Preparing Baby Boomers for Athletic Competition

By: William Truax

A few years ago I decided it would be fun to take part in Masters level track competition. I was a Discus thrower in high school and college but haven't thrown in any competition since 1966!

So I started training to get ready for competition once again. Boy did I have a rude awakening.

A 60 year old body with an 18 year old mind is a dangerous combination. Yes, I thought I would simply do what I did before. Lift weights, spin, and throw.

Well nature and time have changed all the body parts that go into Discus throwing and I am sure all the other sports activities that some folks our age want to do.

We all hear about the weekend warriors spending time in the ER and then in rehab. Now I know why.

Fortunately we have a son who is a Sports Medicine doctor and Osteopath who can treat and prescribe for me - not medications, but my conduct.

His first prescription was to slow down. Most of the injuries I experience are due to overuse. We try to do too much, too soon, and too often.

Secondly, he said our tendons and ligaments are much tighter and less flexible that when they were 18, so he prescribed a stretching routine that requires a lot of time - but really prepares me for training.

And third, we simply don't heal as quickly as we did years ago. So take it easy. His 3rd prescription, train for quality, not quantity.

These were hard to get used to, since my memory bank was set at 1966 when stretching took 20 seconds and injuries healed over night.

But, training for Sports competition has advanced so much in the past 40 years that preparation today is entirely different. What we did back in the old days would never get us any where today;

I recommend that you find a couple of nice young trainers. One for flexibility like yoga, pilates, or ballet - I have a ballet instructor ( in 1966 I would never have even considered that!). And then find an expert in your chosen field of competition.

So take it easy and enjoy the competition.

Let me know how you are doing.

Bill Truax

? Copyright 2007 WJ Truax

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