Welcome to Getting Fit at Fifty

My name is Art Davis and I started running in 2007 to lose weight. Check out my before and after photos at the bottom of the page. I ran my first 5K and 10K in 2007 I went on to run my first half Marathon and full Marathon in 2008.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Interval Training

Two common questions are "How do I run faster?" and "How do I run farther?". The answer to both questions is Interval Training. Following is the routine that I use and I have PR'ed in both my last 1/2 marathon and full marathon. As you can see this program can be easily modified to fit you fitness level.

Warm-up for 3 minutes
Sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds followed by a slow recovery run for 90 seconds.
repeat 7 times
Then Sprint as hard as you can for 30 seconds followed by a Cool down for 2 minutes 30 seconds.
That gives you a good 20 minute work out.

This is the specific workout that I have been doing on the treadmill:

Warm-up for 3 minutes at a pace of 6.2 mph on a grade of 1.

The Sprints are done for 30 seconds with the treadmill set a grade of 5 and the recovery is done for 90 seconds at a grade of 1.

2 - Sprint 8.5 mph - Recovery 6.0 mph
2 - Sprint 8.7 mph - Recovery 6.0 mph
3 - Sprint 9.0 mph - Recovery 6.0 mph
1 - Sprint 9.0 mph 

Cool down 2 minutes 30 seconds at a pace of 6.2 mph and a grade of 1.

I then take a short 2 or 3 minute break get a drink of water, wash the sweat off of my face and repeat the whole thing over again. That equals a 40 minute workout and running 4.4 miles

Saturday, April 4, 2015

First Half Marathon

The first half marathon that I ran was The Frostbite Half Marathon on Feb. 16, 2008.  It was the first year it was held at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park. The park is not big and the course spent very little time in the park itself. Runners made a big loop on several county back roads, some of which were rough, one-lane chip/tar roads, and one was a very rocky dirt road. The course had numerous agonizingly long, gradual hills. But all this, along with perfect weather, made for a great event.
  Looking back at that point  I had lost over 40 pounds. I had come a long way but what I did not realize was really just the beginning of my weight loss journey. Since that time I have ran 7 full marathons and 9 half marathons. In addition I have lost another 35 pounds. I feel much better than I did seven years ago, and look forward to more races and a happier, healthier life.  

I stopped along the way at several of the water stations, at about 10 miles I walked for a short distance, but this was the first time I ran a half marathon. Since then I have gradually increased my endurance to where I have run several half marathons without having to stop and walk.  In the Nashville Marathon I made 17.5 miles without walking, the Chicago Marathon almost 20 miles without walking, and finally the Disney Marathon I never had to stop and walk

Next up for me was my first full marathon, the Cincinnati Flying Pig on 5/4/2008

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Southern Illinois Spring Classic

The Southern Illinois Spring Classic Half Marathon and 5k supports Kids Shopping Day in Lawrence County. The race starts at the Parkside Elementary School and runs into Lawrenceville around the square back out to the Elementary School at that point the 5k veers off and finishes on the track around the football field, while the half marathon takes off to Bridgeport.

It was a cold morning 26˚ at race time, I really did not start feeling warm until the 4 mile marker, where I handed a sweatshirt off to volunteers.  The course is fairly flat and is a nice run in the country from Lawrenceville to Bridgeport and back.

Waiting for the race to start.

Here I am closing in on the 3 mile mark.

Getting close to the end!

The race ends on Ed Loeb Field.

Crossing the finish line!

At the end of the race with my medal and a bottle of water.

With Scott Bosecker, the overall winner.

Coming soon The 2015 Kentucky Derby Festival 1/2 Marathon.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Final Long Training Run

Follow me on my final long run before the Southern Illinois Spring Classic Half Marathon on 3/28/15.

Conventional wisdom states that in order to prepare for a half marathon your long run is 10 miles, I am not conventional. To prepare for a half marathon I do a full 13.1 mile training run . This strategy is not for the first time half marathoner, before trying this your body needs to be conditioned to being able to do a 10 mile run at least once or twice a month.

A certain person who worries about me did not want me to run outside because it was too wet and muddy. Where would she get an idea like that?

It had rained Friday and clear into Saturday morning so I had to put off running until Saturday afternoon. During the first mile my body felt stiff and took a little longer to loosen up than normal. During miles 2 and 3 I was having to hold my body back to a 9 minute per mile pace.
Miles 4 - 8 I settled into a pace of about 9:25 per mile. Miles 9 - 13 I was having to push myself to stay below 10:00 minute miles. I finished 13.29 miles in 2:07:28 with a pace of 9:42 minutes per mile.

Look! I passed a car!

Good thing it was parked.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Goal Setting

People frequently ask "How do you stick with running?" or "How do you run so far?" The short answer is, you need to sign up for a race. It is amazing what you can accomplish once you have a goal.

It is easy at times to become excited and sign up for several races and lose focus. I learned that it is best for me to not sign up for over 2 or 3 races at a time in order to focus and allow my body time to recover between races.

My first goal when I started running was to run the Koman 5k in Evansville. It fit the criteria of being Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound.

A goal becomes more than just a dream when you fill out the entry form, pay the entry fee, print out a training program, and attach it to the refrigerator door.

After you accomplish one goal you need to replace it with a new goal. I ran a 5k, next was a 10k, then a half-marathon and finally a full marathon. Now I have set goals to run my races faster and run longer without having to stop and walk.

Share your goals selectively. I share my goals with my cheerleader who will encourage me and help me work towards my goals.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

10 Mile Treadmill Run

Winter weather in southwestern Indiana convinced me to run inside yet another day.  I ran 10.12 miles in 99 minutes indoors on the treadmill today. The treadmills at our apartment complex have a feature they call "Virtual Active" that simulates running outdoors in one of two places the American Northeast or the Northern Rockies.So today I ran around the Northern Rockies. The treadmills are touchscreen so you start the process by tapping Virtual Active and then choosing your location.

You then enter your weight, time (length of workout) which today was 100 minutes, For the difficulty level I chose level 3 today because it feels slightly more challenging than running outside. MPH, I warmed up at 6 mph or 10 minute mile and finally your weight which helps the treadmill calculate your calories burned.

The run starts out in the Badlands National Park,  It gives you several minutes to warm up on nice flat ground but the treadmill never went below an incline of one.

A nice low grade to simulate running outside on flat ground.

The treadmill weaves through Custer State Park.  When the video is set on full screen you actually feel like you are curving to the right or left.

The run peaks at a grade of 5. During a run of 99 minutes you run up the grade of 5 three times.  In addition there are hills with inclines of 2.5, 3.5 and 4.

This is running up a hill at a grade of 4 in the Grand Teton National Park.

The run concludes at Yellowstone National Park. If you are running over 30 minutes it repeats and starts over at the Badlands National Park. 

When you conclude the treadmill furnishes you a nice workout summary, including the distance ran, time, average pace and calories burned.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

First 10k

First 10k

My first 10k was the Thanksgiving Day Race 11/22/2007 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  During the training I was having to stop and walk during my long runs. My longest run was three weeks before the race and it was 7 miles.
At the beginning of the race a few people cramped up during the first steep hill and had to stop and walk. Close to end of the race I was beginning to run out of steam, but was able to suck it up and finish the 10k without walking. I finished the 10k (6.2 miles) in 1:07:24 with a pace of 10:52.

Sporting my T-shirt before the race.

It was cold the morning of the race, everyone was bundled up and trying to keep warm.

The starting line for the race.

The race finished in the Paul Brown Stadium.

Getting close to the end!