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Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Intense exercise most beneficial to the old

in: Orienteering; Training & Technique

Mar 23, 2017 6:56 PM # 
I've often been amused that many on a/p report casual walking, map study, and other non-aerobic exercise as their day's 'performance and training tool....' as the sub-heading above claims for our Attackpoint logs.

However older a/p'ers may be interested in an article in today's NYTimes which reports on a Mayo Clinic study that compared four groups that did:
a- Weight lifting
b- Intense interval workouts
c- Moderate cycling
d- No exercise whatsoever

and found that, especially for the old:

...the decline in the cellular health of muscles associated with aging was “corrected” with exercise, especially if it was intense. In fact, older people’s cells responded in some ways more robustly to intense exercise than the cells of the young did...
Mar 23, 2017 7:33 PM # 
Ok, maybe I'm finally motivated to throw in more interval sessions..
Mar 23, 2017 8:39 PM # 
The studies cited in "Fast After 50" by Joe Friel consistently reach a similar conclusion. My sense from the numbers mentioned is that decline in running performance is roughly twice as fast without including some intensity. Most of his suggested workouts include some intensity, but they are more moderate intensity than very intense interval sessions. Weights are also a key part of his suggested training program. A friend lent me the book this winter after I mentioned that I had started to do some interval training again.
Mar 23, 2017 9:18 PM # 
Joe Friel (training bible) and Tim Noakes (Lore of running) should be on the list of every aspiring young athlete as well as every aging old fart.
Mar 23, 2017 11:41 PM # 
My experience is that as you age, the probability of an aspiration/capability mismatch increases. [Comment "inspired" by breaking down less than half way through my planned hills routine this morning]
Mar 24, 2017 1:30 AM # 
Anecdotally: I was thinking that mapping and biking were keeping me fit as I aged. And protecting my soft tissue. But orienteering was becoming an effort particularly the the 2nd and subsequent days of a multi-day. Threw in several short runs a week and feeling 100% better. (Also fiddled with blood pressure medication. Like I said, conclusions are quite unscientific.)
Mar 25, 2017 2:35 AM # 
I cast my vote for rugby.
Mar 25, 2017 9:01 AM # 
Yes, but which form of rugby?
Mar 25, 2017 11:49 AM # 
There is only one kind - that played by gentlemen.
Mar 25, 2017 12:51 PM # 
Is that Rugby Union or Rugby League?
Mar 25, 2017 1:12 PM # 
Or Touch Rugby, or wheelchair rugby?
Mar 25, 2017 1:23 PM # 
As a teen my favorite sport was a co-ed version called chesterfield rugby.
Mar 25, 2017 1:27 PM # 
However on the topic I haved lived by the old saying that you do not slow down because you get old. You get old because you slow down. NYT article seems to confirm.
Mar 25, 2017 9:34 PM # 
The Mayo Clinic study was featured on CBC radio earlier this month. Here is the link (hopefully available outside of Canada).

The CBC radio also links to Dr. Gibala's HIIT research here at McMaster. His summary of the interval work is very well presented and summarized. Definitely worth the listen.

Visit here for more info about his research.
Mar 25, 2017 10:33 PM # 
To sort of confirm gordhun's observation-
I am slowing with age because the period of recovery from injury lengthens with each year, but the propensity for injury does not change. The resulting problem may be summarised as follows-
"Fitness becomes the occasional interruption between injuries".
Mar 26, 2017 1:26 AM # 
What would be interesting, to me, is if the routines they studied, 3x20second HI workouts, would condition a person to do well in a 40-70 minute orienteering race, or improve one's 10K time. These studies are aimed at providing a conditioning routine for time pressed, typically sedentary public. How well do they work for someone trying to maximize their performance in a race?
Mar 27, 2017 1:21 PM # 
coach, specific training programs for maximizing performance in those (and events of other distances) are provided in the book I mentioned above, but given the extent of research at this point, it's reasonable to say that the ideal fitness training program for people at older ages remains to be determined. However, it is indicated that added intensity can mean greater performance benefits with a reduction in hours spent training. Some flexibility is possible in the recommended programs by varying the length of the training "week", but the training programs still require putting in a fair amount of time.
Mar 27, 2017 4:54 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
When you don't have enough time to put in lots of Long Slow Distance (LSD), higher intensity/interval training is the only real alternative, right?

I really believe that training is quite specific, i.e. you get better at what you train, so in order to run faster in the terrain while orienteering you need to train exactly that.

Almost all my high-intensity training each year is in the form of 75-80 orienteering competitions, then I do (indoor) rock climbing about twice/week both because it is fun and because it is very good max strength/core body training.

My rock climbing group (where I am just a junior apprentice) calls itself "Geriatric Climbing Company", the full members are from 70 to 85 years old! It is quite amazing to watch a lady (80+) power herself up past the overhangs, particularly when you know that she started when she was 75.
Mar 27, 2017 5:15 PM # 
Rugby was indeed very good this weekend - take a look ;)
Mar 27, 2017 10:54 PM # 
Terje - your post gives me (as another late starter to climbing) much hope!
Mar 28, 2017 9:21 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@slow-twitch: The lady was a late starter, I have been rock climbing for ~40 years, and before that I climbed on everything tall I could find, i.e. my parents usually located me near the top of the tallest tree near the orienteering event of the day.

My most active period was probably around 1980 when I did 900 hours/year of climbing and gymnastics, plus around 200 hours of orienteering, volleyball, white water kayak, downhill & xc skiing and a few more sports. Around this time I was one of the 5 best climbers in the country (there were no competitions at that time, but everyone knew who the two best were and I was in the 3-5 group.)

10 years later, in Utah 1991-92 I got to train on an indoor wall for the first time, this helped increase my technical ability to the point where I could climb harder routes than before (5.12 c/d) even though I was probably less strong. I also got to climb in one of the very early competitions held on the outside of the tallest building in the Snowbird ski resort area.

I got back to climbing indoors the winter before I was 44, the following season I won my first veteran national championship. When the pattern repeated itself 5 years later I decided to believe there is a connection between rock climbing core body strength and the ability to run fast in the terrain. :-)

Anyway, these days I'm happy to flash a Norwegian 7 (i.e. 5.11), as soon as the grading touches 8 (easy 5.12) I know I'll have to rest one or more times to work out the moves.

This discussion thread is closed.