Act your age?
In a few months Im turning 50. Most people who have turned 50 tell you nothing really changes. I guess that for most people the fact that the body has started to decompose for quite a few years at 50 isnt noticed. I have now spent the better part of a year starting to build back some level of base – this would have taken me 3 months in the past.
Having an old mans body is like operating a 25-year-old outboard motor. First you have to use all the battery to get it to start (getting up in the morning is fine – its the getting out of bed that sucks). Then, it finally comes to life – gets completely out of control as the idle is out of tune (this is the part when you think that you are young again and go out at a pace that you would have 20 years ago). The fumes are awful as the carburetor is not set right either (this part I will leave to your imagination ). But once its going its runs like a charm – until you turn it off and try to restart again.
There is however hope – I have been led to believe. In the book Fast after 50, Joe Friel compares results in several different sports (one of them being triathlon), times and performances for age groupers. Its interesting and motivating to see that performance doesnt drop drastically until after 70 for those who stay active. The hypothesis is that people who started training hard and racing in there twenties – and stay active – can maintain a high performance. For us who have not – well, we will see .
Good news for all you Young Guns out there who are 30 something – you have a chance to maintain the speed and performance you have now well into your seventies and perhaps even further!
For us who rise from the dead (death by PowerPoint and endless meetings) and have rediscovered our need for speed – well, the jury is still out on that one and might be out for a long time given the recovery time you need at this respectable age
Please, dont come talking about youre getting old when you are 35-39! Mark Allen won Hawaii when he was 37, Dave Scott finished second in 1994 when he was 40 and fifth when he was 42 – in 1996. I am sure that when Dave finally returns to Kona again he will place top 50 overall – likely with very few minutes behind the 9hr.
Set your goals for the long term so you can enjoy a long, fast and healthy life. Dont set your goal to do one Ironman just to qualify for Hawaii – do other races and learn to love it.
Stay safe on the roads!