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Old People are Faster than Young People(12 posts)

Old People are Faster than Young PeopleOld Guy
May 17, 2001 9:55 AM
I'm just curious if anybody else has noticed this...

I raced as a 4, then a 3, then finally a 2 in the 80s. I quit. I came back this year as a 35+ Master. Naturally, I started out as a 5 again. I've done a BUNCH of Senior-5, M35+ 4/5 and M35+ 1-5 races. I've timed as many Senior-4 crits as possible. Here's what I've learned:

Masters 35+ 4/5 races are INVARIABLY faster than Senior-4 races. Why? Why is a 38 year-old Cat-4 racer faster than a 28 year-old?

Another thing I've learned: M35 1/2/3 races are frequently the second fastest of all races after the Senior 1/2/Pros. Why are they faster than the Senior-3s?

I guess I'm whining a bit. I came back just for fun because I thought being "old" would mean "slower." HAH! What gives? Granted, I've been top-5 in all but two races I've entered, but I have absolutely no incentive to upgrade, now.

Any thoughts? Anybody? Anybody? Bueler?
'cause they're all Cat 1 and 2's, just old ones nmclimbo
May 17, 2001 10:01 AM
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Old age a treachery always overcomes youth and skill!!:) (nm)JBergland
May 17, 2001 10:35 AM
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Youth is wasted on the Young! (nm)rollo tommassi
May 17, 2001 10:59 AM
Alot of ex-pros in masters racesJ.S.
May 17, 2001 11:09 AM
I did a 35+ road race last week that had a bunch of ex-pros in it, heck I finished right behind Steve Hegg. Also these guys know how to race, they don't just pedal around waiting for a sprint, they go hard from the start and when breaks go people work to make the break stick. Also in MTB races 35+ times are almost always the fastest expert times. Smarter training maybe, not sure.
The real reasonbigbadtrikid
May 17, 2001 2:45 PM
Wisdom is always stronger than brut force. A lion can easily kill a human but why a lions endangered. Because humans are smarter.
humans have guns and overdeveloped land also, that helps. nmclimbo
May 18, 2001 6:58 AM
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Among runners ...Humma Hah
May 17, 2001 4:04 PM
... sprinting is a sport for the young. Runners may initially excel in the 100-meter, but as they age they tend to transition to longer races.

Few cycling races last only 10-20 seconds. I'd say most cycling formats are at least comparable to mid-to-long-distance running events in athleticism, and good for middle age. And a lot of cyclists are former runners whose joints could not take the abuse any more. I've always believed we shift to better endurance with age.

Plus, other than time trials, its all about strategy and treachery, as has been mentioned.
I think that age also indicates patience. for training and for recoveryDaniel H.
May 18, 2001 9:49 AM
approved
RelativityBreck
May 18, 2001 11:35 PM
Albert Einstein presented his General Theory of Relativity at 26 years old and the Special Theory at 36 years old to the unsuspecting Newtonian physics world. Rather late for a theoretical physicist to be tuning the brain. Same for today's athletes regards tuning the body. As time is moving on people are staying in their sport longer. You are out there to beat those in your cat and beating younger cats is just icing on your cake.

Back in the 60's you prob wouldn't see many 35+ year "old men" in the races. No masters(40+) or seniors age groups in running for instance and no women either in road race running to beat you a male. So the longer one stays at the sport the fitter relative to the younger newer ones he/she is. More "time in grade"; more crafty and smart; more mature; more specific long term conditioning; made all the mistakes and knows exactly how to prepare; typically married and more settled life ...job established and less late night bar hopping, distractions, etc. Also at about 34 one sees the "need" to re-show the self (and others?) he still "has it". This phenom will typically taper off again at 56, imho. A bell curve of the race by age would be interesting.

A side note is that once one gets past peak performance, at what ever age it occurs, the races seem neither harder nor easier and the "feel" of effort or how much energy you put into the race remains the same. However the clock slows down. You will not notice you are running or riding slower except for the clock check on that oft raced or time trial course you check yourself on over the years. Just my experience.

cheers
very interesting ideas; thanks everyone... (nm)Old Guy
May 21, 2001 10:06 AM
Age group that dominates the 24hr challenge is...Alex R
May 23, 2001 10:17 AM
40-45. Almost every time.