I’m slowing as I age (as everyone does). Is it because my stride’s getting shorter, or my turnover’s slower?
Your stride is probably shortening as your muscles lose strength and power – but that’s not the only factor behind the slowdown. Cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and range of motion also decline naturally with age (sorry!). To cut your losses, consider focusing more on intensity than mileage: workouts that alternate between short, hard-effort bursts and recovery periods help build power in the calves, which seem to lose function sooner with age than other muscles and are crucial to maintaining speed. Try twiceweekly short-interval or hill sessions at higher speeds – if you’re able to do them without aggravating any injuries. – Dr Paul DeVita, kinesiology professor at East Carolina University and recent past president of the American Society of Biomechanics