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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,066

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    I think rather than expecting "old people" to be stereotype knitting grandmas, we're seeing that people are more individualistic no matter what their age. People still talk about feeling old, or getting too old for this and that, but that's mostly a habit and bad excuses. The hippie generation is now in their 60s and I don't think there has ever been a generation with that much time, money and attitude to truly do what they want. Caveat: in the well-to-do corners of the world and society most of us live in.

    I still think elite athletes will always be young, there's no beating biology but in the sports that take time, money and patience it's quite logical that the over-40s will be well represented on the amateur level. A generation or two ago it might even be seen as a little unseemly for a grandmother to compete in amateur sports, now she's probably the hero of the neighbourhood. The social constraints are pretty much gone so it's down to how much training you put in.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Toltec, Arkansaw
    Posts
    512
    One of my favorite books on training is Joe Friel's Cycling Past 50, available thru Adventure Cycling... but then I got my copy at Borders in Augusta six or seven years ago... I mentioned some of Friel's principles off in another thread somewhere around here about his Three Rules of Training, but the book goes a bit farther in explaining how maintain an active lifestyle can prolong and enhance our quality of life as time takes its toll on our bodies.

    Friel has a few good suggestions on how we get better as we grow older... we may not be able to go out and win The Tour, or even consistently beat our riding buddies in the county-line sprint, but every bit does help us. Friel recommnds:

    • Ride Regularly. At least three times a week – optimally four. (10 to 12 weeks at this rate to build aerobic capacity.) At least 30 to 45 minutes, 90 minutes the minimum for a long ride. Cycling is primarily an endurance sport. At start, a long ride (> 90 minutes) 1x week; as fitness gains, every other week. Riding at intensities > 90% of aerobic capacity – e.g., just starting to breathe hard – brings substantial gains in fitness. Ride consistently – Ride Moderately – Rest Regularly.
    • Rest Regularly. This means following a periodization plan where you peak for your selected events, and give yourself time to rebuild and prepare in between.
    • Set Challenging Goals. Challenge yourself... you'll be surprised what you can do if you try. When you achieve one goal, set the notch a little bit higher, and try for another one.
    • Eat like a hunter-gatherer. Watch your diet... Get back to eating at Mother Nature’s original training table – lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and water.
    • Believe in Yourself. Because if you don't, who else will?
    • Seek the Support of Others. Cycling is a team and social sport as well as a great way to get off by yourself on your bike. We all improve when we work together, whether in a paceline, or simply by supportin and encouraging each other. Bike clubs, teams - whether formal or informal - and even little communities like the TE Forums are all good examples of this.
    • Don’t Slow Down. Too many people these days simply rust from the inside out due to inactivity... A physically active lifestyle does wonders for our health, well-being, and general outlook on life...


    I've read a bunch of training books and plans, but this book is the one I keep coming back to...

    Tom

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    3

    age vs. cycling ability

    I started touring at age 50 with my husband on unsupported short journeys, 1000 miles, give or take a couple hundred depending on how much vacation time we have. The comment I hear most often is "I could never do that". I hear it from people my age and from young people. I used to say "sure you could - just start with short distances and work up to it or it's just a daily bike ride but you end up at camp instead of at home". It's all attitude at any age. When I hear the comment now I am tempted to say "You're right, you couldn't do it". Most touring bicyclist we encounter are retired which makes them over 62.

    Does anyone else out there tour? I read mostly about racing and commuting (I get to work on my bicycle too), but bicycle touring offers a whole other way of "being" which really has nothing really to do with the bike except that it is the vehicle that allows you to connect with the most basic feeling of being alive. It is something that cannot be achieved on a week long supported ride (at least in my experience).
    I like to find myself far from home on my bicycle....

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    I haven't toured since I was young, but several members of my bike club are guys in their 70s who just RIDE. Two of them did the Lewis & Clark Trail last summer. They were going to do the Great Divide this summer, but one of them tore his ACL. He was back on his MTB about 3 weeks before his PT thought he'd be able to, but the trip had to be rescheduled for next year.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    I toured across France when I was 15 with a bunch of other 15 year-olds. I really dislike camping, so my touring now is alot more comfortable. But I still consider it touring, as I'm out all day on the bike seeing places I never would have seen otherwise, getting to my next destination on a bike. Because of work, I can't just up and go for months at a time, but I am able to fit in a few weeks here and there.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    near New Paltz, NY
    Posts
    69
    I don't think that age limits your ability to accomplish your goals, whatever they may be, but it does make a difference in how you get there. I was 25 when DH bought me my first (post-childhood) bike, and I did 14 miles my first ride, and we did an MS 150 the next year with not nearly enough training. I rode for a few years, then stopped when I had my first child. Starting up again this spring at 34 was definitely more challenging. I've been building my mileage up much more slowly. I've also noticed that what I eat for pre-ride fuel and post-ride recovery has become much more significant to my performance levels than it ever was before. Sleep is more of a factor than it was. Simply put, I could do a lot more on a lot less when I was mid-20s than I can at mid-30s. And I'm still young! I can only imagine that the importance of these factors only increases with age.

    So my goal now is to keep at it consistently (however challenging it is to find the time to ride with 3 and 5 year olds), because I would hate to have to start from ground zero again in my mid-40s.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,203
    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingmama View Post
    So my goal now is to keep at it consistently (however challenging it is to find the time to ride with 3 and 5 year olds), because I would hate to have to start from ground zero again in my mid-40s.
    I found that fitting in two spinning classes per week, even one when time was really tight, helped maintain my fitness. If you end up having trouble getting out during the day, perhaps a spinning class will help (the father can watch the kids, or get a babysitter).

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    near New Paltz, NY
    Posts
    69
    Quote Originally Posted by tulip View Post
    I found that fitting in two spinning classes per week, even one when time was really tight, helped maintain my fitness. If you end up having trouble getting out during the day, perhaps a spinning class will help (the father can watch the kids, or get a babysitter).
    Thanks Tulip! I actually started a spin class in January to get myself ready to get back on the bike in the spring. There is a gym 1/2 mile from my office that has a 45min spin class at noon on Tuesdays, so I do that on my lunch hour, even now. In the winter I also took an hour-long Saturday morning class, either leaving the kids home with DH or at the childcare at the gym. Now I ride Saturday mornings, and my daughter complains that she misses the "Kids Club" at the gym (and our visit to the gym pool that usually follows). The funny part is she recently asked me why I don't exercise anymore, b/c she views going to gym as exercise but going for a bike ride as playing.

    sorry for the thread hijack . . .

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    34
    I just started cycling this year, and I am 47. I am up to 50 and 60 mile bike rides and will do the MS 150 in a few weeks. I ride twice a week, and my average is 14.3-15.5, depending on the length of the ride.

    Having said this, I started out cycling in great shape from 20 years of weights and cardio. For me, it was simply a matter of learning to ride a road bike, getting my butt used to the saddle for long periods of time and tweaking my nutrition a bit.
    That's Just How I Roll!

    Aloha,

    Southside Sally

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Western WA
    Posts
    162
    This has nothing to do with aging and sports, but is a bit relevant to the topic at hand. My inlaws are both in their 60's, and act as if they're older than dirt. They complain about their multitude of aches and pains, and the only activities they engage in are sitting in their house watching TV, and going out to eat. They have visited every restaurant in this county since they moved here 4 years ago. They are fat, and out of shape and OLD.

    Contrast that to my 96 year old grandfather who is blind, who walks 5 miles a day, has a vast social network, has a multitude of interests (he is a GREAT fiddler, despite having lost a few of his fingers to various woodcutting accidents - yes, he was operating saws while BLIND), he continues to get up on his roof when it needs repairs, much to my dad's consternation, he just sold his sailboat because his sighted buddy who used to sail with him passed away last year. He is more active physically and mentally than a lot of 40 year olds I know.

    Age ain't nothing but a number; a great deal of it is all about what's in your head. Sure, biology has A LOT to do with it, but I think attitude has more influence. Just my two cents....
    Kristen!

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    719
    I truly believe that age isnt a limitation

    there are so many examples where people started "later" in life

    http://www.srichinmoyraces.org/us/tr...g/seventyyears

    the one runner started in her fifties...

    and i found this little blurb
    Ottinger has not always been the healthy, dedicated marathon runner that he is today. Once an amateur boxing champion and a fast-pitch softball player, Ottinger found himself overweight and with a severely enlarged heart at age 53. His doctor warned that if he did not begin exercising, he wouldn’t live much longer. Motivated by his love for his family, Ottinger began to run. Since his health scare, Ottinger has completed a variety of impressive feats, including climbing the Andes Mountains, jogging along the Great Wall of China and beating an aggressive form of prostate cancer.


    yes it might take longer for the body to adapt, but it isn't impossible..
    "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it."-Moliere

    "Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time." -Thomas A. Edison



    Shorty's Adventure - Blog

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Blessed to be all over the place!
    Posts
    3,433
    I think we have two groups here:
    • those who were athletic for much of their lives
    • those who started later


    Silver was never athletic and started running in her late 30's. Within 9 months, she did her first marathon and now she's coaching tri-athletes!

    I was never athletic as a kid (I was the drum major in the band!). 18 months ago, Silver nearly killed me on a 9 mile ride. Last month, I rode across Indiana!

    My only point in saying this...and in starting this thread...is to encourage people of 'wisdom and experience' to not sell themselves short and to allow themselves to benefit from thinking big.

    This has been a fun thread for me to read, there's so much wise feedback from insightful people.

    Thanks
    If you don't grow where you're planted, you'll never BLOOM - Will Rogers

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,932
    I never bothered checking the reference, but a long time ago my cycling coach said something about a study in which they had discovered that a majority of former elite and pro cyclists had dropped out of cycling after stopping racing.

    I see lots of older cyclists, but rarely are they former racers. Maybe those who start early and go really hard are less likely to get out there in their 50s, leaving a chance to all of us who are late-bloomers athletically speaking.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,600
    Quote Originally Posted by Grog View Post
    I never bothered checking the reference, but a long time ago my cycling coach said something about a study in which they had discovered that a majority of former elite and pro cyclists had dropped out of cycling after stopping racing.

    I see lots of older cyclists, but rarely are they former racers. Maybe those who start early and go really hard are less likely to get out there in their 50s, leaving a chance to all of us who are late-bloomers athletically speaking.
    Part of the problem is burn-out. Just think, week in week out, you have to perform against same bunch of people. You are better than some and some are better than you. On a good day, you might be able to beat a better rider. On a even day, you know you will get beaten by the same 1 second margin. But you go out and give your best. You get beaten by that 1 second margin...

    If you get too serious with racing, it takes the fun out and without the fun, what's the point to beat your self up, to suffer lactic acid burn in your leg, and major major discomfort that you can stop by slowing down but you can't.

    Yup. chances are pretty good to just drop the sport and become sedentary.
    Looks pretty appealing to me.

    smilingcat

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    I wonder if that's different for other sports.

    I know all about amateur racer burnout. But after 12 years I'd been away from it long enough that I could come back to cycling and enjoy it. I wonder how that would be different for someone who'd been able to compete at a high level. A lot of my burnout I really believe was from the fact that I'd reached the limit of what I could do with the amount of commitment I had, and I knew that even if I took my commitment to another level, I'd never be a top-level cyclist. But then again, I was a recreational rider long before I started racing, and my racing years were a small proportion of my total cycling years, so I had a good foundation of really enjoyable riding that I could remember when I was ready to.

    Now that you mention it, it's definitely noticeable on this forum that we have a whole lot of recreational riders, some current elite racers, some former club racers, but no former elite racers who've identified themselves anyway.

    I'm really just musing on this, so early in the morning. So this post is a little incoherent

    I'm around professional motorcycle racers quite a bit, and honestly, when they retire, they don't stop riding - on the contrary, they often have trouble imagining anything non-motorized to do for fun! It's often difficult for them to be around the racetrack after they retire from competition, but it really seems to me that the majority of them keep riding in the dirt or on the street after their racing careers are over.

    What about it, racer gals? What have you seen from your older peers, past their racing prime - are they able to ride for fun (either immediately after they stop racing, or after a break)?
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

 

 

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