This book is a total game changer.
A woman is not a small man. Therefore we cannot train like one.
As you know, I have spent the last few months trying to figure out the glitches in my body that have reeked havoc on my normal training patterns. I have lost muscle mass, gained a few pounds and just don’t have the same endurance as I am used to. Truth be told I haven’t been in a specific training regimen since October, but I am even finding it difficult just to maintain my fitness. I actually have been kind of intimated to ramping it up again.
With these changes to my body, I have been spending quite a bit of time researching, looking for some answers and suggestions on training at this phase in my life. If you have read previous posts, I had blood work done to review specific biomarkers, which I found incredibly insightful. I have also spoken with other masters runners who have offered a ton of insight, especially about recovery. However I haven’t been too successful in finding specific training and nutritional suggestions (and the reasons why)..that is until this weekend.
A few weeks back someone suggested I read the book Roar. Then I Dr. Sims joined forces with Nuun Hydration to create a great performance product that I love. Since I had been hearing so much about her and I knew I couldn't wait any longer to get this book in my hands. I received the book last week, and after skimming it, knew it would be full of great info. I was hooked after the first page and literally read it in two days. (its also saturated with highlighter notes) There are soo many enlightening details, specific strength workouts, and nutritional with hydration guidance. Keep in mind Dr. Stacy Sims is a scientist, so she shares her recommendations based on research, not the latest fitness trends.
The premise of Dr Stacy Sims philosophy is that in order for us gals to be at the best performance we must first understand the female physiology. It’s kind of a no brainer that as a woman we are different from men and that we shouldn’t train like one. However, the reality is, most running training plans do not designate between men and women, the base is usually the same. This book digs deep into the types of female bodies, how hormones can effect training each month and how to make nutrition modifications to meet an individual training needs.
What I liked most is the specific data and training suggestions this book provided for masters runners. As we age, our hormonal makeup becomes unbalanced and in some cases is depleting, so we shouldn’t be fueling and training the same as we did in our 20’s and 30’s. I have heard this repeatedly, but have gotten stuck on how and what modifications to make in order to be successful in training. The detail Dr. Sims provides is the most specific I have seen, (especially to combat hormonal changes) and seriously has me fired up.
I am not going to sugar coat it, running as a 48-year-old woman is so much more challenging than I expected. I knew I might slow down as I got older, but I honestly didn’t expect to feel such a struggle with the endurance of long runs or gains in training. To be honest, these struggles have intimated me to train hard. Part of that struggle has created an excuse not train, but part of that is negative self talk and feeling like I can’t compete. It’s easy to say, just change the attitude and get out there and do the hard work, but I am the type of person that needs to understand the why and not “just do it” because the latest article or fitness pro tells me to.
Taking the steps I have to better understand my body and what it might need to train, has given me a boost. I still need to work on my confidence with training, but at last I feel like I have some solid resources that resonate with me and make it feel ok to try. Next week I run the Santa Barbara Wine country half and then I want to spend my summer training for a trail 50k. For the first time in a long time I feel I have the knowledge I need to feel secure in at least trying for this big goal. I know a lot of you are probably wondering what this insightful info is, but to be honest I don’t want to misinterpret the guidance from the book. However, in two weeks I start a training regimen again, I will share weekly what I have done and what worked. I hope that that too will give you a bit of insight.
Seriously thought, if you haven’t already, get this book. I got it on Amazon for less than $10 and I swear it will be one of the best investments you make!