I'm just over a year into riding a bike after many years as a couch potato. Progress has been good, I think - lost a load of weight, bought two new bikes, both of which I really like, got plenty of miles and smiles under my belt with some fond memories of long rides around the State (WI), some short bikepacking trips and a handful of Century rides.
But…..I'm feeling like my fitness has hit a plateau. I'm sure it's a normal consequence of 'adaptation'. When I started out last year everything was difficult, everything was a strenuous workout. Now I can spend far more time in the saddle and feel far less drained afterwards.
But I don't feel that my overall fitness is continuing to advance. At least not at any noticeable pace.
So I've thought about it and what I've come up with is this - there's a big difference between riding and training. I've been focused on the former and have given little thought over the months to the latter.
I guess it's the same in any sport, if you want to get better, fitter, you have to stop playing and start training. Or at least to introduce training into your routine at some level.
So I picked up a copy of 'The Cyclist's Training Bible', by Joe Friel.
I'm keen to try some Tabata training and I've downloaded a timer app for my iPhone which I plan to try out tomorrow.
I've been thinking about this transition for a while but I haven't been certain that I wanted to apply myself and make the extra effort. Now I'm thinking that it's the only way to advance.
So I'm wondering - have any of you over 50's been through this thought process? Sacrificing some of your recreational riding time and introducing more intense training methods, to try to boost your fitness? I'm not talking about tackling the occasional hill, I'm thinking of something more structured.
I don't want to race or do anything competitive, but I'd like to increase my riding distances and pace. My goal is to do 100mile rides at around the 17-18mph range on my gravel bike. The closest I've come is around 16mph and finished without much left in the can.
Thoughts…ideas….tips….feedback….suggestions....all would be appreciated!