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Older guy question

Old 12-14-20, 08:23 AM
  #1  
davidjaxson
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Older guy question

I am 61 and want to take up cycling to improve my health as I age. My goal is to ride a half century. I used to do a bit of cycle back in my early 50s and commuted 12 miles to work here and there. However 10 years later I find that I am in quite poorer shape for riding. I am sure it is a combination of added weight and not exercising as I should be doing. I need to drop about 40 pounds which should be a great help.


I am trying to determine a realistic training regimen for a guy my age. I run a small business so realistically my training will have to be on a smart trainer during evening hours on weekdays and on the road on the weekend.


There are plenty of plans available for younger riders but info on my age bracket is scarce.


Thank you in advance for your time and replies,
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Old 12-14-20, 09:36 AM
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I am not a fitness expert, just an old guy who continues to bike and stay fit. During the pandemic, I have started to do the 7 Minute routine. I follow this one and it can be done in your home with your furniture, stairs, etc. But for the most part, you just need a mat or carpet floor. This will get your muscles back in shape. I would do it 5 times+ per week.

As for biking, just do it. As you lose weight and feel stronger, add distance. You have biked before and 61 is not old, if you are in a bit of shape. Since you have bike computed, I would get back to that as soon as possible. No matter how far you live from your business, bike part of the way as soon as you make this commitment. For example, if work is 10 miles from home, drive 7 with your bike and bike the last 3. Add distance each week. Why lose that day? And why drive a car, gain 40 pounds and feel you are out of shape when the biggest issue is likely your motor vehicle.

Good luck. Remember this is fitness season. Everyone becomes committed in December. Keep that fitness desire alive!
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Old 12-14-20, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by davidjaxson View Post
I am trying to determine a realistic training regimen for a guy my age. I run a small business so realistically my training will have to be on a smart trainer during evening hours,
Indoor trainers have their place but I think that what they are best at is determining your threshold of boredom.

My general advice is to ride often and try to ride a different route ever time that you go out. If you do that and can make it enjoyable, farther and faster will come naturally.
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Old 12-14-20, 09:54 AM
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Given your age and current fitness level, I think just riding as much as you can is your best bet.

If you've got a smart trainer, try Zwift. I don't use it, but people who do seem to like it. (I prefer to just watch TV when I do my trainer workouts.) There are group rides you can join to help push you to ride harder.

I believe Zwift, Sufferfest and TrainerRoad all offer canned training plans designed to help people at different points in their riding development. You might want to check some of those out.

Lastly, if you really want accountability, find a coach. (PM me if you have questions on how to find one.)
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Old 12-14-20, 10:05 AM
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The short answer - build up slowly. Do some things apart from cycling, add stretching or yoga or some such thing to what you do, and again, take it easy and slowly work up. A little bit done daily with a gradual increase really does lead to a great deal later on.

Not necessarily a training plan per se, but - I am 59. I had cycled in adolescence and early adulthood, quit riding in my early 20s, smoked a LOT of cigarettes, got back into bikes at 37 while still smoking, built up to 2.5k mile years and had a massive heart attack at 42 followed by quad bypass procedure. Quit smoking obviously, did cardiac rehab and when finally allowed to got back on the bike. Through the fall, winter and spring of that first year I rode lots, slowly, on long slow rides with a patient friend. We rode the back of beyond stuff, bumpy old tarmacadam far from the wannabe racers, we took it easy, and it worked. I got back up to almost 4k miles the next year, nearly 4.4k miles the year after that. My speed came up, I lost weight and felt pretty good, I took up mountain biking, then single-speed mountain biking - and then we adopted and had a second child in the same year and cycling pretty much ground to a halt. I puttered around and did a few sporadic miles, and I commuted by bike, but that ended when we moved to a less accessible neighborhood. I will note that during the years I commuted, which was a whopping 3 miles a day in .75-mile increments, coupled with climbing stairs, I still had some muscle tone and could still do the occasional weekend ride.

When we moved five years ago to a neighborhood further out that did not appear to have a safe cycling route to work, coupled with family schedule changes, I stopped cycle-commuting and my condition nose-dived. Then came 2020, lockdown, etc. I really don't know why I sat on my ever-wideing a$$ so long, but I woke up one morning in June well before dawn fed up with the pandemic and my own passivity. I hung lights on my favorite beater Gitane fixed-gear and started riding before dawn on the essentially closed-course 1-mile loop that is my cul-de-sac neighborhood. At first it was 3-5 miles, but i would remind myself that 3-5 miles beats the hell out of zero miles and I had to start somewhere. I got on nodding and waving basis with a couple of dog-walkers, a runner and the occasional fox heading back into the woods and looked for things to see or think about so that I wouldn't equate what I was doing with a hamster on a wheel, and it worked. I came to view the morning laps like a sonnet or a quatrain or haiku, where the limits ARE the point, sort of.

I found that just riding 30-40 minutes per morning this way restarted my metabolism. I dropped about 15 pounds just getting up, riding for a little while, then showering, eating breakfast and starting my day. On weekends while my family slept, I started going out at first light and riding for an hour and a half to two hours. I started riding a relatively flat out and back until I felt ready for hills again. I focused solely on having a nice ride, using the bike computer for a time piece and a navigational aid and not focusing on speed. I made sure I was willing to stop and photograph stuff, or that I would pause long enough to really take in rays of sunlight coming in through the leaf canopy over a narrow road, or fog around a '30s Ford truck with a for sale sign, or the gentle curve of Dixie Drive. I dusted off my other bikes, but primarily rode fixed-gears so I could practice different cadences and use every position I had on the bike to work every muscle in my body. As I got stronger and could ride further and still not be wiped out when I got home, I added dirt roads, then began challenging myself by taking a route that includes the steepest, nastiest, mercifully relatively short climb in the county and grunted my way up it. When autumn came I kept doing it, riding before dawn with lights on a relatively safe nearly closed course during the week, just building it all back up.

I was riding 25-28 mile rides consistently on the weekends, typically 10-11 miles each morning before work. Based on that, I would feel confident I could ride a half-century and probably a metric century if I paced myself. I rode more miles this year than in any year since 2008, and had I started seriously riding in March or April instead of June, I would probably have a nice number for the year - but I'll gladly take 1,100-odd miles over zero miles.

Right now scheduling is challenging for a plethora of reasons I won't go into, so I have learned that on days I don't ride I can get up and spend 20-40 minutes stretching and doing basic exercises based loosely on the old Canadian Air Force 5BX stuff. My parents both passed about a year apart not too long ago, and the examples they gave of what limited mobility looks like spur me to do things to train to maintain balance, flexibility and strength starting now.

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 12-14-20, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by davidjaxson View Post
I am 61 and want to take up cycling to improve my health as I age. My goal is to ride a half century. I used to do a bit of cycle back in my early 50s and commuted 12 miles to work here and there. However 10 years later I find that I am in quite poorer shape for riding. I am sure it is a combination of added weight and not exercising as I should be doing. I need to drop about 40 pounds which should be a great help.


I am trying to determine a realistic training regimen for a guy my age. I run a small business so realistically my training will have to be on a smart trainer during evening hours on weekdays and on the road on the weekend.


There are plenty of plans available for younger riders but info on my age bracket is scarce.


Thank you in advance for your time and replies,
Good for you David! There are many master's training plans out there, however, the main difference between those designed for younger and more senior riders is going to be 2 rest days per week for the master's plans, and more specific emphasis on strength training. Once you get past 50yo, bone density and muscle mass loss become progressively more significant. Thus, strength training. It will improve performance, and most importantly help to avoid injury. You will want to at least have a heart rate monitor to help you gauge your training. A power meter is even better, but more costly. Many people find Training Peaks to not only be helpful but very motivational. TRAININGPEAKS A lot of the better training plans will be designed to integrate with Traininpeaks. Another good resource would be this book: Fast after 50. These resources are developed around the would-be racer, but they are easily adapted towards the more recreational rider as well. The Traininpeaks site can also direct you to many high quality training plans. FWIW, I have no affiliation with TP other than I am an end-user.

At 61 you should have many good riding years ahead of you. This is a friend of mine. He is 81yo this year and is still tearing it up!

.
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Old 12-14-20, 02:08 PM
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As an older guy myself, my thinking is that your goal of riding 50 miles is a good one, and actually fairly modest, so I'd say mostly what you need is miles under your belt, whether virtual or real. I'd suggest a combination of both. At the moment, I'm riding during the week on Zwift, and on the weekends on the road, weather permitting.

I've been riding for most of the last 25 years, but with some fairly significant gaps, so I know a bit about building back up. When I've had a layoff of any length, I generally start up with 16 mile rides on a mostly rolling road that's nearby. That makes for a nice, hour plus ride. I can take it at any pace that's comfortable, and it gets the legs used to spinning again. Then I start adding miles onto that, and some more climbing as well - gently, and using all the gears I have. Over a couple weeks to a month I'm back up to 30+ miles on a weekend ride, and just build from there. I ride a couple times midweek and a long ride on the weekend. This is what I've been doing in Spring most years recently, because I've found it hard to ride the trainer.

I find it REALLY HARD to just spin a trainer for more than about 20 minutes without losing focus, so I have to play loud music with a fast beat to keep going - like the B52s (See? I said I was an older guy), and then I can make it to 45 minutes. I started riding on Zwift back in August, when the fires in Northern California were making the air outside unhealthy for exercising, and it makes it possible for me to go over an hour without boredom. It's not as good for the soul as a ride on the road, but it's better than no ride at all. There are structured workouts but I don't know that you need them unless your goals become more ambitious. Just ride. Get on Zwift and spin around the various worlds. Chase down other riders. Throw in a sprint or a climb every so often.

Regarding weight loss, I've lost almost 30 lbs this year myself. For me, it's all about calorie counting, because without it I'll overestimate how much food I need to compensate for what I burned on the bike, and end up at the same weight. But that's me.
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Old 12-14-20, 02:31 PM
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You should discuss exercising with your Dr. first. If you are on medication for anything your Dr. can give you guidance on how to approach this.

My opinion is that at your age, you should get back to normal weight before a rigorous exercise routine. Diet first.

Unfortunately the best thing for you is something that is not available now because of Covid, which is group fitness. Cardio, weights, body control, boxing, spin in a group format to keep you motivated.

Lose weight and then start a variety of exercises. Weights for a person your age is probably where I would start then fold in cardio once your weight drops.
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Old 12-14-20, 02:49 PM
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Hi David, welcome to the Bike Forum.


I just started back riding my bike two years ago, I was age 60. First year I dabbled a bit but managed a 65 mile ride on a very flat course. It took me about 5 days to get back to normal LOL! That was July of 2019. Most of my rides then were 20-25 miles. In fall of 2019 I was in treatment for Lyme Disease, so I think for my first year 2019 I managed a total of about 700 miles.


Like you David I had in my head that I wanted to do long rides as I did them when I was in my 30s. Since I live in NE PA and hate the cold weather I decided to go the trainer route. Once I finished my Lime Disease treatment I started riding my indoor fluid trainer in the evenings as I still now work full time. The trainer allowed me to build up a level of fitness that I'm not sure how I would have established otherwise.


My first ride or workout on my trainer I used Zwift and did a freeride. For all of winter 2019-2020 I did freerides or social group rides in Zwift. Over the past summer with my fitness vastly improved from the previous year, I did a lot of riding outside. Just two years into this I can now do 50-60 mile rides without any real prep, just get on the bike and go. The longest ride I did last summer was 75 miles but it was time not physical constraints that limited me to just 75 miles.


This winter I'm using Zwift training programs. There are many to choose from, the one I'm doing has interval training 3 or 4 times/week. I'm in week 5 (of 12) weeks, too soon to say it's working but I'm a firm believer in using a trainer and Zwift. I put in the time but at 62, two years into this, last weekend I passed the 6000 mile mark, ascended 404,951 feet of climbing for year 2020. My goal for 2021 is to do a the same 65 mile flat course as in 2019 but do it with at most 1 water bottle refill stop of 5 minutes, completing the ride under 4 hours, actually as close to 3 hours as possible. So yes I'm training hard for this.

There is an indoor trainer sub-forum here that might be worth your time if you are interested. Trainers are boring but Zwift makes it less boring. A wheel on trainer at the low end of the price point is about $400 you can buy less expensive ones but if you think Zwift or the others Trainer Road or Sufferfest might interest you then consider spending the money.

As others have said get a physical exam and ramp up slowly. Still once you get your Drs ok riding even on a trainer will help you control your weight but expect it to take some time. In other words don't over do it but all the while do it. You are going to visit the hurt locker from time to time. At first I was shocked at just how out of shape I was, now I'm quite pleased.

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Old 12-14-20, 02:53 PM
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Start small. Zwift can be a fun way to pass the time on the trainer, but I'm not sure I would jump right into a structured training. Maybe spend a couple of nights a week for the first couple weeks just riding around and checking out the virtual scenery. You'll want to make sure that your bike fits you and you have your set-up all figured out: good display, good fan, and especially good fit. After you have gotten comfortable, maybe think about a bit more structure (and make sure that the structure calls for adequate recovery on both a micro and macro level.)

On edit: in addition to the Indoor Training subforum, you might want to check out the 50+ subforum too.
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Old 12-14-20, 02:57 PM
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I rode a fair amount between ages 35-50. Had no idea what cycling was about. But, I read a lot and learned to ride rollers so I was at least competent and not dangerous on group rides. Then from 50 to 59 I was off the bike. Actually didn't do anything. So, when I got back on the bike I was 25 lbs overweight. Having now been back on the bike for about 15 years I would emphasize a couple things. Ride as much and as consistently as you can. Don't worry about stats. You can do long slow distance (LSD) or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) but just spend time on the bike. And, this is the hard one for me, be patient. Don't have the expectation that a distance you do now at 10 mph will improve to 16 mph by next month. Focus on spinning, climbing, shifting, bike handling, etc. At the end of your ride if you are looking forward to the next ride you are doing it right. Good luck.
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Old 12-14-20, 04:27 PM
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One thing that is really important to remember is that you must get enough sleep for your body to recover and "recharge".
You can't automatically just add your biking to an already jammed full daily calendar of things to get done. Your stress level will be off the charts. You need to be able to manage the stress of running your business, yet allow enough time to both relax and allow for at least 15 min to 20 min of riding per day.

You cannot simply pile more on to your plate. Well, you might, until you overdo it and reach a "breaking point".
Riding 50miles in one stretch is not hugely important!
Hopefully, just getting some riding in on the bike makes you feel good (relaxed and de-stressed).

Obviously, it is somewhat of a weather permitting factor, that will determine when and how little that you may be able to ride during late DEC, JAN, FEB, & early MARCH. If you are fortunate to have superb employees who possibly can keep things going well enough as you perhaps delegate more tasks to, that would allow you to "break-away" from the office to enjoy those sunny afternoons when the weather is suitable to "therapy on the bicycle".

It would be great if you can find a park closeby that is large enough to allow you to ride 3 mile stretches without any traffic worries. You then simply repeat the approx 3 mile loop as if it was a NASCAR oval track. Don't worry about speed!! Just ride for the fun of it, and try to relax and enjoy the scenery! ALWAYS DRESS IN LAYERS, WARMER THAN YOU MIGHT NEED TO, AS YOU CAN REMOVE WHAT YOU DON'T NEED AND BUNCH IT UP IN YOUR SEAT BAG.
Others might disagree but I believe that a large park with roadways within the park and/or Park-greeneway paved patths is the best way to simply and safely get back into the swing of riding bicycles. Why? There are No or Few Automobiles and those automobiles on park roads will be travelling less than 20 mph. The roads within the park will be streetsweeper clean every day, so you have no worries about broken glass, jagged metal, and other road debris. Parks sometimes have their own hazards such as wildlife and at times criminal vagrants-perverts that are much more of a hazard than any wildlife species. If the park has rangers or/and security, it might lessen the risk from "humans" so that risk is extremely low. There is never a NO RISK situation but you MUST weigh your RISK every-time you do decide to ride your bicycle on open public roads & streets. Time of day and natural car/SUV/truck traffic can make one heck of a difference, as can prevailing weather conditions (bright sun, clouds-fog, rain, mud or snow, slush, sleet, ice, and/or high winds. A great majority of SUV/automobile/Pickup Truck/JEEP drivers simply do not respect bicycle riders on the streets/roadways. Exactly what is meant by this statement is that these DRIVERS are so obsessed with getting to where they are going on Time, and most are already on the verge of probably being late that they simply DO NOT enjoy seeing a CYCLIST that they view as slowing down traffic. These "Bad-Attitude" drivers are everywhere and then you'll see the One Arm Phone Holding-BAD ATTITUDE drivers who are distracted while driving. Remember High School Physics Class, well consider what happens when a 3800 pound automobile just lightly taps a 20 pound bicycle with an 180 pound rider aboard.........it ain't ever good for the cyclist.................no accident lawyer can get enough for the cyclist client to make that cyclist whole again. Sometimes like the old "Gambler" song goes, you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em.............................CYCLISTS must realize that sometimes you got to know what roads you can ride and know where you can never ride, as there is too great a risk that you'll get hit and become a statistic. RIDE SMART! Maximize your visibility by wearing highly visible attire and lighting for low-light situations. On a bicycle, the shortest route is not necessarilly the best route, as you must determine the best route based on what is a safe road/street to be riding your bicycle on!

Within four to six months, possibly sooner, even with short daily outdoor rides of at least five miles and you'll be on way to riding 22 to 25 miles without any struggle at all. You gotta get back in the groove and learn to use your gears. The object should be to make the gearing do the work..............NO NEED TO INITIALLY TRAIN AS IF YOU WERE GONNA COMPETE IN A TRIATHLON NEXT MONTH. Racing as fast as possible IS NOT YOUR GOAL!!! Just Ride for enjoyment and listen to your body, and don't overdo it. After a few months, you'll be back in business, such that if you wish to then Speed things UP, then do as you wish. Hey, maybe by late 2021 if the vaccine allows for Triathlon competititions to happen again, and you are also able to seriously swim and also train not only by doing laps in a heated Olympic sized pool in wintertime, but in fresh water lake & river with wind waves and current when Memorial Day, 1st of June rolls around. You gotta train in real water that approximates both the water temp and expected water conditions that you may encounter during the Tri. Running is the easiest part but you gotta have juice left in the Duracells after getting off the bike to do the Energizer bunny run to the finish. The TRANSITION times cannot be overlooked as transitioning from the SWIM to the BIKE, and then the Bike to the RUN is where huge amount of vital race time is Lost or Won. Cyclists generally SUCK as first time Tri-Athlon Competitors BECAUSE THEY THINK THEY WILL BE SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER ON THE BIKE PORTION than other competitors Which Is Just NOT TRUE. Riding a bicycle fast is the EASIEST LEARNED of the three needed skills. Swimmers generally kick cyclists' asses, as do Marathon runners who are also decent swimmers.
Who really cares about 50 miles on a bicycle in one ride? Sheesh, go down to FLORIDA and you can likely train in two weeks from never having ridden to the ability to ride 50 miles on a bicycle in one ride because everything is billiard table flat.
An ordinary triathlon of say a 1 mile swim, 22 mile bike ride, and 10k run is far more fun than just a 50 mile bike ride.
Tri competitors are generally far better athletes than cyclists. Most tri competitors are also serious cyclists, serious marathon runners, serious swimmers, and serious highly ranked amateur tennis players. It is a heck of a lot of fun, and tri competitors are encouraging to novice newcomers, as it is known that all the podium winners in the various age classifications are decent overall and surprisingly not all of the winners are riding expensive bikes at the ordinary triathlons. 70.3 Half IRONMAN competitors generally have much more expensive sophisticated equipment for their 56 mile bicycle portion.

Have fun riding your bike and getting exercise. If you find it fun and enjoy it more, you'll likely continue to make time for doing it.
You aren't doing the Tour de France in July 2021 , and you aren't doing IRONMAN Hawaii in 2021, so why the heck worry, as if you're trying to qualify for the US OLYMPIC TEAM or something. GOALS ARE GREAT, BUT BE REALISTIC AND HAVE FUN RIDING AND YOU'LL KEEP ON RIDING SUCH THAT YOU'LL GET STRONG ENOUGH TO DO 50 miles in one day WITH EASE. You don't need to do the 50 miles at LANCE'S pace. Remember that Lance had world-grade pharmaceuticals assisting him and he was also a young superb world class athlete at that time.
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Old 12-14-20, 07:21 PM
  #13  
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Thanks for all of the encouragement and great replies. It is appreciated.
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Old 12-15-20, 07:27 PM
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First, make sure the bike fits. The saddle and bars should be adjusted for a bit more upright and relaxed position than they would for younger people. You should be carrying at least some of your weight on your hands, which will take some of the weight off your backside, this will make longer rides more comfortable. Choose good gloves and good shorts, if you wear cycling shoes, make sure they fit well. Experiment with the adjustments on your bike, it can take some time to reach the best level of comfort.

Use the granny gear, and keep the speeds low or moderate. It takes time for the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to adjust and build up. As a younger racer, I would work up slowly after the off season, and would not begin training at 100% until after 6 or 8 weeks of more moderate riding. As I am not young any more, it takes a couple more weeks than it used to. Once your body is more used to cycling, you can begin to push bigger gears, and pick up the pace.

Stretching is important. Many people, for whatever reason, scoff at stretching before and after a ride. But it is a great help, it helps you warm up more quickly during your ride, and helps speed up your recovery after your ride. There are lots of videos on YouTube which show good stretching routines for cyclists.

Have fun on your rides. Enjoy the scenery, the fresh air, and try to go to interesting places. As a method of fitness, like any other, cycling needs to be done regularly. What I like about cycling is that it allows me to maintain my fitness while allowing me to go to more distant and interesting places. And riding a bike relaxes me, and releases stress. I don't listen to music while riding, and I try to keep my head empty. My mind is kept busy during the day, and at night I am often dreaming. Cycling is a good chance to meditate, I focus on my pedaling and breathing, pedaling in circles and pacing myself. Being able to ride regularly makes my life better.
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Old 12-15-20, 08:04 PM
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As another 61-year-old, just wanted to say "welcome!"

Not much to add to the wealth of opinions already offered. I personally am a slow Clydesdale and not particularly interested in setting arbitrary mileage or speed goals. Room for everyone on the forum.

What part of the world do you live in? That would be helpful to know in terms of when you can ride outside.
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Old 12-15-20, 08:14 PM
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GlennR
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Originally Posted by davidjaxson View Post
Thanks for all of the encouragement and great replies. It is appreciated.
FYI... there's a 50+ forum... stop by and say hello.
https://www.bikeforums.net/fifty-plus-50/
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Old 12-16-20, 08:04 AM
  #17  
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At 66 , I ride at least a couple of times a week. I don't go too far but on my Sunday rides I do 30-40 miles and that keeps the body and mind happy. I have ridden since I was a kid without ever stopping. I have ridden more or less at different periods of my life , but always done some. I have not had a weight issue so I don't deal with that but I have hypothyroidism which messes with my energy level at times. Your body is your best gage and will tell you what you are capable of . Also weather, I am in Southern California so I cycle year round and I don't much car for trainers but I would do it if I were in the Northeast right now! Joe
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Old 12-16-20, 08:07 AM
  #18  
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Not to be a jerk, but maybe UTFG? A Google search for "starting cycling at 60" gives me 98,000,000 results in 0.47 seconds.

IMO, this forum would be much more useful to you if you read some of that info first, and then came to the forum with more specific questions, like "I'm starting as a cyclist at 60+, I've been advised to do x, what are your opinions about this advice?", or similar. With the broad question you asked, you're going to get advice that is all over the place.
- Read up a bit.
- Consult your Dr. about starting an exercise program if you have any health problems or, at your age, any family history of health problems.
- Pick or cobble together a "program" that sounds good/fun to you.
- Ask questions about it.
- Try it out.
- Use feedback from your rides and the forum to adjust your "program" to fit you.
- If you find you don't like cycling, try something else. You'll be more likely to stick with something you enjoy. Running? Hiking? Rowing? XC skiing? Or multiple activities to keep things interesting (also a great way to support the economy, you'll buy lots of gear!!).
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Old 12-16-20, 10:05 AM
  #19  
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Thank you.

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Old 12-17-20, 08:41 AM
  #20  
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If you get a good smart trainer. Start by just trying to free ride for 15 to 30 minutes on Zwift. Do that for a month at 3 times a week.
once you feel good at doing that.
go to the work outs section start the back to fitness work out plan. Itís a 12 week plan to get you back to fitness.
I am 67 and use Zwift, Sufferfest for hard work outs and Rouvy to enjoy out door riding.
when you get ready to ride outside join the local bike club and see what rides they have scheduled. I ride Zwift with my local club twice a week.
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Old 12-17-20, 09:27 AM
  #21  
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I'm 68 and back into cycling for three years now after a 35 plus year lay off. This year I'll have a little over 4,500 miles in, many metric centuries, and can hang with spirited B groups.My goal for 2021 is 5,000 miles and some A group riding. Not repeating the great advice so far, I'll add at "autumn age" that sleep and recovery are where the fitness gains are made. Look up a devise called Whoop, it's a game changer for me allowing much better fitness gains. Other devices do the same thing. I'd add once you are green lit by your doctor and if you have a smart trainer, don't be afraid of structured training as you will do a test in the program and the program will determine how hard to push you. A smart trainer adjust the resistance to match your current ability. You can pick a plan and your target date for your half century and all you have to do is follow it. Now here's where a device like Whoop comes in as it tracks your sleep and heart rate variability HRV. So each day you get a recovery score and target strain for the day. A low score indicates you are not recovered enough to take on a lot of strain. I use an app call Sufferfest and their All Purpose Cycling training plan. Yesterday was a hard interval workout. Today my recovery is low so I'm pushing today's activities in the plan till tomorrow. It's hard to go by "feel" as I have had great recovery scores and didn't feel like training but once started I crushed it. Also vise versa, pushing when the data says not to and that created set backs. With all that being said, yes add streching and strength workouts too. Don't need to be a lot and apps like sufferfest allows you to add these to their plan. You will automatically achieve some form of fitness just by riding, it's really how far you want to take it. Do not be discouraged when you start indoor riding. No coasting, inflexable bike tends to make iit challaging at first. This is why I like structured training indoors as you can get a lot of gain out of a little time spent in the "pain cave".
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Old 12-17-20, 09:47 AM
  #22  
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I'll be 63 this week. I've loved bikes since I was a kid but I've never been on a group ride, toured, raced or anything like that. I got my own office a couple years ago and guess where my road bike stays? In my office. I've taken to riding at lunch when weather permits which is much of the year where I live. Most of my riding is in the business district or in neighborhoods and It has worked out well. My goal is to get to 5 miles during the limited times I have.

I've lost 30 pounds due to my wife's and MIL's restrictive diets of which I've been a somewhat unwilling participant but it has paid off.

I would encourage anyone who cares about cycling to get of the couch and back on the saddle. It's worth doing and the bike tinkering is very satisfying. I'm in the process of building my own singlespeed/fixie from stuff I have sitting around.

I'm living on 20 acres and I have a tractor. It's got wondering about making my own mtb course....
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Old 12-18-20, 12:05 PM
  #23  
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I am 55 so a few years younger. I have basically started again from scratch after getting COVID earlier this year. Make sure you get an ok from the doc first. It will be a slow grind, do what you can at first, build slowly. Get at least 3 days a week, preferably more. After a few months it starts building, and you will feel more like a cyclist than just another guy on a bike. You have a lot of cycling years left.
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Old 12-18-20, 04:06 PM
  #24  
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions and thoughts. I have had the green light from the doc as well as her encouragement to get out and work off the pounds. I was going to buy a smart trainer but I have about decided to alter my office schedule a bit so I can get a couple of rides in during the week and then a long ride (when I can) on the weekends. Living in Dallas we general have a pretty mild winter so shouldn't be any reason I can't ride if I have the proper gear. At this point I am going out and adding a few minutes each time I ride to build up some endurance without a lot of concern for speed, cadence etc. I dump these extra pounds and it will make it all considerably easier I am sure.

Have a great weekend everyone.
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Old 12-18-20, 04:46 PM
  #25  
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It's not a hard thing to do, just ride. Start out with what you can do, get comfortable, and then add 5 miles or so ( or what you can push yourself to do). Keep working that progression until you hit 40 miles, then pick the day, and go.

For the big day, pick a flatter route, bring some good ride snacks, drink lots of fluids, nail your half, and revel in your success.

Too many people try to over think something like think this. It's riding a bike, something we've all learned to do when we were kids.

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