A case for longevity.

We all have goals. They could be training goals, body composition, lifestyle and health, or to perform better at specific sports. Whatever those goals are there seems to be this mad rush to get there! ‘If I don’t make it this year I never will’ or setting ourselves an unrealistic 3 month goal of adding 20% to our back squat. But, with these ambitious goals (there is nothing wrong with ambition) or these unrealistic time frames we can put ourselves at risk. We risk injury, burnout, going so hard and so intense that we fall out of love with the training or sport.

And this is why we need to think about training for longevity.

I have had many personal goals in the past. A sub 6 minute 2km row, a 2:10 Fran, 30 plus rounds on Cindy, or more recently strength goals. Some I have hit, most I have missed, but all are still there as opportunities to improve and to strive towards. The big thing for me is that they are long term goals. They are there to be aimed for in the long term, and in the case of the sub 6 minute 2km row, it was a goal from when I was 15 years old and I’m still a couple of seconds off at 40 plus but that’s okay!


Each year I set out my goals, I reassess what went well and what didn’t work the previous year and I work out how I can train towards my goals and maintain my health, my work, life, and training balance. I work out how I can prevent or minimise the risk of injury and I put in place a plan to train hard, do my best, but ultimately make sure I can do this for many years to come.

2020 has not gone to plan.

A global pandemic, a random accident and knee injury (non training related) and the things I had planned for this year are out of reach. That’s okay. As I mentioned above I want to strive towards these things for many years to come. Should I double my training? Should I rest less and push beyond my means now to catch up? No. This will only lead to overtraining, higher injury risk, and most likely take me further from my goals than ever. I will still employ the things I have in the past couple of years and come the end of 2020 be happy with what I achieved and ready for 2021.

Simply put I will continue to…

  • Rest at least one day per week.
  • Not be afraid to take an extra day off when my body feels run down.
  • Mobilise as much as I can.
  • Eat the best diet I can full of fruit and veggies but still enjoy the things I love.
  • Enjoy what my body can do at 40 plus and not worry about what it can’t.
  • Find safe ways to increase my capacity and strength over time.

The case for longevity is clear. Spend one year smashing yourself into the ground and maybe achieve your goals. Or spend as many years as you want enjoying your training, celebrating the wins and learning from the failures. I love sport and what the human body can do far too much to go for the former. I want to be using my body and training and playing sport for many years to come and that’s why I train for longevity and long term goals.