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<p>OK, I know this might stir up a few people, and not pointing any fingers at anyone.  More so of myself.  But was just wondering at what age (or even age range).... can you start seeing a slow down.      Really been wondering this myself,  next year...  I will be a 35 yo male.   For ex:, I know to qualify Boston, 35 they start allowing a little slower time.     </p>
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<p>Age slow-down for many, and I'd debate most here, is misguided. Assuming otherwise good health, your mileage all depends on how long you've been at this stuff.</p>
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<p>The truth is that regardless of what age you are when you start to hit it hard (words chosen very carefully), you have 5 to 10 years to improve. I stress "hit it hard" to point out when you, as an athlete, transition from "exercising" to "racing" for perfomance. From that point on you have, regardless of age, 5 to 10 years to improve. Most will say 5 to 7 years, but I've found that many -- the true students of the sport and self -- can get 10 years out of it. After that time you start to slow down. Note that age here is all relative. And that's the point. There is no single age where you start slowing down as it pertains to performance. You may see more gray hairs or other signs of aging, but that has little bearing on performance and what you can do depending on when you have started at this higher level.</p>
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<p>This of course is not gospel, and there are variations to it, but it is the general rule I have witnessed in others and have picked up from experts of all sorts. Maybe I picked up the wrong message, but that's the one I got.</p>
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<p>If this is more a question for you in when can you expect to start slowing down, I can give a guess but would need far more information, such as "slow down in what?", when you started being active, when you started these activities, when you started racing (not just exercising), for how long have you been racing, etc.</p>
 

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<p>Maybe if I had started doing this when I was younger I would be hitting that point of diminishing returns. However, I started at almost 45 and now at 54 I'm still setting new lifetime PRs. A couple weeks ago I lowered my 10K PR by 40 seconds, and so far this year I've set new PRs at 5K, 10 miles, and 20K as well.</p>
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<p>The top guys in my AG in the recent 10K were in the 36 minute range. If they're getting slower, it isn't by very much.</p>
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<p>One of the guys in my AG was regularly winning the overall in sprint tris when he was in his upper 40s. He has slowed some now that he's 55. Another guy, just getting into his upper 40s, is even faster.</p>
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<p>I think some of it has to do with the age a person started and how extensively they trained. The typical age group athlete doesn't train hard enough to come close to their potential, so if they up their training as they get older, they can continue to perform at a high level.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Donskiman</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69305/when-do-you-start-slowing-down-as-you-get-older#post_1930317"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><p>I think some of it has to do with the age a person started and how extensively they trained. The typical age group athlete doesn't train hard enough to come close to their potential, so if they up their training as they get older, they can continue to perform at a high level.</p>
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<p><br><br>
Precisely!</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Donskiman</strong> <a href="/forum/thread/69305/when-do-you-start-slowing-down-as-you-get-older#post_1930317"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><p>  The typical age group athlete doesn't train hard enough to come close to their potential...</p>
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<p><br><br>
Guilty as charged!</p>
 

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I turned 35 and slowed down this year in my triathlons, but…<br><br><br>
I also focused less on training than I ever have since I started doing tris. I also still placed top 4 (AG) in 3/4 of the tris I did. The one exception, 6th. I'm a faster distance runner than I have been in other years because that was my main training focus this year. I worked my butt off running, but just trained to finish my tris. I plan on getting much faster next year and in the years to come…I think your best years are definitely ahead of you if you put your mind to it.
 

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<p>1!  What Don and Thor said.</p>
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<p>As a one-off data point, I started marathon training again at 36 (having stopped in my early 20's) and over the past 4 years have lowered my marathon PR from 3:00 to 2:40.</p>
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<p>I am finding that I don't recover from a hard workout or race as quickly as I did when I was younger.  I also seem to be more susceptible to injury, although that could also simply be due to that fact that I'm pushing myself much harder now than I did when I was younger.</p>
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<p>Very clearly, you rarely see world class runners (on an absolute scale, not age graded) who are in their 40's.  I think at that level, the ability to push the very limits on multiple hard days is probably what causes older athletes to not be able to compete at that level.  But as Don pointed out, most AG athletes don't even begin to push their limits and so even as they age there is a lot of room for them to train smarter and get faster.</p>
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<p>Mike</p>
 

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<p>This is a question close to my heart, since I am one of those in an advanced age group. </p>
<p>Scientific literature shows that the average sedentary male will lose ~ 5% of his VO2 max per decade starting about age 40, but trained males will lose closer to only 1-2% (until ~ the 7th decade)</p>
<p>What does that tell us ?  It says that there is an age related, inevitable loss of muscle mass that happens as we age (likely due to age-related declines in testosterone), but that much of our fitness can be preserved.  The real loss seems to be in fast-twitch muscle.  So endurance is relatively preserved, but top end speed and strength declines.  I think it is very important for older athletes to get into some type of strength training routine to help preserve muscle mass. Regular stretching and the foam roller doesn't hurt either.</p>
<p>Why do so many "older" age groupers do so well ?  I think that there is also something to be said about experience.  As stated before, with experience comes wisdom.  We can't train as hard, recover as fast...so we learn to train smarter.  It is not uncommon in my races to see many of the top racers in the 50+ age groups</p>
<p>For me, I find I can still train hard, but recovery is a bit slower than when I was in my 30's and could hammer day in and day out.  Of course my current racing pace is only slightly faster than my previous training pace, but I'm fine with that. I try to make hard days hard, and easy days easy.  But, I ran 17:00 5K at age 30, and 18:15 at age 51, so not too bad a decline.</p>
<p>Mike's example is perfect.  I think he is just training hard and smart (I have read some of his workouts), so he should expect improvement for years to come.</p>
<p>Thor, I agree that previous training is all important here.  A base of endurance training over 10-20 years is essential.</p>
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<p>Nothing pleases me more in a race than passing athletes with 2-, 3-, or 4- on their calves.</p>
<p>.</p>
 

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<p>It's very different in the three disciplines.  I don't know anything about swimming so I'll pass on that, but in running people do seem to slow from the late 20's on out.  Since there is so much data on the sport it's pretty easy to see a large step down in the sprint and dash distances and less of one in the longer races.</p>
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<p>Cycling is kinder, within limits.  If you look at national TT records, there are 50 year olds biking 40K time trials in the low 50's, often close to the elite times.  Older riders often have more problems making top end power needed for sprinting and climbing and recovering from hard efforts in stage races.  Older riders do OK on the velodrome, but still the shorter sprints are a young person's event.</p>
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<p>So, the question is a lot more complicated than all that.  It really depends on both the sport and the discipline within the sport.</p>
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<p>Since you asked about tri's, in general I would assume that for middle and longer distance races, the lack of pace variation would make them a good sport for an older person to continue to have success.  Running is tough on many people as time goes by and the ability to maintain enough mileage to stay decent without injury is clearly the biggest challenge for many folks, myself included.</p>
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<p>I guess also learning to train well within the limits imposed by aging is a challenge.  The habits of a 25 year old don't work so well when applied to a 45 year old body.</p>
 

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<p>Me at age 36 at IMLP 2002: Swim 1:25, Bike 6:44, Run 4:29, Total 12:53</p>
<p>Me at age 44 at IMLP 2010: Swim 1:22, Bike 6:29, Run 4:24, Total 12:27</p>
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<p>So, to answer your question, I don't know yet!</p>
 
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