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.