Olga Kotelko is an athlete. She holds 23 world records, mostly track records for the category of age 90 and up! Kotelko is 91 years old and runs, jumps, and throws a javelin in “masters” meets for those age 35 and over. Her success has led scientists to study her abilities in hopes of finding out how some bodies age at a predictable rate and others don’t.
Kotelko herself speaks often of the perils of getting carried away. “If you undertrain, you might not finish,” she says. “If you overtrain, you might not start.” But there’s some evidence that, in trying to find the sweet spot between staying in race shape and avoiding the medical tent, a lot of seniors athletes aren’t training hard enough — or at least, aren’t training the right way to maximally exploit what their body can still do.
(Image credit: Patrik Giardino for The New York Times)