This 73-Year Old Sprinter Shares His Secrets To Running Fast | Men's Health Magazine Australia

This 73-Year Old Sprinter Shares His Secrets To Running Fast

Few people can say that in their old age they’re running fast, let alone running at all. To surpass your 50s and be able to run with speed without first requiring a fistful of Ibuprofen is no simple feat, but for 73-year-old Charles Allie it’s a lived reality. For this speed star, he hasn’t stopped running since childhood. Having found success in the sport of athletics in his 40s, Allie now holds several world age-group records, including the 200 metres (24.65) and 400 metres (57.26). For 2016, 2018 and 2020, he was even named USATF Overall Masters Athlete of the Year. Pretty impressive for 73. 

In a recent interview with Men’s Health US, Allie shared his secrets to running fast. At his age, it’s a no-brainer that he should be slower than he is, particularly when the fast-twitch muscle fibres required for such explosive power and speed tend to get smaller over time. But Allie suggests his body just didn’t buy into that.

“I’ve been fortunate not to have had any major injuries. This may be due to how I train and eat,” he told the publication. “Breakfast – usually oatmeal, eggs, toast, fruit, orange juice or green tea – is my most important meal to fuel my body.” After that, it’s home-cooked meals with natural ingredients for the remainder of the day.

For Allie, most of his training is cardio-based and involves high-intensity sprinting as well as some middle distance work for recovery. He works on race skills like explosive starts but also balances this with stretching and weights, but for the latter he keeps it light and lifts at a faster pace “to enhance the muscles I use in sprinting.”

He told Men’s Health, “As I look at my senior generation, I realise that we will be faced with some life-threatening health issues. As an African American, I am aware that we may be faced with even greater health issues than other people are.”

He added, “Some of these health issues can be lessened if we take control over our physical and nutritional health. Eliminate the excuses! I believe the confidence and health benefits gained by doing so outweigh the efforts it takes to work out and sweat a little.”

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