Excerpts from Dara Torres, Age is Just a Number
"I also remembered the straightforward nature of life in the pool. You know exactly where your're coming from. You know exactly where you're going. It is easy to state your goals. Tasks and obligations are well defined. Life outside the water is so maddeningly full of complexity and nuance. I liked being back in the pool. The lines are clear and straight."
...lifestyle, not genetics, is the primary reason older athletes tend to slow down... Most people, as they reach their thirties, place more piroity on their jobs and famiies, as well they should. but as a result they downgrade their worout goals from achieving peronsal bests to stayig in shape. this might be the right decision or many. But if you still have athletic ambiitions, ifyou still want to compete and win, there's no reason you have to give up.
"So how long can peak athletic performance last? Accrding to the Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, both eleite and non-eleite runners and swimmers can maintain personal bests until age 35, after which point (for most people, and the most is important) performance delcies in a gradual, linear fashion until about age 50 to 60 for runners, or 70 for swimmers. Deterioration is the exponential from there. The Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory also found that swimmers experience more modest declines than runners, and that swim sprinters, like myself, experience the smallest declines of all. "
Oh yeah, I like that last sentence!