Meet the 86-year-old race walker with no plans of slowing down

As an athlete, Victoria's David Barlow is a bit of a late bloomer. He recently posted a great time as a race walker in the Oak Bay Half Marathon and revealed the secrets behind his success.

Senior citizen improved his time at Oak Bay Half Marathon, completing 10K in 1 hour 15 minutes

David Barlow keeps his pace during last weekend's Oak Bay Half Marathon in Greater Victoria. (Matt Cecill)

As an athlete, David Barlow is a bit of a late bloomer.

Barlow discovered his true passion — 10 kilometre runs — at the age of 86.

The senior citizen dramatically improved his time last weekend at the Oak Bay Half Marathon, completing the 10K portion in one hour and fifteen minutes.

"It's a very fast walk," he told All Points West host Robyn Burns. "It's a good speed and it's a good exercising speed. … I do have a good speed all around."

Barlow isn't a runner; he calls himself a race walker. When the Times Colonist 10K had a race walking category, he once placed as high as 11th in the standings of that event.

But he says he surprised himself by his good time at the Oak Bay Half Marathon, which was better than many people younger than him.

So what's the secret to Barlow's success?

He says a small metronome has been instrumental in getting his pace up during training.

"It gives that pace and it keeps me concentrated, because that is part of training," he said.

"I was wondering how I could keep a constant speed and go a bit faster the next day. I used to try and time myself with a watch. That was OK but just not really very practical."

He had the metronome in his hand as he ran the Oak Bay race, and he says it helped encourage him.

The other trick in his training is running with a backpack filled with about 30 pounds of weight that he wears for about six to eight kilometres.

His favourite place to train is Clover Point where there's a measured kilometre.

"I tend to use that and time it and turn back and walk 'round again," he said.

"The sky is different every day. Sometimes it's windy, sometimes it isn't. Sometimes you're dodging dogs. Sometimes you're weaving through people, but it's always a pleasure to be there."

Barlow says age isn't a barrier to fitness, but when it comes to race walking success, "some people are built for it and some people aren't."

Listen to the full interview:

With files form CBC Radio One's All Points West