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Getting older, riding slower, trouble keeping up with my group, advice please!

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Getting older, riding slower, trouble keeping up with my group, advice please!

Old 03-17-23, 06:19 PM
  #76  
big john
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I'd like to say that it's possible for some 70 year old people to ride with much younger people. The OP wants to improve some to be able to ride with his group and it seems they want him there, too.
I'm 69 next month and I am in the same situation. There are 70+ year old riders in my club who can smoke me and they do the big "A" group rides. Maybe they can't beat every younger rider in a sprint or on a long climb but that's not what the OP is trying to do.

I've done thousands of club rides. Some older riders can drop some of the younger riders. The OP might be able to improve enough to not feel like he is slowing the group. This works for my situation. Last weekend I went with a fast group I knew would be too much for me so I left early at their coffee stop. They tried to encourage me to finish the whole route but I wasn't up for it. Bailing out is an option on longer rides and I don't mind riding back alone.

So I want to encourage the OP. Lose a little weight if you can. Lighten your bike and stuff you carry. And train. If your friends tell you they want you there, believe them.

I don't know if an e-bike is an option for the OP. I've considered one but it is a big step for someone like me. My friends in the road club will accept me if I get one, even though our club doesn't allow e-bikes. I wouldn't even try to ride with the other club with an e-bike.
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Old 03-20-23, 10:20 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I am late to this, and I am happy to see that e-assist came up (very) quickly in the discussion. I mean ... seriously. How else is a 70 year old going to keep up with a 30 year old? Riding alone, or only with other senior cyclists, is certainly one option, but there is no amount of 'training' that is going to take 40 years of 'age' off of a human. Do I need to say that? As to the Swytch. In 2023 I can't think of another product that expects a buyer to put their faith in a 6 month delivery window. The difference between a 250W motor and a 1000W motor is the more powerful motors ability to absorb heat. That's it! It is not 'faster'. It is ... stronger. Better built. You WANT that. A standard sedan has 120hp and that is a jaw dropping amount of power. It allows that car to accelerate going uphill! It allows a 120mph top speed if you have a tailwind and a mile of clear freeway. And most of them cruise around modestly at around 45mph on commutes and errands. Just like the 90hp econoboxes. The econobox will make it to the coast. The standard sedan will make it there and back. As many times as you want. The Swytch will disappoint because the low power (light duty construction) only satisfies the virtue signalling (see I don't need no stinking power) but you will destroy it in its first six months of use because. Well because, hills. The practical e-assist has a 500W - 750W motor and is legal in the U.S. You then ride it like you would ride any other bicycle you own.
I think the best compromise is a European spec e-road bike with I think 250W max programmable pedal assist. Like the Orbea Wildwood linked to earlier. This is presuming your fitness is maxed out and the young whipper-snappers are still dropping you - which will be inevitable sooner or later.
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Old 03-21-23, 11:04 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by 3940dxer View Post
Iíll be 70 this year and have never been fast on the hills. The small local group Iíve ridden with for 10 years goes out once a week, and itís a big highlight of my week. The other folks are about 30-40 years old. Theyíre super supportive and patient when I fall behind on the hills but I get really frustrated and want to improve.

Iím a non-smoker, maybe 5 or 10 lbs over ideal weight, no special health issues. Last year I injured my shoulder, had to deal with 2 surgeries, and was off the bike for 6 months, but Iíve been back on for 6 months, without any pain or issues.

On the climbs, sometimes I feel my leg muscles start to hurt and fade, sometimes I get winded, sometimes both things happen at the same time.

I do solo rides 1 or 2 times a week, almost always in the hills, and I enjoy the climbs. Iím just slow.

7 1/2 years ago I did a 500 mile trip with a lot of hills, doing about 40 miles a day. I was at my strongest after that and could keep up with the group 99% of the time. But that didn't last long.

I ride a carbon fiber road bike thatís quick. I carry about 10 lbs. of tools and accessories, but I canít think of anything Iíd be comfortable eliminating.

The obvious answer is ďride moreĒ and I will. And I have appointments with my cardiologist and ENT next week to see if part of this is a cardio or breathing issue, which I think is possible.

Besides asking for general advice and experiences from other seniors whoíve dealt with this, I have a few questions.

Does it sound like leg strength is my main limitation, or might it be a cardio thing, where I just donít get enough oxygen?

When I train solo in the hills, should I push it as much as I possibly can, and really sort of beat myself up, to get better?

Is a 40 mile ride in the flats as helpful as a 20 mile ride in the hills, or should I really just stick to the hills for training?

I know that at some point in the coming years age will catch up and there will just be no way I can do rides with my group and keep up, but if I can do rides like this for maybe 5 more years without being a big drag on my friends, Iíll be thrilled.

This is really important to me. Thanks in advance for any advice, life stories, tough love, etc.
Iím a couple years behind you. I was once fast on hills 40 yrs ago. Each decade I was less fast and quite slow when weight and bad habits piled on. The bad habits are gone, the weight is less and needs to go down more but I am no longer fast. I am slow.
For you to go faster up hills you need to put out more power to the wheel during the time on the hill. Period. You could ride 100 miles at an easy pace and not be able to go faster up hills. The fact you got fit in a couple week trip is a useful signpost though.

First off using people 30-40 yrs younger than you on weekend rides sounds not good for the ego or motivation. First off Iíd check w the doctor what is a good max heart rate and consider a heart rate monitor.
Second is to ensure your riding technique is as efficient as possible. No use wasting energy before it gets to the wheel. I donít have any sense of your riding history. Mine came from touring then racing then life. The difference better technique can bring may not be significant at first but itís essential for increasing power output. Itís part of a foundation. So pick something in your feedback loop, breathing, heartrate, tension in a muscle, your back, hands, face, whatever. Identify it and see if you can dial it down for the same speed. See if you can reduce a point of tension to make hill climbing less stressful.
Then pick a hill climb for training. Take it at a speed that doesnít require a recovery from. Yeah, thatís slow. Imagine you have to ride 40 more miles after that hill. Next day go a little faster but not anything that leaves you breathing hard. Check out your posture, are you spinning easy. Keep establishing a new baseline each month. Foundations take time to build. If you have a hard day have an easy day after it. What isnít needed is turning recreational group rides into your make it or break it death rides. They may be fitness training rides for the kids but doesnít sound like it for you.
Basically the idea is for you to chose your power output and not let the hill or group set it for you. So to be able to put out more power on hills you have to plan and develop a foundation for putting out more power. So thatís a series of aerobic interval efforts in a day. With a series of effort and recovery days building a more substantial foundation for higher efforts than your 500 mile trip gave you.
My $.02 is relax a bit from the weekly rides and focus on hills. And if you donít want to give up the weekly rides then dial back your expectations for them and really focus on disciplined training the rest of the week. That DOESNíT mean going ďharderĒ. It means going steady. If your hills require five minutes to climb with some effort then you make damn sure thereís no anaerobic spiking in those five minutes. It means riding that hill multiple times at 60% effort before you ride it once at 75% effort. And the next time you ride your hills harder than you did the day before you have a rest ride the next day. Does not matter it itís only 75%. You have an easy day.
Donít let the hill pick your power output.
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Old 03-21-23, 01:09 PM
  #79  
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Just read your last post “mashed up the hills a little better”. If that’s an accurate characterization of your pedaling technique or effort
then that’s one place you can change right now. No mashing. Spin, dance, prance but don’t mash. The hill will not change with mashing.
Wrt frequency of riding one ot two times a week won’t do it if you want to increase capacity for power output. Make it four but two of them are recovery days which means all you do is get on the bike and spin even if its just five miles of spinning. Two days of riding where one is five miles of spinning and another 20miles of brisk riding is much, much better than one hard and erratic 25 mile ride.
Also consider cutting the group rides short to meet your training needs. If the ride has five hills and you’re not having fun by the third then only go three at the same speed you’d go on your hard days then call it quits. Let folks who would normally hang back for you know your plans. Btw “hard” does not mean busting a gut 95% effort, Hard is any effort that requires recovery. If you have to recover and take it easy at the top of the hill then that’s hard.
Basically the idea is to reduce power spikes across the board and move them into specific lengths of time approximate to your time on the hill and the output on the hill is steady, steady, steady.
You get good at what you do a lot. Riding once or twice a week will get you good at riding once or twice a week. Riding for specific periods of time at elevated efforts WITH scheduled recovery gets you good a doing just that which is what is required for going up hills faster or the same speed with reserves for doing more on the next hill.

Don’t just go harder or “ride more”. Put the rest and effort in the right place.

Last edited by LeeG; 03-21-23 at 01:42 PM.
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Old 03-29-23, 09:47 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by 3940dxer View Post
Carbonfiberboy recommended hitting the gym. Probably excellent advice and my wife would be thrilled but Iím so resistant to it. Maybe thatís part of my problem. I donít know, itíd be such a big commitment and change for me. But you really struck a nerve with that one. Maybe.
An easy way to start: get two or three different weights of dumbbells and/or kettle bells, then start slowly at home. A handful of basic exercises, done for 15-20mins a session. Then, see how it goes. You can do quite a lot of "floor" type exercises (ie, the old "calisthenics" exercises) with good effect.

Some ideas on floor exercises and circuits: Workouts and Exercises @ DareBee.

With your hiking, you can use a simple day pack to add some additional weight to your routes. Start with 10-15lbs in the bag and see how your hikes go. Once that's no biggie, add another 5-10lbs, etc. It'll help strengthen your supporting muscles, and (if you're "pushing") your cardio. Won't change your time commit ... just the difficulty.

You can worry about longer, more-formal gym type workouts later, if the minor changes seem worthwhile and you'd like to do more that your basic home gear won't cover.
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Old 04-01-23, 12:16 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by 3940dxer View Post
Iíll be 70 this year and have never been fast on the hills. The small local group Iíve ridden with for 10 years goes out once a week, and itís a big highlight of my week. The other folks are about 30-40 years old. Theyíre super supportive and patient when I fall behind on the hills but I get really frustrated and want to improve.

Iím a non-smoker, maybe 5 or 10 lbs over ideal weight, no special health issues. Last year I injured my shoulder, had to deal with 2 surgeries, and was off the bike for 6 months, but Iíve been back on for 6 months, without any pain or issues.

On the climbs, sometimes I feel my leg muscles start to hurt and fade, sometimes I get winded, sometimes both things happen at the same time.

I do solo rides 1 or 2 times a week, almost always in the hills, and I enjoy the climbs. Iím just slow.

7 1/2 years ago I did a 500 mile trip with a lot of hills, doing about 40 miles a day. I was at my strongest after that and could keep up with the group 99% of the time. But that didn't last long.

I ride a carbon fiber road bike thatís quick. I carry about 10 lbs. of tools and accessories, but I canít think of anything Iíd be comfortable eliminating.

The obvious answer is ďride moreĒ and I will. And I have appointments with my cardiologist and ENT next week to see if part of this is a cardio or breathing issue, which I think is possible.

Besides asking for general advice and experiences from other seniors whoíve dealt with this, I have a few questions.

Does it sound like leg strength is my main limitation, or might it be a cardio thing, where I just donít get enough oxygen?

When I train solo in the hills, should I push it as much as I possibly can, and really sort of beat myself up, to get better?

Is a 40 mile ride in the flats as helpful as a 20 mile ride in the hills, or should I really just stick to the hills for training?

I know that at some point in the coming years age will catch up and there will just be no way I can do rides with my group and keep up, but if I can do rides like this for maybe 5 more years without being a big drag on my friends, Iíll be thrilled.

This is really important to me. Thanks in advance for any advice, life stories, tough love, etc.
As folks age, the diet, nutrition, and lifestyles' cumulative effects come home to roost. Some of the body's natural functions decrease, e.g., melatonin is just one of several. Take one mg per night before bed; it nourishes the glands like fountain of youth for your innards. Professional athletes take medicinal mushrooms and cordyseps to increase stamina, and it's good for older people as well. Make sure your Vitamin D is right level. 70% of people are deficient. For years anything above 20Ng was OK. Not so anymore; should be 50-80Ng per ml. Those are just a few examples of many that I've learned about in the past 1 1/2 years by watching everyday a syndicated program entitled "Your Health Matters" with Dr. Richard Becker, D.O., who's a renown integrative physician. Larry Rice, a local minister carries it on his channel, and it streams as well on Roku, it's NLEC-TV, on every weekday at 10:00 am. It's followed at 11 by Know the Cause with Dough Kaufmann, a self-care advocate and self taught expert on fungi. History lesson: Diet, supplements, and folk medicine used to be taught alongside "modern" medicine, but that all changed in the 1920's at the behest and funding by John D. Rockefeller. Being money hungry, he saw the money was in patent medicine. With his money and the Flexner Report, he changed medical education under the guise of standardizing it. Folk remedies were dropped. Thanks to AMA lobbying, it's illegal to say that anything other than drugs or surgery will cure a disease, hence the disclaimers with supplements. Dr. Becker's programs repeat, so you can jump in anytime and start learning about how to get/stay healthy. Meds prescribed give relief eight hours at a time for symptoms. Fungi can imitate numerous chronic diseases, yet doctors spend little time in their training on them and nutrition. Nine out of 10 cancers are caused by compromised immune systems. We can pump the immune system up and fight off viruses, fungi, chronic disease, cancer, bacteria, and effects of chemo for cancer survivors, etc. . . . He cites research from all over the world, so it's just not opinions. You won't hear wellness measures from your doctor like you'll hear from Dr. Becker. He's into wellness and how to wean from meds, not prescribe more for symptoms that arise from taking drugs. America has 5% of the world population, yet we ingest 50% of prescription drugs! Me thinks something is rotten in Denmark on that one. It's all about the money, so get educated and get healthy. You can do lots of things to get your stamina and legs working somewhat like they used to.
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Old 04-07-23, 07:00 AM
  #82  
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71 here, two prior heart attacks and a very bad knee. I ride 30 miles or less at around 14 MPH average for exercise, and keep an eye on my BPM and watts for the heart and knee's sake. For years I've been a member of a local riding club, but over the past two years, I've questioned if it's worth writing the check for annual membership. The 'easy' club rides are typically 16+ MPH average, lots of climbing, and 50+ miles. Not something my heart and knee will tolerate.
Out of desperation, I posted a message on the club board asking if anyone would like to take a 20 mile ride at 14 mph. (I won't ride alone anymore after being hit by a car 4 years ago where the driver didn't stop - until he was chased down by another motorist who witnessed the collision.) Surprisingly, we ended up with 8 riders, and a lot of comments about how the club was neglecting the interests of the more casual rider. I have a feeling this group will be growing in the future.
BTW, we averaged 14 MPH on the button!
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Old 04-07-23, 09:29 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul View Post
Surprisingly, we ended up with 8 riders, and a lot of comments about how the club was neglecting the interests of the more casual rider. I have a feeling this group will be growing in the future.
BTW, we averaged 14 MPH on the button!
That looks like the makings of a great ride.

Some of my favorite rides are of the "smell the roses" social type, with no training goals, target zones, or agenda. Just riding along with a buddy or two.

A recent social ride averaged 11.4 mph, and it was my most enjoyable ride of the year. Training effect: minimal. Emotional benefit: high.


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Old 04-08-23, 03:28 PM
  #84  
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3940dxer said: Thought I’d follow up again with my conclusion, which is train harder and hang in there.

I enjoyed reading through this thread. I rarely move out of the ultra-distance cycling forum here. But sometimes I check out other areas here, too. I was a little disappointed when I got to the end and saw that you think you need to train harder and simply hang in there. And I hate to break it to you, but that book you like, Cycling Past 50, is not worth much. It wants you to believe it can tell you how to get faster after 50. But instead, all it does it tell fast riders at age 50 how to continue to be fast. It's a lot easier to keep something going than to make it better as you age. Bummer.

One thing that I did not see mentioned in this thread was anything about diet, fuel source, and mitochondria. There is something called being fat-adapted. And there is something called being overly carbohydrate reliant. A healthy metabolism will burn fat when not exerting effort to extreme. When exerting to extreme a healthy metabolism will burn carbohydrate (sugar). A healthy metabolism will switch back and forth depending on the exertion level.

Sadly, in today's society, a poor diet on and off the bike which is comprised of mainly carbohydrate will cause the mitochondria become dysfunctional. Dysfunctional mitochondria make up an unhealthy metabolism. And the mitochondria are the powerhouses of the muscle cells. When they don't work correctly, then you don't perform on the bike optimally. And guess what, as you age chances are pretty good your mitochondria are dysfunctional. Training harder will not fix them. Training harder will just overwork the dysfunctional mitochondria. Think of a broken down car. Will it go faster by revving the engine? No. Will it go faster if you take it to a mechanic and have the engine rebuilt? Yes.

How do you rebuild your mitochondria? You need to change your diet so the only carbs you eat are veggies high in vitamins and minerals - broccoli and cauliflower, etc. Eat one meal a day while getting rid of your dysfunctional mitochondria. The intermittent fasting and the 4 to 5 hour Z2 bike rides while fasted will get rid of your bad mitochondria. Do 3 (or maybe 4) long slow bike rides a week. The body will form new undamaged mitochondria during this process. Do this for 6 months. Once you've gotten rid of the bad mitochondria, then start eating more and doing higher intensity workouts. Sugar consumption is OK on the really high intensity workouts. You'd be stupid to do more than one of these in 2 weeks. This will cause your new mitochondria to become more robust. After about 3 months of this you won't feel 70 any longer. You should be ready to bang elbows with the young guns.

If you are a person who has to take a rest stop every 25 or 30 miles on your bike rides to get a sugar fix, then what I say herein above definitely applies to you. For more discussion on this topic take a look at the following link to my blog. See https://jlippinbike.wordpress.com/?s=mitochondria. Training harder is not the answer. Training SMARTER is. Good luck to you.

Last edited by jlippinbike; 04-08-23 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 04-08-23, 04:46 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by jlippinbike View Post
3940dxer said: Thought I’d follow up again with my conclusion, which is train harder and hang in there.

I enjoyed reading through this thread. I rarely move out of the ultra-distance cycling forum here. But sometimes I check out other areas here, too. I was a little disappointed when I got to the end and saw that you think you need to train harder and simply hang in there. And I hate to break it to you, but that book you like, Cycling Past 50, is not worth much. It wants you to believe it can tell you how to get faster after 50. But instead, all it does it tell fast riders at age 50 how to continue to be fast. It's a lot easier to keep something going than to make it better as you age. Bummer.

One thing that I did not see mentioned in this thread was anything about diet, fuel source, and mitochondria. There is something called being fat-adapted. And there is something called being overly carbohydrate reliant. A healthy metabolism will burn fat when not exerting effort to extreme. When exerting to extreme a healthy metabolism will burn carbohydrate (sugar). A healthy metabolism will switch back and forth depending on the exertion level.

Sadly, in today's society, a poor diet on and off the bike which is comprised of mainly carbohydrate will cause the mitochondria become dysfunctional. Dysfunctional mitochondria make up an unhealthy metabolism. And the mitochondria are the powerhouses of the muscle cells. When they don't work correctly, then you don't perform on the bike optimally. And guess what, as you age chances are pretty good your mitochondria are dysfunctional. Training harder will not fix them. Training harder will just overwork the dysfunctional mitochondria. Think of a broken down car. Will it go faster by revving the engine? No. Will it go faster if you take it to a mechanic and have the engine rebuilt? Yes.

How do you rebuild your mitochondria? You need to change your diet so the only carbs you eat are veggies high in vitamins and minerals - broccoli and cauliflower, etc. Eat one meal a day while getting rid of your dysfunctional mitochondria. The intermittent fasting and the 4 to 5 hour Z2 bike rides while fasted will get rid of your bad mitochondria. Do 3 (or maybe 4) long slow bike rides a week. The body will form new undamaged mitochondria during this process. Do this for 6 months. Once you've gotten rid of the bad mitochondria, then start eating more and doing higher intensity workouts. Sugar consumption is OK on the really high intensity workouts. You'd be stupid to do more than one of these in 2 weeks. This will cause your new mitochondria to become more robust. After about 3 months of this you won't feel 70 any longer. You should be ready to bang elbows with the young guns.

If you are a person who has to take a rest stop every 25 or 30 miles on your bike rides to get a sugar fix, then what I say herein above definitely applies to you. For more discussion on this topic take a look at the following link to my blog. See https://jlippinbike.wordpress.com/?s=mitochondria. Training harder is not the answer. Training SMARTER is. Good luck to you.
Got to question your medical credentials here. Genetic mitochondrial disease is pretty rare and you don't appear to be talking about secondary mitochondrial dysfunction due to some other disease. .
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Old 04-08-23, 06:41 PM
  #86  
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shelbyfv said: Got to question your medical credentials here. Genetic mitochondrial disease is pretty rare and you don't appear to be talking about secondary mitochondrial dysfunction due to some other disease. .

Why do YOU have to question my medical credentials? This is an open forum NOT in the business of giving medical advice. In my post I merely commented on another poster's comments. No doctor-patient relationship was created nor ever will be created. No prescription was rendered or received. Get your facts straights before you go off sounding like an idiot. This forum is not supposed to be confrontational. But YOU made it so. I've never heard of "genetic mitochondrial disease" and I never mentioned such a thing. I've never heard of "secondary mitochondrial dysfunction" either. But what I was talking about probably could be described as such since dysfunctional mitochondria relates directly to a condition called insulin resistance which relates directly to diabetes. And many people would probably call diabetes a disease. This all is basic stuff that is described over and over on the Internet.

What I provided in my prior post here was informational. I cited a link where other information could be found on point. Readers are allowed to investigate that other information and form their own conclusions. BTW, "genetic" mitochondrial disease sounds like a problem that someone would be born with. And if a person is born with it, then it would not be a condition that a 70-year-old would get when old. He'd have had it all his life. I don't know if you are a doctor, or not, but you sound like some kind of a quack.
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Old 04-08-23, 06:57 PM
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Guess you missed the point. You don't need to be giving folks quack advice about "repairing" their mitochondria. There isn't any test for "dysfunctional" mitochondria, other than the rare genetic problems mentioned. If you want to suggest a training plan or healthy diet that works for you, have at it. Simply put, you are way out of your lane.
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Old 04-08-23, 08:35 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
That looks like the makings of a great ride.

Some of my favorite rides are of the "smell the roses" social type, with no training goals, target zones, or agenda. Just riding along with a buddy or two.

A recent social ride averaged 11.4 mph, and it was my most enjoyable ride of the year. Training effect: minimal. Emotional benefit: high.


Almost 3,400’ climbing over 23 miles, would not exactly be leisurely unless the gradients were less than 5%. But am guessing the climbs were above 5 which accounts for the average speed. However, we may have different definitions based on fitness, which is cool.

I did this ride last week, 17 miles of which were climbing. The average speed was pumped up by running about 18 on the flats. For my weasely self, the climbing was a workout, but the grades started at 5 and went to 11.


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Old 04-08-23, 10:56 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by 3940dxer View Post
Thought Iíd follow up again with my conclusion, which is train harder and hang in there.

I keep hearing success stories from other senior riders. Last week a friend and I rode down the coast and in Santa Barbara we fell into a conversation with a local homeowner. He mentioned that his brother, who's in his 80ís, often rides to SB from Malibu and back. And I got a copy of Cycling Past 50, which is really excellent, and filled with great info. Iím only part way into it, but the big take away for so far is that itís all about the training. It sounds like if you just do 2 rides a week you lose strength. 3 is minimum, 4 is better. (He also makes the point that if you try to train too often youíll actually lose strength, because you never have a chance to recover.) So as Johnny Carson used to say, ďItís all in the timing." Iím convinced that a senior rider can be fast and almost as strong as the younger folks, but it takes more and more planning and commitment. I hope to find some in-between place that makes me stronger than Iíve been recent years, without trying to be some hyper-focused super athlete. (Thatís not me.)

That book has a ton of numbers and charts. Itís almost too much, but one interesting thing was a chart that addresses the fatigue and recovery cycle, and the way your body ďovercompensatesĒ (becomes stronger than before) after fatigue and recovery. This made me think that if I do a big training ride say 3 days before my group ride, my overcompensation sweet spot might coincide with the group ride, giving me a little boost.

I'm also trying to educate myself about lung capacity and breathing, which I think has been an issue for me. And I made an appointment with my cardiologist to get her take on this. I think she might have some insight into the physical limitations and what my upside is.

Meanwhile, I exchanged a couple messages with the group leader. He basically said donít worry about it, just come out with us. So that was very reassuring and took off a lot a lot of pressure. I went out with them a couple of days ago. It was one of their easier rides but I could tell I was a little stronger. I mashed up the hills a little better, and just fell behind briefly a couple of times. So in the coming months Iíl work at getting a little faster, skip the most challenging rides, and I think itíll all be ok. I'll never be one of those amazing 80 year olds that leave the kids in the dust but I think I can get to where I keep up well enough and enjoy riding with my friends for at least a while longer.

Thanks again for all the replies.
It's good to read books like that. I read it once. Didn't do anything for me really, but probably because I already knew the principles. I read an article, i think in the NY Times the other day about hope. The writer said the most people don't understand hope. Hope isn't passive. To hope is to act: First: analyze, second: plan, third: never quit working on that plan. Of course you'll modify the plan as you gain experience and as the plan changes you. But never quit. People in the gym ask my how I do what I do at my age. "Never quit" is the answer.

I tried dumbbells at home. Didn't work. The gym works because you have a plan and you can execute it quickly using the gym's vast equipment resources, and very important, there's a crowd mentality of "just doing it." Everyone's hard at it, so you are too. If you PM me, I can email you PDFs of the gym workouts I've been using for the past few years. I keep using the same routines because they work. Biggest real change in aging is sarcopenia. Pretty much everything else stays about the same.

Max HR drops and max power drops, but low end and midrange doesn't change much. My resting HR is still the same as it's been for the last 20 years. I was riding fast 400k brevets in my mid 60s and finishing in the top third on long mountain events in my early 70s. It's just learning how to train smart. You can't train harder, but you can train smarter. So what does that mean? Listen to terrymorse, go look at his posting history. Do what he's doing. Lots of zone 2, one day a week with zone 4.

So what's zone 2? You go by breathing. As you gradually increase your pace on the bike starting quite slow, you'll notice that your breathing gradually deepens but stays relatively slow until you are breathing about a deeply as you can at about that same rate. To increase the pace from that point, you have to increase your breathing rate. That change in breathing rate is the upper end of zone 2. When you get that figured out, note your HR and power and structure most of your rides so that you stay below that point. I live in a hilly area, so I do a lot of riding indoors on my resistance rollers, even in summer. Yes, it's not as fun, but it works.

Besides ordinary pedaling, I do low cadence (50-55) at high effort. Because of the low cadence, HR stays reasonably low, no more than zone 3. I do high cadence work, shooting for 115 while staying in zone 2, long periods of it, up to 45'. That's a great way to improve leg strength and endurance as well as pedaling smoothness. No bouncing in the saddle. I can pedal 150 and not bounce. Doing high cadence work will improve your efficiency and endurance. Once a week, every week. IF I get really good at that, I'll change up and start doing 2' one-legged pedaling intervals on the rollers. Both those things really helps my climbing.

I use TrainingPeaks (Premium) to plan and record my rides and all workouts, whatever. That way I have numbers to associate with my training stress and can gradually increase my CTL (chronic training load) over the course of many months. That's been a huge help. I plan about a week ahead.

Your group ride once a week will be where you give it everything you've got. I try for 45' in Z4, and have almost zero in Z1. Try to keep up on the hills - and you'll get tired and get dropped. Don't worry about that. Come back the next week and do it again.

During my weekday Z2 rides I normally drink only water. Fat burning is the program. On my group rides, I take a bottle of maltodextrin flavored with a little whey protein, rocket fuel. I can give you the recipe. It works. This is where you stimulate the high end sugar metabolism. Gotta have both, fat burning and carb burning, so you have to do both. The idea on the group ride is to finish it absolutely spent. The more you spend, the more you'll have in the tank to spend in the future. Draining it makes a bigger tank. Don't worry about getting dropped, I've drug in way behind the group countless times. And then I starting coming in near the front of the group. Happens.

Getting fit takes time, years really, but start now. I start training in early October and train steadily until some time in August. Then I play at whatever until October and start again. I try for 400 hours/year. A good year is about 5000 miles. Diminishing returns above that lever.
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Old 04-10-23, 12:02 PM
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LeeG
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“train harder and hang in there”

How about actually train before you train harder?

Last edited by LeeG; 04-10-23 at 03:43 PM.
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