This weekend I read Dara Torres’s latest book, Gold Medal Fitness. I have seen enough athletes like her in her forties crank out incredible performances in marathons and triathlons to recognize that age isn’t the limiter we all once thought. I was exceptionally interested to see how she modified her routine to keep pace with swimmers barely in their twenties.
The book didn’t disappoint. Though her program is extensive, the one part that caught my eye was the need to pay even more attention to recovery. I’ve seen it first hand this winter skiing with my oldest daughter. I can still out ski her (for now.) But the most remarkable difference comes the next day – I feel like I needed a full body massage just to make coffee. She bounds up like nothing has happened.
Athletic programs in high school and college have accustomed so many of us to “embrace the pain” – to work through that hurt to break through to new levels. The harder part as an age grouper athlete is now to separate the good pain from the bad pain and have the discipline to step back a day from the training plan and recover.
I left my bag behind today – though active recovery on an SRO Metro-North express wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.