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Training plans for Masters...are they too much?

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Training plans for Masters...are they too much?

Old 11-09-20, 09:56 AM
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daneh
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Training plans for Masters...are they too much?

I was very kindly directed here from the 50+ forum so I shall ask the same questions here.

I can't copy and paste my original post from the over 50 forum so I shall get to the point here....I am a 61 year old female who is in good shape and was previously playing hockey and skating until the pandemic shut down the rinks.So, I took up cycling again (a 15 year hiatus). Got a nice bike (Cervelo R3 Di2) and some power meters and got what I think is a Masters level training plan from Training Peaks.

I also did some reading online and what I found was I might be doing too much.I have 1 rest day a week and some days, I am doing double workouts as in a ride and a lift. I am starting week 8 of a 20 week off season training program. It obviously gets more difficult in order to improve. And I fully realize that if I cannot get out of bed or start to suffer over training signs, it is too much. I also understand that none of you know me or my physical condition. I guess what I am asking from this section of the forum, what women in this situation are doing and if there are plans that are made specifically for 60 plus ladies. Or do I need to find a coach to get this much customization?

I appreciate all answers.
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Old 11-09-20, 11:54 AM
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Hi Daney - welcome to the road bike racing forum (aka the 33). You should stick around and post about your training and progress - there are several people here that have a lot of racing and training experience. However, I don't know if there are any female masters that post directly in this forum so I'll give you my experience as a male master cyclist. From your brief description, your training plan would be too much for me. I find that I need 2 rest days per week, and even with that I need a lighter week with 3-4 easy days every 4-6 weeks. I don't do double leg workouts in the same day, but I will occasionally do a core strength workout on the same day as a riding workout. Hope this helps.

Edit: I forgot to mention that I'm a 52 yr old masters racer.

Last edited by cmh; 11-09-20 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 11-09-20, 12:15 PM
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Hi Daney:

I saw your original post in 50+. I'm a 53-y.o. masters racer. I've been training with power and on more or less structured plans since 2013. I ride nearly every day, but most weeks I will have at least one day and usually two days where the ride is just a mellow commute or a ride around the neighborhood with my wife. Everyone is different, but 6 days a week right out of the gate seems like a lot.
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Old 11-09-20, 12:15 PM
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I don't believe there are any plans made specifically for 60yo women, and everyone responds to different plans differently.

There were a couple of women who were close to your age that posted here, but I haven't seen them in awhile. Hermes may be able to help, as his wife races.

If you are having trouble, finding a good coach who can tailor a plan to you could very well be worth your time and effort.
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Old 11-09-20, 03:20 PM
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There is also a workout recipe thread here. The BikeForums.net workout recipe book
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Old 11-09-20, 03:40 PM
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Kudos to you for going after it.

FWIW, I'm a 57 yr old man who's been training loosely since 2013, and seriously (ie with structured plans) for the past 3-4 years.

One concept I didn't really understand fully until the past year was that training is most effective when you're rested enough to hit the targets and do the full workout. Coming into a session exhausted and pushing through the pain sounds good, but in the long run, coming in rested does more good. There's a time for pushing through exhaustion, but that shouldn't be a very regular occurrence.
Also, recovery is highly individual and varies with age, nutrition, what kind of workouts you're doing, etc. For me personally, more than 3 hard (100+ TSS, threshhold or higher intervals) workouts in a week ends up trimming my gains, so I do 2 or 3 hard workouts, 2 or 3 base/sweet spot workouts, and at least 2 very easy or rest days each week.
I use Training Peaks to track my progress, but I haven't used their plans. What has worked for me with Trainer Road is to do a low volume training plan (3 workouts per week), and then flesh out the other days of the week with my own easier rides. You may be able to do something similar with the plan you're on. Dial down the volume a little so you can focus on the intensity on the days you are pushing.
Ultimately, listen to your body. In my experience, paying more attention to nutrition, rest, and sleep solve 90% of my problems on the bike. Kudos to you for joining the women's masters ranks. Hope to see you at a race sometime.
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Old 11-10-20, 09:41 AM
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bbbean, now that sounds great. I have an upcoming FTP test. I will see how I perform with that and go from there. I do listen to my body and if I am tired and sore I will swap out the tougher ride for a longer gentler approach. I shall check out Trainer road and of course some less volume programs in Training Peaks.
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Old 11-10-20, 10:47 AM
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Awesome and welcome. My own team has been fairly focused on women's racing and women masters racing in particular for quite a while. I work with our women's team manager who herself is a 52 year old cat 2. Our group gets together semi-often and discusses all sorts of things, challenges, and ideas these women have found to be significant.

General advice - training is different for everyone. As you've already been an athlete you will find the basic principles stay the same. Listen to your body. You know what works and how you feel.

Second - they all love and greatly recommend the book "Roar" by Stacy Sims. It has to do with how to "Match your food and fitness to your female physiology for optimum performance, great health and a strong, lean body for life." This deals with the fact that almost all training programs or regimes are written for men and completely ignore female physiology.

Apart from that - I'm not very qualified to give specific training advice. I would simply echo what most others are saying in that training effect seems to be easier to achieve and more effective when worked with the appropriate rest and recovery. Riding 6 days a week seems, on the surface, to imply a lot of junk miles or non-focused training with adequate recovery. Only you will know that though.

My experience with master female athletes keeps revealing epiphanies each of them seems to have once they decide to truly slow it down and recover or take more rest in their training.
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Old 11-10-20, 11:40 AM
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My wife is another fan of Roar.

OP, if you are interested, I do know several coaches with experience working with masters women. PM me if you want their names.
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Old 11-10-20, 11:54 AM
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To all of you for replying, I thank you sincerely. Psimet2001, great advice. So here's what happened. I went back to TrainingPeaks and looked at the program I chose...yeah all on me. I chose a 20 week advanced program with only 10 weeks on the bike.

The funny thing is I am doing it and it now registers in my brain it was a level too much, so yeah it's hard but I wasn't expecting a cake walk. I did drop a day from this week on and now have two full days off. No junk miles on this one. I am using this Saturdays FTP test to be the deciding factor if I keep going with the extra day off or I move to a intermediate program.

Thank again to you all. I will be checking out "Roar" for sure (bought it)...you guys are great. FYI I am in Colorado

Last edited by daneh; 11-10-20 at 01:16 PM. Reason: additional info
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Old 11-10-20, 01:25 PM
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I told my wife your story and asked for her opinion. She said...hire a coach who will see you and provide on the spot feedback. She has had a coach for the last 12 years but for this year due to the pandemic. A hands on coach will jump start your journey into cycling and improve your skills and tactics as well as power production and strength training.

I suspect you have a very good selection of male and female hands on coaches in Colorado. Good luck.
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Old 11-10-20, 01:38 PM
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Hermes, I think that's a great ides. I am sure I can find someone here in CO. Thanks to your wife!
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Old 11-10-20, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by daneh View Post
Hermes, I think that's a great ides. I am sure I can find someone here in CO. Thanks to your wife!
Off the top of my head Katie Compton is there and used to coach the lady I am referring to on our team. Also I have worked with another great out there that does a fabulous job - Rebecca Gross.

I used to know a lot of the training bible/ training peaks crew out there but many of them no longer coach.

There's enough women who are masters age that have had amazing careers and who coach and are in Colorado...Best of luck and let us know if we can help out in any way.
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Old 11-10-20, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by daneh View Post
... and some power meters ..
My wife is a bit older than you. Due to safety and how many group rides behave, she rides rec only.
I have noticed a drop in both our power over the last 30-40 years (duh). At older ages what is lost in power can often be made up in just getting more slippery for a new rider. You did this before, so maybe you are slippery. But rather than focus on increasing power, I'd focus on using less.
A fun thing to do is take that PM and see how little power it takes to maintain 20mph both ways (eliminating wind).
I sometimes read how a rider averages this speed and this power and look at it and think that is way too much power for that speed. PMs do vary and we use hub ones, so they measure lower.

Anyway, your body cannot rebuild naturally at the same rate as 30 years ago. So while you maybe can do a 30 year old workout, I doubt it benefits you as much as backing off a bit and focusing on getting faster through means other than increased fitness.
Finding 60+ women's races might prove to be difficult in most areas.
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Old 11-10-20, 05:11 PM
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In CO - look at Dr Glen Winkle (COS area). He is older (60s or 70s now), former 40+ world champion. He's into getting faster through technique.
Might also check out Colby Pierce. He's more an Olympic type coach for youth, but a smart guy.
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Old 11-10-20, 05:57 PM
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Thank you for your time and insight. You may have read I made the mistake of choosing an advanced program. WellI pared it down and took out a day of cycling and a day of lifting and it looks, right now, much more manageable with two full days off. I will look into Getting faster with less power. I have the pedal meters and love them. Take good care both of you.
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Old 11-10-20, 05:58 PM
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I am looking up them both so thank you very much.
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Old 11-10-20, 06:12 PM
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Yeah, indeed a lot. Wise to cut it back. I sent you a message. Good luck!
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