Bend, Oregon's Lew Hollander may have reason to claim ownership of the greatest athletic feat of 2010. Really? Really! Here are the facts so you can decide for yourself if you agree.
Lew Hollander, a physicist by profession, finished the Ironman Triathlon Championships in Kona this past October, 2010, with a time of 15:48:40. While this time is nowhere close to the times put up by the top triathletes in this race, there is good reason to nominate Hollander's athletic performance in this triathlon as the best of 2010. For one, he is 80-YEARS-OLD! Here are the numbers that make the case.
- His time was only one minute slower than his 15:47 that he registered at his inaugeral Kona Ironman in 1985 -- a quarter century earlier
- He completed this very challenging course one hour and five minutes faster than he did in 2009 and only two minutes slower than his 2007 time three years earlier
- He has entered this race 21 times and finished within the 17-hour cutoff to be an official finisher all 21 times.
- The Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike race and then a 26.2-mile marathon -- one of the toughest of endurance athletic events in the world
- He's 80 YEARS OLD!
The cutoff time for the swim portion of this race is two hours twenty minutes. Hollander completed the ocean swim in 1:50:11, with almost 40 minutes to spare. He was equally strong on the bike, finishing the 112 miles in 7:14:10, or an average of about 16 miles per hour. And he finished the race within the 17-hour limit by an amazing hour and 11 minutes. His time was 33 minutes faster than the only other octogenarian (Robert McKeague, 2005) to ever complete an Ironman.
Hollander, who started out as a horseman and has excelled in endurance riding and ride and tie races with more than 150 wins, entered the world of marathons and triathlons in his fifties and now has completed about 50 of each. Let's look at some possible reasons why he has he been so successful in his athletic ventures at an age when most are settling for much more sedentary pursuits.
Part of his success can be found in his diet. Hollander believes in a diet loaded with fruits and vegetables, devoid of processed foods and assisted with food supplements including amino acids. He enjoys a morning wake-up cocktail, for example, that includes glutamine, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), cod liver oil, Chondroitin sulfate and other nutrients, all mixed into a tall glass of orange juice. He has other nutritional concoctions during the day and right before bed.
Another essential part of his program for athletic longevity and good health is exercise. His morning starts with 30 minutes of stretching. He runs three or four times a week for a total of about 20 miles; swims four or five times a week, about an hour at a time; and bikes as much as he can fit into his busy schedule. He doesn't have a set routine like so many athletes do, but rather does what he feels like that day. He has written that one should "go anaerobic every day." He does this by adding fartleks to his runs and pushing the pace on his bike and during his swims.
Although that may seem like a lot of exercise, it really is not for someone training for an Ironman. Typically, this training involves about 48 miles of running per week, or more than twice what Hollander puts in. So, in Hollander's case, there must be more. That more is probably his mental focus. One of his favorite expressions in this light is to "think young and be persistent." Keeping stress to a minimum is more important as we age because stress prevents one from recuperating from intense exercise such as what Hollander put his body through. He keeps his stress manageable by being active, involved and curious. His continuing as a physicist at an age when most retire from their life's work and his love of sport and competing keep him young. What's keeping you young?
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From Ed Mayhew -- the author of Fitter After 50, Fitter For Life and other books, CDs, videos and articles on how you, too, can make falling apart as you age merely an option -- NOT a mandate. Why not make the rest of your life the BEST of your life? http://www.FitterforLife.com and http://www.amazon.com/Age-Blasters-Steps-Younger-You/dp/1598589083/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276528674&sr=1-1 (click here for paperback or Kindle editions of AGE BLASTERS)
To find out more about Lew Hollander and how he stays so youthful, visit: http://www.lewhollander.com