When are you too old to improve fitness?

So here we go…this week is 12 weeks out from the Vancouver Half Iron on July 3rd, and the ramp up in training volume begins

For the first 3 months of this year…aside from pulling my hamstring, being sick 2+ weeks on separate occasions, lighter weeks during vacation and a convention…geez…I’ve been training 7-10 hours a week, with essentially all intensity, all the time…so just enough to warm up, and then interval sets…and virtually no swimming.

As a result, my bike performance increased pretty substantially…my run, although not re-tested, is somewhat faster, and swimming…well…pretty ugly right now, so will need a bit of attention…and I did lose about 5 pounds in there somewhere, although not specifically focusing on it, so I’m in a pretty good training place for the middle of April.

When I say volume kicks up, that means the 7-10 hours a week becomes 12 -15 hours a week…the biggest time increases come in the bike…from around 3+ hours a week to 6’ish+…and the swim, from essentially 0 to 3 hours a week…run moves up about an hour a week.

soooo, the big question is how much intensity I can take along with the volume increase…the intensity helps improve speed…but not if it breaks something, or leads to over-training, or there’s not enough time for recovery so workouts become flat

…and Masters bodies just cannot ‘absorb’ as much training and recover and rebuild…and of course there arrives a point where our ability to improve is matched by the natural declines of aging…from what I’ve seen up to this point, I can still improve, so haven’t ‘peaked’ yet…or more properly, my fitness is still low enough that I can make faster gains than the slower degradation of the aging process

…some of my Iron Buddies that have been competitive at a high level for years, have less room to their fitness ‘ceiling’…and their training plans increasingly, while still focused on improvement, are keeping an eye on preventing performance decline…to do this they have to get tighter and closer to the ‘break’ point as they try to squeeze in the ‘optimal’ amount of intensity and volume…along with recovery…to maintain high performance results…and their ‘tests’ from time to time often are flat in terms of improvement…or show a slight decline…and yes still do improve…but the movement is a lot more modest

In some weird way, I look forward to that point…the point that I’ve actually arrived at the pinnacle of fitness for my body DNA…where within 15 hours a week of training, there is just no further improvement to be had…that a test result that’s the same as it was 3 months ago is a win…I wonder when that will be?

…well not yet anyway…and certainly not in the next 12 weeks…so we’ll see how much we can squeeze out of this old body in the quest for fitness perfection while remaining intact

…and of course, in the biggest irony of all, the worse your fitness is, the older you can be and still improve 🙂

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