This week's tip:

Training Express

Skating to stay in shape: A guide for skaters 30 and over

By Debbie Rice

Debbie Rice, skate bunny

2008 NROC champion Debbie Rice hasn't let hitting 40 slow her down.

Olympic swimmer Dara Torres showed us.

At 41, she won three silver medals at the Beijing Olympics and set an American record in the 50-meter freestyle, competing against younger women, many half her age.

Well, she's not the only successful "older" athlete. There are lots of us.

But the most important thing is to stay healthy and fit, so you can enjoy your life.

And with a little discipline, we can all do that.

Here's how:

1) Fight the real enemy.

The enemy isn’t age – it’s inactivity. The widely held belief that physical decline is inevitable once we pass 30 is a myth. There is no scientific reason why we cannot continue to perform at or near our peaks well into our 50’s. Serious declines often can be staved off until our late 70’s. Your muscles have memory; keep that memory alive and well, and your body will follow suit.

2) Go for quality not quantity.

Push hard, but not all of the time. Older athletes must make a few concessions to their advancing age, but easing up on the throttle during workouts is not one of them.

Don’t let your training session become stagnant. Try to shoot for faster times and additional reps.

However, people over 40 should not attempt to go all out all the time. Older bodies take longer to recover from strenuous workouts than younger bodies.  Schedule more rest days without guilt. And listen to your body – if you feel exhausted, you probably need to take a break and recuperate.

3) Stay in shape.

Getting back in shape is good. But never getting out of shape is even better.  Athletes who remain physically competitive after 40 usually don’t have to worry about getting back in shape – most of us never allow ourselves to get out of shape.


Debbie RiceDebbie Rice skated quads before inlines and became a master of both. She has won numerous titles, indoor and out, including the 2009 Master World Marathon Championship. She also holds the Guinness record for fastest woman on skates — 61 mph. A former cast member of the Roller Jam television series, she now jams for the Bont's Quaestor Derby Team. She is a Bont sales representative and team manager of Bont USA and Bont Quadstars Derby Team. A Houston native, she currently lives in Tampa.

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