Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

Starting over-again

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

Starting over-again

Old 03-06-24, 06:50 PM
  #1  
old newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 959

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 406 Times in 210 Posts
Starting over-again

After not doing much this winter I am out riding again and going to the gym for an indoor ride when the weather is bad.
Yesterday and today I rode a paved trail around a local lake. Itís a 6 mile ride. I only did one lap yesterday and again today. I was going to do 2 but my calf muscles started twitching like they wanted to cramp.
I want to start stretching my distance. I should be doing 25-25 miles per ride. Is it worth just resting for 15 minutes then going another lap?
I may ride a different trail soon just to try. My lake trail has almost constant ups and downs, a lot of twisty curves and bridges that have a post, or 2 posts, at one end and several have a 90* turn at one end or the other. It is really difficult to just get in a rhythm and ride. I am constantly changing gears. I average around 14mph even though I have to slow down at the bridges and a couple of climbs that really slow me down.
My goal is to be able to go on group rides up to 50 miles and not be afraid of dropping out.

Is it as simple as just keep riding and getting in better condition and the distance will follow?
For what itís worth at the gym I do 45 minutes and plan to stretch that to an hour or more. I just do a steady level 5 or 6 so I am just exercising not training.

BTW I donít like hills!😎
pepperbelly is offline  
Likes For pepperbelly:
Old 03-06-24, 10:51 PM
  #2  
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 19,638

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Liked 2,004 Times in 1,423 Posts
I've started over so many times in the past 2 years, I've lost count. I get going and something happens. Supposedly that's all over. All the docs say I'm good to go, so I'm at it again and I've been at it for one whole week already! Good for me! My first problem is leg strength and recovery. I go to the gym twice a week and I'm on a new-to-me program where I do one set of each lift until I can't do another rep, shooting for 30-40 reps. I ignore the aerobic part, take a brief rest at the end of each rep if I need to to keep going. It's just about strength/endurance. If I can't do 30, I drop the weight next time. If I can do 40, I raise it 5 lbs., etc.

I'm trying to do something, bike or gym, 6 days/week, doesn't really matter how much because I'm doing my cycling indoors, so I quit when my legs hurt too much. I'm shooting for an hour on the bike in Z2 each day. Maybe in a couple weeks I'll be able to do that. I'd like to work up to 1.5-2 hours on non-gym days. Then I'll go outside and start doing some harder work, hills or little intervals. That's the plan. I've done this before, but not at this age. I'll see how it goes.


Cycling is all about hills. Hills are the point. Can't do them right off, but you'll get there. One learns to love hills because that's where it all happens. I think one should be able to ride about 30 miles, mostly flat, before working on hills.
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is offline  
Likes For Carbonfiberboy:
Old 03-07-24, 06:33 AM
  #3  
...
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Whitestone and Rensselaerville, New York
Posts: 1,596

Bikes: Bicycles? Yup.

Liked 1,730 Times in 786 Posts
I find starting over to be difficult. My expectations are high and my judgements on 'how much and how hard' are off. I typically overdo things, then have to take extra days off, etc. Steady state is much easier to manage!
BTinNYC is offline  
Likes For BTinNYC:
Old 03-07-24, 08:39 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: northern Deep South
Posts: 9,006

Bikes: Fuji Touring, Novara Randonee

Liked 2,008 Times in 1,257 Posts
I beat your restart by a week. (See, the competitive urge never goes away!)

I got my circa:1999 restart going by riding with my daughters down to the bookstore on weekends, 5 miles away, where we'd sip fancy coffee and browse the books. My wife would take anyone who was too tired home, and I'd ride back. Fast forward a few years, and I started commuting by bike: same kind of thing, only separated by 9 hours instead of half an hour, and every day. That really build up my endurance over a few years.

So yes, I think resting for a few minutes and repeating the lap is going to be good. Probably not as good as doing the whole thing straight. Best I could tell, I got an endurance benefit of about half the shorter ride when doing two rides a day. (Liberal Kentucky windage applied!)
pdlamb is offline  
Likes For pdlamb:
Old 03-07-24, 10:42 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Classtime's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,764

Bikes: 82 Medici, 2011 Richard Sachs, 2011 Milwaukee Road

Liked 2,101 Times in 1,152 Posts
If it hurts too much to ride with the cramp(s) then of course stop, stretch, and then get back on the bike. You will cramp less often the more you ride. 14mph is not bad. Keep riding. Maybe stretch the calfs first? Cramps continue to be mystery.
__________________
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
Classtime is offline  
Likes For Classtime:
Old 03-07-24, 10:51 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,911

Bikes: Several

Liked 772 Times in 571 Posts
Are you hydrating well? Taking in enough electrolytes? Getting enough potassium? A deficiency in any of those can lead to leg cramps.
staehpj1 is offline  
Likes For staehpj1:
Old 03-07-24, 11:17 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 5,816

Bikes: 2022 Salsa Beargrease Carbon Deore 11, 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Liked 3,079 Times in 1,902 Posts
My advice (and of course, YMMV) is to not worry too much about what you accomplish on any particular ride. Just keep getting out there day after day (well, not 7 days/week, but, say, 5), and the distance/endurance/improvements will come.

If you are enjoying your rides, you will keep doing them. And if you keep doing them, they will get longer.
MinnMan is online now  
Likes For MinnMan:
Old 03-07-24, 11:17 AM
  #8  
old newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 959

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 406 Times in 210 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
Are you hydrating well? Taking in enough electrolytes? Getting enough potassium? A deficiency in any of those can lead to leg cramps.
I drink water all day but I thought about electrolytes after too. I donít drink Gatorade and I probably should.
I have been trying to lose weight and have cut carbs and sugar, no bread etc. I am probably not eating well enough. I have to figure out what to eat to have energy but not gain weight.
pepperbelly is offline  
Old 03-07-24, 11:20 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,610

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Liked 1,722 Times in 1,107 Posts
When I get that twitch its a sure sign of an impending CHARLIE HORSE!

Back off stud. What s the rush. I know ya want to go, Go, GO, but take a step back old Geaser. Enjoy the ride. Getting back into it is not a chore. You are out there for the enjoyment.

And of course, You Know This...

As for me, I often push a little too hard and suffer pushing back the sheets to dance around the room in the early morning hours doing the Monster Mash.
Cramps are a bugger...
__________________
No matter where you're at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Likes For zandoval:
Old 03-07-24, 11:39 AM
  #10  
old newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 959

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 406 Times in 210 Posts
Originally Posted by zandoval
When I get that twitch its a sure sign of an impending CHARLIE HORSE!

Back off stud. What s the rush. I know ya want to go, Go, GO, but take a step back old Geaser. Enjoy the ride. Getting back into it is not a chore. You are out there for the enjoyment.

And of course, You Know This...

As for me, I often push a little too hard and suffer pushing back the sheets to dance around the room in the early morning hours doing the Monster Mash.
Cramps are a bugger...
What makes me mad is that I used to be an athlete.
pepperbelly is offline  
Likes For pepperbelly:
Old 03-07-24, 01:15 PM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Eastern Shore MD
Posts: 1,007

Bikes: Lemond Zurich/Trek ALR/Giant TCX/Sette CX1

Liked 948 Times in 470 Posts
And forget about speed, at least in the beginning.

Ride a comfortable pace for as long as you can. Easy breathing, smooth pedaling, focus on cadence... sure, go out and give it the beans every so often, but for the most part just ride smooth and comfortable miles.

The fitness will come.
Jughed is offline  
Likes For Jughed:
Old 03-07-24, 01:25 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 5,816

Bikes: 2022 Salsa Beargrease Carbon Deore 11, 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Liked 3,079 Times in 1,902 Posts
Also - don't get into a rut doing the same route over and over again. To the extent your local geography allows, vary your destinations and your loops, so that it stays fresh. Seeing different things and spending part of your brain energy on navigating will keep you more entertained and more engaged.
MinnMan is online now  
Likes For MinnMan:
Old 03-07-24, 02:57 PM
  #13  
old newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 959

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 406 Times in 210 Posts
Some of the symptoms of low potassium seem to apply to me-especially fatigue and muscle weakness. It would explain why some days riding are easier than others. Since I have been cutting carbs my diet hasnít been great. I have avoided bananas due to high carbs. I just found that avocados are high in potassium too.
I am going to change how I eat and see how it goes.
pepperbelly is offline  
Old 03-07-24, 03:40 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SW Fl.
Posts: 5,639

Bikes: Day6 Semi Recumbent "FIREBALL", 1981 Custom Touring Paramount, 1983 Road Paramount, 2013 Giant Propel Advanced SL3, 2018 Specialized Red Roubaix Expert mech., 2002 Magna 7sp hybrid, 1976 Bassett Racing 45sp Cruiser

Liked 811 Times in 515 Posts
Originally Posted by MinnMan
Also - don't get into a rut doing the same route over and over again. To the extent your local geography allows, vary your destinations and your loops, so that it stays fresh. Seeing different things and spending part of your brain energy on navigating will keep you more entertained and more engaged.
180į opposite this reply at times. My bicycling enjoyment comes from varying routes AND riding the same routes over and over and over. Mind over boredom by changing efforts throughout the ride.
OldTryGuy is online now  
Likes For OldTryGuy:
Old 03-07-24, 04:21 PM
  #15  
old newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 959

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 406 Times in 210 Posts
Originally Posted by OldTryGuy
180į opposite this reply at times. My bicycling enjoyment comes from varying routes AND riding the same routes over and over and over. Mind over boredom by changing efforts throughout the ride.
My lake trail follows the shore all the way around. Itís a nice ride but just difficult to maintain a pace. I have a couple of other trails that are flatter but longer. I need to get in some kind of shape before Iím comfortable riding them. Neither are very long but for now they are out of my comfort zone.
pepperbelly is offline  
Old 03-07-24, 06:47 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,610

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Liked 1,722 Times in 1,107 Posts
Originally Posted by pepperbelly
What makes me mad is that I used to be an athlete.
But ya see... That is why you enjoy it so much... Ha
__________________
No matter where you're at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Likes For zandoval:
Old 03-07-24, 07:33 PM
  #17  
old newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 959

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 406 Times in 210 Posts
Originally Posted by zandoval
But ya see... That is why you enjoy it so much... Ha
Iím just not happy with how my body responds now at 65.
I will see how a change in diet changes my performance.
pepperbelly is offline  
Likes For pepperbelly:
Old 03-08-24, 06:43 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Eastern Shore MD
Posts: 1,007

Bikes: Lemond Zurich/Trek ALR/Giant TCX/Sette CX1

Liked 948 Times in 470 Posts
PB - another thing to consider as we get older is consistency. We don't rebound like we did...

Figuring out a way to spin the pedals all winter helps a bunch. Typically, you come into spring in better shape than when you would stop before winter.

First warm day on the MUP is a thing to watch. A bunch of people suffering their first rides after hibernating.
Jughed is offline  
Likes For Jughed:
Old 03-08-24, 07:09 AM
  #19  
Junior Member
 
Dino_Sore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 91
Liked 61 Times in 39 Posts
Originally Posted by pepperbelly
What makes me mad is that I used to be an athlete.
The older I get, the faster I used to be!
Dino_Sore is offline  
Likes For Dino_Sore:
Old 03-08-24, 09:48 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 25,615
Liked 9,452 Times in 4,638 Posts
Originally Posted by pepperbelly
What makes me mad is that I used to be an athlete.
Yes, and I used to be strong. Now, a 40 pound box of cat litter is a challenge.

I've found that any time off the bike takes a toll on my ability to ride distance. I can ride year round but if I slack off on climbing the next climbing ride can lead to cramps.
If I ride and climb a lot I almost never cramp. If I try to do too much too soon that's when cramps happen. I have had cramps when I'm in shape on long rides with a ton of climbing but normally the more I ride the less I cramp.

Same thing with the lower back. First long climb equals back pain. If I climb a lot every week then no back pain or cramps.

If you feel like you need electrolytes there are many products you can use. I've had good luck with Heed, Perpetuem, Cytomax, and capsules from Hammer products. Also people seem to like Nuun tablets.

These days I rely on regular food most times. I do like bananas, PB&J, or even dried apricots. Apricots have potassium. A friend used to bring those little pretzel squares stuffed with peanut butter.
big john is offline  
Old 03-08-24, 09:55 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 25,615
Liked 9,452 Times in 4,638 Posts
I say forget about average speed. Think time and intensity. Obviously you're going to slow down going uphill, or into a headwind, or maybe when it's hot. At this point just try to increase your saddle time without overdoing it. Build gradually and don't forget rest days. Sometimes when I don't feel like hammering a bunch of miles on the road I will take the mountain bike and just ride around the dirt and stop to take pictures, have a snack, or walk through a creekbed.
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:
Old 03-08-24, 12:32 PM
  #22  
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 7,344

Bikes: Scott Addict R1, Felt Z1

Liked 3,817 Times in 1,901 Posts
Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Iím just not happy with how my body responds now at 65.
I will see how a change in diet changes my performance.
Yeah, as someone in the same age range, training is different now.

I used to be able to just get off the couch and pile on the training volume and intensity for weeks at a time, and I saw my fitness surge.

Nowadays, I am more careful about how quickly I ramp up the training. Increasing volume doesn't seem to be a problem, but I'm more careful about dosing the intensity. And it takes longer to recover from a hard workout. I can still ramp up the training fairly quickly, as long as I plan it to have enough recovery time.

Best wishes on your fitness journey. One good thing about being detrained, you get to watch steady improvements.
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat. ROUVY: terrymorse


terrymorse is offline  
Likes For terrymorse:
Old 03-08-24, 02:13 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 25,615
Liked 9,452 Times in 4,638 Posts
Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Iím just not happy with how my body responds now at 65.
I will see how a change in diet changes my performance.
Originally Posted by terrymorse
Yeah, as someone in the same age range, training is different now.

I used to be able to just get off the couch and pile on the training volume and intensity for weeks at a time,
I retired at 65 and I was pretty detrained at that point. I was still riding at least on the weekends but not feeling good about it. Since I didn't go to work anymore I thought I could get back to where I was in my 50s but no dice.

It took longer to make small gains than ever before. Gains do come but require patience. Even when I seem to be at a certain level it isn't consistent. Still, I feel better than I did while I was working. I'll be 70 in a few weeks and I still have some pretty fun times out there with the club and even solo sometimes.
big john is offline  
Likes For big john:
Old 03-08-24, 02:35 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
MinnMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 5,816

Bikes: 2022 Salsa Beargrease Carbon Deore 11, 2020 Salsa Warbird GRX 600, 2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX disc 9.0 Di2, 2020 Catrike Eola, 2016 Masi cxgr, 2011, Felt F3 Ltd, 2010 Trek 2.1, 2009 KHS Flite 220

Liked 3,079 Times in 1,902 Posts
I was in pretty good shape last summer, but was mostly off the bike in the autumn, owing to injuries. It takes a long time to come back. I am feeling improvements, but each time this happens, I wonder if I'm going to recover my former fitness or if this is the time when I find myself on the big drop-off. 'Cause strength and endurance don't last forever.

It will be what it will be. i just keep riding and enjoying what I can.

(age: early 60s).
MinnMan is online now  
Old 03-08-24, 05:20 PM
  #25  
old newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 959

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 406 Times in 210 Posts
Originally Posted by big john
I retired at 65 and I was pretty detrained at that point. I was still riding at least on the weekends but not feeling good about it. Since I didn't go to work anymore I thought I could get back to where I was in my 50s but no dice.

It took longer to make small gains than ever before. Gains do come but require patience. Even when I seem to be at a certain level it isn't consistent. Still, I feel better than I did while I was working. I'll be 70 in a few weeks and I still have some pretty fun times out there with the club and even solo sometimes.
If I canít get to the level I want I will just be content with rec riding no matter how fast or how far.
pepperbelly is offline  
Likes For pepperbelly:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.