Aging: Changes That Impact Performance

Aging Athlete Coach Lora Erickson Blonde RunnerAging: Changes that Impact Performance

There is no question that age has an impact on performance. If you compare the Boston Marathon Qualification times for an athlete in their 20’s and an athlete in their late 40’s you will see a 20 minute difference meaning that an athlete over 45 can qualify with a time 20 minutes slower than an athlete in their 20’s. That is a significant difference. As an athlete over 45 years of age that has competed for over 30’s years I can tell you that I have seen the effects of aging on my training.  Just this year my body has showed signs of early menopause.  The symptoms have had a big impact on my training and it has shown in my under-par performances.  For instance, hot flashes and night sweats have disrupted my sleep, weight gain has made the impact of running more difficult to recover from and the change in hormones have resulted in moods swings and hampered my ability to focus.  I often have to stop in the middle of a workout, because my heart is racing or a headache becomes too much to push through.  I know I am not alone and many women who are also athletes have been coping with these symptoms.  It is difficult to know that these changes often take many years before periods go away (the only good thing about menopause) but there are some things we can do to help.

Men also are impacted by changes with age. With a decrease in growth hormone and testosterone they often experience loss of muscle & strength and weight gain. The body can undergo vision, hearing and digestion changes.  The bodies’ ability to adapt to temperature changes and stay hydrated is also affected. A lack of focus is also reported in men.  As I have coached athletes of all ages over the years there are many things I do differently with older athletes.  The fact is, we are all aging and we need to be mindful as our bodies’ needs change.  Here are some suggestions to help cope with aging changes:

  • Allow more time for warming-up before exercise. Many of my more youthful athletes can skip a warm-up all together and not be affected too much, however older athletes need the warm-up. As we age our muscles lose elasticity and can be torn more easily, the joints are stiffer and the body needs time to prepare of exercise. I recommend older athletes warm-up 10-20 minutes on the elliptical before a run, weight training or ride. Or use the rowing machine before swimming.
  • Incorporate yoga into your exercise routine. Because the muscles do lose some elasticity as we age, it’s important to maintain flexibility and balance. I recommend adding yoga to your exercise routine 1-2 times a week.
  • Do weight training weekly. With the decrease in muscle tissue that accompanies aging I suggest doing more weight training. This will also promote bone density and prevent osteoporosis. Gaining muscle can also help keep the metabolism up and control weight gain. I recommend weight training 2-3 times a week.
  • Be mindful of your eating. Most people gain weight as they age due to hormone changes so it becomes more important to be mindful of what goes into your mouth. I recommend using the MyFitnessPal app to track your food and assist with making better food choices.
  • Take time for meditation. As we are older we have more experiences to reflect on. Take the time to allow for meaningful meditation and reflection. This can help keep us centered and cope with the mood swings. Meditation before bed can also help with sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. With the increased challenges aging poses it often becomes more difficult to keep up a good routine but exercise can help us cope with symptoms. Even 10-20 minutes of exercise counts on difficult days.
  • Allow more time for recovery from races and hard workouts. This has probably been the most difficult thing for me this race season. But my body simply doesn’t recover as quickly from hard workouts and races as it used to. How much time you need to recover really depends on your background and experience but I suggest listening to your body. Don’t be afraid to change a hard workout into an easy one if the body says so. It’s best to stay injury-free.
  • Be gentle with yourself. As a competitive athlete I know how difficult it can be to let go of slow performances. I try to remind myself that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone and I have years of race results to illustrate my hard work over the years. A friend reminded me recently that not all flowers bloom all of the time; it’s okay to just finish a race having done your best for that day because that is what the body will allow. I have recognized things get harder as we age and I have even more respect for older athletes. It reminds me to do the best I can for me. Wishing you healthy and happy training. Coach Lora Erickson

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Coach Lora Erickson is an Ironman All-World athlete (top 5% in the world in her division) that recently competed in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. She is a long-time running and triathlon coach offering in-person as well as online coaching programs and community classes. She loves to work with beginners. To learn more contact her at theblonderunner@gmail.com or visit BlondeRunner.com

Read More:

The Aging Body

Menopause Symptoms

The Real Reason Old Olympians are Still Fit

Coach Lora Erickson Services Offered

I love to coach!  If I didn’t I wouldn’t still be doing it after my first paid coaching job in 1992.  Coaching others and teaching them how to improve is what makes me happy. I would love the opportunity to work with you.  I offer many services as listed in the image above.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me to help in any of these areas.  I offer on-line or in person coaching as well as one-time consultation sessions.  Beginners and non-runners welcome.  Contact me with questions anytime.

Coach Lora

theblonderunner@gmail.com

BlondeRunner.com

 

Upcoming Blonde Runner Classes:

Open Water Swim Clinic – Tuesday June 20, 2017, $35

Individual Running Form Analysis – scheduled individually – contact Coach

Small Group Swimming – contact Coach

Women’s Triathlon Clinic in Riverton – August 10, 2017 – get registered http://blonderunner.com/2017/05/womens-triathlon-clinic-in-riverton/

Ladies Beginner Cycling Clinic (learn how to change a tire, bicycle maintenance and cycling skills) – July 13, 6 – 7:30 p.m. $25. Davis County. Limited Spots. Learn More

 

Learn more or get registered:

Contact Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com, BlondeRunner.com

Who is Blonde Runner?

 

Blonde Runner Triathlon Yard Sale 2017

May 11, 2017 by  
Filed under News, Races

I am trying to earn money to pay for my trip to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Tennessee in September 2017. I am so excited for this unbelievable opportunity! Over the many years I have done triathlon I have accumulated stuff; it’s time to find new homes for these items, many are brand new. Please contact me with a private message if you are interested in anything so I don’t miss any comments. Don’t see what you need? Message me and I might just have it and have not put it up yet. Pick-up only – in Bountiful. I will be adding things, so check back often. Thank you for your support! Happy shopping! Triathlons rock! Thanks!! ~ Coach Lora

You could always take one of my classes or hire me for full custom coaching (that helps too):

Running Form Analysis

Running and/or Triathlon Training

Endurance Sports Nutrition

Adult Swimming Class – Triathlon Specific (pool & openwater) Visit BlondeRunner.com to learn more

See what I have for sale: https://www.facebook.com/lora.heylerickson/media_set?set=a.10212367307767802.1073741833.1533356182&type=3

Check back often, new things added weekly.

Donations can also be made directly to paypal (theblonderunner@gmail.com). Thank you for your support.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Race Report: Ironman St. George 70.3

May 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Races

Wow! That was a tough day. The training leading up to the event was pretty solid but I couldn’t  seem to avoid consuming water on the swim leaving me nauseated for the ride and limiting my ability to consume nutrition in the bike. I only seem to consume water in very specific conditions (in a race, when it’s hard to see and/or gets crowded), otherwise I have no problem in training.

The trouble is that I was only able to tolerate about 1/3 of my planned nutrition on the bike but ended up throwing that up at the beginning of the run. I felt better and tried to consume some fluids and as much solids as I could tolerate. I did start feeling better around mile 4 or 5 on the run so was able to pick up the pace for a while, then had to walk when a wave of nausea would hit so I could keep down my nutrition. Then I started experiencing some cramping towards the end of the run despite my attempts to get some nutrients & electrolytes back in me. I was so grateful to have company to run with and help me. I still had some major chafing on my neck and could really feel it burn on the run when the sweat hit it.  Ouch! 

The volunteers were also amazing. It was a bit windy and warm so I was so happy to have so many aide stations along the way, about a mile apart.  This race is challenging when you are feeling good so it’s even more difficult when you are sick and your body is shutting down but I pushed through. No way was I going to pull out. Despite my results I am so happy to be able to finish and participate in these events. This was an event I have had on my bucket list for a while. Sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.  Overall I was pleased to finish and will continue to search for ways to get through my challenges. Triathlon training is my favorite. Thank you to all my friends, family and sponsors support! You are so appreciated. 

Coach Lora Erickson 

BlondeRunner.com

 

 

 

 

 

Wahoo! I am so excited to be participating in the Ironman St. George 70.3 event this weekend. I have wanted to do this race for quite sometime now and it finally worked out so I can. Hoping my shoulder holds up. It’s a hilly route and looks like we might have some heat and wind. Reminds me of Kona #hawaii #raceweek #swimbikerun #utahathlete 

Coach Lora Erickson: Lettuce Explain Podcast Guest

May 9, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, News, Nutrition, Product Reviews

As you might remember, last month I participated in the Oceanside 70.3 Ironman event.  It is always so enjoyable to get away from the cold of Northern Utah and enjoy warmer temperatures.  While I was there I was able to visit one of my long time friend and she invited me to be interviewed on her new podcast.  I was so excited to participate and talk about my triathlon experience.  My friend and her friend, both dietitians, started the Lettuce Explain podcast and cover great nutrition and fitness topics.  It can be found on iTunes, Stitcher Radio or Google Play.  I was interviewed for Episode 008 which was released today.  Here’s a link if you’d like to listen.  It was so much fun!

http://lettuceexplain.libsyn.com/podcast

Let me know what you think? If you’d like to have help with your triathlon or run training I would love to help.  Please get in touch with me at theblonderunner@gmail.com.  I work with people locally or online across the country.  Fitness rocks!

Train Happy,

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

Blonde Runner Race & Product Discount Code List 2017

April 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Health Classes, News, Product Reviews, Races

(new code added 5.17.2017 – check back often)

Who doesn’t like to get a discount on a race or great products you love?! Check back often as discounts will be added through the year.  Please feel free to share with a friend or family member.

What is better than a discount?  FREE!  Often I have giveaways for free entries on my Blonde Runner Health Facebook page.  Check it out!

If you need help with training for a triathlon or running events don’t hesitate to contact me. I love to coach! I work with people all over the country on-line and/or in person in Northern Utah.  I also offer local classes (Run Form, Swimming, Nutrition etc…).  Come join the fun!

Happy Training,

Coach Lora Erickson

theblonderunner@gmail.com

BlondeRunner.com

 

April 2018 – SaltLakeMarathon.com – Use the code “blonderunnerslc18” for 2018 for 20%

Splashnsprint.comUse the code BLONDESPLASH for $5 off

RaceForGrief.comUse the code RFG5 to save $5 (10K or 5K events)

OgdenMarathon.com – “blonderunner” for $10 off the Ogden Full, Half or Relay or  “blonderunner5” for the 5K 

June 24, 2017 – Daybreak Triathlon – use the code “blonde” for $10 off.  Get Registered

Women of Steel Triathlon – BLONDERUNNER10 for 10% off

June 10, 2017 – Utah Health Food Expo.  Come to my presentation at 1 p.m. on Nutrition for Athletes. Use the discount code “blonde” for 50% off  –  Get tickets

UtahValleyMarathon.com – BR15 for 15% off 

JulyCache Gran Fondo Cycling Event in Logan Utah – Use the code TeamBlonde2017 ($25 discount – jersey at cost of $35) Get Registered

July 14, 2017Wildflower Trailfest – Use the code BLONDERUNNER to save $

July 15, 2017 – Topaz Tri – Delta, Utah – Use the code blonder to save $10

August 12, 2017Wildflower Pedalfest – Use the code BLONDERUNNER to save $

GoTriathamom.com – Use the code “blonde” to save $10 on this Women’s Only Sept Event.

OnHillEvents.com – Use the code “BLDRUN15” to get 15% off events

RaceTri.com events – BlondeRaceTri2017 – 15% off

Xterrawetsuits.com – use the code CO-BLONDE to get 60% off wetsuits and Lava Pants

Use these links to help accumulate product giveaways on Blonde Runner Health:

Swimoutlet.com/blonderunner  – great prices.  Check out their grab-bag suits.

TriSports.com

RoadID.com

Champion Systems. I love the custom race gear Champions Systems has made me.  Want to have some made for you or your club/team.  Contact me at theblonderunner@gmail.com and I will get you in touch the right people.

Evofitforlife.com – “blonderunner17” gets 25% off and free shipping on the enso roller

Wasatch Running Center and Bountiful Bicycle.  Message me at theblonderunner@gmail.com to learn how you can get discounts.

Cocogo.com/ – Use the code BLONDERUNNER code for discounts (grape is my favorite)

Noxgear.com/tracer360  – Visibility Vest – Safety First! Use code BLONDERUN for 20% off

Elete Electrolyte – Set up a free account and use the code “blonderunner” to save 15% on your first order. https://www.mineralresourcesint.com/products/

 

Spring Running Form Class

April 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Fitness, Health Classes, News, Nutrition

A lot of requests have been made for a Running Form Class so an additional class has been set up for next Tuesday night, April 18 from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Davis County area. $25. Contact Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com if you’d like to reserve a spot.

A Spring Triathlon Training Class will be offered that same evening.  Learn more

Win a Spot in the Splash N Sprint Triathlon in Bountiful Utah

February 28, 2017 by  
Filed under Health Classes, News, Races

I love local triathlons because they are were I got my start in triathlons.  They have such great energy! Check out this great local event to take place on May 13, 2017 at the South Davis Recreation Center in Bountiful.  You could win a spot!  Don’t want to wait to get registered?  Use the code BLONDESPLASH to save $5.  Invite a friend to join you.  See you there! Get registered

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

 

 

Eating Better to Train Better – Nutrition Class

February 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Health Classes, News, Nutrition, Prevention & Safety

Tues. March 21, 2017
6-7 p.m., $25
Davis County Area

Learn daily nutrition tips that will help you in your training. Whether you are training for a triathlon, running event or your daily exercise; we will review what you need to know to stay healthy. This one-time lecture-style class will review protein powders, supplements, cellular hydration, anti-inflammatory eating, gluten-free diets and more. Learn how to prevent weight gain while training for long events like marathons and Ironman events. Class Fee: $25. Limited spots. Pre-registration is required. Message Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com to learn how to reserve a spot.  Bonus:  Get to try some yummy Power Bites (pictured)!

Learn more about Coach Lora Erickson aka Blonde Runner

Can’t make it, but want to join another class?  Check out the Triathlon Training Class or next Running Form Class

Get the recipe

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