This question comes from something Lance Armstrong said a little bit before he was outted and while he was still under investigation. He was aiming for triathlon races at the time. It was something along the lines of "I just want to concentrate on becoming the fittest 40yr old on the planet".
And it got me thinking that this wasn't a bad thing to aspire to. So clearly I'm thinking sans drugs here but I'm sure someone will miss this and bring it up.
I'm 49 so my aspirations would be to be the fittest 50 yr old. In truth I know I am a very long way off but if I was to go for this what or who would be the target?
Clearly again this is hugely subjective but that in itself is part of the challenge. Is sprint fit the same as marathon fit? Is swimming fit the same as cycling fit?
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: One of the 2XU athletes recently beat the current 10km 50 yo + world record, I think coming in at at about 29 minutes. I'll have a look for the info when I'm at a CPU tomorrow and post if I have any luck. Think his name was mike something.... (don't hold me too exact time)
Not really a contender for fittest on the planet I guess but climbing-wise I watched the legendary J.B. Tribout onsight an 8a+ sport route this afternoon. At 51 that's pretty good going and maybe something to aim for?!
If you spend a bit of time in the adventure racing world you will find some ridiculously fit 50+ people. A decade or two ago some of these events/sports did not exist, certainly not with current participant numbers, so there are social, logistical, financial issues that affect any such study. People no longer just stop being active at 30 when they have kids, get a mortgage etc. It used to be just ex-athletes in the Masters category, but now it's much more widespread.
But this is a climbing site. Excluding older guided clients on commercially set up trade routes, think of:
- Last year's Piolet d'Or was (with others) won by Steve Swenson and Mark Richey, both alpinists over 50 who still climb hard, both high and technical.
- Marty Schmidt is around 53 and has climbed several 8000m peaks in fast times without oxygen in recent years. He runs a sub 3hr marathon and recently climbed a new route on Denali.
- Carlos Soria is over 70 and still climbs 8000m peaks, but normal routes with Sherpa support teams.
- And yes, I've no doubt Stevie Haston is still fitter and better than most 30 year old climbers.
>> Well, it's not going to be you because even with all your protestations
about how fit you are:-
"Dounrey isn't a good example though. Its being de-commissioned (has been for years) and the contamination was a result of management practices which were wrong and unlikely to be repeated.
Moreover, I've surfed Reay beach many times and I'm still here to tell the tale."
you are so contaminated that you had to leg it to Canada's clean surfing to stay alive
> (In reply to mockerkin)
> Define fit first I think...
>> Not having your body saturated with nuclear waste like our Canadian based friend who surfed by Dounrey. He thinks he's fit now but his body is degenerating faster than most of you. He may still be very fit at fifty but he's melting. Like me, I was born near a nuclear fall out place.
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: I would imagine in answer to the OPs question it's some sort of ultra runner or endurance athelete. It's one of those areas where apparently we keep getting better at, in this case stamina, as we get older.
Interesting that almost everyone seems to mean best runner when they talk about fittest. IMO fit covers a number of bases, and I'd say the fittest all round is most likely not to be a runner at all, nor a triathelte.
I went on a training ride on Saturday with a bunch of Belgians and Dutch guys. We rode out from Torrevieja then did a circuit around Alicante airport at an avearge speed of 40/42kmh.
The group were doing jumps and sprints and I was trying to go from wheel to wheel.
One guy really stood out from the bunch and he was the only one really hurting me time after time. After about 6 consecutive jumps when I had nothing left and I was praying he wouldn't go again he sat up for a red traffic light - he was called René and he was 67!
In reply to JayPee630: I agree, there is general fitness and then there is specific fitness. When I was young and fit, climbing fit that is, I went up to Cloggy and Scafell a few times with a novice who was a marathon and ultra marathon runner but he could not keep up with me on the walk ins.
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:
I'm 49 in a few months, and the impending 50 worries me to death. My knees are giving out on me, so my objective is to maintain a reasonable level of fitness (sort of top 25% in sportives, can keep with the vast majority of folks on the walk-in, Alpine/Scottish winter fitness kind of fit), rather than push it.
I fear decrepitude with a vengeance.......
In reply to JohnnyW: I'm almost 65 and this winter was the first time I have ever really noticed the pain on the walk-ins as I struggled to keep up with others who were at least 12 years younger. I am also finding that climbing indoors 3 or 4 times a week is not leading to significant improvements but rather just slowing down the atrophy. Stop worrying I climbed my hardest routers in my 50's, it was 60 that seemed like the BIG milestone.
In reply to Enty:
Surely you should have learnt by now to lose the pride when an older cyclist tries to drop you? Elderly cyclists are a hazard on the roads, I almost had a heart attack trying to hang onto the back wheel of one a couple of years ago.
Fastest 10000m but not fastest 10k for a v50. The Run Britain rankings have a v50 with a time of just over 32mins for 2012, and faster in the all time rankings. 10000m are much rarer than 10ks though, and both times are still bloody quick.
> (In reply to JayPee630)
> >> Not having your body saturated with nuclear waste like our Canadian based friend who surfed by Dounrey. He thinks he's fit now but his body is degenerating faster than most of you. He may still be very fit at fifty but he's melting. Like me, I was born near a nuclear fall out place.
LOL. I've got no hair either but always put it down to genetics ;-)
> (In reply to Voltemands)
> Fastest 10000m but not fastest 10k for a v50. The Run Britain rankings have a v50 with a time of just over 32mins for 2012, and faster in the all time rankings. 10000m are much rarer than 10ks though, and both times are still bloody quick.
Thought that 31:50's 32:00 isn't too uncommon..
A vet 40 just ran 69 mins for 13.1 in the US..
A good friend is 52 and runs 1:18 for half marathons... and the moans how shit he is..
> (In reply to Frank4short)
> Interesting that almost everyone seems to mean best runner when they talk about fittest. IMO fit covers a number of bases, and I'd say the fittest all round is most likely not to be a runner at all, nor a triathelte.
Although I agree that this is subjective, I suspect that "fitness" in this case does fall into the ability to train or compete in an aerobic category such as running, cycling, swimming etc.
I don't think it would include weight lifters or shot putters etc.
Who remembers "Superstars" on the Beeb. This was where top stars from all different sports came together to compete in a friendly competition which included various disciplines. I think that someone caliming to be the fittest 50yr old on the planet would need to be able to compete at a high level in a number of sports but these would likely be aerobic.
Sure, but why JUST aerobic? Surely someone that could do better overall would be *fitter* and this IMO is very unlikely to be just a specific runner/cyclist as most people seem to think.
Much more likely to be a Crossfit style competitor. I think their ten categories of cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy are a good attempt to define it well, but notice that CV is only one of them.
In reply to ti_pin_man: Not too sure about that - I watched a load of triathlete's fail after 5/7 hrs or so in my ultra last year, all I'd done for training was the welsh3000s and some tabata really and still managed the 69 miles. Triathlons are not much longer than a footy match.
I attempted the W3s every weekend in may and kept having to stop due to partners failing - only the lad who climbed Denali a month later finished it too. He also ran the OMM and had been dragging a tyre round a park every week.
My definition of fitness for me is recovery time - how quick I can get your my back after exertion. Both during HIIT and endurance events.