Triathlon and the aging triathlete

My good friend Trace Allen remarked many years ago, before he got Pancreatic cancer, that the worse thing about getting older, is that recovery is hard work and takes much longer.

After todays performance I'm convinced that's what I got wrong in the last 2+weeks, the recovery. I read this on Joe Friels blog:

The real key for aging endurance athletes is frequent recovery time. All athletes need down time on a regular basis. Older athletes simply need it more often than their younger counterparts. I’ve found that most of the 50-and-older athletes I’ve coached over the years need two to three days of easy training following a highly stressful workout. A young athlete may do two of these sessions back to back and then require only one or two days to fully recover. But not the older athlete. How great the stress is that triggers this long recovery block is an individual matter. Every athlete should have a good idea of what different types of workouts demand in the way of recovery.

In the same manner, all athletes need extended recovery periods every few weeks during periods of heavy training. Younger athletes can go perhaps three to five weeks before needing to take a break for three to five days. For the 50-plus athlete it is seldom more than two weeks before down time is necessary in order to prevent overtraining. Extending the period of heavy training beyond this or skipping these rest blocks is likely to result in unrelenting fatigue and greatly reduced performance.
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very interesting. i take it that you are 50+? i have just crossed into my third decade and am wondering if my tiredness is because of my age or because i've stepped up the pace of my workouts with the new year. i used to need only 1-2 days of recovery, and they'd even be easy recovery (e.g. swimming to supplement running) but in the last 2 weeks i've just been exhausted and my metabolism is piqued. not to be gross and overly personal, but i have sores in my mouth too which made me think that i was getting sick but it's not so. just really tired.

are you resting now? or trying to do easy workouts?
I'm really not qualified to say, Joe's writing has certainly given me some food for thought. I've added this link to the original blog post - Its worth reading and drawing your won conclusion. There is a specific entry recently on overtraining.

Thanks for "friending" me.
Oh yeah, 52 this year! Getting faster at sprints after 10-years, but clearly slower at endurance :-(
well... i'm not sure which i'd choose. not that it's our choice. my experience is that i'm a better long distance runner than i was, while i've completely lost the power needed for short distance sprints. :T
well speed is just a different type of training, you either do or don't.

Its easy and common for triathletes to accept the status qou of speed and decide that the solution is to move up in distance to longer races, it just needs more of the same. However, to get faster at the same difference you have to do something different, and that's hard on body and mind. As always, you just have to know what you want and know that it is within your limits to achieve. Good luck....