In this episode of The Athlete’s Compass, hosts Paul Warloski, Dr. Paul Laursen, and Marjaana Rakai delve into the topic of aging athletes, exploring the physiological changes that occur with age, the impact on athletic performance, and strategies to maintain fitness and health. They discuss the importance of consistent training, nutrition, and strength training for older athletes, and share personal experiences and stories of inspiration.

Key Takeaways:

  • Physiological Changes with Age: Aging athletes experience changes in their body’s physiology, such as glycation, increased free radicals, and shortened telomeres, leading to a decline in performance.
  • Importance of Consistency: Consistent training and good nutrition are crucial for maintaining athletic performance as one ages.
  • Strength Training: Lifting heavy weights and incorporating balance work are essential for recruiting large fast-twitch muscle fibers and developing bone and muscle mass.
  • Mental Health: Accepting the aging process and being kind to oneself is important for mental well-being.
  • Nutritional Adjustments: Focusing on protein intake and managing blood glucose levels through fasting or choosing complex carbohydrates can help mitigate the effects of aging.
  • Never Too Late: It’s never too late to start training, and older athletes can still achieve great things with dedication and consistency.



Paul Warloski (00:37)

and welcome to the Athletes Compass where we navigate training, fitness, and health for everyday athletes. This week, we're talking about aging athletes, a subject I know well as I've crossed over the 60 year old threshold. So first of all, from the research and my experience and observations, we'll say that endurance athletes over 40-ish start to notice a difference in their abilities and recovery. I've been reading Alan Cousins's

Paul Laursen (00:43)

This week we were talking about

threshold. So first of all from the research of my experience and observations, we'll say that endurance athletes over 40ish start to notice a difference in their abilities in recovery. I've been reading Alan Cousins' book, Science of Maximal Athletic Development. He says at 50 we need about 2 hours a day of exercise just to maintain our VO2 max.

Paul Warloski (01:05)

book, Science of Maximal Athletic Development. And he says at 50, we need about two hours a day of exercise just to maintain our VO2 max. And at 60, we need 2.1 hours a day. That's crazy. What's going on here? What changes happen in the body's physiology with age, specifically athletic performance?

Paul Laursen (01:16)

And at 60, we need 2.1 hours a day. That's crazy. What's going on? What changes happen in the body's physiology with age-specific athletic performance?

Marjaana Rakai (01:28)

Cindy, we all love Cindy. She's always asking such great questions. Is eight, we love Cindy. Is age just a number? At what point can an athlete start to see a decline in speed and power? Or is it relative to their athletic journey? Is it all downhill after 50, asking for a friend?

Paul Warloski (01:33)

Love, Cindy.

Paul Laursen (01:48)

Well, see, I've got insight into Cindy's performance and I see, you know, it's cool she's asking that because her performances are still going up, which is pretty, pretty freaking cool. Like, yeah, so it's amazing to see. It's been fun watching Cindy's journey. And even here in the wintertime in Revelstoke, I'm still, you know, checking in on her.

Her swim time, she's getting faster in the pool and her run paces are still really, really strong. She's a beast on the bike. So, yeah, it's fun. Yeah, but all that being said, time keeps on ticking, right, into the future. So, Floyd was right. But.

We've spoken about this before on the podcast. We've got both of our chronological age, which is just the number, and we've got our biological age. I think we all know this. We all know people that wind up looking younger and performing younger than they actually chronologically are, and vice versa. So there's these two things. That being said, Yeah.

things are going to happen from a physiological sort of standpoint. And as much as we would love them not to, they do happen. And I've listed, I've found maybe three key physiological, they're big words, but it's like, this is, this is kind of the thing that's, that's happening. So the first one kind of that comes to mind in terms of your aging and things that are going to be turning things.

off is this whole process called glycation and advanced glycation end product. So glycation is when your sugar or glucose starts attaching to some of your proteins and fats that are in that are made up of the cells right we're made up of mostly of you know of fatty acids and proteins that are all around the body.

And sugar comes across those. And when the sugar substances hit those, form something called glycation. And it basically, all of a sudden, a classic way to look at this might be like your skin is not as bouncy or supple as it used to be. And I noticed this.

It's wintertime here in Revelstoke and often I'll wear my helmet and my goggles and then when I take those off at the end of a ski day, it's like it's still kind of attached there to my face. Like I've got like the indents and it's, you know, this is just, you know, I've got a 53 year old body and that's like, there's obviously some glycation that's happened in there. The other...

The other classic example is I'm in the pool, right? And like my goggle marks in the pool are just like they're not bouncing back like they used to. And that's just kind of one of the sort of the first things. And now that's an example in the skin, but that's happening everywhere along all of the different parts of the body, all of your tissues.

Marjaana Rakai (04:55)

They're gone, they'll be back.

Paul Warloski (05:09)

Thanks for watching.

Paul Laursen (05:11)

So I was watching Breakpoint the other day, which was awesome. And I forget the name of the tennis player, the Dane. But oh my god, this guy was kind of like, I've got Danish blood. But it just brought me back to how I looked and responded when I was 20. Because this kid's about 22, right? And just ripped muscles and bouncing all over the place and just so dynamic. And we all want that.

you know, the holy grail of youth and stuff, but it slowly sort of goes. So that's one of them. That's the first one. The other ones, many of us have heard of free radicals, and this is like, it's called reactive oxygen species. And it's basically, it's an electron leakage at the cellular level. And ultimately, this creates damage to your cells, to the mitochondria, and the mitochondria stop.

functioning as they used to. Remember the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the cell, they're producing the energy. So these, you know, these stop working as well as they used to. Another one is the telomeres. Like many of us have heard of telomeres and these are like the, your chromosomes and these get smaller and smaller and these are again that...

when they become super smaller, they ultimately create cell death and they contribute to aging at the cellular level. So, you know, those are the main ones. There's hormonal changes, there's inflammation, and on and on it kind of goes. But ultimately, like Paul kind of let off with what Alan Cousin was leading off with, is there is this slow deterioration over time.

Now we can get into some ways of preventing these and slowing these down, but that's the reality of it.

Paul Warloski (07:00)

Thank you.

So we have physiological responses, any other kind of changes that happen and how do these changes affect athletic performance?

Paul Laursen (07:17)

Well, I mean, those are, yeah, I mean, they're going to affect everything like you're if it's affecting energy and mitochondria, and, you know, if that you know, you got that glycation process happening, right, like it just affects everything across the board. So your, you know, your efficiency is going to be less, your energy production is going to be less. And yeah, that you just like for

Marjaana Rakai (07:34)

your efficiency is going to be less, your energy production is going to be less.

Paul Laursen (07:43)

any sort of given effort, you're not going to be able to move or adapt to moving at the same rate that you used to when you were younger. So that's just, yeah, and we see that across the board, right? Like if you look at studies that have assessed the change in VO2 max or physiological performance with age, you just see this progressive

reduction across the lifespan. Of course that's changed and that's lessened with exercise training, right? So if you're like Alan Cousins was kind of saying, if you keep your training up there, you're doing one of the key things to tell the cells not to do all of that. So not to, you know, don't turn off, please. Don't go into senescence and switch off for me. I want to, I wanna keep, I've gotta keep going, right?

And it keeps everything up there. Like it's, and even like from the glycation standpoint, right? Like the more you're exercising, the lower your blood glucose level or more stable your blood glucose level is going to be. And it's, and again, there's less of those advanced glycation end products and less of that, you know, the skin turning the way I was describing it, right? Like, but right across the whole body. And you can,

Marjaana Rakai (09:01)

you know, the skin turning the way I was describing it, right? Like, but not the way across the whole body.

Paul Laursen (09:09)

maintain more of your youth into your later ages. So this is why you want to keep these things up there. And we can go into the effect that strength training has on the high intensity level training, fasting, even cold water immersion. All these things have various different effects on that whole aging process, if done consistently across the lifetime.

Marjaana Rakai (09:32)

I was just thinking when you said the goggle marks, my kids always, they can tell when I've been swimming because I have massive goggle marks and like, look at me when they come from school, hey mom, did you swim today? But then I'm thinking my 13 year old boy, he has put on some massive weight, like muscle weight, like the past.

Paul Warloski (09:41)

I'm sorry.

Paul Laursen (09:47)


Marjaana Rakai (10:00)

eight months, like he went from a stick to an athlete. He is so strong. He's been working out. So that got me thinking hormonal changes as we age. Women start producing less estrogen and men lose their testosterone, which my son is just like, he's pumping it out. And you can see the...

Paul Laursen (10:20)

Yeah, he's pumping it out. Ha ha ha!

Marjaana Rakai (10:25)

The bicep just growing every week. It's impressive. so women after 30, you guys are a little bit luckier that, uh, you can keep your, uh, muscle mass a bit longer. Um, but yeah, strength training becomes so important for us.

Paul Warloski (10:25)

you get to use the sheriff.

Paul Laursen (10:27)

Yeah, I know.


Paul Warloski (10:44)

Well, before we get into strength training, let's just bring up a really good point. Grant Koisman, one of my athletes asks and he's being somewhat facetious, but he brings up a good point. How long do I have before my kids start out running me? But the point is at what age do people generally start noticing a difference in their athletic ability and is that predetermined? Is that going to happen regardless?

Can we do anything to maintain those abilities?

Can you still outrun your kids, Marjaana?

Marjaana Rakai (11:16)

It depends on what distance.

Paul Warloski (11:18)


Marjaana Rakai (11:19)

I mean, so I have 13 year old, 12 year old and 9 year old. I think I can still out sprint my 9 year old. My 12 year old daughter is a sprinter. So that's a tough, tough ask. And my 13 year old, no, I can't out sprint, but 5k I'll take them all.

Paul Warloski (11:35)




Marjaana Rakai (11:41)

Yeah. Uh, but I think it totally depends. Like my dad, I used to run with him, but he was a heavy smoker. So around 10, I was, I was, I was a really good runner when I was 10, but he, he stopped running with me because, you know, heavy smoker, he couldn't keep up with me anymore. But it totally depends on the context, right? Like what are you used to do? My grandmother used to bicycle two hours or 60 K.

Um, so that would be like two, three hours, 60 K every day. She's 96 this year, still kicking. So I also think like it depends, like, what are you, what are you doing? What are you doing in your life? Like if you are just watching, um, you know, baseball sitting and not moving, of course your kids are going to outrun you quite quickly.

Paul Laursen (12:17)

Wow. Yeah.

Absolutely. I couldn't have... yeah, I would just agree. And I was reflecting on the question as well. I was in the pool this morning with my daughter. She's got a swim club beside me and I was just... I just happened to be in the lane beside her and she's just... she's going by me, which is so cool actually. I just love it. But yeah, she's 13 and now she's out swimming, dad, which is great. And... but it's...

Paul Warloski (13:00)


Paul Laursen (13:03)

Yeah, it's kind of that, you know, so dad's 53 and she's 13 and she's going stronger and dad's going less. And that's this is this is life. So.

Paul Warloski (13:14)

So we mentioned strength training. Let's get into that a little bit. What are some of the key adjustments that aging endurance athletes need to make in their training routines to accommodate these changes?

Paul Laursen (13:28)

Yeah, yeah. So I really am a big believer in strength training, Paul, especially the importance as when we age and Marjaana highlighted that as well, really in the importance in female athletes as well, females in general, like you want to, it's a bit of a race, right? It's a race against time and you are like from the age of call it, you know, 25, 30, it's kind of like there's this

You're sort of at your peak around then. And it's gray where that is. So let's look at Dan Plews who set the world record for the Ironman for age group in California, breaking eight hours. He's 40. So it just kind of shows that is kind of like the right around the top. Dave Scott is another classic one. I think he was 42.

and he was second in Kona. So these are examples of masters athletes that are performing exceptionally right at the top of the world. But it's anywhere in that 25 to 45 kind of area that things are gonna start to be drifting downwards in terms of all those various different physiological happenings are gonna be starting to go

and I think Dan's actually, he's, he's went and he said quite, um, he's, he's been quite vocal on his socials about this is, this is kind of where he's moving now as, as he's done with Ironman, he's retired from Ironman. He's really focusing on his own strength training, which I think is kind of really cool in that he recognizes that that's

That's pretty important now for his own longevity because it's like function, right? Like he, we know now that the problem, one of the key problems that then becomes is your fast twitch larger muscles start to become quiet because we don't use them anymore. So we want to make sure that we're still using them and that we're engaging those large fast twitch ones. To do that, you've got to lift heavy.

You've got to work towards lifting heavy. You've got to really be cautious with that, right? Like, if you don't have any experience with that, you don't want to do that all of a sudden, right? You can have a back injury or whatever. But if you can work towards doing, you know, lifting heavy things, then that, you know, by definition, you have to kind of go and recruit your large fast twitch muscle fiber.

So you might see in the background, I've got the weights loaded up right there. I'm trying my darndest to recruit those big fast-switch muscle fibers every second day or so. And yeah, just because I know it's a race against time. I'm 53 now, so I want to keep those things turned on. And there's other hormonal effects as well, right? For me, for guys, it's testosterone.

the bone and muscle mass up, and then for women it's estrogen.

Marjaana Rakai (16:34)

And I think like lifting heavy is also a little bit relative. Like what is heavy to you might be totally different for somebody else. So when you're looking at strength training, yes, you need to have some kind of a base of strength training and learning the lifting techniques. But also I find if you think about what is the risk of injury for older athletes, it's often, or older people, it's often false.

Paul Warloski (16:42)

Thanks for watching!

Marjaana Rakai (17:03)

So, and because we forget to play when we get older, we don't challenge our balance, which is one key of preventing falls. So we, uh, we forget to challenge our balance and then we go out and reach something and then we lose our balance and get hurt, right? So for me as a...

a personal trainer, I always like, if I'm working with the older athlete, balance is one key aspect that we work on. The other one is reaction speed or the quickness. So we do some, not necessarily like jumps in the beginning, but moving your feet quicker, being able to like balance again, like if we lose a step or whatever.

So that should be just like a core program for strength should be learning to lift the technique and you won't be lifting heavy in the beginning. So you have to gradually build balance and some kind of reaction speed or quickness. Like it could be just hopping and hopping on one foot and then just progressing it.

Paul Warloski (18:09)


Marjaana Rakai (18:22)

that way.

Paul Laursen (18:23)

Yep, absolutely. And if I could just kind of extend on that, Marjaana so these are your spot on that balance and reaction is so key. And you meant, I'm not sure if you mentioned play as well, but any times you can actually play to allow this to occur, the, you know, you don't even know it's sort of happening, but.

Like, so here we're in winter time, downhill skiing is just fantastic for all of those things from balance to heavy strength, you know, depending on the context, to reaction all the time, right? So this is something that, that's how I'm trying to get that. But it could be playing basketball if you had that as an experience. It could be playing volleyball if that's an experience. It could be playing catch. You know, it's just like all these various different.

means anytime you can get the balance reaction in your life, alongside of some heavy work, then you're hitting that nail of importance to hold on to those capacities that you want to hold on to, that's gonna prevent those falls, because falls eventually...

when we get to our elder years, that's one of the key things. You're right, Marjaana, that's going to get us.

Marjaana Rakai (19:42)

Yeah. And like, I remember when my kids were smaller and took them to a playground. I tried to play too. Like I went in there and balanced and, you know, like really awkward trying to fit my big body through some narrow tubes. And, but I did it because one, it's fun. And two, it's good for me to challenge myself.

So if you're in all the years where you have grandkids, don't just sit there, just get in there, try to balance down on one foot, try to walk on those beams like kids do, it's hard work.

Paul Laursen (20:20)

Couldn't agree more.

Paul Warloski (20:22)

So are there nutritional, I know we're going to be doing some podcasts on nutrition by itself. Are there specific suggestions for aging athletes, dietary adjustments, supplements, things that we as older athletes should be doing differently?

Paul Laursen (20:30)

by itself, are there specific suggestions?

Yeah, yeah. So we mentioned the advanced glycation end products, and I know it's a big long word, but the key, the middle word in there is glycation, advanced glycation end product. So that's sugar, right? When sugar attaches to your proteins and fats that you're made up of, that creates the less buoyant, bouncy skin.

Right? And same around the body. So it's the same sort of thing with like how can I keep my blood glucose level a little bit lower so that it's kind of more stable and less kind of, you know, with the diabetic kind of challenges. And the answer there is probably, well, there's lots of ways to skin that, but you know, and it's probably very individual.

But fasting is a known strategy and there's hundreds of studies that have shown the benefits of this for both the advanced glycation end products, but also something that we haven't really mentioned anything about the brain and the mind. We want to maintain our brain and mind function right to the end as well. And there's something called brain-derived neurotropic factors.

factor is one of the big enzymes that they measure and they find that, same thing that I mentioned before, so both fasting, high intensity interval training and cold water immersion we've spoken about before, all those three are the big rocks in terms of strategies that cause more brain-derived neurotrophic factor to enhance and for this to allow.

better connectivity across the neurons of the brain. So yeah, so I guess fasting is kind of one aspect of nutrition, so meal timing ultimately. So how could you go about fasting? Well, lots of different ways, but you know, you could have your last meal for a while, be your dinner.

And then you could potentially, you know, as soon as you wake up, you might have your workout in the morning with, you know, you just start with a bit of water and then get out the door and just have your, you know, your first, your first workout of the day, maybe it's 30 minutes, and maybe you could just kind of do that fasted, whatever it is, and then have your, have your first meal of the day sometime after that. Well, that's, you know, that's 14 hours probably that you've already sort of gone through this period of low glycemia.

to assist with that reduced aging process. So that's one example. And then of course we could talk about lower carbohydrate strategies. But even if you just wanna, we'll talk about this in the next podcast, but nutrition, when we're discussing nutrition, it can be a real minefield and with differences of opinion. And...

And, but just if we, if you want to look at the process of having too big of a spike in your glucose levels, your sugar levels is one of the reasons for why this is a potential problem. Any means of kind of keeping that lower is better. And so you can even have more complex carbohydrates on board that are slow carbohydrates. In other words, they're less spiky. They're less like a sugar product and they're just more like

They're just slowly kind of bleeding out, right? So like an apple, you might respond very just fine to an apple because there's lots of fiber that's in it and it just slowly kind of releases its glucose in the form of both fructose and glucose that's in it. But overall, you're not getting this big spike, you're just kind of getting like a level sort of amount. So that's one strategy and one idea, but we can.

We can go on. What are your thoughts on nutrition, Marjaana, for helping with the aging process? You've got some interesting experiences on this one, I know.

Marjaana Rakai (25:07)

Well, I think protein is also one thing like I'm thinking like strength training. You want to make sure that you get enough protein as you age when you're going through maybe a less, you know...

Muscle mass building. So you wanna make sure that when you're doing your strength training that you get that protein in as well. Yeah.

Paul Warloski (25:27)

Please. Thank you.

Paul Laursen (25:31)

couldn't agree more. Yeah, absolutely. And you're right. I mean, honestly, I probably should have emphasized that more as well, because you generally get a fairly low glycemic response with when you have good sources of protein, right? Like, so if you're, you know, think of hard-boiled eggs or however you want to have your eggs, right? Like, it's, you know, this is, you're not gonna get a big spike in glucose from an egg. So at least you shouldn't, you shouldn't be.

Paul Warloski (25:41)

Thank you.

Paul Laursen (25:58)

So because you know, it's just amino acids ultimately and essential fatty acids that you're getting. And yeah, you do get glucose from that. Don't forget your liver undergoes a process called gluconeogenesis and it will still provide glucose to the body and just in the amount it needs. But it's like all the amino acids are there as well to build the...

the structures that you want to maintain, like your muscles and bones. So, yep, 100%.

Marjaana Rakai (26:29)

I want to bring the female athlete aspect into this as well. We start losing muscle mass a little bit earlier than men. I can't highlight enough how important strength training becomes early on. My 12-year-old daughter sees strength training and I am so happy that she enjoys it because it's so important.

for women and I was lucky. I quit cross-country skiing when I was 20 and then I really loved lifting heavy. And then when I was, I can't remember quite like 25, 28, I spent a lot of time at the gym lifting heavy because I wanted to ski well, like alpine ski. So my peak muscle mass was probably at the highest.

28, 30, but it has served me really well because I don't see the decline in my strength yet as a 46, almost 46 year old. Yeah. So I think like, I don't see that I am getting much slower yet, but I assume it's coming.

Paul Laursen (27:33)


Yeah, yeah for sure. Well again the story goes that you know there is this fall in estrogen levels as we age or as women ages and especially at menopause too right there's a vast fall at that point whenever that happens. So the story goes that you know there is there's a real race to put on muscle mass prior to that.

Paul Warloski (27:47)

Thanks for watching!

Marjaana Rakai (27:52)


Paul Warloski (28:02)

Thanks for watching!

Paul Laursen (28:07)

because it is going to serve you very well. So both bone mass and muscle mass, they will go hand in hand too, right? Because the more muscle mass they have, the likely the more force that you're putting on those bones, they're going to be stronger. And again, that's, yeah, they're going to be topped up and holding you into your older years. So yeah, women, if you can, yeah.

Marjaana Rakai (28:15)


Paul Laursen (28:33)

get on the Marjaana program and start lifting earlier, with is, yeah, it's super, super important, important to do. It's why we've got strength training sessions in the athletic program.

Marjaana Rakai (28:45)

Awesome. Let's talk about mental health as we age. And how do we tackle getting older and perhaps not performing as well as we were when we were younger?

Paul Laursen (28:58)

You tell me! That's my problem!

Marjaana Rakai (29:00)

What do you tell yourself?

Paul Laursen (29:01)

What do I tell myself? Yeah, well, just the old adage, be kind to yourself, right? Like you do need to, and we're all our hardest critics, and you just kind of have to be accepting of it. There's nothing, like what's really the alternative, right? Like the alternative isn't pretty, so it's like you got to just keep smiling, meditate on it.

And if your 13 year old daughter goes by you in the pool, then you just gotta smile and be happy with that. Or whoever it is going by you in the pool or on the bike or out in the trails running, whatever. It's like, yeah, this is just life. And there's a beauty in that as well, right? So just smile at it and...

be at one with it and yeah, it's like you can only, there's nothing else you can do but Zen on it.

Marjaana Rakai (29:59)


Paul Warloski (29:59)

There's also that element of, I know this is in the hit sciences in athletic about training smarter and not harder. And I think that the older we get, there's an element of I'm not crushing myself because I know that I don't need to. I've learned a lot. I know that I have 8 billion miles racked up in my legs right now and I don't need to do as much training as I used to because I've got to do it.

I'm smarter about it now. I can, I pick and choose my battles and there is that acceptance. One of the things that I really appreciate is being able to race against other age groupers, you know, trying not to compare myself to the 20 somethings, but to race against, you know, guys and women who are guys my age and in my age category. And that, that kind of feels like at the level of the, the playing field is a little more level.

Paul Laursen (30:52)

Yeah, yeah, no, absolutely. This is the beauty of the age group competition that we have, right? Is that you can see how you're tracking relative to others that are around that age. So that is kind of fun to see. And that you know, that's it's healthy to have that competitive streak. But at the same time, there is this

Paul Warloski (31:06)


Paul Laursen (31:14)

Yeah, like sometimes you get into context. Like so, you know, in my context, yeah, I probably could only race in cycling because my running days, I've basically blown a tire in my right hip. And it's just, I can't run marathons and Ironmans anymore because my hip just won't allow for it. So I've got to be good with that. And but yeah, like he kind of said, you know, pick and choose your battles. So maybe I'll go.

go battle a little bit more on Strava segments in cycling.

Paul Warloski (31:45)

You know, that makes me think of, uh, I do a lot of cyclocross racing and I'm always amazed by the 70 year olds and 80 year olds who show up to do cyclocross, which is not, you know, you're getting on and off your bike, you're running with your bike, it is not an easy transition kind of sport. And I'm amazed by those athletes. I think that there's a couple of guys named Dominic in our series in Wisconsin who, um,

are always doing really well and they're never winning against the 50 plus, but they are amazing athletes. Do you have examples in your own life of older athletes who are doing some pretty incredible things?

Marjaana Rakai (32:30)

Yeah, I used to coach a, he came to me, I think he was 67, cross country skier and mountain biker. And it was incredible. So we did what I said, we started strength training. He had not done lots of strength training. So I made his program. There was balance, there was a feet speed. Like.

Paul Laursen (32:44)

We did what I said.

Marjaana Rakai (32:56)

Just moving your feet quickly, balance, some like small hops, and then building up his strength. But one thing I had to get him to do was to go slower. When he was doing his aerobic sessions, he had to go slower because he would just pick a back and then he would just, you know, stick to the back as glue. And he would, you know, end up.

Paul Laursen (33:10)

When he was doing his Arabic sessions, he had to go slower because he would pick it back and then he would just stick to the back.

Marjaana Rakai (33:24)

going way too fast. So I had to make sure that he goes slow enough on the slow days. And then he, he took off, I think it was like almost 30 minutes on his, uh, 30K ski race time, which is huge. Um, as he aged, so he got, he got faster. But yeah, it was, it was just beautiful, beautiful to watch. He was, uh, yeah. Yeah. I was trying not to like, I was telling him like.

Paul Warloski (33:48)

No, it's awesome.

Paul Laursen (33:53)

I was telling him, don't compare yourself to others, but he would always take it.

Marjaana Rakai (33:54)

Don't compare yourself to others, but he would always take pride of kicking, but the younger guys thought he was very happy about that.

Paul Laursen (34:01)


Along along these lines Paul I reflect on a conversation that I had with Baz van Hooren who is a sports scientist in the Netherlands and he's like a you know, he's a 10k champion of the Netherlands himself and he and the study that he did was he made contact with the two World record holders in the 70 plus category and one was I think 72 73 one was 75

can't remember which one did which, but one was the marathon champion and one was the mile champion. And these guys are doing, like the marathon 70 plus guy was doing like, I think it was like a 2:48. So just imagine that, a 2:48 marathon, right? And the miler was in, it was like insane as well. But the thing that was really interesting in the running context, I reflect on my own sort of situation.

was that these guys started late. So, which really, for the running context, if you're starting late, it's, or one message is, it's never too late, because these guys started like when they were in their 30s. They didn't, they just really didn't find their love for running until they were in their 30s. But then at the same time, they didn't have my problem, where, you know, joints were kind of worn out in their, you know, their earlier...

kind of years, if 50s are earlier years. But it's like they're still sort of setting those records because their chassis was still sort of intact ultimately, which is kind of interesting. And so yeah, so it's never too late. The other thing that was key for them was, Athletica principles, training consistency.

So they started late and then training consistency led them through. So you'll still continue to make adaptations as you age. So you can still continue to get faster. So you would think, right, with these guys starting at 30, well then they would, if they hit 50 like me, then they should just go downhill from them. But that wasn't the case.

They actually drew a new line and they kept going faster and faster right up until their seventies until they were hitting the world record. So it kind of goes against a few of the things that we've said and it's kind of inspiring and gives hope to any of the listeners there that are aging. And then back to where we started with Cindy too. So Cindy, just keep going. Who knows?

Paul Warloski (36:33)


I've never met Cindy but I get the sense that is exactly what she will be doing given her attitude towards training. It's awesome.

Paul Laursen (36:53)

I think so.

Paul Warloski (36:55)

So here are some things that I've learned this week about aging athletes and being one of them, it's interesting to learn more about how things work. One, like Cindy said, age is just a number. It's never too late to start. And regardless of your age, you can still accomplish great things and hard things. Number two, training consistency.

and good nutrition are keys. We gotta have them to support our training. And number three, maybe what I got out of this the most was that strength training is one of the keys that we have to lift heavy to recruit large fast twitch muscle fibers. We need to do balance work. We need to develop our bone and our muscle mass through strength training.

Yeah, that's all for this week. Thanks for listening and join us next week for the Athlete's Compass when we are gonna talk about nutrition. It's gonna be awesome. You can help us by asking your questions about nutrition, about training in the comments below, liking and sharing the podcast and giving us five star reviews.

Paul Laursen (37:50)

Yeah, that's all for this week. Thanks for listening and join us next week for the Athletes Compass when we are gonna talk about nutrition. It's gonna be awesome. You can do this by asking your questions about nutrition, about training. In the comments below, liking and sharing the podcast and giving us five star reviews. Engaging with us as well on our social media. From Marjaana Rakai, Dr. Paul Larson, I'm Paul Warloski and this has been

Paul Warloski (38:11)

engaging with us as well on our social media. For Marjaana Rakai, Dr. Paul Larson, I'm Paul Warloski and this has been the Athletes Compass Podcast. Thanks for listening.

Join the Athletica community

Why Subscribe?

Latest Features: Be the first to know about exciting updates and new capabilities of our app.

Innovative Insights: Dive into the latest advancements in endurance training science and practice.

Athletica News: Stay informed about what's happening at Athletica and be a part of our growing community.

Bonus for Subscribers! Get exclusive access to early releases, special discounts, and insider tips to maximize your training.

In order to complete the subscription, please check your email for a confirmation!