What is Your Glide Ratio?

Well, I got a great response from yesterdays post on “insuring” your body with strength training.

Thanks to everyone who got in touch, it seems the concept really spoke to a lot of you.

So I want to expand slightly on this.

I was always inspired by the older athletes that I saw in my youth.

From Jack Parker, my Karate instructor. He’s clearly my biggest influence.
To Chef Ward, head chef at the hotel in the Lake District I worked at. Mike Ward was a runner. He’s about 20 years older than me. And he left me in the dust. Every single time.
Eventually I could keep on his heels on the climbs, but downhill and on the flat, he was a machine.

In the same hotel we had Mr Charles, the Maitre’d. He was as old school as they come. Older again than Chef, but just as tough.
A man who worked spilt shifts 5-6 days per week and either ran or cycled the 4 miles to and from work for at least one of the shifts each day.

When he went off for keyhole surgery on his knee, he was back cycling almost the next day.

I spent several years working with these two gentlemen and learned a lot from them.

Mostly what I learned was that training is a long game.
Patience is rewarded.
Toughness comes from attitude and can be trained like any other attribute.
And that you never stop training, just like you never stop learning.

Since leaving the Lake District in 2001, I’ve met many other older athletes from a variety of backgrounds, martial artists, surfers, cyclists, bodybuilders, power lifters and everything in between.

But no one explains it like my online buddy, Mr Wolfgang Brolley from Stretch Physiotherapy in Seattle.

Wolf is an avid athlete with a penchant for insane endurance challenges.

And he’s no spring chicken.

He tells a story of a time he was on a flight.

An engine failed.

Naturally he was concerned, until a fellow passenger explained the concept of Glide Ratio.

In other words, in the event of total engine failure it’s how far the plane would travel forwards for every meter lost in height.

The higher it flies, the further it flies.

Think how applying this thinking to your health & fitness might change the way in which you look at training.

Aim high in your training, examine how the top people train, learn from experts, be inspired by athletes, especially the older athletes, and consider how you want to feel in 20, 30, 40 years time.

Get some altitude. And by that we’re talking Strength, Mobility and Endurance.
The more altitude, the further you will fly.


Dave Hedges


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