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My swimming has gotten better. Cycling and running slowing down a bit. Intensity is the key - short and fast and power build with weights and yoga. Bring on 59 in a few weeks! I welcome it! :-)


In my world of ballet age 12 and over is considered an adult. I did not begin until age 50. I have been training for 20 years now and I am an intermediate level starting to ramp up my classes to 5 days a week in the advance level classes. Have no idea how it will all turn out and hard to tell if I am improving or not. I am passionate about it and my intent is to improve. I do not know how to tell because it is so incremental and no one I can ask. Any suggestions?

Joe Friel

Angele--I don't know the first thing about ballet so can't comment. Perhaps another reader will.

Phil Schmidt

Strong evidence of declines in the fittest athletes can be found in national time trial records.....scroll down to the 7th page (# 567)


The difference between a 35 yo and 60 yo is about 5 minutes in 40 K TT . Plug in the numbers into a bike calculator; assuming no grade or wind it takes about 400 watts to do it in the time of the 35 year old and 300 watts to do it as fast as the 60 year old. Not a small difference.

http://bikecalculator.com/veloUS.html 150 lb rider, 24 miles, 18lb bike, clinchers, aerobars


I have trained and competed hard up to the age of 50, performing pretty well and FTP around 310W/69kg.

I took a 3 year break and have just started training again. I was expecting a drop in performance but have been very surprised to find that after just 120 hours training I am equaling or bettering my previous power numbers.

I put this down to a couple of factors
- More focus on shorter more intense sessions
- Completely changing the way I pedal. My style is far more effective now apparently more than outweighing any loss due to age.


I beleive I have managed to maintain my road cycling/MTB abilities at an acceptable level by keeping my weight low and weight lifting besides cycling specific training. At 66 I need to keep as much muscle mass as possible. All men lose muscle mass as they age. Weight training helps counter this regrettable fact.


Hi Martin. I would love to know how you changed your pedalling technique - how it used to be and how it is now. I realise that is off topic, but if Joe is happy for this, you could email me perhaps. It's a topic I am fascinated in. Morgan


Sorry, just saw that my URL linked to .com address; have corrected .co.uk. Martin, if you would like to get in touch re pedalling, my email is morganrlewis@ntlworld.com. Thanks.

B Market

This question has been on my mind for years. I think there must be many complicating factors with any research on this topic. I wish I had power meter results to compare over the years but only have times. I've essentially competed and trained since I was a youth until now at the age of 47. I've gotten a lot slower. From about a 2:30 marathoner at 20 to 2:45 in my late 30's to just under 3:00 now. I feel like I can point to issues which have caused my decline that are not training related (at least on the surface). I have become stiffer and stiffer over the years and my joints and slower recovery mean that it's rarer and rarer that I have a good quick training run. I don't use it, but two Ibuprofen make a dramatic difference to my training on the rare day that I do use it (once every 3 months or so).

I've also gained weight,(7% BF using underwater weighing) in my 20's to 10% BF in my 40's. I think perhaps the weight on my joints is an issue. I have always been heavy for someone who runs (172 in my 20's to 189 at 47). I do lots of strength work, not necessarily to improve my running but to be healthy as the gentlemen above described. It's hard to get slower and I still feel like there must be something I can do to crack the code. Even if I could get down to 179 or something close to that my training limitations are inflammation related ( I think ) and not laziness. I don't do as much interval training because I'm never quite limber enough to make as much use out of it. Chicken and egg I suppose.

BTW Joe, I eat paleo in the truest sense.

Joe Friel

B. Market--Aging is an interesting phenomenon which sports science doesn't fully understand. I'm sure there is a great deal of individuality when it comes to the rate of fitness regression, as there is with almost everything else. It sounds as if you are doing a lot to stem the change. My impression has been that aging runners experience a more rapid decline than aging cyclists.

Robin Smith

If you want to see some empirical data (for ultra runners at least) read "Born to Run" by Chris McDougall.

You will run as fast as a teenager till you reach 64. Top performance is achieved at 27 though. Women can run as far and fast as men. Both can run faster than horses. There is no hard evidence that stretching or yoga reduces injury, nor warming up. And vegetarians are no slower than omnivores.

True, this sounds too amazing. How many times have you tried telling people similar? It all depends on if you prefer beliefs or knowledge.

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