Athletics Sports

OLD is not OUT

Seven tips to like Alejandro Valverde is still to become a world champion on your 38th

OLD is not OUT

He already has gray hair, is more than twice as old as the youngest neoprofs and is to wielernormen advanced in years. Nevertheless, Alejandro Valverde is in his 38th year, best of the whole world. How can that be? Two experts give tips and tricks: old is not out.

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Alejandro Valverde. Christof Stache/afp

Seven tips to like Alejandro Valverde is still to become a world champion on your 38th

OLD is not OUT

He already has gray hair, is more than twice as old as the youngest neoprofs and is to wielernormen advanced in years. Nevertheless, Alejandro Valverde is in his 38th year, best of the whole world. How can that be? Two experts give tips and tricks: old is not out.

Wim Vos

1. Choose an endurance sport

It is not an absolute must. Roger Federer is on his 37th also still a world champions in tennis. But who as a mature thirty-something still an absolute gem wants to be, choose better for endurance sports. ‘Marathons, cycling, triathlon’, admits Paul Van Den Bosch, topsportcoach of EnergyLab. “Those are the sports in which you mature in their thirties often see shine. That’s not even a new entry. Joop Zoetemelk was over thirty years ago already world champion in his 38th. Just as Carlos Lopez in the same period, even though on his 38th world record in the marathon picked up.’ The reason for this? ‘The heavier the sport, the more pure endurance. And just, endurance is a trait that you as a mature thirty-something still not lost.’

2. Simply by

Condition one who wants to shine on his 38th: do not stop on your 37th. Sounds simple, but it is not. Still, the many people in the head that an athlete old once the 30 is over, and that he certainly is when he is 35 approaching. ‘While that is not the case”, says Van Den Bosch. “Especially thanks to the sports science has. In the past trained many athletes too hard. The more training, the better, they thought. So that their body is on their 35th completely exhausted. Today we know a lot more about the balance of effort, relaxation. That leaves a long career.’ Plus: “The top-class sport follows the evolution of the entire society. Everything moves on. The average age is getting higher – people are getting older. The average active age is getting higher – just think of all the active zestigers. Why would you not longer sport can do?”

3. Be only with profit satisfied

The mental component. You also have to so long can and want to sustain it. Sports psychologist Jef Brouwers calls it ‘internal motivation’. ‘Who is on his 38th still performs like Valverde, who must have an incredible drive have, ” he says. ‘You see that. Why competes and wins Valverde from February to October? Because he has a great urge to excel. Who has no other ambition than to win. Even in competitions that others may have already preparation races.’ Van Den Bosch agrees: “I remember stories about how Valverde as a child, though each race was that he drove.’ The Spaniard won between his tenth and thirteenth in all competitions in which he participated. “It earned him the nickname El Imbatido . The unbeatable. Not by chance does someone with such a drive until his 38th and last longer.’

4. Train a little less hard

And what if you as a mature thirty something to wear on your body feel? Panic especially. “You explosiveness, maybe a little decrease,” explains Van Den Bosch. ‘See to Valverde: in the Walloon Arrow, he had still to travel against Alaphilippe. Just like your body at a later age, less easy to recover from an effort. But even then, there is no man overboard. After all those years, all those races and all those efforts have Valverde as many miles on the clock that you can speak of a unlikely basis. That would allow you to work out and some more recovery in between. It will be your performance really doesn’t harm. Is that Valverde is his body on his 38th through and through. That man is an open book for themselves. And he would physically still a small bit of compromise, then this is more than compensated by all the experience.’

5. Pull you have to do

‘Focus, Focus, focus.’ Say that the psychologist said: who is on his 38th still wants to shine, need structure and discipline, and especially do not be distracted. Not even by his past. Jef Brouwers: ‘Valverde for many years has been at every performance reminded of his dopingschorsing. But then you see his independent spirit. He pulls it. That is no coincidence. Sprinter Justin Gatlin was after a dopingschorsing on his 35th again world champion in the 100 metres. 80.000 man whistled to him, but he heard not.”

6. Take advantage of a long suspension

See it as a blessing in disguise. By his dopingschorsing was Valverde in 2010 and 2011, one and a half years are liable to the side. Van Den Bosch does not exclude that, on his 38th his advantage. ‘Valverde will have in that period been training hard’, it sounds. “But training or competition: it is a world of difference. By the long suspension, he has halfway through his career, his body one and a half years can recover. Crucial for an athlete. Just as he did last year after his crash in the Tour a half-year has not been able to rates. Is that bitter at that moment? Yes. But in the long term you’ll often be better off. Because your body will get strength. A healthy athlete has that time or not at all.’

7. Be boring

Forget that doping scandal and Valverde is a rather grey figure. Father of four children, neatly married and fourteen years with the same employer – Movistar.
On that rainbow jersey after: mr. average. But, according to Jef Brouwers, too, is no coincidence. ‘No distractions, lots of rest. So it should be.’ Because: “A stable environment do you function optimally. Why were the factories used to be houses for their workers near the factory? It gave them a stable life. Close to the family, always with the same employer. Do people perform better.’

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