Martin Rees's times as a vet (50 and 60) are truly phenomenal, However,for "mere mortals" like 99.99% of us, comparing our times to his is a bit like a 20 to 30 year old trying to match those of Mo Farah !
Hi Vet 1. 19.57 is a fantastic time for a Vet 60. Looking at the Runbritain rankings, that puts you joint 62nd for your age group in the UK this year (although I'm not sure they include Parkruns) which is very impressive.
Speaking as a "mere" 55 year old who has seen his 5K times decline inexorably from sub 20 to over 22 minutes since passing 50, I'm doubly impressed !
While Andrew's comment about not pushing too hard past 50 is valid, I think that ageing muscles, joints and tendons etc are likely to be a greater limiting factor for most of us and it's important to make sure you take plenty of rest and/or easy days in between hard sessions to avoid injury (which certainly does take longer to recover from as we age).
Most important of all - keep enjoying it. You're already at a very high standard, but if you do want a challenge, you could target the fastest V60 time this year - a barely believable 16'38" (unsurprisingly for those who follow vets athletics, that's Martin Rees).
Thanks Birkmyre - never tire of watching races from that era !
What I also always find so impressive about that 1977 World Cup 1500 (apart from the sudden burst of speed) is how effortless he makes it seem. Going through 400 M in about 55 secs and 800 M in about 1'53", Ovett never looks like he's doing anything more than jogging.
I think it will always be impossible to say who was best - they were both unarguably all-time greats, even though (like others) I was always an Ovett fan as he seemed easier to warm to.
One thing that doesn't always get mentioned when their head-to-head record is compared is that they were probably at their peak at different times. In 1977/78, Ovett seemed unbeatable. He was winning races for fun, often doing just enough to win and seeming to be uninterested in times. A great example is the 1977 World Cup where with about 300 metres to go he seemed to "flick a switch" and leave a top class field for dead (including John Walker who was the current Olympic champion). That was also the year when he decided on the spur of the moment to enter the Dartford Half Marathon and won it in 65 minutes, which shows the all-round shape he was in that summer.
I think Coe reached his peak later, around 1981/82 and his 800M times from those years in particular are still amazing.
It must also be true that their mutual rivalry (and later with others such as Cram and Elliott) spurred them on to greater and greater heights - bit like Kenyan marathon runners today.