Smita is a mother of two & a grandmother who looks nothing like her age! She's young at heart & is still involved in all the activities she did 20 years ago. In fact, she is stronger today than she was back then, because of a disciplined & consistent practice of a combination of strength training with weights for external muscles and yoga & pilates for core strengthening and flexibility. Smita says, "as we age, life gets harder, and we are faced with many challenges which could be hard on our mental and physical body."
It is important to follow a good strength training program with a well-qualified and experienced trainer to enjoy the benefits of a healthy and strong body. Strength training with weights improves the power needed for explosive movements like sprinting. It benefits running economy, neuromuscular coordination and anaerobic performance which combine to increase running performance. Training with weights increases your muscle mass thereby increasing your resting metabolic rate to provide you with a system that is involved in calorie burning 24 hours a day. A strong musculoskeletal system helps prevent stress fractures, and osteoporosis, which is common in the elderly population.
Core strength requires a well-toned core (deep muscles of the pelvic floor, abdominals, gluteal and lower back), referred as "Powerhouse" in Pilates, to work in sync. Core strength enhances stability & balance thus preventing the runner from moving the torso and deflecting energy to run faster. Pilates trains you to perfect your posture and use core strength rather than holding yourself with superficial musculature.
Yoga builds a balance of strength, flexibility & synchronised breathing in a runner thereby reducing your risk of injury. It brings about an awareness of your intrinsic body and trains you to coordinate your breath with each movement. It also makes you intuitive to your body's signals, so you learn to respect your body's limitations. Start incorporating yoga asanas in the warm up and cool down segments of your training plans. In fact, injuries often self-correct through a gentle and consistent practice of yoga.
The final result of practising all the above three is an amalgamation of your physical body, mind & breath to improve your confidence in your running performance.