Since I’m a relatively new runner I’m still understanding how my body is functioning when hitting the pavements these days so I’m happy to have came across some research from Runner’s World that explained what runners experience each decade. Runners improve for about seven years with the Seven-Year Rule. The exception: low-mileage runners can span a decade of improvement. I’m fortunate so far because I seem to have came in at the right time during my twenties—even if late. However, I’ve been speaking to both younger and older runners and everyone’s ideology has been different. Younger runners assume it’s so easy to be faster by pushing it, while older ones think I need to relax. It all seems to make sense while people fit into their own bodies and age. Here’s a quick synopsis of what I read without too much explanation:
During your teens, your strengths are Power and Bone Mass. They are capable of sustaining power and regenerate creatine faster than older runners. Weaknesses are Amenorrhea (in females) and Restraint (taking too much too soon).
During your 20s, you get stronger and faster and your strengths are Muscle Mass and Speed. However, your weaknesses are your Knees and Balance (I do experience the frays of cartilage as I near my 30s).
During your 30s, you might be comfortable in the prime of your running years and your strengths are Efficient Muscle and Distance (the average age for a marathoner is 38). The weakness of people in their 30s is Weight Gain.
During your 40s, you’ll have more Self Control and Know-how. However your weakness include Dehydration and Bone Loss.
During your 50s, you have Consistency, Continued Strength, Positive Attitude but your weakness is still Bone Loss.
During your 60s, you join the group where you’re Faster than people used to be at 60 years ago! You’re Healthier than your peers but you have a Shorter Stride and Old Injuries might affect you.
During your 70s+ you have Longevity on your side and Strong Legs. However, you have One Speed. You most likely won’t get faster than you were decades prior.
Hope this was helpful for someone. I’m definitely not looking forward to the next decade but I’m hoping to be able to continue to Run For Life.