Whether you run, lift, cycle or swim, fast, far or slow someday you won’t be able to perform at the level you are now. Sorry to bring it up but you probably already knew that right? It doesn’t matter if you are 25 and headed to the olympics or 70 and the fast kid in your new age group you won’t always perform at the level you do right now. That’s true for me, you and really all of us so take some comfort in that. My question to you is does that even matter though? If it’s how you make your living it might matter. In that scenario it might matter a lot, but that’s going to apply to relatively few athletes out there. You can keep getting faster and moving up the ranks for a long, long time much longer than most of us think. It is NOT all downhill after 25 for most of us mere mortals. I’m trying to get faster this year and I think it’s working but no records have fallen just yet.
I’ve realized two things in that endeavor one is that you get out what you put in. Upping the intensity, hiring a coach or spending more time at your sport will all work for you no matter your age. The other thing I’m noticing is experience counts for something. It was my higher level of experience that said now was the right time to go for it. It’s experience that keeps my knee healthy even though its kind of an ongoing type injury. Maybe you won’t be sprinting anymore in your 30’s but moving into long distance running could be your thing, even a 5k is pretty fun.
Certain sports are known for older athletes preforming well for decades think triathlon and cycling. Maybe you won’t win the race anymore but I suspect winning your age group is feels pretty great too. Really if I think about it I’ve been getting better at running in some ways since I started 23-ish years ago! But someday I will get slower at some point 10k’s will have to be enough and that’s still cool with me! Even if half marathon PR’s are in the rear view I think it’s still hella cool to run slow 10k’s into your 80’s!
So with that in mind this weekend celebrate what you’re able to do right now! Put off worrying about your performance in the future until that day comes. For now be thankful that today is not the day you can’t anymore but that you still can!