Which leads me to the question if you do things to combat that, do you atrophy/age muscles around the calf/ankle as fast? Can you stave off that decline for another 2-3 or 5 or 10 years?
I would say "yes, but...". I think the workouts can be changed to combat these particular issues and give older runners their best chance from an injury/strength/performance standpoint. However, I would still expect to see eventual performance loss generated by the necessary reduction in total milage from those workout changes.