« How to Recover | Main | Aging and Performance, Part 2 »

09/10/2010

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cpalen

Running, cycling I can see it.
I am becoming a faster (i.e. more proficient) swimmer as I age and spend more time in the water. So it's good!

Ted

The generation preceding the Boomers and following the World War II or Great Generation is caled the Silent Generation.

Ryan Rodman

How much of that decline at around 40yrs do you think is purely related to getting older, aging, rather than just a build up of wear and tear on the body from, for example, being a professional athlete for 25 years?

I don't really know of any studies that look at something like that, decline in performance related to time in the sport, and I know you can't really look at a single case and say it applies generally, but, what about Chris Horner? He's had a great season and he's 38, and he's been a professional for probably more than 20 years.

Or George Hincapie? Last year in the US Pro Championship post race press conference he said he broke a 6 year old PR up Paris Mountain in his training leading up to the Championship (video on YouTube). So even they improved into their late 30's, but again that could be improved training, and they are not in their 40's yet.

Those two guys are already elite level, so maybe they already have something, genetic or otherwise, that the average person doesn't.

Joe Friel

Ryan--When it comes to trying to figure out why 'older' pro athletes perform as they do as per your cases, no one knows the answer. There is simply too much that is unknown. For ex, in cycling, one of the big variables that allows athletes to improve well beyond age 40 is racing 'smarts.'

Larry Moray

Personally, I think I peaked around 40, but I was never a professional athlete, did my first tri at 29 and spent the next 11 years training seriously which was probably what contributed to my improvements.

Having had my left hip resurfaced in April 2009, I believe the orthopedic surgeons will be having to modify joint replacement procedures and devices as active boomers require not return to ADL's but return to training and racing following joint replacement. (My surgeon told me not to run, but I have been going easy and completed (wish I could say competed) my first post-surgical Olympic Distance Tri yesterday.)

I will say I have lost a fair amount of drive and 'fire' as I've aged. At 54 don't have the motivation that I had at 45!

gwendolyn oguin

Hi Joe: Gwendolyn from Portland, Maine. I noticed a fairly big discrepancy between women's times between 60-70 years of age compared to men. Any reason for that, I thought I was just getting better like a bottle of good wine:-)

Joe Friel

Hi Gwendolyn--Yeah, you're right. There isn't anything on this that I've come across in the literature. I'll keep watching for it.

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