Eating right and fueling up well will also make a big difference. If you're currently just surviving on junk or convenience food, take note.
Many athletes don't pay necessary attention to nutrition during workouts. Fueling properly during workouts will also benefit your recovery.
What you're looking for is relevant improvements in the areas you might struggle with most. Instead of adding an extra 30- to 45-minute aerobic run to your weekly training regimen, focus on improving mobility, strength and elasticity. The extra endurance workout may give you a marginal gain of 1-2 percent, but by increasing your strength, you can boost your performance as much as 10 percent.
Work on the foundation and not much on endurance. What we lack the most is what we lose as we get older: mobility, speed, strength/power and elasticity. As you age you're not getting slower due to lack of endurance.
Endurance training starts when you're born with the first beats of your heart, so the older you are the more endurance you have.
You might be wondering how much difference can an improvement of one percent actually make? Over the course of a race lasting two or more hours, it can get you across the finish line a lot sooner than you might expect. For example:
- 1-percent improvement in a 2:30-hour Olympic-distance triathlon equates to over a minute quicker.
- 1-percent improvement in a 5:15-hour half-Ironman equates to over five minutes quicker.
- 1-percent improvement in a 13:30-hour Ironman race equates to an improvement of just over eight minutes.