Run Bet­ter With Age

Mas­ters ath­letes can stay strong by adapt­ing at each mile­stone. Here, we show you how to get bet­ter with age

Runner's World (UK) - - Contents -

A sim­ple strength plan, smart train­ing tips and an age-de­fy­ing diet to keep you on your toes as the years roll by

Run­ning is a life­long sport. You can start in school and keep go­ing as long as you can put one foot in front of the other. You ma­ture, set goals and break PBS, but there comes a time when the body moves be­yond its peak. This process be­gins in our 30s (ex­cept for those who took up run­ning later in life and are still im­prov­ing). The rate of de­cline in­creases to about 0.7 per cent per year through our 40s, 50s and 60s. As you age your V02 max will re­duce and your mus­cle mass de­creases, while wear and tear and the legacy of in­juries make you less flex­i­ble. Heal­ing takes longer, in­clud­ing re­cov­ery from hard work­outs. But there is still lots to cel­e­brate about be­ing a mas­ters run­ner. ‘Hu­mans are well adapted to run into late mid­dle age,’ says Daniel Lieber­man, an evo­lu­tion­ary bi­ol­o­gist at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity. He says our an­ces­tors ap­pear to have evolved to con­tinue run­ning or hunt­ing well into to­day’s mas­ters years. ‘ Hunter- gath­er­ers of­ten live into their 70s or even 80s and they re­main very ac­tive,’ he says.

How­ever, you will still need to ad­just your train­ing to the re­al­i­ties of get­ting older. Our guide will show you how those ad­just­ments should evolve as you progress along the mas­ters path.

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