Meet Sister Madonna Buder. She has completed 45 Ironman triathlons and 325 marathons, despite only taking up running in her late 40s. She’s also the star of a new Nike ad released as part of the Rio Olympics campaign.
The event itself also provided further stories of athletes competing beyond the conventional retirement age for their sport. Oksana Chusovitina, a 41-year-old gymnast from Uzbekistan, and Kristin Armstrong, a 42-year-old cyclist from the USA, are both still training daily and pushing themselves to their limit.
While there is no denying that age does impact performance and recovery time – generally after 40 – this is far more pronounced in people that are sedentary so it’s best to keep moving. If you’ve always wanted to run a 10k, climb a peak, do a triathlon but feel as though the time has passed, then channel your inner badass nun and go for it.
Retirement – traditionally a phase for ‘taking it easy’ could be the perfect time to fulfill a fitness ambition. You’ll likely have more time to train and to focus on good nutrition. Furthermore, working towards a fitness goal can provide a routine and sense of purpose sometimes lacking without a daily work schedule.
And if you need any further inspiration, the oldest woman to complete a marathon was last year in San Diego and she was 92. Still think you’re too old?