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Help! Advice for riding in your 40s

Old 11-11-20, 08:21 PM
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thesongs
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Help! Advice for riding in your 40s

I've been riding mostly as a form of transport for about 7 years now. I ride quite a bit every week. Recently, I've realized that while my riding ability hasn't decreased from 3 years ago (I'm currently 41), my recovery definitely has. Previously I could ride 120 km in one day and not be fully affected and ride another 74 the next day without much of a hitch. These days, I ride 74 km and the next day 74 is rough, and the days after are even rougher. Anyone in your 40s or older that's putting a lot of miles have advice for this fairly new member of the 40s club on how to speed up recovery and keep on riding the long rides? Thanks
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Old 11-12-20, 04:59 AM
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Don't push too hard, pace yourself and ride at a lower intensity, this is especially important if you're riding very frequently... Make sure that you're eating enough food and giving your body enough nutrition to recover.
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Old 11-12-20, 06:39 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Don't push too hard, pace yourself and ride at a lower intensity, this is especially important if you're riding very frequently... Make sure that you're eating enough food and giving your body enough nutrition to recover.
The answer makes sense. I suppose it's not so easy accepting getting older and I was looking for a recipe for staying forever young, lol. These days I realized that as I get older I need to either slow down on the unhealthy eating and large quantities and slow down on the biking. So, I'm gonna try to do the first one first. Going to try to slow down on drinking and junk food, try to cut down some weight.
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Old 11-12-20, 07:28 AM
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I turned 40 in July and rode 400 miles on the Katy Trail in August, three days were 75 mile days. I find the first couple days were rough but after that didn't seem to effect me as much. This trip was alot easier that when I did 265 miles on the same trail in 2017. I really think it was the better bike that helped. But liquid intake, pace, breaks varies based on the person. Experiment some and you'll find that sweet spot.
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Old 11-12-20, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Don't push too hard, pace yourself and ride at a lower intensity, this is especially important if you're riding very frequently... Make sure that you're eating enough food and giving your body enough nutrition to recover.
Just so. Also, speaking of recovery, make sure you get enough rest. Let your eyelids follow the sun going down at the end of the day and get a good night's sleep.
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Old 11-12-20, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by thesongs View Post
I've been riding mostly as a form of transport for about 7 years now. I ride quite a bit every week. Recently, I've realized that while my riding ability hasn't decreased from 3 years ago (I'm currently 41), my recovery definitely has. Previously I could ride 120 km in one day and not be fully affected and ride another 74 the next day without much of a hitch. These days, I ride 74 km and the next day 74 is rough, and the days after are even rougher. Anyone in your 40s or older that's putting a lot of miles have advice for this fairly new member of the 40s club on how to speed up recovery and keep on riding the long rides? Thanks
What Bike do you ride?
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Old 11-13-20, 11:57 AM
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I've been riding for over 20 years now and my biggest advice to "game" the system is to ride with a power meter. Know your limits and don't push over a certain threshold. On long rides, I keep my power under 3 watts per kg.
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Old 11-13-20, 03:44 PM
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Old 11-14-20, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by thesongs View Post
I've been riding mostly as a form of transport for about 7 years now. I ride quite a bit every week. Recently, I've realized that while my riding ability hasn't decreased from 3 years ago (I'm currently 41), my recovery definitely has. Previously I could ride 120 km in one day and not be fully affected and ride another 74 the next day without much of a hitch. These days, I ride 74 km and the next day 74 is rough, and the days after are even rougher. Anyone in your 40s or older that's putting a lot of miles have advice for this fairly new member of the 40s club on how to speed up recovery and keep on riding the long rides? Thanks

I turn 56 in 2 weeks and it some part of getting older. I used to ride 70+ miles weekend rides, commute 15 miles a day and these days....I don't as long, but find my recovery is a little more involved. As mentioned, make sure to eat good, get plenty of liquids and don't push yourself to hard. Enjoy the view
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Old 11-14-20, 06:38 PM
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All the advice here is good. I'll be 60 in a couple of months. I would stress nutrition. I don't know how much it will make in your athletic performance and recovery but it's a good time to build good habits. I find the best way FOR ME to do that is not to make any sudden and drastic changes. I didn't cut junk food out. I decreased it a little at a time. Cravings are almost gone now, and I'm happy with a couple of cookies rather than a whole bag.
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Old 11-14-20, 07:42 PM
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Start getting ahead of the inevitable muscle loss and do some weight training. Don't be a gym rat, don't try to bulk up or get yoked -- just do some bench presses, seated rows, and kettlebell swings a couple of times a week. I'm 60 now and wish I had started this regimen when I was your age; it's unbelievably helpful to your cycling, your physique, your sex life, and your overall ability to postpone decline.
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Old 11-16-20, 09:14 PM
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I just ride a locally produced Korean steel road bike. I do carry a lot of weight (clothes to change into, laptop, U-lock, etc.).
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Old 11-18-20, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by thesongs View Post
I just ride a locally produced Korean steel road bike. I do carry a lot of weight (clothes to change into, laptop, U-lock, etc.).
Huh. I commute on a steel bike in Korea as well, at age 44. I've been clocking 300-450 km weeks during Covid.

I love to ride longer distances (60 km a day commuting and 120-150 km recreationally on the weekend occasionally), and I usually spin at about 23km/h. I can maintain that pace all day, especially on the flat riverside bike paths around Seoul. Finding a comfortable level of exertion and not trying to push too hard helps.

As does nutrition. I eat a lot of lean protein, especially after longer rides, to give my body what it needs to make repairs. Korean roasted grain powder and roasted bean powder is fairly high in protein and often cheaper than whey protein etc. It tastes better too, in a shake with the Italian "Almond Drink" from No Brand. Lotte also have oat and almond protein shaker bottle drinks for 2,000. No Brand's great for cheap protein, though, with chicken breasts and tenders, as well as pork. Korean beans--the black beans from the sweet side dish--and normal white beans are cheap, easy to cook and full of good vegetable protein. I make bean salad with them. I also take collagen supplements for my joints, there is cheap "Aqua Collagen" made from fish available online here, much cheaper than vegetable collagen. It just tastes like lemon, it's fine. Koreans also tend to eat a lot of rice, but you can--if you eat a Korean diet primarily, instead of cooking western food at home--put beans and pulse mix into your rice cooker rice ("japgok" in Korean), bringing up the protein levels. The rice cookers have a special setting for it as well; it's nice.

Stretching is another important thing that I need to do more often, as well as strength exercises. As cyclists I think we tend to get much, much more cardio than strength training; I certainly do and it's really something I need to address.

The last point I would make is clothing. Wearing appropriate clothing, especially now, going into a Korean winter, is important. Feeling comfortable on the bike, and ending the ride still feeling marginally comfortable--it's below zero sometimes, comfort is relative, you know what I mean--helps you to ride again. Proper lined cycling pants with a chamois, layers of sweat wicking clothes, a somewhat breathable wind breaker--so important when that NE wind screams down out of China--or old ski jacket, decent shoes or shoe covers, etc. It's all really important for keeping your body healthy and avoiding chafing, saddle sores etc.

Last edited by PDKL45; 11-19-20 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 11-19-20, 09:32 PM
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Never ridden a bike until I was in my 40's. Now I commute 30 miles/day roundtrip for work and I get irritable when I don't have my bike nearby at the office. Not a particularly fast rider but I get to my destination within an hour and same back home. It's not a race for me. Just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
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Old 11-20-20, 06:50 AM
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ask this question when you turn 60 LOLOLOL
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Old 11-20-20, 07:11 AM
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"Unhealthy eating" is a form of killing yourself. Stop doing that. Forever.

You will need to re-examine how you live your life. While you may be at a genetic disadvantage when it comes to the effects of aging, there is no reason to contribute further to co-morbidities or deficiencies in essential nutrients. Go ahead and have a doctor do a full blood work-up for the male hormones and markers to a healthy body functioning. Also, shop for a doctor who does not compare your numbers to the current population, which is NOT NORMAL any longer. America is sick. The numbers should be compared to more ideal physiological standards. These exist, but are not widely used.

You're in your 40s, not your 80s. Step up your self-care game.
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Old 11-20-20, 09:07 PM
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What worked for me in my 40's and 50's was go the miles when I wanted to, rest when I felt like it. "Rest" meaning having a slower commute that day or taking a day off on the weekend. I have never believed that our bodies necessary need more recovery as we age, not in our 40's anyway, other than avoiding stress injuries.
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Old 11-23-20, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by thesongs View Post
The answer makes sense. I suppose it's not so easy accepting getting older and I was looking for a recipe for staying forever young, lol. These days I realized that as I get older I need to either slow down on the unhealthy eating and large quantities and slow down on the biking. So, I'm gonna try to do the first one first. Going to try to slow down on drinking and junk food, try to cut down some weight.
Well, you can stay young forever, you just have to do it differently. Back when I was your age, I had a young man about 65yrs old pass me at the finish at our velodrome. Wisdom goes a long way.

Recovery is important. Other than the general "healthy living" advice, I would say it is critical (for anyone) to fuel themselves within 30 minutes of a ride. Your muscles and body are craving replenishment. If you wait an hour its too late.

Realistically, if you are going for an hour, you are not burning that many calories (ie. its easy to overdo the refueling), but after 120km - you really need that post ride nutrition.

That, and I'm getting better exercise if I don't do a hard tempo+ ride two days in a row. Recovery time is important for everyone, but even more as we age. I'm going to get a better workout going hard 3 days a week than if I'm trying to go hard a bunch of days in a row.

And if you really want to go deep (and/or like data) you can get a heart rate monitor. Strava has some good features to measure exertion (suffer score) and recovery. If I'm doing a race, or a long tour, I'll take several days off (or a week off if its serious) to be fresh for that. A good heart rate monitor can even measure heart rate variability and give you a good idea how fresh you are that day too. I'll say, that this works best if you get your heart rate zones professionally measured. My wife does this for a career - and once told me that the standard zones work for just about everyone. I took the test (on a bike of course), and found my personal measurements were off the charts. My zones were a bit compressed and higher than predicted for my age. Just from talking with fellow cyclists - I think someone in as good cycling shape as you is going to have different zones from the average person doing a workout.

So - short answer:
fuel for recovery within 30 minutes after a ride
if you are doing multiple days of riding, don't go at a race pace every day (stay in an endurance heart rate zone).
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Old 01-02-21, 02:20 PM
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Rest more...eat better. Drink less alcohol-or consume at least double the amount of h2o as the "naughty water". I am 41, and have two metal hips and a reconstructed knee. Once I shed that 20 lbs I denied ever gaining and put those 3 simple rules in play it was magic! BTW I consume lots of water due to beer being a necessary construct of my carbo loading lol.
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Old 01-06-21, 06:05 PM
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I agree with the people who are saying to weight train. I'm 44, almost 45, and I stopped weight training at 31 when my kids were born. I've aged at an incredible rate and while I'm thin I've maintained no muscle mass. If you don't use it you lose it. No truer words have ever been spoken!
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Old 01-11-21, 06:28 AM
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47-year-old grandfather here (yes, we start 'em young here). Like others have said, things don't get easier, but I especially like the comments on getting it done regardless. Some days I'm hitting the Strava segments, racing the cars, and feeling like I'm unstoppable. Other days, I'm just getting there. Other days still, I'm tired and take a Uber to the office if I have to go in that day. It's easy to give yourself too many excuses to just not do it because it's not as easy and it used to be, this is what we must constantly remind ourselves to do it anyway even if we aren't as fast or recover as quickly as we once did.
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Old 01-11-21, 11:31 PM
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Don't push yourself to hard. This is very common. I have my friends dad who like to ride every now and then. It okay to age and get your speed a bit decreased down.
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Old 02-22-21, 05:57 PM
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These are all great comments. I'm 43 and feel like I haven't done enough to keep muscle on. (not that I had much to begin with) I'm also finding that my flexibility is going out the window. I need to get on a stretching routine.
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Old 02-22-21, 10:01 PM
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How did you go with the Korean winter, OP? It's been brutal, especially for bike commuters, with those north-west winds whipping down out of Siberia and China and all of the snow fronts coming before the cold spells. I am really ready for spring.
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Old 02-24-21, 01:32 PM
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40's ?

I was in my best cycling shape ever from 42 to 50. Now at 58, still riding strong. Train smart, hydrate, and good nutrition on the bike for long rides. I avoid bars, gu and that stuff. Give me a small turkey sandwich on a 100 miler.

I say train smart because many think that riding a 30 mile ride everyday should make them stronger. Do some challenging, climb, do a steep climb, something to push yourself. Know when to back off, when to push and when not to. Some people race day after day only to burn out. Know when to back off. If you do a big climb one day, the next ride should be an easy recovery ride, 10 mph if that's what it takes.

I'm 58, but have friends that are in their 70's that are awesome strong riders. 40 is still very young for cycling.

FTR, the 40 caught my eye from the main page. I had to read this one.
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