|Me, 31 years ago|
Today I celebrate 365.25 more days of proving my mom wrong that
Now that I am no longer just 30 and am “in my 30s” I have officially started to dread birthdays. No 80 year old ever says: “Man, being 30 sucked, 80 is where it is at! I can poop, watch TV at volume level 9000, and complain about gas prices all at the same time!” Thankfully though, I’m a guy and I don’t have to worry about maintaining a flawless completion as I age. As long as everything works like it should I’m just fine and dandy. It’s a double standard but what can you....OH MY GOD I just caught my reflection and I think I have a new wrinkle. Anyone have a good Groupon for some botox?
While I was obsessing over new body hair that wasn’t there 3 years ago and wondering if those lines were wrinkles or pillow marks, I got to thinking about my running. Truth is I WILL slow down eventually. But, until I do, I’m going to bust my ass squeezing as much speed out of my body as I can.
I really have come a long way in the last 6 years
I read an article a while back, that I cannot find for the LIFE of me, which stated the average adult runner has 6-7 years of hard trained progressively faster race times in their legs. At that point, they will level off and any “gains” will only serve to hold back father time’s parachute and the grim reaper’s sickle. Essentially, given consistently intense training you have 6-7 years of big PRs in you after which you’ll be clawing seconds. Of course, with any study there are lots of things to take into consideration. For example, if you run 10 miles a week for 7 years and then start running 60 miles a week, you’re going to set some massive PRs no matter your age. Same for losing weight. If you drop 50 pounds you WILL get faster. I’d also like to think that this general formula likely doesn’t apply to people who ran in school but instead only applies to “later life” runners like myself. But, caveats aside, generally speaking I believe it.
As I type this, I’ve been running seriously for around 5 years. My first marathon was in 2007 and I really dove in head first during the spring of that year. So, based on my completely non MLA-sited source, I only have a few years left...and then I get slow (Or, at least I don’t get any faster) – unless I do something about it.
If I use the Boston marathon as my measuring stick, they might seem to back me up. When I turn 35, I’ll get an extra 5 minutes for which to qualify for the race. They seem to recognize that the average runner starts to slow down when they hit 35. Again, if you START running when you’re 33, based on my 6-7 year rule, you likely won’t slow down, but someone who has been running their whole life is likely going to start to lose some go-juice. Same goes with “masters” world records. There are separate world records for people who do events when they are older than 40.
Fortunately, I’m rarely one to accept the status quo as gospel. So, I’ll continue to further intensify my training to continue to get gains. After all, for every study there are always outliers. And I guess I’d like to continue to see how far the endurance speed rabbit hole goes. I’m not ready to make year 31 of life my victory lap of ever faster times – at least not yet.