At 37 years young I don't snap back quite as quickly as I did in my late 20s and early 30s from a longer bout of time off and detraining. Last season I toned it down a bunch, which kept me 'fit and healthy' but not competitive at a top age-group level in this nutty triathlon sport. Now we're heading into the spring season, and I'm just beginning to feel like I might be able to nudge the speed and effort up a bit.
The literature on sport and aging has always pointed out these sorts of things, but now I'm living the reality of getting older while still attempting to be somewhat competitive on a regional, if not national (amateur wise) level.
A few issues of note:
>I require more recovery time from intense workouts like track intervals or Kung Fu, which is very anaerobically demanding. If I run hard on Tuesday, riding hard on Wednesday is difficult.
>The weight is not coming off like it used to. Part of that is related to living in a colder climate, but the other part is strictly being older. Fortunately I am down ten pounds from my Christmas peak, but I have another eight to ten to go to ideal race shape.
>Good sleep is required. You twenty-five year olds can burn the candle at both ends for weeks at a go, but these days if I'm not getting near eight hours everything suffers - mental acuity, drive, physical performance, and my face sags like an old hound dog.
>Top end speed disappears much more quickly and takes much longer to regain. It is taking a lot longer than I expected to regain my quickness on the track and top end power on the bike - what little I had to begin with. This is worth noting in particular, in future years I will not forego some year round speed/power work.
>Bri is getting hotter as she gets older, which totally rocks.