Masters Men Team

Atlanta Track Club 70+ Team Members
Atlanta Track Club 70+ Team Members

I have only been a member of the Atlanta Track Club Masters Men team for a couple of months, but boy am I impressed. This year I will joining the 70+ division of that team in a few short months, so they went ahead and added me to their group and their email list.

They travel around the country attending track meets. At the first of the year they do a schedule of events they will be attending and target certain meets to try to get enough points to win as a team.

Morris, a member who is the coordinator for this 70+ group, is on top of it with daily updates on schedules, travel and lodging to events, team assignments, weather and event updates, member updates, results  and lots more.

Cohesive Team Mates

This is a cohesive team and each member can “reply to all” on any of Morris’s emails and give their own updates and status, congratulate other members on their accomplishments, offer condolences  to injury members and more. A member recently had a DVT in their leg after a meet and the members offered condolences but also offered many interesting ways to help prevent this from happening.

The passion shown by all members is truly amazing and inspiring. These men love being part of this dynamic group and it shows.

Preparation is one of the most important parts of being a master athlete.  There are seminars about how to properly stretch and warm up and just as important how to take time for recovery. Team members offer great tips and information to help all teammates be the best they can be.

The team has a stylist uniform and there are standards of how it is to be worn. I have learned about men’s tights, sweatbands, fit dry shirts, calf compression sleeves, and Thirty48 Ultralight Athletic Running Socks with Seamless Toe, Moisture Wicking and Cushion Padding. Not to forget the Powerstep shoe inserts.

But shoes are where it gets interesting. At the indoor meet in NC last week, Al had a pair of 3.3 oz racing flats for the 1 mile and another pair of shoes with more support for the 3K.  When you find a pair of shoes you like, most go ahead and buy at least one more pair. Al says he has one special pair he only uses for racing and they are a few years old.

I found out about the Garmin watch that does everything from recording your sleep to very beneficial information on your race and practice efforts. It shows speed in miles per hour or minutes per mile. The steps per minute and stride length are helpful for us race walkers.  Heartbeats and other information can be downloaded to your phone or desktop.  It charts the information too.

There is even a small lap counter watch for your index finger.

Then There Is The Racing

Oh, then there is the racing.  After all the training and preparations and many times traveling across the county, you attach your bid number to your shirt and are walked to the start line for the moment of truth.

Your mental, emotional and physical conditioning will be on display, then be recorded for anyone in the world to see.

Masters competition is set up by  age brackets and gender, but many times in actual competition you will be racing against many others, sometimes even youths.  Medals are awarded to the first three in each age/gender bracket.

At this level, team members are out to win. The winner many times only finishes a second  or two ahead. Each racer knows what their personal best time is and tries to better that.

The competition is actually one of the easiest parts. You get that feeling of accomplishment and knowing you have done your personal best. I had this feeling in high school sports and thought those days were over, but now I know they are not.  I have a lot to look forward to with the Atlanta Masters 70+ Men Track Team.

Robert Fowler

3K Race Walk SE Region USATF Masters
3K Race Walk SE Region USATF Masters
Active Adult Living Retirement

Moving Well

Taking a seminar about moving well gives some good ideas for improvement.

I participate the USATF Master division and am a member of the USATF Georgia Race Walk Committee.  I attended a day long seminar called “Putting the Pieces Together”, An Athletic Wellness, Health Promotion, Injury Rehabilitation & Prevention Podium Masterclass.

Wow, what a name, but it was excellent and I want to share some of the ideas because they apply to everyone.

Dr Josh Glass, with Georgia Sports Chiropractic travels with our USA Olympic Team and shared the things Olympic athletes told him that are important to their success. Some surprised me.

Nutrition and Sleep are just as important as training.

To get good sleep, cut off electronic devices well before bedtime and that includes phones, computers and TV. Going to bed at the same time everyday helps. Getting 8 to 10 hours of sleep would be great. Naps are good too. For more sleep tips he recommends the Sleep to Live Institute.

He says rest is training too so have a recovery plan. Your workout breaks down the muscle, but the rest and recovery period is where the improvement happens.

Take a day off if your body tells you to.

Write Things Down

If you really want to improve, then keep a log and write things down. When you wake up in the morning, write down  your heartbeat. Record how many hours you slept. When you go walking or training, write down how far, how fast and the route. You can add some notes about how you felt, the weather, etc. When you take a day off, write that down.  This will help balance your training and recovery, help track  your progress and motivate you.

Work the Basics

Do cross training and vary your exercise activity.  Don’t just walk the same path, distance or speed everyday, but vary your exercise.  Try several things, like maybe walk but also go to the gym a couple of days a week and play pickleball. That’s my mindset right now.

Work the core of your body.  Building a stronger core helps with just about everything we do and your core does not get enough attention. You need at least a basic routine to strengthen your core muscles, which will stabilize your spine and pelvis. Some weight training of the upper and lower body is needed and will help bone density as well.

Building a stronger core will help you keep your balance and reduce your chance of falling.

More Good Ideas

Remember to keep moving. Don’t sit too long.  We live in an Active Adult Community so take advantage.

Get a massage on a routine basis. This helps muscle recover. Stretch before bedtime. You really can’t stretch too much. Get a trigger point foam roller and do self massage.

Stay hydrated/Stay Fueled. Make sure you’re getting the correct amount of water for your body weight. Include a sports drink with electrolytes for before, during and after your training. Refuel with a good source of carbohydrates and protein should be eaten soon after each run, ideally in the first 15 – 20 minutes.

Keep a longer time perspective. Don’t get discouraged with setbacks we all have. I think the log idea above will help to see your progress over time.

Well Dr Glass with Georgia Sports Chiropractic was only one of the three speakers who were equally informative but as not to get too lengthy in this post, I will save the others until later. In the meantime, I am going to take a nap. 🙂  Robert

race walk seminar