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Old 02-17-11, 10:12 PM   #1
bernmart
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Getting slower

I'm discouraged. I had to bail at mile 70 of the Palm Springs century on Saturday because I'd just run out of time and daylight. This is a ride I'd completed twice before just a couple of years ago. I've completed eight centuries during the last four years, but none in more than a year.

The stats show that each year I'm getting slower and slower--never fast to begin with, to be sure. I'm 72, and hate to accept this as an inevitable consequence of aging. Any advice on how to rejuvenate my cycling? I'm in excellent health AFAIK.
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Old 02-17-11, 10:27 PM   #2
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I'm discouraged. I had to bail at mile 70 of the Palm Springs century on Saturday because I'd just run out of time and daylight. This is a ride I'd completed twice before just a couple of years ago. I've completed eight centuries during the last four years, but none in more than a year.

The stats show that each year I'm getting slower and slower--never fast to begin with, to be sure. I'm 72, and hate to accept this as an inevitable consequence of aging. Any advice on how to rejuvenate my cycling? I'm in excellent health AFAIK.
You are 72 and you are riding 70 miles. Rejoice!
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Old 02-17-11, 10:29 PM   #3
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Start earlier in the day?

Seriously, I think consistency is key. I ride nearly every day, but when I don't get the opportunity to ride long--like, say during our long and snowy winter--I can't ride long, until after I ride long. In other words, in order to be able to just hop on the bike and crank out a century, you need to do centuries regularly. Just ask 10Wheels. The man doesn't consider starting a ride if it will be less than 100 miles. He does a couple a week. It's because he does a couple a week that he can do a couple a week.

You're being unreasonable thinking that since you did a couple of centuries a few years ago that you can just hop on and go right now. I'm 20 years younger, and despite riding 4-5 days a week all winter, I know I can't do a century without building up to it come spring. And the first one or two will be slow.
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Old 02-17-11, 10:35 PM   #4
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Ride with people who are faster than you. It will make you work harder and improve your speed.

I don't push myself hard when I ride by myself. When I ride with a group I'm always trying to keep up so I don't get dropped.
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Old 02-17-11, 10:39 PM   #5
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+ 1 miss kenton comment. For me distance or time are of little importance. It's the enjoyment of the ride, thats all. BTW you are doing very well IMO
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Old 02-18-11, 01:21 AM   #6
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First talk to your Doctor to make sure there is nothing physical stopping you.
Then talk to a nutritionist... one who has elite athelete clients, and get your fuel right. (You have to eat right every day, not just the week of the big ride)
Then talk to a personal trainer with biking experience. Have him write up a program for you, and then follow it religiously for a month. Then see him again and get a new program, building yourself up, slowly and steadily.

Read the stories of 70+ people who complete Ironman triathlons for inspiration and tips.

You are an inspiration to me. I hope I ride a century sometime. The furthest I've ever been in a day is 60 miles.
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Old 02-18-11, 09:04 AM   #7
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How about this, slow down and enjoy the ride. So you don't ride 100 miles, or 75, or 50, or 10, what difference does it make? I think you earned it already.
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Old 02-18-11, 09:34 AM   #8
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You need to go riding with 10 wheels. He's only a couple years younger than you, and can likely kick the butts of a large portion of cyclists 50 years his junior (As can you......I suspect........quit'cher sandbagging ).
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Old 02-18-11, 09:40 AM   #9
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I ride with many cyclists 65 +, one in his early 70's, and another who is 80. You will get slower, but, main thing is to continue to enjoy it!

the 80 yo rode el Tour de Tucson last year, but, told me Sunday he thinks that will be his last one. On the other hand the 70 yo is the cyclist that is mentoring me on long distance cycling and randonneuring.
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Old 02-18-11, 11:57 AM   #10
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Am 78 and have only ridden the El Tour de Tucson 27 times . . .yep, missed one year back in the '90s when boss would not let me off work.
You rode "only" 70 miles? That's a lot more than many folks are capable of!
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Old 02-18-11, 12:10 PM   #11
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Only a year into road riding and I had done several metrics and a century and I decided to climb Mont Ventoux while on holiday. Whilst doing the tourist bit at a big town I saw a group of "Older" riders at a cafe and joined them for a chat. They regularly did Ventoux but not at the speed they used to but at their age- they did not expect to. All were over 70 and did Ventoux every Sunday with their club- subject to weather.

Regular riding that you have been missing is telling its toll. Don't think you have to do 100 miles to be able to do 100 miles- but a metric or 6 a year will soon get the legs back up.

You have just done one so just another 5 to go
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Old 02-18-11, 03:08 PM   #12
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We're not getting slower, its just that the world is getting faster!
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Old 02-18-11, 04:43 PM   #13
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I feel your pain. My last century, the Tour de Safford in Arizona was a nightmare. It was because my HR would not rev up. Anything over 123 and I would go anaerobic. It was from my thyroid meds. they say, although I still can't get my Max Sustainable HR back to normal, at 164 or so. I have slowed considerable since last year and you may have something going on in your body causing you to slow too. I went on a ride today and was slower that two days ago, but I think it was because of what I ate last night, at a neighbors house. Good luck in finding out whats slowing you up. Just for grins here in a link to my garmin.
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/68904487
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Old 02-18-11, 05:00 PM   #14
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Getting slower means you get to spend more time doing what you love to do.
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Old 02-18-11, 06:14 PM   #15
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How did you feel after 70 miles? Were you spent or did you feel like you could have gone on if not for the darkness?
I'd say a check-up might be in order, but like others have said if you want to ride distance you have to train for it.
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Old 02-18-11, 06:23 PM   #16
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I'm seeing a cardiologist next week to get the results of some extended tests. I've been having some "tightness" in the chest so I think some tests are in order. I had a suspected case of pericarditius about 20 yrs ago, and then there was the chemo in '02. Then there is always the possibility of heart and vascular disease.

In any event, the likely outcome is to slow down. No more major hammerfests with the A group, sub 5 hr centuries.

I guess at 63 some things, like growing old itself, may be inevitable.
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Old 02-18-11, 06:50 PM   #17
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Here's a somewhat depressing article from the BBC published four years ago. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6334899.stm
Bear in mind that it does not provide any rigorous evidence that the failing muscles strength with age is either irreversible or inevitable it does at least provide an explanation for some of what is going on.
Also, check out this thread on testosterone. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...terone-Therapy
Good luck improving your satisfaction on the bike. Remember, the older we get, the faster we used to be.
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Old 02-18-11, 07:56 PM   #18
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Lots of info here for us geezers:-)

http://www.drmirkin.com/
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Old 02-18-11, 08:00 PM   #19
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Don't be discouraged. I'm 54 and not proud to say a 7 mile ride would do me in. I'll get back this year and eventually be able to do a 70 mile solo ride. You'll get good advice here about recovering most of your previous strength but the bottom line is you have little reason to be discouraged.
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Old 02-18-11, 08:01 PM   #20
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We are the same age so I can feel your pain. However, one day we will all be dead and that is as slow as it gets. In the meantime, rather than dwelling on what may no longer be possible, there is much we can do. In my case, my M.O. is to do as much as possible as long as possible.

I began riding last March/April and got in 2800 miles. It would have been more except recovery takes me longer than a younger man. I need to pay closer attention to recovery nutrition. Still, I found my body responding to the exercise and put some serious muscle on the legs. I also found myself beginning to stand and charge up some smaller hills. So far my longest distance has been 55 miles with the next goal about 75 miles or so, the distance you feel bad about. I eventually wish to do 100 miles however long it takes me to get there. I'm proceeding under the assumption that goal is attainable.
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Old 02-18-11, 08:05 PM   #21
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Just have Fun with what you are able to ride.
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Old 02-18-11, 10:51 PM   #22
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I'm 20 years your Junior and would be thrilled to do 70 miles. Most I've done is 50 on the hybrid. I am hoping the road bike makes a difference, but honestly- I do it for the fun and not the distance. You should, too!
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Old 02-19-11, 02:52 AM   #23
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Glad you made it that far. I used to run the sag stop at the 70 mile mark of the Tour de Palm Springs, so I can picture the scene well. There were probably riders who dropped out well before you did. No shame, be proud. Seventy miles is still a lot.
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Old 02-19-11, 07:14 AM   #24
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I can't believe everyone has missed the obvious.

You need a new bike!
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Old 02-19-11, 12:32 PM   #25
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I'm 20 years your Junior and would be thrilled to do 70 miles. Most I've done is 50 on the hybrid. I am hoping the road bike makes a difference, but honestly- I do it for the fun and not the distance. You should, too!
Absolutely, esp. a good road bike.
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