Who am I?
• Name: Damien Leake
• Age Group: 65-69
• Nationality: American
• Event (s):Sprints 50M – 60M – 100M – 200M – Long Jump
• When did I start Athletics: 2007
• Pre Masters Pbs 100 yards – in 9.7 at 15 years old
• Masters Pbs 50M – 6.61, 60M – 7.60, 100M – 11.68, 200M – 24.38, LJ – 5.64M
What is your biggest accomplishment as a ‘master-athlete’ so far? And how did/does it make you feel?
Winning the 100M Master National Championship 2 Consecutive years
2016 – 2017 Feels like it wasn’t a fluke.
Why do you still compete? What keeps you motivated?
I enjoy the training, the goal setting, and most of all the camaraderie.
How do you balance life and athletics?
I believe that you make it a big part of your lifestyle. If you train to compete with yourself it becomes a part of who you are., and that makes it harder to get lazy and let yourself get out of shape. It helps to surround yourself with like minded and supportive people. Keep trying to grow and get better, even as we age. And have fun.
What would you like to see happen to improve Masters Athletics as a sport?
I’d like to see more support and sponsorships from athletic companies. The New Balances, The Nikes, The Under Armours of the world are really missing the boat. They believe their target demographic is 18-34. Those kids don’t have any money. That group is working too hard to support a young family – Mortgage, car payments – Young kids in school etc. The over 50-60 crowd is retired or about to. Done with tuition, has time, is motivated or looking for ways to get involved and has disposable income. Shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure at least some of the athletic companies might want to pitch an appeal to these athletes.
When is your next master’s competition, Target?
Probably the Indoor Masters National Championships 2018
What is your diet like?
From January through October it’s pretty healthy and balanced. I don’t make it too restrictive because then I would just be miserable and that’s no fun. November almost through the holidays I call my Apple Pie season where it’s a little more relaxed. Limit my weight gain to no more than 5-6 pounds above my “fighting” weight.
• Supplements? In season I use BCAA’s
• Considerations for being an older athlete?
• Bare in mind that you are not 22 anymore. Train smart. Listen to your body. Rest when you need rest. Do not ignore pain. Figure or find out what is going on inside. Drink more water than may think you need (even though you may have to go the bathroom more often)
What is a typical training week for you? (Winter or Summer)
In season – 3-4 Times a week to the track. 3-4 times a week to the gym. Some of those are shared days. Mark the meets you’re performing in and work to be best when your best is called for. In Apple Pie season: just maintenance. 2-3 times a week to gym – light work, let my body recover and relax. Occasional jog. Bike riding, stretching, Balance and rotate the exercises for overall fitness.
What one or two things do you currently do in your training that is key to your success?
I continually fight what is a probably a natural tendency toward laziness, especially when some body part hurts. It’s very easy to let myself back off and get soft. So the getting after it again becomes more of a mental challenge than a physical one. So I constantly monitor my thoughts waiting to hear myself say “That’s ok D, we don’t have to do that today. Relax, take it easy.” That’s when I know I have to get up and do the right thing. Go work out because you don’t feel like it. Those turn out to be the most productive workouts.
Do you have any recommended resources to share (books, seminars, websites)?
I have a library of workout programs and philosophies that I borrow and try. Some seem to work for me, some not so much. But because I coach kids, I realize that some of these theories might work for some of them. So try to familiarize myself with what’s being taught in case it becomes useful. Innovation and differing ideas is what makes advancement. Every athlete is different. No “One size fits all.”
What was the best advice you were ever given?
“Try never to argue with an idiot, people watching might not know which is which.”
Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
“It’s only for a little while so, Don’t sweat the small stuff” and “Pick your battles … carefully.”
Where can people follow you? (Links to social media etc)
I have a website: Damienleake.com