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Age - more than a number?

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  • 28-08-2019 3:14pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,757 ✭✭✭


    I'm doing it, I'm starting a thread :)


    I'm not that young, but I do appear to be younger than a fair few of the regular posters on here, many of whom are continuing to improve and I feel are performing better in races than I am. They aren't running for that much longer than I am either.
    It got me thinking, is running something where getting older is an advantage in terms of mental strength when it comes to races? Or maybe having more sense or caution when it comes down to training?


    Or is this forum a skewed representations, i.e. people who have gotten into running at a later stage (for the most part) and therefore continuing to improve and hone the skills as they get older? (although I again think of people who took up the hobby at much the same time as I did)


    Basically I'm asking can I expect to be getting better results when I'm in my mid-40s say :p

    Curious to hear people's thoughts.


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 54,937 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    Newbie runners can expect improvements regardless of age (within reason), assuming they put in the miles, but those gains will decrease as time goes by, and as they age. Nobody gets faster and stronger past their early 30s...unless they have not been doing anything (or little) up to that point, which is not an accurate comparison.

    Not sure of your age now, or weight/lifestyle/general health/training routine; but mid 40s is on the way down.......big time....

    So, if you only take up running at 40, with very little in the previous years, then with the proper commitment you can improve for months, maybe even a few years, depending on how committed you are......also need to factor in wear and tear, and older muscles and joints etc.

    But generally speaking when you get to 40 and after, it should be more about keeping active and somewhat fit, not trying to break the 4 minute mile. Slowing down the burnout!


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,859 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3


    OP, I started running when I was 40 due to a change in work.

    Got 3:40 first year of marathon running and now 3-4 years later I've PB'd under 3:10.

    Plenty of room for improvement for later starters if they put it in.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,763 ✭✭✭Fenster


    38, ran my first marathon last week, next in eight weeks, and truly feeling like I haven't yet reached my peak of fitness, so eh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,080 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    I think if you are willing to stretch yourself, are open to new ideas, open to try different things, specialize at a distance, you can still find improvements.
    I haven't thrown the towel in yet!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,236 ✭✭✭AuldManKing


    I started at 38 - recorded my 10mile and Marathon PB this year aged 46.

    I'll beat all my PB's in 2020 - very confident that I'm not slowing down yet.
    Aero2k, who used to post on here, recorded his Marathon PB aged 50 (2.4x)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭Duanington


    Age is definitely a factor but it's only one factor, drive, ambition, lifestyle are much bigger factors in my view ( within reason of course).

    I know countless runners well into their 40s who are still churning out PBs, some of these folk have been running for 15 years or so too.

    , I don't think I've reached the point yet where I can't run week after week of high miles and sessions and fully plan on cracking some distances I've yet to crack over the next 2\3 years ( 41, took up running when I was 35, I think)

    I also think that we have to be honest with ourselves and be open to different styles of training as we age, what works for one 40 something may not work for the next 40 something.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,712 ✭✭✭Mr. Guappa


    Very interesting question, and something that I was actually thinking about myself just yesterday. I'd hope to have another couple of years of decent improvements in me (36 currently), but the example of others here gives me plenty of hope that I'll be on an upward curve for a while yet - assuming appropriate training of course.

    After that, I'll pray that advances in shoe technology will keep me churning out PB's even though the physical skills are declining :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,706 ✭✭✭MisterDrak


    While age is is not the limiting factor when it come to outright performance and PB's, it does play a large (and growing ) part in the required length in recovery's.

    Tiredness and fatigue has been pretty constant in this marathon cycle for me. The management and scheduling of rest days is far more in important that in the years past.

    For context I'm 52 this year, and had my best year when I was 46, where i PB' in all distances from 5k to Marathon. Those performances were down to a very consistent 6 day run week with regular sessions, Tempos, and LSR, something that I could not do now (to the same intensity) without risking injury.


  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 26,928 Mod ✭✭✭✭rainbow kirby


    I'm 35 now, all my best times were in my mid-late 20s - but I have two little excuses under 4 now :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    walshb wrote: »
    Newbie runners can expect improvements regardless of age (within reason), assuming they put in the miles, but those gains will decrease as time goes by, and as they age. Nobody gets faster and stronger past their early 30s...unless they have not been doing anything (or little) up to that point, which is not an accurate comparison.

    Not sure of your age now, or weight/lifestyle/general health/training routine; but mid 40s is on the way down.......big time....

    So, if you only take up running at 40, with very little in the previous years, then with the proper commitment you can improve for months, maybe even a few years, depending on how committed you are......also need to factor in wear and tear, and older muscles and joints etc.

    But generally speaking when you get to 40 and after, it should be more about keeping active and somewhat fit, not trying to break the 4 minute mile. Slowing down the burnout!

    I took up sprinting at 25 and ran a 100m PB at 34. Granted I was 30 before I started focusing on the shorter sprints but I was still racing them consistently when training for 400m.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 54,937 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    I took up sprinting at 25 and ran a 100m PB at 34. Granted I was 30 before I started focusing on the shorter sprints but I was still racing them consistently when training for 400m.

    34 isn't that old. Several elites had PBs in their 30s at sprint type events. Several also had PBs in longer distances as well. I would call 34 early to mid 30s....more mid.... I doubt many elites hit their PBs past 32 or so...in sprints

    Sure look at me and my 13 seconds 100 time today....;)

    Not sure on data for middle distance, but generally the milers set their PBs mid to late 20s...

    Not an exact science, but the 30s is generally where elites, and the overall general population start going downwards....

    Males and females are in their physical primes in their 20s and 30s......in that type range...I would lean with mid to late 20s as being mostly their physical prime...


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,016 ✭✭✭Itziger


    There's so many variables here but no-one can resist giving their own story. Some of you know mine already but as it's a fairly positive one for oldies I'll repeat some of the details.

    Did a bit of running as a teen (12-16) and wasn't bad but when I gave it up I really did give it up. At 42 (in 2007 - so I'm now 54) decided to get back on the horse.

    After a few months of training did a 5min/km 11kms run as part of marathon relay. Pace approx.

    Then did a few 10ks and the times came down. Eventually got to 36.48 about 3 and a half years ago. I do very few 10k runs now and I wouldn't be too confident of beating that time, but if I trained really well for it I'd say I'd be low 37 mins. So here I might be past my 'middle-aged' best.

    Half marathon has gone from 1.36 to 1.21. The PB is 18 months old but I did do another 1.21.xx this year. Unfortunately 50 secs slower. I'd say I might have a chance of bettering the PB but not guaranteed.

    The marathon has come from 3.32 in 2011 to 2.59 in 2017. I'm hoping to take some time off that if I can stay fit and healthy. Hopefully later this year or if not 2020. I'd be slightly confident as the time is soft compared to the Half. Unfortunately, it seems, so am I :(

    Of course, those who have it tough are the people who were running seriously and to a high level in the 20's and 30's. If you were cracking out 2.25 marathons as a 30 year old it's unlikely you'd be bettering that at 54!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 54,937 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    One area is longer distances, where there's loads of examples of hitting marathon PBs in the 30s; but a lot only take marathon up in the 30s, when their track careers end due to age..

    I would argue that if humans decided to tackle the marathon from an early age, the times would be lower, and it would be a 20 something type elite that would have the WR.

    Must be similar for general population, too. You kind of finish your running/racing career on the marathon stage, whilst being "past" your physical prime...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,757 ✭✭✭ReeReeG


    Lots of inspiring tales here... but I suppose I was thinking more from a different angle really (and phrased it badly).

    Say you have someone taking up running early 30s, and someone taking it up late 30, do you think there will be a difference in how much better each performs on a race day? Is there maturity that comes into it?

    I suppose I'm saying this as I feel like I have the extreme want to give up when the going gets tough quite often, and I wonder if its an age or maturity thing! It could be a personality thing of course.. but I wonder if more life experience in general is a factor at times?


  • Registered Users Posts: 54,937 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    ReeReeG wrote: »
    Lots of inspiring tales here... but I suppose I was thinking more from a different angle really (and phrased it badly).

    Say you have someone taking up running early 30s, and someone taking it up late 30, do you think there will be a difference in how much better each performs on a race day? Is there maturity that comes into it?

    I suppose I'm saying this as I feel like I have the extreme want to give up when the going gets tough quite often, and I wonder if its an age or maturity thing! It could be a personality thing of course.. but I wonder if more life experience in general is a factor at times?

    All things being equal, early 30s v late 30s....you have to favor, most of the time, the younger!

    Maturity to it? I would think that this is looking too much into it.....

    Can have mature and immature people of all adult ages.....

    Experience is the key. And yes, experience can come with maturity...

    But if both take up at same time, then experience is equal I guess.

    The giving up? Well, maybe the younger body and legs and muscles don't hurt as much as the older.......


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,648 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    I won't print my age but my user name is a non-cryptic clue ;)

    Fwiw....I've broken my half-marathon PB twice in the last year and also shaved a few seconds off my 10K PB.

    Would be reasonably confident of another HM PB in Charleville in a couple of weeks and barring injury I should knock 10-15 mins off my marathon PB (from 7 years ago) in Dublin.

    The improvements have come from more focused and intelligent (I think) training and maybe a greater willingness to keep on keeping on during races


  • Registered Users Posts: 54,937 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    Cartman78 wrote: »
    I won't print my age but my user name is a non-cryptic clue ;)

    Fwiw....I've broken my half-marathon PB twice in the last year and also shaved a few seconds off my 10K PB.

    Would be reasonably confident of another HM PB in Charleville in a couple of weeks and barring injury I should knock 10-15 mins off my marathon PB (from 7 years ago) in Dublin.

    The improvements have come from more focused and intelligent (I think) training and maybe a greater willingness to keep on keeping on during races

    Goes to show, even into your 70s you can improve!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,799 ✭✭✭Huzzah!


    ReeReeG wrote: »
    Lots of inspiring tales here... but I suppose I was thinking more from a different angle really (and phrased it badly).

    Say you have someone taking up running early 30s, and someone taking it up late 30, do you think there will be a difference in how much better each performs on a race day? Is there maturity that comes into it?

    I suppose I'm saying this as I feel like I have the extreme want to give up when the going gets tough quite often, and I wonder if its an age or maturity thing! It could be a personality thing of course.. but I wonder if more life experience in general is a factor at times?

    I certainly think as I get older I can "endure" more and I think running has maybe helped that, in a kind of a "I know from experience this is temporary and it will be grand". But I'm still waiting for that to translate to withstanding the want to give up in a race when the going gets tough...


  • Registered Users Posts: 871 ✭✭✭Captain Red Beard


    Cartman78 wrote: »
    I won't print my age but my user name is a non-cryptic clue ;)

    Fwiw....I've broken my half-marathon PB twice in the last year and also shaved a few seconds off my 10K PB.

    Would be reasonably confident of another HM PB in Charleville in a couple of weeks and barring injury I should knock 10-15 mins off my marathon PB (from 7 years ago) in Dublin.

    The improvements have come from more focused and intelligent (I think) training and maybe a greater willingness to keep on keeping on during races

    If my detectiving skills are correct we could be around the same age. What age did you take up running? Myself I'm only starting out and I'm finding this thread interesting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,415 ✭✭✭Singer


    The canonical answer on boards.ie about age and potential is "have a read of Krusty Clown's log": https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin//showthread.php?t=2055411238

    ...2 weeks of solid reading later...

    See! You can start running middle aged and end up a reasonably good club level runner :pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 871 ✭✭✭Captain Red Beard


    It's hardly 2 weeks of reading thought I

    Clicks link...

    Yep, 2 solid weeks of reading


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,016 ✭✭✭Itziger


    It's hardly 2 weeks of reading thought I

    Clicks link...

    Yep, 2 solid weeks of reading

    And worth just about every minute of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,859 ✭✭✭✭Zebra3


    ReeReeG wrote: »
    Lots of inspiring tales here... but I suppose I was thinking more from a different angle really (and phrased it badly).

    Say you have someone taking up running early 30s, and someone taking it up late 30, do you think there will be a difference in how much better each performs on a race day? Is there maturity that comes into it?

    I suppose I'm saying this as I feel like I have the extreme want to give up when the going gets tough quite often, and I wonder if its an age or maturity thing! It could be a personality thing of course.. but I wonder if more life experience in general is a factor at times?

    My take on the advantages of maturity of late 30s over early 30s.....

    The mad nights out are gone. Easier to focus on running.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,291 ✭✭✭corcaigh07


    Sinead Diver (42) and Lizzie Lee (39) would like a word, amazing runners full stop!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,648 ✭✭✭Cartman78


    If my detectiving skills are correct we could be around the same age. What age did you take up running? Myself I'm only starting out and I'm finding this thread interesting.

    I kinda fell into running on an ad-hoc whim and found myself wheezing around the Dublin Marathon in 2003 with not much clue on preparation, training, racing etc.

    It grew into a hobby over the next couple of years before eventually developing into a [!!CLICHÉ ALERT!!] way of life.

    Did A LOT of training leading up London Marathon in 2012 (our first kid was due in October 2012 so I knew it would be last big chance for a training block for a while) but peaked in January (Dungarvan 10 – 63 mins), overtrained on the back of that and got struck down with Plantar Faciitis and a dual Achilles injury that has haunted me ever since. Struggled through that marathon (and swore I’d never run one again) and recovered slightly to break 40 mins for 10K a bunch of times that summer before my Achilles blew up again.

    Anyway, it’s been pretty higgledy-piggledy since then – our second fella arrived in 2015 and while I’ve kept up the running over the years (focusing mainly on shorter races) I’ve had to start several times from scratch due to various random illness and injuries (kidney stones, pneumonia, broken toes and new on the scene this year, underactive thyroid :mad::mad::mad::mad:).

    Anyway, as the kids have got older, I’ve had slightly more bandwidth for more structured training, and following a reasonably successful half marathon last year I decided to have another crack at the marathon this year.

    Have had a decent year’s training up until a couple of weeks ago (inevitable Achilles flare up) so having to recalibrate my goals at the minute.

    TLDR – any age is good to start running imho. The older you get life gets more complicated and your body is prone to letting you down….BUT you will have the wisdom and experience to deal with it


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,080 ✭✭✭BeepBeep67


    When you are younger you can definitley get away with less training for better results, I'm a prime example of that.

    I've been catching up on the Scullion podcasts recently and it's been interesting getting a little window into the life of a full time athlete.
    9 hours sleep, a nap during the day, daily epsom baths, daily sessions in Normatec boots, running twice a day, 100+ miles per week, living at altitude, prehab, post run routine, diet, support network, etc.

    Your regular hobby runner with a full time job, family and other committments can't nessecarily do that, but could I try to get more sleep, add more focus to suplementary work, focus on recovery more, have a better diet, drink less alcohol, probably yes to all of those, would that make me a little faster, maybe. Do I have the motivation to make all of those sacrifices for small gains, I don't really know.


  • Registered Users Posts: 54,937 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    BeepBeep67 wrote: »
    When you are younger you can definitley get away with less training for better results, I'm a prime example of that.

    Very good point. Kind of sums it up nicely.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    corcaigh07 wrote: »
    Sinead Diver (43) and Lizzie Lee (39) would like a word, amazing runners full stop!

    About 2 miles between those runners to be fair.

    Sinead is 42. She'll be 43 in Tokyo which is some going, but she doesn't have the mileage on the body the way most 42/43 years old athletes have.


  • Registered Users Posts: 54,937 ✭✭✭✭walshb


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    About 2 miles between those runners to be fair.

    Sinead is 42. She'll be 43 in Tokyo which is some going, but she doesn't have the mileage on the body the way most 42/43 years old athletes have.

    Lizzie PB not 2.32 and Diver 2.35 or so? That's less than a mile, no?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,695 ✭✭✭Chivito550


    walshb wrote: »
    Lizzie PB not 2.32 and Diver 2.35 or so? That's less than a mile, no?

    Diver is 2:24:15 and from this year!

    Been many years since Lizzie ran 2:32. Certainly didn't run it at 39!

    Different leagues entirely.


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