The over 50's

I turned 50 a few months ago and have been thinking do I need to start doing things differently now.

Because of personal circumstances I haven’t done a tri for a few years but at some point would like to get back to them.

I stiil ran but no biking or swimming but recently started to do some turbo session.

I have begun to build some strength work into my training, focusing on legs.

Was training for a spring marathon this year and managed to do some ligament damage in the build up and my physio suggested that strength work could help prevent injury as the years progress.

What do you other over 50s do differently than you did do?

Any words of wisdom?

I’m not quite there, I’m 48, but the obvious things are that I need more rest than I used to. Used to do a lot of cross country and road running and I really enjoyed running hard interval sessions, which I find a lot harder to recover from these days. Much more steady z2 miles these days. I’ve just started going to Pilates and looking at including strength and core work more routinely in order to try to minimise my injury risk.

I turn 50 this time next year and have just started doing a bit of googling around this topic as I want to have a really productive winter this year and do a bit more next year.
The Joe Friel book “Fast after 50” seems to get a lot of recommendations. It looks like to be purely cycling but I guess the principles could be adopted.

@wheezy I have been doing cross country for the last few seasons and will again this season as I find this builds leg strength and there are some playing fields opposite my house with some steep banking at one end that i am going to use over the winter in my spikes. Hopefully will be easier on my legs on the soft surface.
Pilates is a good shout and i will have a look at the classes at my gym.
I have been mainly doing easy runs during the week then weekends an easy run to parkrun do the effort there then easy run home and this has been working out well.

@JaRok2300 Good luck with the googling and if you find any nuggets post them on here :smiley:
I will check that book out thanks.

I’m 50 in a couple of months. My coach has me pretty much doing 80/20 running, very easy 80% of the time, hard 20%, a lot of running on trails etc. Need to start strength training more consistently too. Definitely not getting slower, if anything getting faster, but its a fine line to tread and running at 6:XX min/miling on every training run just doesn’t cut it any more if i want to stay injury free


@chickenboy yeah i am keeping my easy runs at 8:XX min/mile and doing 2 to 3 during the week then knock out parkrun at 6:XX min/mile. I have been following this for the last month or so and I will see how it goes.
Just got to be sensible with things to prolong the demise :smiley:

I’m late 20s but still do vast majority of my running slower than 7:30 mile despite aiming for <17 5k next outing. Running batters me so we’ll see when I’m older! Probably walking pace


And so obviously no personal advice, but main theme seems to be need more strength work, and more recovery from the tough sessions. I’d suggest to continue with some pure speed sessions though given that’s what drops first and avoid becoming a one paced plodder. Just needs to be in moderation given the recovery time and injury risk.

From hearing Joe Friel on the OA Podcast, I’m fairly sure he said something similar. You have to stress the body to delay decline. I believe he also talked quite a bit about strength training as a way of retaining bone density, or something like that.

I havent listened since it was first aired, but this is the episode:

Pb at 70.3 and a “ ok “ first full at 50…
So it can be done, with thought.

80/20 needs to be bang on, also introduced more core, stretching and circuits this year.

Tend to avoid really fast running and run intervals, takes ages to recover from and greater risk of injury.

I’m 47 so not far off. I get injured much easier than I used to. So recovery is more important.
I’ve read a lot that strength training is more important the older you get, so I try to do that twice a week.
Don’t ignore warning signs. If a body part tells you to stop, you’d better listen or you’ll lose a months worth of training sat on the sofa sulking.

@stenard thanks for that link i will have a listen over the weekend.

@Mungo2 how do you manage the 80/20 in real world situations?
Is it taken over all 3 disiplines so every 5th session is a tough one?


I keep a book… old school
Started planning my week rather than writing it down afterwards…

The ratio is quite easy to plan and maintain

I did a lot of stuff at 144 bpm Dec- April.

This time probably make the easy easier and the harder harder…

Recovery is essential for the oldies…

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This is my plan but still learning to make sure easy is easy!

Interesting…I’m 52.

My run has been declining for 4-5 years, but I’ve more than addressed that with swim-bike improvements.

I pretty much carried on, a lot of intensity and ignored passing 50. Have sub 10 IM’d in my 50s and in hindsight probably ‘got away with it’.

Think it’s caught up with me this year. Had a very late finish to last season (IM Cozumel late November), and a longer than usual off season after to recover from brutal heat induced meltdown. Started training in Jan then almost immediately lost 6 weeks due to bike crash followed by nastiest flu I’ve had in years.

Net result was feeling ‘behind schedule’ and hurling myself into the intensity trying to catch up. Been an injury ravaged season, one thing after another. Simply my body hasn’t been able to take it and broken down all to frequently.

This has prompted the need to rethink as to how I train next year to avoid a repeat. I’ll certainly do a long aerobic base block, no intensity with lots of strength and flexibility work to start and then work out where to go after. So interested in the views etc.

Big year next as I’m Kona legacy and want to lay down a good performance.


That’s the hard bit I find.

I ran everyday last year and that really helped to teach me to slow down my runs because I had to.
I have taken that learning into this year but got an impact injury in about March that won’t properly heal!
Before last year I would run way too fast on my easy runs then be too fatigued on my fast runs.
It is good to be still learning :smiley:
Just want to be competitive (for me) and maybe get into some ultra running and see how it goes.

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@TROSaracen sounds like you have a good plan with a long base block and hopfully it will work out well for you.
A sub 10 IM at any age is bloody good never mind in your 50s so you must be doing something right :smiley:

I plan to run less, bike more, I have a plan…, and swim smarter.

Going to put two really hard interval sessions a week in this winter, and change the way I use the hours.
Running every day for a year…?!?
I’ll be twice a week, one long slow, one tempo/ brick session.

This. For all of us. When you hear interviews of Frodeno and Co doing their easy runs at 8 min mile pace makes you question whether we should be anywhere near that.