As mountain professionals, we meet hundreds of people from all walks of life each year. The depth of fitness, ambition and experience each person holds is widely different. Still, familiar questions and discussion revolves around the longevity of guiding daily, season after season and just how to manage the body as we get older but still pursue our chosen sport and (for guides) occupation.
Undoubtedly, the physical abuse I put my body through during my younger years has significantly impacted my life today. When I think back on my history of injury, it gives me more motivation to look after myself more and more every day. Since 2013 I have experimented with diets, lifestyles and ways to prolong my fitness so I can keep enjoying the mountains with injury prevention and quicker recovery. I turned 40 in 2021; I know the next ten years will determine my longevity as a mountaineer and endurance runner. I put forethought into it every day. It is not a chore, and I recommend anyone who enjoys the mountains but ‘creaks’ every morning to do the same.
In the podcast; Longevity & Optimised Fat Metabolism, Billy Yang interviews Jeff Browning, an extremely accomplished endurance athlete and ultra runner. When I listen to Jeff, he resounds closely with my recurring injury and training cycle history. Our historical record of dietary habits and strength training is also closely matched. The current methodology of the Paleo diet (with some flex) and a return to functional strength training is resounding. Think less sugar and healthier fats, and consciously mobilise ‘sleepy’ muscles and stiff joints.
Simply put, ageing endurance athletes could benefit from much more strength training and a more ‘natural’ diet with far less processed food than most are eating. I can’t help but be inspired by Jeff and his ability to keep running and competing for podiums in 100-mile races. I hope you enjoy it too.