Most people know that your muscle mass decreases with age, starting from age 30, accelerating from age 50. Resistance training (weights in particular) can slow and even reverse that decline. That's why I do them.
Not as many people know that your balance also goes as you get older - not just when you're ancient. In fact at this year's Brathay 10 marathons in 10 days Challenge they are measuring ability to balance before and after each run.
But as with your muscle, so with your balance - you can halt/postpone the decline by practising. And it's important because it's partly about your core muscles, and also about lots of small muscles in your legs and ankles. So practising strengthens all of these - and you run better. And don't fall over as much!
I'm hopeless at balancing - particularly on my useless right foot which is being especially useless at the moment. But I'm getting better - you will often find me making a cup of tea flamingo like. Not pink - but on one leg. I've also got a wobble board which I use in front of the tv.
If you really want a bit of fun - try it with your eyes shut. I'm worse than a 70 year old is supposed to be. But I don't know where they get these figures from as most people I know are worse than a 70 year old. I think the oldies must have been peeking when they were tested!
Life's also proved to be a balancing act these recent weeks - actually a bit out of balance with too much work and not enough time for training. And so long without a marathon means that to be fit for Winderemere (20 May) I've got to go back to my long training runs - I don't like it! But nevertheless I prefaced a lovely lazy weekend away with friends with a 20 miler on Friday night. All went well except my right foot is seriously collapsed at the moment - wearing the wrong shoes during the week is much to blame.
However, I will practice what I preach and run through it!! (Remember Heaton - if you were a caveman you would die if you didn't hunt - and you're not going to let yourself die just because your foot hurts a bit. so get out there and run run run)
Congratulations to everyone who's done London today - many friends have recorded awesome times. And special mention to one of my wife's colleagues - Clare Wallace - who completed in just over 6 hours with a cello on her back!! www.extremecello.com