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Coach@triathlon

Triathlon is an age depreciating skill :)

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In the other thread CEM mentioned how he felt a decline in his running around the age of 45. CEM's a smart guy intellectually and kinesthetically - I can assume he has read and tried everything to stem the decline!

I started getting slower again (the first epoch of decline began in the 40s but was due to increased work and decreased training time) around 47. The main discipline was running. Max heartrate and cardiac output just isn't the same so the inevitable happens. I went from low 18mins and change for 5k off the bike to 19.30s. Training was the same but just dont move across the ground as fast anymore.

Biking was slighter in terms of loss of power. Due to slight losses in muscle mass and core strength. Swim similar but not such a downward slope.

The mental struggle with it is also a challenge. there are no more PB's - that's a fact!

I train 4 a week in each sport all year round. Longest bike is 70 mins on the trainer. 12k running and 3k in the pool. I do weights and lots of pushups very frequently. 50% of my swimming is with big paddles.

One thing I did notice with running. I only ever do k efforts off the bike or on the treadie. Recently over summer I ran a track workout with a mate and his daughter. He is still very good into his mid 40s. We ran a heap of fast 200s and 300s with 30 seconds rest in between. He does that a lot and can still run like a gazelle. I suspect I need to go short and fast with running intervals. Really fires the glutes and opens up the hips.

Be interested to read other people's experiences

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I've really found the running a struggle of late (I'm turning 43 this month) although I was never quite the athlete you were!

Not so much the raw speed - it's still there, I was able to knock off sub-20 min parkruns through December, but as soon as I started ramping up the distances in February to try to get ready for Canberra Marathon in May I have literally been falling apart - plantar fasciitis, hamstring niggles, back niggles, calf tear - it's been ridiculous! And this was following a plan and being (for me) sensible with days between most runs and a steady increase in distance! The niggles just kept flaring up everywhere (I think there's some kind of domino effect) and took far longer to recover from. I suspect there's a degree of mental things going on too - i.e. I still think I can run a sub 20 5km easily, even when recovering or not fully fit - but my heart rate monitor would suggest otherwise - some of them were real struggles!

Interestingly, for 4 months leading in to Xiamen 70.3 I followed a full triathlon training plan and built up well to get myself in (for me!) quite good nick - so the weaving in of swimming and riding made the running less onerous and damaging...

Maybe I'll stick to triathlons after all and stop trying to be a runner!

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AP once said running more than one day in a row after 40 is detrimental.

This year I have found that it's near impossible to back up runs.  Even 5km runs and the mental side suffers the worst when you see guys only 10 years younger than you at training just hammering the back to back run sessions or even the double run days.

Sure there are exceptions to the rule but I'm not one of them.

What I find interesting is the in 2001 when I did my first Ironman the average time for males overall once you removed the first 100 and last 100 finishers was 12:21

Now the average time is way faster than that.  I might work it out but it will be sub 12 for sure.

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I did have a very humbling experience last week - I was training in centennial park and chugging along at 4min/km feeling quite pleased with myself... and then a young girl who looked about aged 10-12 whizzed past me at about 3:15 pace at a guess... so I thought to myself 'She must just be doing a sprint'... but lo and behold she carried on steadily disappearing away from me at a ridiculous pace!

Hey ho

🙂 

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30 minutes ago, AJS said:

I did have a very humbling experience last week - I was training in centennial park and chugging along at 4min/km feeling quite pleased with myself... and then a young girl who looked about aged 10-12 whizzed past me at about 3:15 pace at a guess... so I thought to myself 'She must just be doing a sprint'... but lo and behold she carried on steadily disappearing away from me at a ridiculous pace!

Hey ho

🙂 

I do a track session of a Tuesday night at MSAC running track.  

The young guys and girls there are amazing.  Their warmup is faster than my sprint efforts.

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2 hours ago, Peter said:

 

What I find interesting is the in 2001 when I did my first Ironman the average time for males overall once you removed the first 100 and last 100 finishers was 12:21

Now the average time is way faster than that.  I might work it out but it will be sub 12 for sure.

No chance

work it out but  my guess is it would have to be slower now 

not faster 

be interesting to know

not sure how you’ll work it out but 

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2 hours ago, AJS said:

I did have a very humbling experience last week - I was training in centennial park and chugging along at 4min/km feeling quite pleased with myself... and then a young girl who looked about aged 10-12 whizzed past me at about 3:15 pace at a guess... so I thought to myself 'She must just be doing a sprint'... but lo and behold she carried on steadily disappearing away from me at a ridiculous pace!

Hey ho

🙂 

She how fast she is in 3 years time when she's put on 20 kegs after discovering piss, weed and boys..

Edited by zed

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2 hours ago, AJS said:

I did have a very humbling experience last week - I was training in centennial park and chugging along at 4min/km feeling quite pleased with myself... and then a young girl who looked about aged 10-12 whizzed past me at about 3:15 pace at a guess... so I thought to myself 'She must just be doing a sprint'... but lo and behold she carried on steadily disappearing away from me at a ridiculous pace!

Hey ho

🙂 

I had the same issue at a Bris Road Runners Club race at West End a few years ago. It's random draw as to whether there'll be a hot field & it all depends what else is on in SEQ. This week must have had something else on, as I managed to stay with the lead group of 5 or 6 for 4km out of the 10km. At about this time, what looked like a 12 year old girl (turns out she was 14) kicked, and only 1 could go with her. I was happy to come in 3rd, but I did see the finish (due to a loop you do at the end) and she outkicked a 20 something guy in the final 100m to win by about 10m. She was about half his size. How embarrassing for him.

 

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6 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

...How embarrassing for him.

Why?  Does her accomplishment diminish his effort?

Edited by BogFrog
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The older you get the more important it is to train smarter not harder.   A friend of mine, admittedly starting running later in life ran her fastest 10km last year at the age of 60.  I think she was running twice a week and doing lots of specific strength training.  

 

 

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20 minutes ago, BogFrog said:

Why?  Does her accomplishment diminish his effort?

Getting 'chicked' means you should never race again if you're a bloke doesn't it?

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18 minutes ago, AA7 said:

Getting 'chicked' means you should never race again if you're a bloke doesn't it?

I got over that ego thing in my first race (after leaving a boys only school)😉

that was 30+ years ago

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32 minutes ago, AA7 said:

Getting 'chicked' means you should never race again if you're a bloke doesn't it?

I should have stopped racing before I started then.

I have a guy at work that is always bragging about his run pace.  I ran 32k at 4:10 pace on Sunday blah blah

But he NEVER races.

Not even a Parkrun.  Nothing.  If he races he might get beaten.

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53 minutes ago, BogFrog said:

Why?  Does her accomplishment diminish his effort?

No, but it diminishes his result, to 2nd. For a 20 something guy, being beaten by anybody half their age/size would be embarrassing, and even worse being absolutely owned in a sprint finish.

At least it would have for me.

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1 hour ago, BogFrog said:

Why?  Does her accomplishment diminish his effort?

Because by comparison history has shown us that a 'young girl who looked 10-12' is physically inferior to a male of his age. This means that embarrassing for him when comparing his performance at x% of his maximum capacity to her performance at y% of her maximum capacity.

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I think Yes. As you get older your aerobic ability declines. A must have for time-trialling and running. One thing that doesn't have to (if you work it) is your muscle mass/strength and one thing that potentially gets better is your wisdom/experience.  I think that is why so many over 40s men turn to cycle racing instead as they can use their brains and strength to make up for a lack of fitness.

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58 minutes ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

No, but it diminishes his result, to 2nd. For a 20 something guy, being beaten by anybody half their age/size would be embarrassing, 

My young bloke came for a walk/run with me last week. When we came to the 'effort' section he bounded away. About 400m into it I caught him, then pulled away, then he stopped and I beat him by about 400m.

He's 15, I'm 60 - sometimes life is still sweet :)

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Having just turned 60 and after 34 years in the sport I have lots of data to show how and when the decline in speed started with me.

In saying that I ran a 20.21 at Parkrun recently and a sub 21 off the bike.

The decline started at 51,or became more obvious then,or I was prepared to accept that it was happening instead of pretending it was an aberration.

The thing that I think has kept some speed is track every Tuesday and lots of short intervals.

We do multiple sets of 4 by 200s with 30 seconds break....same as referred to by Coach in his post above.

We refer to them as speed endurance....my excuse for not being able to run flat out!!!!!!

Further into the programme we mix 200s with 400s.

The running has seen the biggest drop off,the swimming not a lot but I suspect thats being technically better.

Cycling again based on times over particular climbs have dropped off as the strength goes as we age.

All of this despite less work and life pressure being less and allowing more time to train.

As Coach said there will be no more PBs ever and that is hard mentally.

AP was correct, in my case I now never run 2 days in a row,so it becomes 3 runs one week and 4 the next.This is the one thing I should have taken on board a lot of years earlier.

 

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Ha, no, in no way do I find being overtaken by a 10-12 year old of any gender embarrassing or diminishing - more it's pretty amazing to see - and at that age and speed they usually have great running form which I can only dream of as I lumber along! 🙂 

I had the same at Nulkaba parkrun where a young lad very kindly ran with me for the first 2km to make sure I knew where the course went - and then disappeared to run something like 17:00 (which was him running easy!!!) - I think he was about 15-16... 

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One thing I didn't say is there is also the factor of 'miles on the chassie' - if you started Triathlon at 15 - then at 52 you are going to be slower. The ceiling has been reached in all disciplines and variants, distances etc.

Those that have been in the sport a short amount of time - regardless of age relatively - can expect to improve with consistent training and racing.

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running consecutive days has worked for some, by parcelling out less load across multiple days. Tri is a good sport in that decline happens but its a lot less significant than playing sports like soccer and basketball.

And as you get to race in AG you get to decline with a group of peers

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9 minutes ago, Coach@triathlon said:

One thing I didn't say is there is also the factor of 'miles on the chassie' - if you started Triathlon at 15 - then at 52 you are going to be slower. The ceiling has been reached in all disciplines and variants, distances etc.

Those that have been in the sport a short amount of time - regardless of age relatively - can expect to improve with consistent training and racing.

That's it AA7 - you're going DOWN!

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59 minutes ago, BogFrog said:

That's it AA7 - you're going DOWN!

Well my run isnt getting any faster, but I did my fastest ever bike time at Noosa last year. 

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4 hours ago, Ex-Hasbeen said:

I had the same issue at a Bris Road Runners Club race at West End a few years ago. It's random draw as to whether there'll be a hot field & it all depends what else is on in SEQ. This week must have had something else on, as I managed to stay with the lead group of 5 or 6 for 4km out of the 10km. At about this time, what looked like a 12 year old girl (turns out she was 14) kicked, and only 1 could go with her. I was happy to come in 3rd, but I did see the finish (due to a loop you do at the end) and she outkicked a 20 something guy in the final 100m to win by about 10m. She was about half his size. How embarrassing for him.

 

She's about 10 years older than she looks but I would be surprised if that wasn't Clare Geraghty. She's been running in the top 2 or 3 finishers at Roadrunners for years now and owns the fastest female record at most of Brisbane's parkruns. Still looks like a teenager too.

Edited by Mike Del

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1 hour ago, Coach@triathlon said:

One thing I didn't say is there is also the factor of 'miles on the chassie' - if you started Triathlon at 15 - then at 52 you are going to be slower. The ceiling has been reached in all disciplines and variants, distances etc.

Those that have been in the sport a short amount of time - regardless of age relatively - can expect to improve with consistent training and racing.

Yeah I was thinking about this thread last night. And I agree with the above. My swim is getting better as I have aged, but I didn't start training properly until a few years ago. 

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Good topic!! Part of me is frustrated by this age slow down, but another part of me sees it as a challenge to see how well I can maintain my performance, using myself as an experiment of n=1. Having said that, I do seek out and read as much as I can about training into the Masters years, and apply it as I can.

For reference, I just run these days, turn 50 in Sept with a goal of running sub-2:40 in Berlin marathon (I ran 75:15 in a half last Sept).

Some key things I've learned so far:

  • "Miles makes champions" still applies, however my capacity for volume is reduced.
  • Strength is part of training - heavy and for functional movement - is not an "add on", but with the trick being how to incorporate it into training in a complementary way rather than detracting from key sessions.
  • How I feel for key sessions is somewhat of a lottery, rather than being predictable based on prior training. Sometimes you just have to make the best in training with what you've got.
  • The same elements of training are important. Don't focus on HIIT sessions at the expense of tempo / threshold and/or long sessions, etc, and vice-versa.
  • Never strive for 5th gear in training - save that for race day. Keep training controlled...exerting too much / far takes too long to recover from. The "killer session" is just that - smaller, bite size amounts of training sessions is sufficient (this is something I struggle with!!).
  • Consistency is (still) important - the more you train, the more you can train. I'm up to 400+ consecutive days of running at avg 16km+ per day. There is a fine line between going slightly too fast on easy days and then becoming too stressful to allow recovery.
  • Getting older is no excuse for letting body composition go. The default "middle age spread" is avoidable, and not desirable simply from a health perspective. Ditto for poor posture from sitting.
  • Suffice to say, sleep is gold and the best recovery you can do.

There's probably some other things I've missed...

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 Will be 54 in 3wks time and the area I've noticed it most in the last couple years is crit racing, it just hurts a whole lot more. This year I'm finding that top layer of speed on the TT bike and the run is getting harder to access.

I ran a 10km 10days ago in 43:46, which was 70 secs slower than  the same race last year (slightly different course), came 151/1740 overall and 12/150 in AG. Two weeks before that ran a 20 miler in 2.55.29 but only came something like 59/200 for AG.:confused1:

Had a good year last year in TTs, couple of club podiums and improved my time and overall placing in the Nat Circuit Champs (18km course).  This year, those TT efforts are taking their toll and my FTP has dropped from 267 to 252.

Could be lots of things. Our new house purchase, lots to do DIY wise, Flipper is getting more involved in after school stuff but mostly is just the ageing process.

It's like the opposite of Greg Lemond's quote ' It doesn't hurt any less, you go slower' :lol:

 

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1 hour ago, AA7 said:

Well my run isnt getting any faster, but I did my fastest ever bike time at Noosa last year. 

Ahhhh sh!t!  Anyway, with my track record of staying on the bike, I think you're safe! 🤣

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53 minutes ago, CEM said:

Strength is part of training - heavy and for functional movement - is not an "add on", but with the trick being how to incorporate it into training in a complementary way rather than detracting from key sessions

^^^ This is what I struggle with BIG time. I know I need to do strength work but it seems to always interfere with my training. How do you balance it?

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5 hours ago, Peter said:

Can't get results for say busso in 2017 in xls

You’ll have to do it for a real IM anyways 

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17 minutes ago, ironpo said:

You’ll have to do it for a real IM anyways 

I did compare with imnz.  People were faster than than now.  Compared to Forster 

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Quote

Consistency is (still) important - the more you train, the more you can train. I'm up to 400+ consecutive days of running at avg 16km+ per day. 

That is a serious lot of running 

I am 71yrs in a couple of months - for the past 2-3 yrs I only run twice a week - one long one short - but every run is technique focused - if you run technically well you are far less likely to hurt yourself 

I think too many people focus on the mileage rather than the recovery feeding and rest - tomorrow I do a 2hr hilly run - I'll have my recovery drink ready to have immediately - before the coffee and laughs at The Regatta

Core strength - flexibility - run technique work - recovery procedures all help slow down the decline - averaging my Ironman times over the past 25yrs - I have lost approximately 7min per year - I'm into "glow stick territory" now 

 

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Probably the best book I have read on the subject;

https://www.joefrielsblog.com/2015/01/what-it-takes-to-be-fast-after-50.html

It has a graph for each sport plotting the world records by age category so you can see the drop off in speed as you age. It really accelerates after 50.

 

 

Edited by Blacky

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I found running endurance (going not flat out but fast longer) improved after 40, although that could have been influenced by how I trained, but top end speed fell away.

Then mid/late 40's both endurance and speed aspects of running started to slow.  (Not being as serious doesn't help, but I factored that in)

I found explosive bike speed also fell only slightly away after 40 but nothing too noticeable.  I don't ride anymore (other than on the trainer) to see where I am now but suspect several rungs back.  I sorta don't enjoy long bike rides any more, they just seem like they'll be boring after doing them for so long.  Same with swimming.

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I'm back playing netball after a 20 year break. My explosive power & ability to jump for rebounds is shit (getting old sucks) . I can still trash talk like a boss.

But I don't care I'm playing on a mixed team & having my daughter fill in when we are a player short is awesome. It still freaks me out that she is playing and competing with adults.

As for triathlon I have been getting faster the older I get but I credit that to crit racing & crossfit.

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4 hours ago, Mike Del said:

She's about 10 years older than she looks but I would be surprised if that wasn't Clare Geraghty. She's been running in the top 2 or 3 finishers at Roadrunners for years now and owns the fastest female record at most of Brisbane's parkruns. Still looks like a teenager too.

Looks like a frog in a blender when she runs too.

And she's a cheat. Long story.

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4 hours ago, AA7 said:

 

And she's a cheat. Long story.

Well

guve us the story then 

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My story was very different.

Doing tris for about 20+yrs, was at my best at age 49, then fell off a cliff with injury in the space on 2 months.

At least I went out on top - my last race (HoW 2012) was my best ever.  I really think I reached the limit of my genetic potential in that race.

These days I just swim, gym, MTB & 1 road ride/wk to keep the wife company.  Do something 5-6/days per week, but nothing more than 1hour.  I tried to do the short local races the past few seasons, but running (which was my best discipline) is gone for me.

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3 hours ago, ironpo said:

Well

guve us the story then 

TQ aquathlon several years ago, she was trying something new with a few of these and triathlons. Her swimming was only just good enough to save her from drowning. First run, I was only 10-15 secs behind her. Jumped in for the swim, passed her very quickly. I finished the swim, started second run, and then I see her coming back towards me. She had turned at the sighting buoy for the swim. I approached the TOs who spoke to her, she was adamant she completed the course. Total BS. Anyway, no big deal, but I obviously haven't forgotten!

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Work on your peripheral vision.

Then you can fake the hamstring tear just before they make the pass and claim it went just as you were about to surge.

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Only started tris in my 30’s (couldn’t swim before that). Soccer as a kid up until 20 and then only skiing. Now mid 50’s and still not sure where the limit is tbh, all seems to come down to how much I want it.

Currently doing a lot of trail running and getting faster as my strength and technique improves, have entered 2x50k trail races this year which will be a first plus IM Cairns. Last six month decided to do push ups on a daily basis (~90) and think they’re the single biggest factor to improved run speed and less post long run soreness (never did any core before that). Bike power I’ve measured for the last 10-12 years and would still aim for ~200W in IM so no drop off there. Lots and lots of strength/endurance work in 53/11 gear, no flat out speed work. Maybe I just didn’t go hard enough before?  

Swim has levelled out at 62-65 mins for IM as long as I swim a bit in the lead up to a race. Will run 5 or 6x week with a double run day leading into a race (so run 4 days a week) also tend to run T/W/Th and have a hard ride T/Th morning so legs are tired - possibly stops me going too hard in training?  Only supplements are 10,000mg/day fish oil (swear by it) and endura max for recovery after any >2hr session. 

If I raced sprints it might be more obvious but I think long course racing provides a number of ways to recover time which possibly hides declines in other areas. 

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On 12/03/2019 at 10:32 AM, Coach@triathlon said:

...Training was the same but just dont move across the ground as fast anymore...

Coach mentioned he could do the same training, but his running was slower. I recently turned 50 and find the opposite. If I manage similar levels of training I can still get close to my run times, but I really struggle to maintain the same level of training.

Over Winter I usually do a run focus (yes I run consecutive days). During Trail Running Races and Duathlons, I'm not posting new PBs, but I'm pretty close to past times. However once I start adding any significant bike mileage or intensity, I really start to struggle with the running (and I switch to running every 2nd day when I add back in the cycling).

So for me, the decline is more to do with my ability to absorb training loads. For reference, I race mostly short course with one 70.3 in a season. I generally train around 10 to 12 hours a week, bumping up closer to 15 hours in 6 to 8 weeks before an 'A' race.  My 1st run split in a Duathlon has dropped from 18m30s (off 60km per week) to 18m50s (off 45km per week).

Also, my swimming is still getting better. Posted a swim PB (28m15s) at Geelong 70.3 last month. Only learnt to swim in my mid 30s

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3 hours ago, prizna said:

You old people like to complain a lot.

You Millenials need someone else to show you how to complain... LOL 

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