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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Anyone trying to get faster or stronger?

    or are you just trying to maintain your fitness?

    I started road cycling about two years ago and I think that I got better the first year, but now I've leveled off. I don't know if the reason is that I'm not riding enough or if age is the key factor and no matter how much I ride aging will keep me from getting better.

  2. #2
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboCheme
    or are you just trying to maintain your fitness?

    I started road cycling about two years ago and I think that I got better the first year, but now I've leveled off. I don't know if the reason is that I'm not riding enough or if age is the key factor and no matter how much I ride aging will keep me from getting better.
    I always at least pretend that I am trying to get better. Let's not get too honest around here, please!
    Almost gone from the 50+ forum. - Email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for another fun new group of 50+ folks

  3. #3
    Senior Member MNBikeguy's Avatar
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    Or..... You could consider what kind of shape you would be in if you hadn't made that decision two years ago. I know at some point, getting my leg over the top tube will be an accomplishment. I don't want to think about it until I have to. Enjoy the ride.
    "I thought of that while riding my bike."
    - Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  4. #4
    Senior Member further's Avatar
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    I climb hills faster and don"t have to hack out a lung at the of every hill any more. But...there always seems to be a ligiment or muscle that is on the verge of failure. And small strains take a LOT longer to heal than they used to. One of the mags had an article recently about ageing and exercise, they said that people can improve performance much later in life than previously thought. But increases in mileage and speed have to come slower. Gotta train smarter,coax the body along, can't beat it into shape anymore.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    [COLOR="Blue"][B] Let's not get too honest around here, please
    Honestly, I'm always trying to get faster and stronger. But honestly, I don't work as hard as it as I should, honestly.

    Hey DNVR is that being too honest?

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNBikeguy
    Or..... You could consider what kind of shape you would be in if you hadn't made that decision two years ago. I know at some point, getting my leg over the top tube will be an accomplishment. I don't want to think about it until I have to. Enjoy the ride.

    + another on this point.

    When you start riding- with effort you get fitter in the first year or so. How much fitter depends on the effort. Up untill the end of the 3rd year or so- fitness gains seem to stagnate untill you try a few things- Do a ride that you achieved at the end of the first year- you know the one--- The first trip up that evil hill- the first 25 mile ride- the first time you managed that race in the sports class. Do that ride at the end of the 3rd year and you have improved. You just did not notice it.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  7. #7
    Member brigadon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNBikeguy
    Or..... You could consider what kind of shape you would be in if you hadn't made that decision two years ago. I know at some point, getting my leg over the top tube will be an accomplishment. I don't want to think about it until I have to. Enjoy the ride.
    I'm now in my third year of my "great comeback" and I can verify that getting my leg over the top tube definitely is not getting any easier. In fact, I think it's getting harder.....especially at the end of a 3 or 4 hour ride!

    That apart, I'm getting noticeably stronger as time passes, but there are plateaus and I've often seen the biggest improvement after an enforced break from riding of several weeks.

    Mostly I do 2 or 3 one hour rides a week, occasionally a three or four hour ride. All at a moderate pace of around 10 mph, but there are a lot of hills here and I test myself on them always. A couple of years ago when I returned to riding I walked all of the hills, now I hardly notice them. It helps that I'm 140lb 5'10'....no smoking, no drinking, no meds, and no more hanky panky (regrettably ). I'm 73 years old, and I've had my day

  8. #8
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    Reading through your post, I was initially struck by just how moderate a 10 mph pace is, and that many of your rides are but an hour long. Then I came to the part where you state you are 73. If you are still riding and healthy, then, congratulations to you . . . and I am very envious of your 5'10" 140 lb stats. I cannot do anything about my 5'8" stature, but if only I had enough will power, I could probably shave off more than a few pounds.

    Getting a leg over the bar will never be a challenge for me, I just tip the bike horizontally and step across the bar (call it lowering the bar, if you will).

    Once again, my compliments to you for continuing to ride regularly at 73. My plan is to keep riding regularly right through my 90's (many miles/sunsets from today).

    Happy trails.

    Caruso

  9. #9
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    I am 58 years old and began serious training 2 years ago. It's not for everyone. I can now do 50mile rides each day and average 16mph.

    Using a heart monitor, work up to the point where you cannot speak comfortably. The "Pledge of Allegiance" works well for this. You should be feeling the beginning of pain in your leg muscles.

    That is the heart rate that you should be working for 15 min periods followed by 15 min recoveries. Do these intervals every other day, or whenever you feel like "pushing" yourself. You will find that the heart rate that you reach will slowly go up as time progresses.

    Having said that, if you are serious about all this Sally Edwards book "Heart Zones Cycling" gives the whole program. You can produce an entire training program geared just for yourself, if you are willing to put in the time to read and understand it.

  10. #10
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    I'm surprised there aren't 125 responses all saying, "yes". Every ride I take, somewhere in the back of my mind is the thought, "Keep it up and you get better at this." Despite the joys of cycling, many of us have found that cycling can be very hard work. I for one don't participate in hard work unless it somehow makes me better, improved my quality of life, or makes things better for people I care about. I still have the fantasy that someday I'll be really fast and fly up hills.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboCheme
    Anyone trying to get faster or stronger or are you just trying to maintain your fitness?
    I'm trying to do all three . . . . and lose weight. This is sort of a "come back" for me as well. I spent thirty years in the Army and I had to stay relatively fit. When I retired I took a break . . . and put on a few pounds. Several months ago I decided it was time to get off my butt and get back in shape but I didn't want to run. Bicycling was a great choice for me.

  12. #12
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    I'm trying to bet back to where I was in February, before my ski accident. After yesterday's ride, I think I am actually getting there.

    Paul

  13. #13
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    My whole purpose is to get fit and healthy which result in a stronger you. Since I started cycling more than two years ago, I develpoed the endurance needed to ride distances but not to be faster.

  14. #14
    el padre
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    Their are limits to bigger and better and stronger...Yes I do try to do things I have not done, but the main purpose of biking is the health thing.. ... keeping blood pressure down by keeping the heart pumping. Actually I am taking pressure pills but still want to avoid things getting worse, and maybe even get good enough to throw away the pills.
    So yes I do look for more and better.
    peace

  15. #15
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    If you want to continue to see gains, you have to keep working harder. What you were doing took you from where you were to where you are. Keep doing what you've been doing and you'll maintain what you have accomplished. To get more results will take more effort.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  16. #16
    DoubleTrouble cgallagh's Avatar
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    There are several ways to look at this biking relationship we all share. One approach is to get on a comfortable bike and tool around for an hour or so, enjoying the day and soaking up the outdoors. All this with the added benefit of moving our muscles, burning off a few spare calories, and pushing some fresh air and blood through our hearts and lungs. Beats TV.

    The other approach is to challenge yourself by continually pushing your limits. Ride a faster loop, climb a hill faster with a bigger gear, go 50-60-75-100-120 miles in a day then try that same distance and go faster.

    How you approach your ride seems to me a personal decision and the bottom line is that we are all getting out there and not sitting around soaking up extra calories and passively letting the world go by. I salute all my "Fifty-plus" companions and wish smooth roads and beautiful rides for you no matter what your ride for the day may be.
    Two blondes walked into a building-You think one of them would have seen it.
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  17. #17
    Pedal pusher... alicestrong's Avatar
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    I'm just havin' fun and trying to keep from falling apart too early...

    I admit, tho lately I've been riding with several young guys from a local bike shop and I don't want to embarass myself too badly...so I have been pushing a little harder ( I'm a 54 year old woman riding with some 20-30 something guys).
    May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    If you want to continue to see gains, you have to keep working harder. What you were doing took you from where you were to where you are. Keep doing what you've been doing and you'll maintain what you have accomplished. To get more results will take more effort.
    I guess that your point is the original reason for why I started this thread. It seems like no matter what I do (intervals, hills) I'm not getting any better or stronger. So, I was wondering if my age (57) is keeping me from improving and I should just be happy with maintaining my level.

    I've noticed the same thing in my running. I've run for years so it's understandable that I'm slowly getting slower and slower. With cycling, I've reached a plateau. So, maybe it's the start of the slow decline?

    I know, I know, Just Enjoy The Ride! (I do)

  19. #19
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Why do I ride? I'm training to become a chick magnet. Simple.

    Ain't easy, just sayin'.
    Visit my blog! The Leadership Almanac
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  20. #20
    Hypoxic Member head_wind's Avatar
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    For some reason this forum's contents seem to be pretty inclusive
    with one consistent exception: nutrition. Are you getting enough
    carbs, protein, and fats?? Decent varieties of each?? Is the timing
    before the ride OK?? How about recovering your glycogen stores for
    tomorrow?? Of course good nutrition must be (nearly!) every day.

  21. #21
    Semper Fidelis
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    @ 55 the majority of the time I continually try to challenge myself always pushing as I feel the beneft is far greater than not trying. I have been ridiing since 1978-1979 somewhere around there, but
    the biggest problem seems to be in recovery time,it takes longer and takes more time to just feel right.

    There are though many days where I will just spin taking it easy and enjoying the ride and only pushing on the hills and doing some sprints and on the way back home and just keep a steady speed spinning, more of a recovery type riding with a few hard efforts.
    "Advantages Must Be Pressed, Disadvantages Must Be Overcome"

  22. #22
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    I'm a "recreational" rider, and ride because I enjoy it. I do hope that I get better, but don't have any set goals, such as reaching X number of miles by ____, or being able to ride over that 2 ft.log by next month. I just ride, enjoy, and hope I improve, get faster and stronger.

  23. #23
    Member brigadon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carusoswi

    Once again, my compliments to you for continuing to ride regularly at 73. My plan is to keep riding regularly right through my 90's (many miles/sunsets from today).

    Happy trails.

    Caruso

    Thanks for your encouraging comments Caruso.

    My plan is to keep riding till I drop, and I know that if I continue to push myself a little on a regular basis then if I'm still around when I'm 93, I've got a better chance of not being a vegetable.

    By the way I could up that speed by a couple of mph if I had a road bike, which I don't, ( I use a heavy mountain bike with fat tires and mudguards) or if I didn't carry panniers loaded with half my workshop tools, bike spares, water bottles, food for a full day, cell phone, extra clothes and wet gear, and lots of other things that I can't remember I put there.

  24. #24
    Senior Member rodrigaj's Avatar
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    Plateau's come with everything, whether you are musician, an engineer, a teacher or a bicyclist.

    Eventually, you reach the point in your life when you can never get better at what you do. But do you know when that point has come? Will you ever know when that point has been reached? It is a mental and physical barrier that is out there waiting for all of us.

    That is what life it is all about.

  25. #25
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodrigaj
    That is what life it is all about.
    You mean it's not the hokey pokey?
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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