I have written about several senior athletes in the past. Just recently Robert Marchand, from France, was on the news having set a world record in the 105-plus age category completing a 14.010 (22.247) mile biking event. He did this in one hour.
Nearly a century ago, Robert was told by a coach that he should give up cycling because he would never achieve anything on a bike. That is a terrible assumption to put on anyone! Especially by a coach!
Robert said that he didn’t see the sign notifying him that he had 10 minutes left, “otherwise I would have gone faster, I would have posted a better time.” He said he wasn’t even tired!
Three years ago at the same venue, Robert covered 16.731 miles (26.927 kilometers) in one hour to better his own world record in the over-100s category.
He also felt that he was slower because he stopped eating meat and felt that was a big mistake. But he does have a big heart (physically and hopefully personally), which pumps a lot of blood and he can reach high heart beat values that are exceptional for his age, said Billat, a university professor. “If he starts eating meat again and builds more muscle, he can better this mark.”
Like the other senior athletes that I have written about, Robert wasn’t always involved in exercise. He was born in 1911 in the northern town of Amiens, France. He was a former firefighter (which is a very strenuous job), who was born in 1911 in the northern town of Amiens, France. He lived through two world wars. He led an eventful life that took him to Venezuela, where he worked as a truck driver near the end of the 1940s. He then moved to Canada and became a lumberjack for a while.
Back in France in the 1960s, Robert made a living through various jobs that left him with no time to practice sports. He finally took up his bike again when he was 68 years old and began a series of cycling feats.
He is 5 feet tall and weighs 115 pounds. He rode from Bordeaux to Paris, and Paris to Roubaix several times.
His coach and good friend is Gerard Mistler. I believe he found a good one!
NEVER TO LATE TO START
Even 75 or older can gain benefits from exercise at any level. It has to be a daily regime and can help all of us live longer and healthier!
Older men and women even if they’ve reached the age of 75 + who start walking for a mile or so every day can take their risk of heart disease or stroke in half over the next 10 years. Other activities such as lawn-mowing, gardening, swimming, biking also have a protective effect.
Tufts University has done many studies on people who have started exercising in their “chronologically older years.”
One of their studies recruited 4,207 men and women who had an average age of 73, and also included some who were 75 or older and stayed in touch with them over the following 10 years, assessing their health and physical activities. Those who regularly walked at a pace faster than three miles per hour cut their risk of heart disease, stroke, and heart failure in half. It even lowers your chances of getting diabetes and some forms of cancer and depression.
Even 10 minute spurts are fine, as long as they add up to about 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week. But perhaps the most striking aspect of the study was that even those in the trial who hadn’t exercised before still got the same health benefits. Just walking 30 minutes a day may cut risk of stroke by 20 – 40%.