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