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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

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Old 08-20-05, 09:17 PM   #1
GrannyGear
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Riding Over the Hill.....Intensely!!

Another thread, "Developing Spin Endurance", brought a general response that we may look like duffers but don't have to ride like 'em. In Joe Friel's book, "Cycling Past 50", he suggests that naturally declining performance with age can best be battled with intensity work--not just long, slow distance alone.

Question: How many of us never say die duffer types are including hill-repeats, intervals, racing for the city limit sign, pushing into the discomfort zone in a planned way, etc....IOW, purposefully hanging our toes on the edge of blowing up.

This has nothing to do with denying aging, pretending to be young, etc. Just being our best whatever that is, or can be, for us each.
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Old 08-21-05, 02:01 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrannyGear
Another thread, "Developing Spin Endurance", brought a general response that we may look like duffers but don't have to ride like 'em. In Joe Friel's book, "Cycling Past 50", he suggests that naturally declining performance with age can best be battled with intensity work--not just long, slow distance alone.

Question: How many of us never say die duffer types are including hill-repeats, intervals, racing for the city limit sign, pushing into the discomfort zone in a planned way, etc....IOW, purposefully hanging our toes on the edge of blowing up.

This has nothing to do with denying aging, pretending to be young, etc. Just being our best whatever that is, or can be, for us each.
I go out for distance riding, and the main thing about this type of riding is to save as much energy as possible for later in the ride. It is pointless racing up an early hill, just to be suffering later on. Those long hills are taken at around 90 % of my maximum heart rate, but usually finish up with reaching or exceeding my max at some point. There is no way that I can stay with the speed merchants, but then there is no way that they can do the distance rides either. Mind you, those short sharp hills of up to about 200metres are taken with a bit of aggression. There is nothing more pleasing than to get the excuse from the younger riders that they were in the wrong gear, or the gears slipped, as I beat them to the top of the rise for the 2nd time that morning. Even that takes a lot out of me, but this is not me pretending yo be young- it is my ego showing the youngsters that I still have it, occasionally.
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Old 08-21-05, 03:52 AM   #3
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funny you ask, as I've been wanting to develop my hill climbing, so just this morning I found a .5 mile circuit in a residential neighborhood that had about .2 steep uphill and .3 more gentle return. goal: to do it 3 x as leisurely as necessary, just do it. I ended up pounding it 10 x and amazingly the last time was easier than the first. Tomorrow I'll try my more usual road route with some hills, just to see whether my strength has improved at all. But I expect I'll continue to use this circuit, maybe expand the uphill length and the reps.

I did rest after 5x for 5 minutes. A homeowner saw me standing at the base of the hill and chastised me for stopping and not attacking the hill. I didn't let on that I'd been up it 5x already, with 5x more to go.
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Old 08-21-05, 05:10 AM   #4
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First - I've found that you do indeed need a good base on which to build, fo me its about after the 1000 mile YTD (year to date) mark. Then I try to ride 4 days per week with ONE hard ride (usually saturday morning) I have one favorite hill, 1.25 miles, 5 1/2 % grade average, best time 6min, 23 sec, 2nd trial (repeat) 6min 33 sec.
Then I have a follow-up ride sunday AT WHATEVER MY BODY SAYS. Sometimes I feel good and 'go for it' meaning my best effort, but I listen carefully to my body. Same hill usually gives a 8-9 min time.
Monday or Tuesday Off, with a short ride , then a wednesday/thursday LSD ride.
I've found that a 'all- out effort' meaning exactly what you proposed, is good for ME only 1 day a week, 2 if my body says OK, but I need a LSD ride at a 65% HR and its just important. Also is a short 'look at the landscape ride' shortly (day or 2 at most) after a max effort. It helps clear out the cramps.

I've used this technique from past years and this is the best year I've had. BTW - I'm 58.
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Old 08-21-05, 05:36 AM   #5
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Yes, as much as I can given my current heart condition. And I have had a noticeable improvement the past three-four weeks in getting up hills.

However, I do have problems with endurance on longer steeper hills, and have to stop and rest. At 70% heart function, just can't pump enough mitochondria out to those muscles.

I have really missed being able to monitor my progress with a HRM since I have no regular beat.

But, if all goes well this FRIDAY!!!, that will all change, and no one can stop me!

Last edited by DnvrFox; 08-21-05 at 05:43 AM.
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Old 08-21-05, 08:11 AM   #6
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Joined up with 3 new riders this morning, as they were doing the same route as me. 2 were on bikes that had too high a gearing for the hills they were contemplating and true to form, they had to walk up the long one. The other bike had sensible gearing on it for the hills, and this rider did cycle all the hills. These were 30 yearolds, and apparantly they go out every week, but this is the first time I had come across them. The ridiculous thing is that these are the hills I tackle most weeks, and although I was puffing a bit by the top, they were easy. What was not easy though was the pace of one of the riders, whilst pushing his bike. I do not like being passed by a walker,pushing his bike up the hill, when all I want to do is slow down to reserve a bit of energy. Had my revenge on the downhills though, as I have put a new suspension post on the Solo. It is for the Tandem really, but as my co-rider is on holiday, I am testing it on the solo. This works and is one of the Cane Creek Thudbusters. Not cheap, but on this one ride, I can see why it is rated as the best suspension post made.

Edit. I missed the point of this reply.I can remember when I started riding my local hills 15 years ago. They are Hard. These 3 lads today are early in their cycling, just as I was. They are younger than me, they look fitter and stronger, and they may not have the right bikes. Give it another 6 months and I would not mind betting that they do not walk up any hill. In the meantime, their muscles will build up, their skills will arrive, but untill that happens- they will keep riding the hills until they get boring because they are too easy, hopefully in about 40 years.

Last edited by stapfam; 08-21-05 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 08-21-05, 08:15 AM   #7
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DnvrFox......Best wishes for this Friday. Having read so many of your posts since arriving here a while ago, as far as I'm concerned.......you're ALL heart!
David.
Naturally, you'll keep us posted when convenient.
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Old 08-21-05, 08:42 AM   #8
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Dnvr-ditto what Granny said. Let us know how Friday goes.

Granny-What I'm finding is that I'm just not able to really push myself to that next level where I know I need to be just doing it alone. I try to, but it's really hard to get my HR up to the level that's needed doing intervals by myself. What seems to be working for me is riding with some groups that are a little stronger than me which is making me push a little harder gear and also really push on the climbs. My heart rate goes up and stays up longer chasing those guys than it does if I'm out alone. I use my solo rides for getting in some base rides and recovering from rides like yesterday.
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Old 08-21-05, 09:00 AM   #9
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jppe,
Yes....totally agree. I can push myself when solo, but its more fun and motivating to have someone else's wheel to focus on.....even if that wheel slowly gets farther away.
Riding with somewhat faster riders and promising yourself you'll hang with them until some point ahead is a nice, concrete goal. Whether for fast riding or climbing. Then, when I come more slowly cruising in myself, I feel like I've accomplished something.

** At 58, I get it both ways: I can feel proud of myself for hanging in there, but also smile and shake my head when some youngster effortlessly motors away. 8-) My ego has grown more sensible with age.
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Old 08-21-05, 09:20 AM   #10
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I use a grading system to push myself. After I'm well into a workout ride I note the avg speed. I call maintaining the current average a "C." Bumping it by 1 mph gets me a C+ and so on. I often do this on a single speed riding pea-gravel trails. Bumping the average even 1 mph can be very tough. I really have to earn the occasional "A."

I'm still looking for a more hilly course. When I used to train for marathons, by the end of the training months, we used to charge up hills with defiance. I want that feeling again now that I ride bikes.
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