Myth: The older you are, the longer it takes to recover.
Truth: Maybe not. “I devoted four-plus years of my life to this question and didn’t really come up with an answer,” says James Fell, Ph.D., senior lecturer and exercise science program coordinator at the University of Tasmania. “Anecdotally, the common thought is that more recovery or a reduced training load is needed. However, my research has not confirmed this.” He did find that older people said they felt more soreness and fatigue than younger ones felt. But their performance wasn’t affected by it—in one study, older cyclists rode just as hard whether they felt that fatigue and soreness or not. It’s possible that performance drops with age in part because people think they shouldn’t train as hard. His recommendation: If you do find that your body’s not ready for the next hard session, take more recovery time between sessions, but don’t reduce the intensity of those sessions.