Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-18-08, 08:50 AM   #1
speedlever
Hills!
Thread Starter
 
speedlever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rolling hills of Piedmont NC
Bikes: 2008 Trek Madone 5.5, 2006 Trek Pilot 5.2 (deceased), 2005 Marin Novato, Trek 7100, Schwinn Frontier, Trek 800 sport, Trek 220, Trek MT 60
Posts: 873
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you 50+ers train to ride... or ride to train?

While I wish to improve in my riding skills and ability, I'm not sure how much effort I want to put into that improvement. If I train to ride, I fear that the enjoyment of riding will leave as I will become a slave to a training schedule.

I find that I hope to improve simply by riding. Thus, I likely give up making major improvements but retain the enjoyment of riding without having to accomplish certain goals. Or at least that's the theory. I generally aim for about 150 miles a week and find that I tend to ride anywhere from 100 - 250 or so, depending on life events and weather. At this point, I'm probably riding about 4000 miles/year.

I'd post a poll, but have no idea how to do so. But I wonder how many of you 50+ers actually have a training regimen vs how many just get out and ride for the pure fun of it and take whatever fitness improvements come along as a by-product?

With that in mind, here's a pertinent article from the latest RoadBikeRider issue:
**************
Will More Miles Make Me Better?

Q: Most of the strong guys on our weekend rides are also the ones who do the most miles. Some of them even ride an hour or more after the regular ride. They do about 5,000 to 8,000 miles (8,000-12,800 km) a year while I ride 3,000 (4,800 km). Would more mileage help me improve? -- Barney K.

Coach Fred Matheny Replies: If I had $1 for every question similar to this I've received over the years, Deb and I could eat free at our hometown Camp Robber restaurant tonight.

But it's a key question in cycling and worth answering every few months. We read about pros riding 20,000 miles (32,300 km) a year and assume that if we had the time to emulate them, we'd be much faster and more powerful. However, there is a limit to how much improvement we can gain from sheer mileage.

At some point, probably between 150 and 200 miles (240-322 km) per week, just riding more isn't enough. You need to add substantial doses of intensity too. Once you reach 8-10 hours per week of riding, improvement slows dramatically or even reverses unless intervals, climbing or other stressful efforts are included in the mix.

This depends on your goals in cycling, of course. If you want to win the Race Across America, some pretty substantial mileage is essential. But to hang with local hotshots for 40 or 50 miles (64-80 km) or set a century PR, some well-chosen intensity will more than make up for fewer miles.

And you know what's also crucial if you've been reading my coaching advice for long: Rest. You can't go really hard without resting really hard.

Many recreational cyclists tend to do all their riding in the same intensity range, somewhere between "cruising" and "pretty hard."

Far better is to do a few rides that are "really hard" and keep the rest of them "guilt-producingly easy" for recovery. Then when you want to put down the hammer, you'll have done the hard work necessary to make it happen.

So concentrate on the quality of your miles (and recovery) rather than sheer volume. I bet you'll see marked improvement.
********************
speedlever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 09:05 AM   #2
rule
Senior Member
 
rule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Wylie, Texas
Bikes:
Posts: 1,922
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes.
__________________
rule is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 09:11 AM   #3
chipcom 
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi
Posts: 24,366
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Unless you are racing, just ride. As you put in miles your general fitness will improve and you will better recognize any real weaknesses, which you can then address with specific mechanical/fit tweaks or training plans you can work into your rides. The most important thing is to have fun.

As Greg Lemond said, it never gets easier, you just go faster. Only you can decide how fast you 'need' to be going.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 09:15 AM   #4
maddmaxx 
Small Member
 
maddmaxx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Bikes: Leader home built hardtail, Diamondback Response
Posts: 7,136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 364 Post(s)
Everytime I've tried to turn a hobby into a business, I've burned out relatively quickly. I suspect that riding (hobby) is similar and training (business) would be the end for me.
__________________
We are an empire. Use it wisely.
maddmaxx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 09:25 AM   #5
Ed in GA
The "now retired" Old Guy
 
Ed in GA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Savannah, GA, USA
Bikes: Trek Madone 4.5
Posts: 546
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Do you 50+ers train to ride... or ride to train?

Yes..... +1
__________________
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"
Ed in GA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 09:51 AM   #6
BengeBoy 
Senior Member
 
BengeBoy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Bikes: 2014 Pivot Mach 5.7 MTB, 2009 Chris Boedeker custom, 1988 Tommasini Prestige, 2007 Bill Davidson custom; 1988 Specialized Stumpjumper
Posts: 6,941
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride to eat.
BengeBoy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 09:56 AM   #7
Terrierman
Senior Member
 
Terrierman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SWMO
Bikes:
Posts: 3,179
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 164 Post(s)
I ride to see some really pretty country and my .... uhhh you know.
__________________
It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.
Terrierman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 10:30 AM   #8
BluesDawg
just keep riding
 
BluesDawg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Milledgeville, Georgia
Bikes: 2015 Specialized AWOL Comp frameset (custom build), 2015 Zukas custom road, 2014 Specialized Crave Pro 29, 2003 KHS Milano Tandem, 1986 Nishiki Cadence rigid MTB, 1980ish Fuji S-12S
Posts: 13,251
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
I ride to ride. You don't need a regimented training schedule to improve your speed or endurance any more than you need a strict diet to lose weight. Just ride a lot and push yourself once in a while and you will improve.
BluesDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 10:49 AM   #9
Hermes 
Elite Rider
 
Hermes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Bikes: Too Many
Posts: 9,806
Mentioned: 38 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 52 Post(s)
Skills: Take a skills clinic. The techniques learned can be used as you "just ride".

Ability: I am in a formal training / racing program with a coach and belong to a racing club. I train to race for specific races. However, as far as fun is concerned, I have had more fun this last year than all previous years of cycling. YMMV
Hermes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 11:02 AM   #10
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax
Posts: 6,955
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 26 Post(s)
I don't use a training regimen, but I have had to train to achieve my goals.

My first bike ride in March '06 was 0.67 miles and I had to stop and rest halfway. It was a month before I could ride the whole 2 miles to work without stopping. Freeway overpasses might just as well have been Everest.

Fast forward to July '08, when I rode to the top of Mt. Evans, at 14,130 feet, just one ride during a 400-mile week.

That didn't happen without putting forth some effort to train.

However, until this past spring, all I did was incorporate some training into every ride. Little goals at first--a block further than last week before resting, for instance. Later I learned about intervals. When it came time to do hills, I rode repeats on every hill I could find. Finally, in order to train for altitude, I started using a heart-rate monitor.

Off the bike, I tried a few things, but the only thing that stuck was T'ai Chi. Who knew standing around waving your arms with a bunch of old people was such a workout on the quads?
tsl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 11:08 AM   #11
cranky old dude
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 4,259
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just ride.
cranky old dude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 11:40 AM   #12
Allegheny Jet 
Senior Member
 
Allegheny Jet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Medina, OH
Bikes: confidential infromation that I don't even share with my wife
Posts: 5,708
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to "just ride" around 3,500 miles annually, mostly solo for general fitness, then I attempted to do some group rides. I could ride as fast as the group on the flats but when we added hills I was off the back. Last summer a friend an myself decided to take cycling to the next level and we both started to do group rides more frequently and were getting better and faster. In the winter we both attended indoor cycling workouts. This spring I began to train by doing intervals and hill repeats and joined a team and raced. The racing has showed me that there is a whole lot more I can expect of myself or dig deeper to overcome as I push thru pain and doubt that racing dishes out. I was a college athlete so doing workouts to get better at a sport was "old hat". The intervals and hills do hurt, but, they do make you a faster and stronger rider. I have the option of several different group rides and now can stay with the "A" riders and can even lead out one of the groups anytime I want. Doing the extra work has enabled me to enjoy the sport/activity even more. On a side note: I've lost a bunch of weight, eat much healthier foods, eat breakfast, drink water and drink a lot less beer as a direct conquencence to attempting to ride faster and longer.
Allegheny Jet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 02:15 PM   #13
jedde
Senior Member
 
jedde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Mentor, Ohio
Bikes: Jamis: '05 Quest and '08 Xenith Comp
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
I ride to eat pie.
fixed
jedde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 02:26 PM   #14
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I ride to retain the fitness that I once had. So I presume that I train to ride. Try to get in about 100 miles aweek but that has not happened often this year.

One thing I will know- When I do have that long ride shortly- I should have trained for it.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 03:55 PM   #15
jiminos
Senior Member
 
jiminos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 247
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
ummm... i ride to.... uhmmmmm.... ride? (bikes not trains.)

be well,

jim
jiminos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 04:52 PM   #16
DnvrFox
Banned.
 
DnvrFox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Bikes:
Posts: 20,916
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride to ride. And to get somewhere and back.

I have developed the habit of using my bike for transportation whenever possible. I have my mtn bike all set up for riding at any time of day, etc. So, I get a lot of riding miles in riding instead of driving. Not for long distances, just around the neighborhood, to the store, etc.

I.e., I went out at 5:00 am this morning to ride to the gym and swim. Threw in a few extra miles for fun. Then this pm I rode to meet the wife for lunch, etc., etc.

If I turned it into training, the magic would be gone.
DnvrFox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 05:13 PM   #17
Mojo Slim
Lincoln, CA
 
Mojo Slim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lincoln, CA
Bikes: 94 Giant ATX 760, 2001 Biachi Eros, 2005 Giant OCR2 Composite +
Posts: 2,229
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride to buy jerseys
__________________
Truth is stranger than reality.
'96 Giant ATX 760 MTB
'01 Bianchi Eros
'05 Giant OCR Llimited Carbon Fiber + upgrades
Mojo Slim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 05:47 PM   #18
Retro Grouch 
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Bikes: Rans Rockst (Retro rocket) Rans Enduro Sport (Retro racket) Catrike 559, Merin Bear Valley (beater bike).
Posts: 26,731
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
Everytime I've tried to turn a hobby into a business, I've burned out relatively quickly. I suspect that riding (hobby) is similar and training (business) would be the end for me.
We have a B-I-N-G-O!
Retro Grouch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 05:50 PM   #19
alcanoe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 830
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride because I like being in the woods, bikes, riding and I'm addicted (after 40 years) to the high energy level that comes from a strenuous cross-training exercise program. In addition, if you work at it hard enough and often enough, it reduces the decay due to aging by at least half by most measures and extends life span.
The ageing/life span effects are relative new reasons as real data has only become available in the last 3 or 4 years.
The required higher intensity aspects are a good fit for me as I always go full out whether its paddling a boat or pedaling a bike. It's just more fun that way.
Al
alcanoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 06:34 PM   #20
lighthorse
Senior Member
 
lighthorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Bikes: LeMond Buenos Aires, Trek 7500, Scattante CFR, Burley Hudson
Posts: 498
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Most of the time I just ride to ride. I do have a 6-8 week training schedule that I use prior to long tours which involves long hours in the saddle. My take is a bit different from previous posters. If the event you are training for involves speed (timed event) then the information contained in the original post is likely good advice. But, if you are training for long tours, then you need to put long hours in the saddle. When training for a tour, I usually have to force myself to go slower than my normal rides so that I don't burn out. One way that I make that transition is to train with my touring bike with panniers that have weight in them. That extra 40 pounds gets your attention right away and helps remind me that I need to pace myself. I will say that after 6000 miles in four months (the training program and the tour), I am in very good condition for long rides. I don't blink at a century nor do I feel I need a day off after 3 weeks. So miles do count, and they do increase your conditioning contrary to an original post. What that post should have emphasized is that long slow miles (14-18 mph for me) carrying a lot of weight doesn't necessarily give you the speed for timed events. That requires a different training plan.
lighthorse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 07:14 PM   #21
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Bikes:
Posts: 11,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
I ride to ride, but it would be nice if I could keep up with the faster riders in the hills. I don't have the self control to lose weight or the time to ride as much as I'd like to. Still, I get in about 6K miles per year and can do the harder centuries.
big john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 07:36 PM   #22
speedlever
Hills!
Thread Starter
 
speedlever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rolling hills of Piedmont NC
Bikes: 2008 Trek Madone 5.5, 2006 Trek Pilot 5.2 (deceased), 2005 Marin Novato, Trek 7100, Schwinn Frontier, Trek 800 sport, Trek 220, Trek MT 60
Posts: 873
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It is fascinating to read the different perspectives y'all bring to the table. Thanks for sharing.
speedlever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 07:43 PM   #23
howsteepisit
Senior Member
 
howsteepisit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Eugene, OR
Bikes: Mecian
Posts: 3,749
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 95 Post(s)
Lets see, I think I ride to enjoy myself, but add in some structured rides so i can ride better, and enjoy myself all the more. In other words, if you have any interest in getting faster you need to add some structure. But keeping it fun is really what its all about. As I get older I get better and better at remembering that.
howsteepisit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 07:55 PM   #24
VROD
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: roanoke rapids nc
Bikes: lotus classique ,haro mirra pro,gary fisher mtb 1980's, trek T1
Posts: 126
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I started back riding 2 months ago because I wanted to get in better shape and I hate running and going to the gym but I like to ride.now I ride because I like to ride.
VROD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-08, 08:00 PM   #25
Jet Travis
Ride Daddy Ride
 
Jet Travis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Villa Incognito
Bikes: 1983 Trek 720; 1983 Trek 620; 1989 Gi Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra; LeMond Victoire; Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro
Posts: 2,648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm in it for the sex, drugs, and rock and roll. So far, I've scored a bottle of Advil and struck out on all other fronts.
__________________
"Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer
Jet Travis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:48 PM.