Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Master Athletes -- Its a Little Different Each year

But does it have to be? Most say no - most coaches claim the decline of fitness with age is mostly due to the decline in activity -- even to the point of inactivity. Scientists claim you may slow with age, but your fitness does not have be lost with age - if you keep it moving and moving it at a high intensity. Once of Chris Charmichael's staffers wrote a great article on the Master Athlete and Recovery She states:

How can masters athletes compensate for cardiovascular changes related
to aging?One of the most dramatic age-correlated effects is the decline in
maximal aerobic capacity (i.e., the amount of oxygen the body can transport
to muscles for use during a really hard effort.) Although some decline in
aerobiccapacity is expected as athletes age — there is a reason why senior
citizens generally don't compete in the Olympics — you can minimize this
impact with high-intensity training. Start by incorporating
high-intensity intervals that last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes into your
workouts once or twice a week. You can do this while running, cycling,
stepping on the elliptical machine or swimming in the pool — anywhere you
get your cardio exercise. Once you're warmed up, do a set of 3 all-out
sprints lasting 30 seconds each (or 45 or 60 seconds if you're already
very fit). Then recover for about twice the time of the
interval (i.e., 1 minute for a 30-second interval) at about 65% of your maximum
heart rate. As you become fitter, you'll find that you need less recovery
time between efforts and that you can hold the intensity for progressively
longer intervals. Over time, work your way up to one set of 5 intervals that
lasts 2 (or even 3) minutes each.

My aging bones have been having issues this year, and after reading this, I'm prone to believe possibly I haven't been working hard enough - I KNOW I haven't been in Zone 5 more than maybe 2 hours all winter. The past two years saw high intensity intervals for bike racing, but this year I haven't been getting the old HR up much past 165. When the Humdinger Trail rain near zapped everything out of me and it took two weeks to get back in the swing, I now realize its because I haven't been getting HR up high enough. So I guess that scary zone is in order pretty soon. Crap.

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