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Senior runner looking for leg endurance advice (Read 83 times)

RunningJimbo


    Hi All,

     

    I am new to this forum and was hoping someone can provide some advice.  I am a life long casual runner.  Currently 72 years old and have started entering 5k's after a long time away from racing.  My pace is 9:20 - 9:40 per mile and I have medaled in all 5 of my last races.  But my biggest weakest is leg endurance.  Hills wear out the legs fast.  I was in a 5k yesterday with slow rolling hills and for the last mile my legs were spent like never before in my life.

     

    Does anyone have any advice to increase leg endurance in a senior runner?  I am running hills in training and doing some modest sprint work.

     

    Also something that may be a factor, I am on a very low carb, no sugar diet.  Can I just be running out of fuel?

     

    Any help is appreciated and thanks in advance.

    GatsbyBird


      HI Jimbo,

       

      Do you do any kind of strength work?  As we age, we naturally lose muscle mass.  Strength work, especially resistance training, can help mitigate this. See, e.g., https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874224/ (esp the part towards the bottom about interventions to minimize age-related decrease in muscle mass).  Perhaps consult a trainer who specializes in working with senior folks?

       

      I can't speak to whether low carbs is affecting your endurance (I've never met a carb that I didn't like!).   But if you're still banging out 5k races at at good clip, I'd say you're definitely doing something right.

      2/18/23 North Marin Ridge Run, 20 miler, Lagunitas, CA

      4/16/23 Napa Valley 50k, Calistoga, CA

      4/23/23 Philadelphia Trail Marathon, Philly, PA

      8/26/23 Oregon Cascades 100, Bend, OR

      RunningJimbo


        Thank you GatsbyBird.  I will take to heart and start working out those legs more.

         

        It is appreciated.


        an amazing likeness

          If you have the terrain accessible to you, hill repeat workouts are a great addition to build leg strength.

          Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

          RunningJimbo


            Thanks milktruck.  I have been doing more of that and then had my worse race this year.  But I will keep on trucking (excuse the pun)


            an amazing likeness

              If you're interested in joining the Masters Runners group here on RunningAhead, you'd find an active group of 'well seasoned' runners, racewalkers, cyclist, walkers, and more.

              Acceptable at a dance, invaluable in a shipwreck.

              RunningJimbo


                Thanks for the tip... I have joined now.


                SMART Approach

                  You mentioned you just started entering 5Ks....well, I think you are still in the development phase so your strength and endurance will improve over time with more miles, base and smart training. How long have you been running and how many miles per week? Also, race strategy is huge so your legs likely were fried late in race because of poor race strategy. You may be interested in my articles on HOW TO TRAIN SMARTER and 5K RACE STRATEGY.

                  Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

                  Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

                  Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique

                  www.smartapproachtraining.com

                  RunningJimbo


                    Tchuck,

                     

                    I have been running for over 50 years and racing intermittently throughout except for the past 15 years where I kept running but no racing.

                     

                    Thanks for the mention of race strategy.  I have considered that and have been experimenting with it.  But to the specific race I mentioned where my legs were completely gone, I stated at a slower pace than recent races.

                     

                    I run 4 days a week with 3.5 - 4 miles per session.  A good amount of hills and some dedicated hill work.

                     

                    I will look up both your articles and thanks for the tip.


                    SMART Approach

                      At this point, your limiting factor is clearly your aerobic base and stamina. 16 miles a week is very low mileage. Build your weekly mileage and you will see tremendous improvements in your fitness and performance. These are the fundamentals of training. Happy to send you my article that explains all this. tcharnetski@att.net

                      Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

                      Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

                      Safe Muscle Activation Recovery Technique

                      www.smartapproachtraining.com

                      RunningJimbo


                        Thank you Tchuck.  No need for the article but thanks.

                          I am 60 and would love to run your times . But I agree lifting is crucial for older runners

                          RunningJimbo


                            Healthrunner,

                             

                            As to everyone, thanks.  I have started working out the legs and will see in the next race Dec 31.