I want to keep enjoying this into my 70’s

I came across and article today that has given me pause to think. After talking last week for the Continence Foundation of Australia at their Core Foundations workshop to almost 150 fitness leaders, and explaining what exactly the core muscles are, their strengths and limitations (a plank is designed to be held for 10 secs as a maximal pelvic floor / core contraction. If you are doing a 2 minute plank, your pelvic floor is highly highly unlikely to be working properly. If you are holding a 4 hour plank like the Chinese man who set a world record this week, well, that’s not really a core exercise either), I’ve been thinking a lot about what we delivered and how we can best achieve fitness goals without causing more problems along the way.

This article on The Greatist generated a lot of interest amongst my running group. We commented on how far so much of training and fitness has become a synonym for ‘flogging’, ‘smashing’, ‘thrashing’, ‘punishing’. And so far from control, enjoyment, wellbeing. So far from recovery, and an ‘ability to keep doing it when I’m 70’. Even in our supportive, positive running facebook groups, as we train and then compete in ultra marathon events, and towards new personal milestones, there is so much talk of ‘just do it’, ‘don’t let age be a barrier’, ‘you’ll be fine’, without quite enough talk of recovery, pacing, recognising other stressors, listening to our bodies and working with our bodies to achieve our dreams. Sadly, age is a factor. It might not be a barrier, but it is something to consider, something to plan around. As we age, we need more time to recover. That’s indisputable. Good health, good food, good genetic expression, good air, good water, good sleep will all help us achieve remarkable things as we age, but we need all of those factors, as well as a cooperative approach to our training, and to our recovery.

Just for fun, another piece about how Olympians train and stay motivated talks about how those that achieve most are often those who enjoy the process the most, are able to enjoy the less exciting parts of training, and train mindfully. Not just thrashing it out, working out to the point of being sick (vomit or severe viral illness or injury that takes months to recover from) and celebrating the ‘Harder is better’ mentality we see so often.