Interesting article on aging and training

This is a pretty good article from Bryce Dyer from team Aerocoach. I raced against him at Worlds a few years ago. :slight_smile:

Talks about aging and performance decline and how you can help slow it.


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This is an interesting article. I have never been anywhere near this level (I’m blaming it on starting cycling later in life!) but recovery has often been a black box to me. I feel I never know when to recover and if I am doing the right amount until it is too late. Either I get sick from overtraining or I feel lethargic from not doing enough (and never really feeling refreshed). The old raised heart rate thing does work but normally it is too late (an I’m already sick). I thought about one of those Whoop things. Anyone tried one?

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Personally I would take at least one full rest day a week and for many masters athletes 2 a week is ideal.

For masters with full time jobs and training under 12 hours a week one day a week should be fine. (Also have a light 3-4 days every 3 weeks for recovery and to let your body absorb the extra fitness)

I’ve never used WHOOP so can’t comment there but if you follow the above you’ll be at low risk of over-reaching. :slight_smile:

Good article. I’m in my mid-50s and have been riding as an adult since my mid-20s. I’ve never been a competitive cyclist. I just like to ride! So, the physical decline has been mostly offset by my maturity as a cyclist. I ride more now than I did 10 or 20 years ago.

The piece of advice in the article that really rang true was “Accept that you need more rest and recovery as you get older.” My Dad was a recreational runner from his 30s until his 60s and continued to hit the gym and golf regularly until his late 70s. He said the biggest thing he noticed when he aged was that he needed more recovery and that recovery from a given level of effort took longer. I’m sure that plays a role in our declining performance; as you need more recovery you also get less training in for a given block of time. It’s just something we need to work with as we get older.

I tend to do a three week block of ‘normal for me’ riding, then take an easy week. I can usually tell if I’m pushing too hard – if I get irritable for a couple of days and don’t look forward to riding, that’s usually a sign I need to back off – either take a day or two off or ease off on the intensity. Since we all get ‘less’ intense training time as we get older (as we need more recovery than younger folks) it’s important that what we do get is of good quality – that we’re rested and ready to rock. I still do find the notion of ‘recovering to get better’ makes a ton of sense intellectually, but I still have that pull to just ‘push through’. But, experience tells me that this just doesn’t work for me, at least, not at this stage of life. Pushing through just makes me tired, grumpy – and slower!

I love the feeling of just being on the bike and hope to extend it for as many years as I can – even if its inevitable that eventually the rides will get shorter and slower!


I haven’t tried Whoop, though the Fitbit I do have has started incorporating some training metrics, including heart rate variability, to help determine when you are ‘fresh’ enough for some intensity and when you need more recovery. I suspect Fitbit’s raw numbers probably aren’t terribly accurate given the low cost of the hardware and the fact that is sounds like they are applying a lot of analysis to the data they can collect to extrapolate these metrics. I do notice that the metrics they provide on sleep (time, quality and phases of sleep), heart rate variability and resting heart rate seem to be pretty decent indicators of when I’m wiped vs. when I’m just a bit tired from working in front of a computer all day. My understanding is that Whoop’s metrics are a lot more granular and I might look at that more closely when the Fitbit dies. But, when I see I’m not getting great sleep, my HRV takes a downward turn and/or my resting HR starts trending up, especially when this happens together, its usually a sign I need a rest day or two, or at least a shorter Zone 1/2 ride.

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this is an interesting article. Larry Cain is a good friend, and we were for a very long time, training partners, better part of 20 years. Also, he is not in his 60’s he is 58. I know small difference. The other side of that is Larry is a professional SUP racer and coach Has been since he retired from teaching a few (7) years back. He spends almost every day on the water, always has, even in the winter. If Larry is still true to form, he will paddle morning, go home eat a lot, sleep watch the Flintstones, eat a lot, play with his dogs, sleep some more then go back to afternoon training then go eat a lot. Many times we were asked to leave all you can eat buffets. Point being, Larry is not like most of us who work a 8-4/ 9-5 job and have families. But the big pitcher here is how to stay ageless, and a huge part of that is maintaining muscular integrity, which most endurance athletes such as cyclists have a hard time with. Main reason is the aversion to clean proteins and the over consumption of carbs. To maintain health musculature you need to feed the machine with fuel, which for muscular regeneration is protein. To maintain body weight, the rule of thumb is 1 gram per kilo of body weight. This is to maintain, you would not bulk up. In fact, just as a result of the type of exercise cyclists do, you would never bulk up.

Diet and protein intake is huge and as you get over 40 I think year round strength, core and flexibility training is important too. I do strength/core work 2-3 times a week even in race season but it shifts to maintenance during that time. It’s so easy to lose muscle mass and develop strength imbalances as you age which can lead to injury.

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