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  1. #1
    garth
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    51 yr old 's training program

    I think I am in fairly good shape. My goals are to ride in the Miami morning "hammer ride" somewhere in the middle pack but my weekly time on the bike is probably going to stay low due to my responsibilities as a father of a 2 1/2 year old boy and husband and my job my reading, research and general hobby time needs. Currently I can ride with the fast guys easily when they are not pushing the pace too hard.

    Currently I work out on a trainer one day a week for 30 minutes using an 83 to 95 cadence with a 52-17 or 52-19 gear. I do power yoga every day and I ride for an hour and a half once a week which is half training ride and half race against guys 20-30 years younger than me. I usually can beat this small group of friends on any stretch that is five miles or longer or on the bridge hill (steep), but I can beat no one in this group on the one minute sprint test. I can hold a pace of 26 mph solo or 28 when in heavy draft on level ground. The stronger guys around from the hammer ride do the hill at 19 to 21 mph while I do it at 13 to 18 depending on wind and other factors. Twice a week I do assistance excercises like Hindu squats, lunge jumps, ab work, and stair sprinting (9 flights x2). I have three old bikes that I personally ride and two I maintain for my wife. My rides are: 1986 3Rensho with 6 speed indexing, 1986 variation on the Team Raliegh (531-c tubing) with all Suntour Superbe and close ratio 7 speed 13-19 freewheel, and newly acquired 1987 Bianchi , all Columbus with Modolo, ITM, Suntour components (Celeste paint). I use modern bars only and also use Look pedals as a concesion to modernity. I maintain all these bikes plus my wifes Lemond and Colnago Arabesque.

    My morning pulse is 48 and days pulse is 52-60 with a BP of 110/70 most days. My problem is that with my current dedication I have made good progress in the last four years moving from a pace of 18 to a pace of mid 20's but in order to ride with the monsters around here I 'll need a time trial pace of high 20's and it seems like the amount of dedicated time one needs to move those last three mph maybe triple of what I spend now. My weight is near ideal but I could healthfully only lose about 3 or 4 pounds as I am 157 at 5'9" now. What can I do to move up a major notch that doesn't require much more time in than I do now?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by garth
    My morning pulse is 48 and days pulse is 52-60 with a BP of 110/70 most days.
    Well . . . personally, I'd be happy with just the above! Those are excellent readings. My morning pulse is in the 60's and BP has been 110/70, but never on a regular basis, and only with an early morning reading. I feel lucky to be in the 120's "most" of the time -- and visit the 130's on occasion.

    As for your riding, instead of thinking of what else you could do to improve, you might want to ask how you could improve by doing less.

    For instance, if you're intrested in time trials (which, even at 25mi is rather short work), you could boost strength by doing squats and/or deadlifts one day a week -- and possibly eliminating several of your other activities (the day after squats would certainly be a rest day -- or a VERY easy training day with rest for the legs).

    IMO, there is far too much emphasis on quads, while hamstring training is overlooked in cycling.

    In fact, you might want to begin running DOWN the steps -- brings an entirely new set of leg muscles into play.

    Just a few thoughts. I'm sure there will be others coming along. Good luck regardless. You're in very good health my friend!

  3. #3
    Roadie
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    by my standards you're already hauling a$$.
    try hill sprint repeats, train with discovery team, do some velodrome racing and you should be up with the best.

    that power yoga keeps coming up - what is it and do you have sample exercises you can share?

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    Turbo training needs to be more structured, with variety of intervals, using a HRM and, if cash permits, a wattage measuring trainer.

    Find a, preferably, local coach who can test/arrange a test to find your max HR and other factors. He can then set up a proper series of turbo programmes for you. these are more controllable than road training (tho' you still need to get a reasonable number of road miles in).

    The best training for riding is still riding, so you might want to sqap some of your other exercise sessions for time on the bike

  5. #5
    garth
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    Since you ask, I will say that if I could only do one form of excersize it would be Power Yoga. By my stats you can see that I am no big muscular bruiser. I do have muscular thighs and chest and back, but these still aren't big muscles. Of course you all have had the experience of seeing some bone thin guy drop an entire morning ride, so guys that are even smaller than me are really doing great things. Here's what impresses me about Power Yoga. It builds focus, It builds endurance and it builds the core muscles. I taught at a gym or two last year, and it never failed to amaze me that guys with super muscular bodies would colapse on the mat like a large pile of laundry after only 15 minutes of these postures held with breathing. Even pectoral strength would betray them when they were asked to hold Plank, which is the position that one achieves at the top of a pushup with arms fully locked. Ask them to hold this position for a minute or so and their abdomen would just spasm up because they lack core endurance. Core endurance is what one needs for cycling too so the program applies. The thighs are treated to the same test when asked to hold lunges for a minute or two or just to hold a deep knee bend paralel for the same length. Now there are many of these postures, plus the benefits of focused meditation in movement, and the benefits of increased flexibility. Strictly speaking much of our energy is spent trying to overcome the resistance that unrelaxed muscles present when they oppose the movement desired. Get a book by someone like Baron Baptiste or take a Power Yoga class but don't expect much more than a sore body the first few weeks. As older folks we owe it to ourselves to do something which is pleasant and beneficial like Yoga.

  6. #6
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garth
    Even pectoral strength would betray them when they were asked to hold Plank, which is the position that one achieves at the top of a pushup with arms fully locked. Ask them to hold this position for a minute or so and their abdomen would just spasm up because they lack core endurance.
    Okay. I just had to try that to see if I could do it.

    Tell your muscle students that a guy 66yo held it easily for 90 seconds, and could have gone longer, and I don't even have a clue what power yoga is (in fact, I failed beginner's yoga! )

    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack the thread!
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  7. #7
    Roadie
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    garth - thanks a lot for your valuable info and opinion about PY. i'll look into the book - i don't think we have classes around here.

  8. #8
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garth
    I think I am in fairly good shape. My goals are to ride in the Miami morning "hammer ride" somewhere in the middle pack but my weekly time on the bike is probably going to stay low due to my responsibilities as a father of a 2 1/2 year old boy and husband and my job my reading, research and general hobby time needs. Currently I can ride with the fast guys easily when they are not pushing the pace too hard.

    Currently I work out on a trainer one day a week for 30 minutes using an 83 to 95 cadence with a 52-17 or 52-19 gear. I do power yoga every day and I ride for an hour and a half once a week which is half training ride and half race against guys 20-30 years younger than me. I usually can beat this small group of friends on any stretch that is five miles or longer or on the bridge hill (steep), but I can beat no one in this group on the one minute sprint test. I can hold a pace of 26 mph solo or 28 when in heavy draft on level ground. The stronger guys around from the hammer ride do the hill at 19 to 21 mph while I do it at 13 to 18 depending on wind and other factors. Twice a week I do assistance excercises like Hindu squats, lunge jumps, ab work, and stair sprinting (9 flights x2)...snip...
    My morning pulse is 48 and days pulse is 52-60 with a BP of 110/70 most days. My problem is that with my current dedication I have made good progress in the last four years moving from a pace of 18 to a pace of mid 20's but in order to ride with the monsters around here I 'll need a time trial pace of high 20's and it seems like the amount of dedicated time one needs to move those last three mph maybe triple of what I spend now. My weight is near ideal but I could healthfully only lose about 3 or 4 pounds as I am 157 at 5'9" now. What can I do to move up a major notch that doesn't require much more time in than I do now?
    Great to hear your comments on power yoga. Sinc my major mishap of last year (Dec10 04), its been a slow go in bringing my core and upper body back to a level equal to prior. The legs and cardio have come back nicely, but I'm feeling a bit 'unbalanced' and will be putting some real effort into rebuilding the core, now that most of the structural healing has gone about as far as its gonna. I'll look into where power Yoga might be available in my area.
    As for your challenges. Overcoming youth and its associated power is difficult. I'm sortta in the same place right now. Inn the youthful hammerfests I can ride the pace, handle the jumps, but am not contending in any full-on 'gallop'. But I do have a plan that will bring me back to my sprinter's edge. The plan to-date is to bring muscle efficiency up at higher cadences. That means lots of days and miles at cadences well above 100, with efforts to push cadence well over 130 up to 140 (using power gears on the flats - mid-80s inches). I'm now at the point that I can hold a 130 for about 40-ish seconds in an 87 inch gear. The next stage is to continue with cadence work and add at least 2 days of powerlifting in the gym, thru end Feb. Using machines, not freeweights, I'll work allround but focus on heavy weights in leg press, leg extension and hamstring.
    Sprinting is a beautiful balance of power and supple spin. If you;ve had the opportunity to watch top level Track Sprinters like Nothstein, Hatton, Wozniack, Ash, Barsevski (SP?) you'd be amazed by the blurring speed of their hugely muscled legs. They were marvels. As are the current sprinters.
    Once i have a month or so with weights I'll find a steady, low gradient uphill (+-3%), put it into a gear that is just about uncomfortable at 100 to 110 and do sprint intervals once a week. I'll be aiming to reach 120-125 steady, and once reached I'll then drop to the next higher gear and work again until I hit 125 steady.
    Might work for you?

  9. #9
    Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen
    But I do have a plan that will bring me back to my sprinter's edge.
    The plan to-date is to bring muscle efficiency up at higher cadences. That means lots of days and miles at cadences well above 100, with efforts to push cadence well over 130 up to 140 (using power gears on the flats - mid-80s inches).
    What kind of mileage/week are you talking about here?
    Do you plan all those miles on flats or are you planning to do 100+ rpm on hills as well?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen
    I'm now at the point that I can hold a 130 for about 40-ish seconds in an 87 inch gear.
    What is your goal here - how much do you plan to increase your time at 130 rpm?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen
    I'll find a steady, low gradient uphill (+-3%), put it into a gear that is just about uncomfortable at 100 to 110 and do sprint intervals once a week.
    How long do you figure the hill sprint should be?
    Would you be looking for steeper hills as you progress?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen
    I'll be aiming to reach 120-125 steady, and once reached I'll then drop to the next higher gear and work again until I hit 125 steady.
    Sounds like a good and tough plan to stick to.

  10. #10
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    What kind of mileage/week are you talking about here?
    Do you plan all those miles on flats or are you planning to do 100+ rpm on hills as well?
    I'm very lucky I live in the Santa Barbara CA area. We have an abundance of rolling and serious climbing terrain. In fact I really don;t know of anything that consitututes 'flat' that is much over maybe a mile or so without hitting a grade that will require the small ring.
    Mileage - due to short day light hours is about 18-20 miles 4x mid-wk, Saturday's hammerfest of about 40 mi. and then add the Sunday SuperFest from the SB bathhouse starting Jan - that one requires 65+ mi if I start from the house - 35 of which will be at race pace.

    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    What is your goal here - how much do you plan to increase your time at 130 rpm?
    Goal? Compete in USCF road and crit races here in Cal. Start within my age grade = 55+ and then would like to drop into Senior Cat 3 or 4 races where they might favor my style. I've petitioned USCF to be reinstated with the Grades I had when I last rode back in the mid90s. I rode Vet 45+ and did an occassional Cat3 or 4 race.
    vee zhal zee...
    I'm already hitting 130 well enough; but not with a 'power' gear. The aim is to build real 'power' that can be brought to bear at the 100 to 130 rpm range. The only real way to build power is 'lifting' - weight training, big Gear Sprints, long hill climbs at an uncomfortable big gear - most undesireable is a Big Gear into a strong headwind.

    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    How long do you figure the hill sprint should be?
    The ones I'll be using are 400-500 yards max. (350 m?)

    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    Would you be looking for steeper hills as you progress?
    'Steeper' is reserved for hill climb days, which I started back in July. Once a week up Old San Marcos Pass and over to Painted Cave - approx. 2K ft climb - 4 mi. A glorious uphill grind with an AB FAB view of the valley and ocean as reward. I should post a pic...
    Due to short daylight hours, I won't be able to do this on weekdays again until late Feb, but thatz okay. The weight program will be the alternate for that time.
    The weekly hillclimb is the most significant reason for my reasonably rapid progress towards race fitness over the past 6 mos.

    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    Sounds like a good and tough plan to stick to.
    Good plan, adapted to my less than 'epic' constitution. I'll fall out regularly, but that won't trouble me. There are plenty of opportunities to have just a comfortable bimble, like yesterday. I've put a 'requirement' on each ride I do - it has to have some 'spiritual' element to it. Like yesterday was about the clouds, formations and colors of the evening sky. No ride is allowed to be like the days of youth when a solid hammer session with nose to the stem was the only aim.

    We'll see what results this spring...
    Last edited by cyclezen; 12-16-05 at 10:03 AM.

  11. #11
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    There are some good recommendations here, but one that would allow a rider to use all of that good conditioning to the max was not mentioned. PEDALING TECHNIQUE. I never ride without working on pedaling technique. Are my rides fun; no. But when I am applying force all of the way around the circle I feel amply rewarded after doing a quality ride. Polar now has a heart rate monitor ($650) that measures pedaling efficiency by measuring chain tension. Not bad for something that could increase power output by 10%, maybe more for many riders. I would like to see Lance's force chart; think it is good?

  12. #12
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    cyclezen
    thanks for the input. i'm setting up a program of my own with the same "no solid hammer" "spiritual element" stipulations. That SM 4 mi 9% grade sounds pretty good.

  13. #13
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berts
    cyclezen
    thanks for the input. i'm setting up a program of my own with the same "no solid hammer" "spiritual element" stipulations. That SM 4 mi 9% grade sounds pretty good.
    We'll all have to compare notes as the early season progresses. It'll be interesting to see what 'works' for each of us, along with any new observations any of us might come up with.
    As Boulder Keith noted, 'technique' is fundamental in my estimation. There's hardly a ride where I;m not evaluating my technique. In fact, its really hard to ride at any higher cadence and not notice the 'irregularities' in the pedal motion.
    Something else I add at the end of most training rides, with the last 4 miles or so, is one-legged pedaling.
    Pull out of one side and pedal only with one leg for .5 mi distance, keeping cadence at least 75, preferrably 80-85. Once the stroke 'breaks down' in smoothness and gets really choppy, I clip back in, recover for a 1/4 mi or so and then singleleg the other side. Its amazing how much of our pedaling smoothness relies on the opposing weight and force of the upstroking leg. Anyway, this has proven to be a good exercise for me over the years.
    Lets all keep 'in touch' on how our own progress is going and what stages we're in. This is all new territory for me; after an almost 8 year layoff from competition and just plain riding, nothing is as it was 8 years ago. Not sure what the potential might be, but the progress made so far is encouraging and hopeful to be more than just competitive.
    San Marcos, for a lot of reasons, is one of my favorite climbs and rides. Not the hardst in the area, but one of the more enjoyable ones.
    Knowing only what I see of Israel from news reports and the occassional travelogue, I expect you prolly have some considerable climbing opportunities as well.

  14. #14
    Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen
    We'll all have to compare notes as the early season progresses.
    I'll make the effort. I have a Cateye 8 which gives only basic stuff so I can't chart progress in terms of HR and power data.

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezen
    Knowing only what I see of Israel from news reports and the occassional travelogue, I expect you prolly have some considerable climbing opportunities as well.
    We have a few hills around where I live with decent grades. The Judean mountains also offer some nice climbing. One of my favorites is the 20 km ascent going from Dead Sea (-400 m) to the city of Arad (+500 m). Most of the ascent occurs in two short sections and the rest is pretty tame. Jerusalem at about 900 m is also a nice ride (haven't done that for a loong time).

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    Cyclezen; I had forgotten about the one legged pedaling. I had used it effectively years ago, and I am going to start again. Thanks for the reminder.

  16. #16
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    Training program 2006

    In view of the above posts and for those who may be interested in the progress of a 54/55 yo toward achieving his goals in the upcoming season, I am providing the first step in my program.

    1.Objectives:

    To participate in 4-5 races, two national championships (RR and TT) a couple of hill races and a criterium. Place in top 5 in Nationals.
    Increase weekend (Sat) ride distance to 100 miles (160 km). Currently ca. 55 miles.
    Increase weekly riding to 200 m (currently 100 m).
    Improve stength (weight) training to ca. double current load.
    Improve sprint power to about double current level (speed and distance).
    Improve hill climbing by 5%, faster cadence (75-85 rpm on 8% grade) and higher speeds.
    Improve meditation power nearly to point of complete serenity and detachment from external and internal "interference".
    Start power yoga program
    Derive a high level of fulfillment from the joys and strains of riding.

    Some of the above objectives are not quantifiable but I believe that they are important elements in my philosophy of riding at this stage of the "game".
    My current level of performance for some of the above mentioned has yet to be quantified as a base point of reference.
    I have a good idea of my current level in strength training and I am already working toward achieving my goal.
    I shall provide updates on the status of my program from time to time.

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