Aging Up: An Introduction

  • By Ian Stokell
  • Published Jan 25, 2013
  • Updated Mar 5, 2013 at 7:07 PM UTC
Photo: Kurt Hoy

“Aging Up” is a new column from Ian Stokell. Each month Stokell will give insights into how to tackle the sport as you continue to move up the age-group ladder.

I have long subscribed to the school of thought that says an Ironman is easier than a marathon because you don’t have to start by running fast! The older you get, the more likely you are to join that school, not only because endurance is one of the few things about the body that does not decline much with age.

However, there are some old-school thinkers who maintain that as you get older things just wear out, and you should just keep training the way you always have, because there is nothing you can do about it anyway. For them, advancing age is always an excuse.

The reality though is different. While there are some changes—let’s put a positive spin on it and call them “body evolutions”—as you age, you need to adjust your training to accommodate and counter, as much as you can, any detrimental effects of aging. It can be done, but it needs specific work.

As the comedian George Burns once quipped: “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” My feelings exactly! And that should be the goal of every triathlete “aging up” into his or her next age group. You need to be proactive, specific and positive if you want to hold your own against Father Time, never mind the race clock.

“Aging Up” is a new monthly triathlon column about getting older, not about growing old. Over the coming months, I will address everything that the 40-plus aging-up masters triathlete needs to know.

So if you have a question about “getting older” as it relates to the masters triathlete, feel free to send me an email at


Sign up for our free e-newsletter, SBR Report!

Subscribe to the FREE Triathlete newsletter