he turns 69 today. He works out regularly and still has the moves despite closing in on 70. One of our local race walkers is 72 and if he is having a good day he is hard to beat. He is affected more by the really hot humid days than he used to be but he will still beat me if I don't give it my best.

When you are over 40 to some extent and especially when you are over 60 your fast twitch muscles will be harder to keep fit than your slow twitch muscles. Fast twitch is the speed muscles and slow twitch are the go long or endurance muscles. That means that as you get older you can't neglect the speed work.

The best way to keep all your walking/running muscles toned and balanced is the old school Fartlak training. That means add some bursts of faster walking/running into your regular miles. There are many ways to do this. It's always best to do your first mile slower to warm up good. Then when you are nice and warmed up start adding some faster speed. One way is to accelerate from one light pole to the next then slow back to normal till the next pole and speed up again to the next. Keep doing that as you still feel comfortable but when you start tiring out go back to your normal speed for the remainder of your workout.

My personal favorite way to train is do the first mile slow and comfortable to warm up and then do each mile a little faster. If I don't know the route I speed up a little every 15 min. Then the last mile I'll go faster but at a pace I can hold for the whole mile. Then I'll walk about a 100m to cool down rather than just stop all at once.

One of my race walking friends does track workouts where she will go fast on the turns and slower on the straight sections of the track. Or you can do fast laps alternating with slower laps. The main thing is to give both types of muscles a workout.

After a hard workout it's a good idea to drink a sports drink for the trace minerals and salt you have used up during your workout and a little food. There are a lot of packaged nutrition bars out there but you have to read the label to see what you are getting, some are so calorie dense that they are called meal replacement bars. A good choice is a banana or a bagel. I have started using my new mix of grape tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives and walnuts. I put together some snacks of those in sandwich bags and eat them when I'm feeling hungry between meals also.

Thanks for reading.

Speed training Panda

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