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  1. #1
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    Training hard over 60.

    I live in an area where most people golf or watch sport. Therefore I rely on this forum for friendly advise.
    I am training hard for a big bike trip in April 2006.
    Therefore I bought a CycleOps trainer, a Heart Rate Monitor and I got two bikes fitted for aggressive biking.
    My age is 63, 74" tall, 190 lb. One of my training bikes is a Trek Hybrid, 30 lb. 700 x 25 tires.
    I trained Today on a flat Prairie path 22 miles in 1 hour. (that includes 16 slow downs for stop signs) I found this hard to do but not unreasonable.
    Next I trained on the trainer. I really had to work hard to do 16.5 MPH for one hour at 100 RPM. Of course I was very hot and sweating.
    My Heart Rate went from 50 at rest to 140. It took 30 minutes rest to come down again to 60.
    Any friendly advise is welcome. I am not prepared to see a Doctor yet.

  2. #2
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    I don't know what fitness level you're in, but it sounds like it must be pretty good to go 22 miles in an hour. I can't do that (at least not around here with all the hills).

    If I were you, if there were any question about my fitness, I would start with a visit to a doctor.

    Next, if you're training for a big bike trip, it sounds like you'll be riding long days for several days in a row, is that right? If so, you should work towards a longer, less intense workout and train at least 5 days a week.

    Az

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    I assume you're retired. You are in a hell of a lot better shape than most 40 year olds that's for sure.

    Training consists of making a major work load and then resting enough to recover and expand your capacity. Without the resting phases the work phases won't accomplish anything but make you tired.

    That means that you ride hard twice a week and easy three times a week and you take a couple of days off a week. Most training manuals are for younger guys and they recommend a little more work and a little less rest. But past 50 the rest become critical.

    Although you sound like you're in good shape I can't underscore enough that you should have a stress test before turning yourself into an athlete. You may have any number of problems that will be agravated by extreme exercise that won't have shown at all before.

    At least one member of our club had severe heart problems from pushing himself too hard in his 50's.

    A proper checkup by a doctor who is familiar with athletes should be one of the frst things on your list.

    And for the record, even when I was racing I won't think that I could have gone averaged 22 miles/hr with 16 stop signs to stop at.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Az B
    I don't know what fitness level you're in, but it sounds like it must be pretty good to go 22 miles in an hour. I can't do that (at least not around here with all the hills).

    If I were you, if there were any question about my fitness, I would start with a visit to a doctor.

    Next, if you're training for a big bike trip, it sounds like you'll be riding long days for several days in a row, is that right? If so, you should work towards a longer, less intense workout and train at least 5 days a week.

    Az
    Az B: Thanks for your comments.
    I do not know what fitness level means. 22 miles on that Prairie path is as flat as it can be. No wind. And it is my personal best time at age 63.
    The doctors I can talk to are not confidence inspiring. I would have to go to Metro Chicago and see a sports specialist. Well, I am not ready for that and just looking for experience on this forum.
    I am training in all the free time I have and that includes back to back centuries on weekends and in vacations.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    I assume you're retired.
    Training consists of making a major work load and then resting enough to recover and expand your capacity. Without the resting phases the work phases won't accomplish anything but make you tired.
    But past 50 the rest become critical.

    ......you should have a stress test before turning yourself into an athlete. You may have any number of problems that will be agravated by extreme exercise that won't have shown at all before.

    A proper checkup by a doctor who is familiar with athletes should be one of the frst things on your list.

    And for the record, even when I was racing I won't think that I could have gone averaged 22 miles/hr with 16 stop signs to stop at.
    Cyclintom: I did not say I stopped at the stop signs. Perhaps slowed down a bit. Please do not tell the Cops. This is an outlying area Prairie path. Not much traffic. But, 22 miles in one hour is my personal best and now I am trying to do it every time.
    Depending on wind and temperature conditions I do it between 60 and 70 minutes.
    Stress Test:
    Thank you for your concern, you are not the only one who says that.
    I guess I need to read all these training books. Unfortunately I am still working full time and travel all over. Just got back from business in Germany. So time is a problem. I can train 1-2 hours per day and more than double that on weekends. I will do a back to back century this weekend, weather permitting.

  6. #6
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Will-great to see you out on a bike and with some specific goals in mind. My experience has shown that having goals and measuring your progress helps tremendously.

    I not am expert but am 4-5 years into this cycling thing and can share my experience. First, 22mph on the flats for an hour and on a hybrid is terrific even if it is on flat ground. You definitely have an excellent base to work from and it demonstrates you already have very good stamina.

    An hour on a trainer is a very long time and is almost equivalent to 1.5-2 hours on the bike on the road. Taking that into account and also that your heart took a long time to recover I'd suggest the following-reduce the total time on the trainer but put in some "intervals" in the workout.

    Intervals are where you rev up your heart for 2-5 mins and then back off and let it come back down for short periods. For example, my target heart range for riding is 140-170 as my max is 194. A good workout for me is about 5 mins of pedaling below 140 bpm and then moving my heart rate up in the 140-170 range for 5 mins. Then I'll push it up above 170 bpm for 2-5 mins and them let it come back down below 170 for a few mins and then push it back up. I repeat this several times depending on how I'm feeling that day.

    Doing a total of a 30 min-45 min workout on a trainer is a great workout for me. I do trainer workouts just to exercise my heart during the winter-not for my legs. I can see big improvements in how my heart rate responds when I ride if I've done workouts on the trainer.

    If I have not done workouts my heart rate will go up but take a lot longer to come back down. There are always the normal cardio concerns but I just wonder if you are under a physician's care for normal checkups, if you can't tell how your body is reacting and adjust your workouts accordingly. Common sense comes into play here.

    Now, the biggest thing for long bike rides is to simply have a good base of miles and to throw in a long ride here and there. Be sure and allow yourself time for recovery. That is often overlooked and is an essential part of training. I've learned that by doing a short slow ride the day after a hard workout helps me rebound incredibly faster.

    A book that has really helps me is by Chris Carmichael and I think is called 7 weeks to a perfect ride. I used it quite a bit when I first started riding and still adhere to many of the same principles today.

    I hope this info is of some help and best of luck with your riding. Keep us posted on your progress and be careful out there!

  7. #7
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Rest (recovery) is as important as working out. MOst folks don't believe that. 22 miles in one houe is cruising and pushing. Good for you, but don't do that every time. An easy ride every now and then is terribly needed.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=jppe]
    An hour on a trainer is a very long time and is almost equivalent to 1.5-2 hours on the bike on the road. Taking that into account and also that your heart took a long time to recover I'd suggest the following-reduce the total time on the trainer but put in some "intervals" in the workout.

    Intervals are where you rev up your heart for 2-5 mins and then back off and let it come back down for short periods. For example, my target heart range for riding is 140-170 as my max is 194.

    Doing a total of a 30 min-45 min workout on a trainer is a great workout for me. I do trainer workouts just to exercise my heart during the winter-not for my legs. I can see big improvements in how my heart rate responds when I ride if I've done workouts on the trainer.

    Now, the biggest thing for long bike rides is to simply have a good base of miles and to throw in a long ride here and there. Be sure and allow yourself time for recovery. That is often overlooked and is an essential part of training. I've learned that by doing a short slow ride the day after a hard workout helps me rebound incredibly faster.

    A book that has really helps me is by Chris Carmichael and I think is called 7 weeks to a perfect ride. I used it quite a bit when I first started riding and still adhere to many of the same principles today.

    (/QUOTE]

    jppe:
    Thank you for your response. Can you tell me your age? Maximum 194 heart rate seems high to me but please tell me.
    All other points you make are clear and will be considered.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Rest (recovery) is as important as working out. MOst folks don't believe that. 22 miles in one houe is cruising and pushing. Good for you, but don't do that every time. An easy ride every now and then is terribly needed.
    DnvrFox:
    Nice to hear from you. I am still working full time and that forces me OFF the bike.
    That is my rest and recovery.
    I am a classic Obsessive Compulsive channeling a lot of energy into biking to stifle other problems. I am a supplier of the American Automotive Industry, can you believe that?
    I will slow down here and there. This weekend I will do 200 miles on Wisconsin Rail to Trails, weather permitting, at a relaxed pace.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    For example, my target heart range for riding is 140-170 as my max is 194.
    jppe:
    My post got screwed up. Are you willing to share your age so I can relate to your Max heart rate?

  11. #11
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    I hope this emoticon expresses my astonishment that a 63 year old, having just started cycling, is cranking out BtoB centuries on a hybrid. You and DnvrFox should get together to celebrate the power of Will over wrinkles. Seriously, I admire your dedication and achievement. Joel Friel's "Cycling Past 50" contains some basic stuff on training....pretty much in support of what was written above.

    [This place is getting too damned crowded with inspiration stories!]
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyGear

    I hope this emoticon expresses my astonishment that a 63 year old, having just started cycling, is cranking out BtoB centuries on a hybrid. You and DnvrFox should get together to celebrate the power of Will over wrinkles. Seriously, I admire your dedication and achievement. Joel Friel's "Cycling Past 50" contains some basic stuff on training....pretty much in support of what was written above.

    [This place is getting too damned crowded with inspiration stories!]
    GrannyGear:
    I have been biking for at least 15 years. Before that I have worn out my joints with running and jogging. Before that I was into making money pursuing the American dream. Before that, championship level rowing in Germany.
    Do you see a pattern?
    It is called Obsessive compulsive behavior. Luckily it is not self destructive.

  13. #13
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyGear


    You and DnvrFox should get together to celebrate the power of Will over wrinkles.
    Sad to say, I am nowhere in the league of Will Dehne! Nor, do I particularly want to be, I guess.

    Right now I am doing about 18-20 miles per day, and I do that in a relaxed easy manner, giving my heart time to rest.

    AS I am on a beta blocker for the time being, the max I have measured on my HRM is today - at 136 bpm.

    My bicycling is, and has always been, a form of restoration for my soul, along with good exercise. I am non-competitive, and like to ride solo!

    Enough about me. Back to whipping Will Dehne.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  14. #14
    Spot, the cat BobL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I live in an area where most people golf or watch sport. Therefore I rely on this forum for friendly advise.
    I am training hard for a big bike trip in April 2006.
    Therefore I bought a CycleOps trainer, a Heart Rate Monitor and I got two bikes fitted for aggressive biking.
    My age is 63, 74" tall, 190 lb. One of my training bikes is a Trek Hybrid, 30 lb. 700 x 25 tires.
    I trained Today on a flat Prairie path 22 miles in 1 hour. (that includes 16 slow downs for stop signs) I found this hard to do but not unreasonable.
    Next I trained on the trainer. I really had to work hard to do 16.5 MPH for one hour at 100 RPM. Of course I was very hot and sweating.
    My Heart Rate went from 50 at rest to 140. It took 30 minutes rest to come down again to 60.
    Any friendly advise is welcome. I am not prepared to see a Doctor yet.

    Let me be the first to not recommend a stress test or seeing a doctor. You gave yourself a stress test. If you had a problem, you'd be dead by now.

    (you can sort out for yourself if that was serious advice worth taking )

    I want to chime in on one thing I've read over and over: the most consistent problem recreational riders have is not riding easy enough on their easy days. They think every day should be a hammerfest or every day should be a new PR. On your 'easy' days, you should ride so slowly you feel guilty about it. If you track HR, keep it in the 50% zone. If you need to stay off the bike to keep from riding too hard, then don't ride! I've seen this advice in print so many times, I couldn't begin to list them all.

    Alternate hard days with easy days. Since we're still working, there's a tendency to do two hard days on the weekend - fine, just follow it with at least one very easy day. If you do your back-to-back centuries, don't ride on monday. If you must ride, spin your legs freely, go slow and keep your HR down.

    Some people need a HR monitor to tell them when they're not working hard enough, some people need one to tell them when they're working too hard. It sounds like you're the second type.



    Hope this helps,
    BobL
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Back to whipping Will Dehne.
    No problem, see American Automotive Industry.

  16. #16
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    Will, get this book and follow it:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

    "Joe Frielís journey into aging explores the gamut of changes that affect us as cyclists. For some, Cycling Past 50 confirms the infinity of human physical potential. On a broader scale, it is our complete reference guide for personal exploration."

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL
    Let me be the first to not recommend a stress test or seeing a doctor. You gave yourself a stress test. If you had a problem, you'd be dead by now.

    Alternate hard days with easy days.
    BobL:
    I know you mean well and thank you for that. My challenge is that I am joining a Fast Across America Tour by Bicycle at 100 to 150 miles per day for 27 days.
    (two day rest, fully supported).
    I want to make darn sure that I can do that and not be the slowest guy of the group.
    They are aiming to do 100 miles in six hours, day after day.
    That is what this is all about.

  18. #18
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    I'm with just about everybody else--22 mph is a lot faster than I can go these days, and there's no chance at all I'd hit the trainer when I got home. But I don't think you can sustain that level for long without either injuring yourself or burning out. You'd probably be better off in the long run if you reduce the intensity, at least on most days, and maybe mix cycling with some other things you enjoy. The rest (or at least "easy day") periods are vital for recovery and muscle development (that's physiological, not a sign of weakness--the idea is that you tear the muscle down when you work it, and when it repairs itself, it grows stronger). Do some intense half-hour rides, some three-hour rides at 12 or 15mph, climb some hills if you can find them, and don't be afraid to take a day or so a week to walk or do something else.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Will, get this book and follow it:

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...books&n=507846

    "Joe Friel?s journey into aging explores the gamut of changes that affect us as cyclists. For some, Cycling Past 50 confirms the infinity of human physical potential. On a broader scale, it is our complete reference guide for personal exploration."
    OK, will do.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog
    But I don't think you can sustain that level for long without either injuring yourself or burning out. You'd probably be better off in the long run if you reduce the intensity, at least on most days, and maybe mix cycling with some other things you enjoy.


    Velo Dog:
    You guys are scaring me. As I said above, I am scheduled for an America By Bicycle fully supported tour which means 27 days at 100 to 150 miles/day with two rest days. The pace is to be 100 miles in 6 hours (I assume plus stops).
    If I take you verbatim, that cannot be done. Well, we will do it.
    Right or wrong, I am training for that.

    I started this thread because I am ignorant of such things as heart rate and recovery. I do not know if 140 is high or low. Someone talks about 200. Does that apply to people my age?

    I do know what I can do. Fifty miles in the AM and another fifty in the PM is not something I worry much about. I have tested my-selves for that for six days this summer. 150 miles/day is pushing it and keeping up with bikers 20 years younger is a challenge to be met. Doing 11,000 feet/day elevation change in Arizona is also a concern. But as they say, it is now or never. Thank you for your well intentioned concern.

  21. #21
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Will,
    Reservations or no on your undertaking this....please keep us posted on your training progress, concerns, difficulties, achievements......and then on The Ride itself. I do my own literal miles every week, and then my virtual, vicarious miles here at Bike Forums. Gee, I get to ride around America! Sorta. Best Wishes!
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  22. #22
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    jppe:
    My post got screwed up. Are you willing to share your age so I can relate to your Max heart rate?
    Will-I'm 53. Over the past few years I've compared HR's with other cyclists and mine are definitely on the high side. You can take the 220-50 rule and toss it out the window. I've measured my max at 194 and have been riding long enough to know what my range is. Iinterestingly my brother is a good bit younger than me but his HR and mine track very similarly so there is something to be said about genetics. We'll ask other riders what their HR's are while riding and ours are always about 10-15% higher than others with similar exertion. We also do Time Trials where you are above the 80 level for sustained periods on controlled courses so that has always been a pretty good way to compare with others as well.

    A couple years back as I was getting more and more serious about cycling I asked my Physician, who is a heart specialist, what HR could I expect to sustain. He pulled out his calculator and punched numbers for several minutes. He came back with suggesting I could sustain a HR of 140 for up to 45 mins. Well heck, I can sustain a HR of 160 for several hours if needed. 140 is the bottom end of my range and can hold that all day. I'm guessing the real experts are the coaches/trainers in the sports medicine arena.

    I offer all this just to say you should be able to determine your own Max and range based on the workouts you're doing. Again common sense should tell you that info.

    One thing I will offer in the framework of hopefully helpful advice is that I recently learned that on longer rides (centuries+) I was not eating enough early on in the ride. I was leating more up to two days prior to an event and even a lot the morning of. However, as I got deep into a ride I would start feeling bad-something I had not experienced before. I would attempt to eat and drink a lot to see if that would help but by then it was probably just too late. This happened at least twice and so I started experimenting. What I'm now doing is eating bananas, cookies, etc, at earlier intervals and also more often, even though I'm not hungry. That has solved that problem.

    Someone who has a lot more experience than me suggested before I ever did my first century "to eat and drink before you are hungry and thirsty". Let me tell you from the voice of experience that is so very true. I knew what I should be doing but thought I was helping myself by not eating until later. After a couple of disappointing results I learned the hard way.

    Again can't emphasize the recovery periods. That's another thing I've learned from riding/training that to continue to build endurance, stamina and good muscles you have to follow the regimen. While I prescribe to the train how you ride theory in most cases, interestingly you might be able to build more stamina by strategically slowing you pace. I think that info is in the Carmichael training system paperback I mentioned above.

    Best of luck with the ongoing training. Sounds like you have a very challenging but yet achievable goal.

    If you don't mind me asking where will you start and end your trip next year?

  23. #23
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    Velo Dog:
    You guys are scaring me. As I said above, I am scheduled for an America By Bicycle fully supported tour which means 27 days at 100 to 150 miles/day with two rest days. The pace is to be 100 miles in 6 hours (I assume plus stops).
    If I take you verbatim, that cannot be done. Well, we will do it.
    Right or wrong, I am training for that.

    I have no doubt that you are going to be able to do the ride, given who you are.

    We mere mortals would likely take a couple of years to build up to the base/endurance required to accomplish this most interesting goal.

    OTOH, yours truly did a "Ride the Rockies" Ride in June at age 58 after starting training in March, never having bicycled seriously before..

    BUt, to attempt a feat of crossing the USofA I would prefer a couple of years of really building into it.

    Good luck and keep us informed.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  24. #24
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    Will,

    I believe that you are on the right path training-wise. Your body will tell you when you start to over-train and then you will need to take it easy for a day or two. Just a few observations: Are you doing any group riding? There are skills to learn there that will be very beneficial on your big ride, especially paceline riding. Also, 190 lbs is pretty big for major climbing. The really skinny guys on the ride will have a huge advantage on the climbs. Be mentally prepared to see them fly up the hill in front of you. Don't worry, though. You'll see them soon enough on the downhill or the flats where they will be happy to get a "pull" from you.

    Best wishes on your training for this great adventure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk
    Will,

    I believe that you are on the right path training-wise. Your body will tell you when you start to over-train and then you will need to take it easy for a day or two. Just a few observations: Are you doing any group riding? There are skills to learn there that will be very beneficial on your big ride, especially paceline riding. Also, 190 lbs is pretty big for major climbing. The really skinny guys on the ride will have a huge advantage on the climbs. Be mentally prepared to see them fly up the hill in front of you. Don't worry, though. You'll see them soon enough on the downhill or the flats where they will be happy to get a "pull" from you.

    Best wishes on your training for this great adventure.
    mollusk-I am group riding in a Detroit Metro park with a bunch of Hotshots from Wolverines bike club. I first learned paceline from them. They are not happy to have an old dog riding with them and constantly make it a point that they can drop me.
    But what the hell, I did get experience that way.
    I am 74" tall and much of the 190 lb. is below my waist. So I am exceptionally strong going up a hill. My skills for down the hill need much improvement. These Hotshots can go 125 to 150 RPM and drop me all the time with that.
    I can hold my own on the flats.
    Thanks for your reply.

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