CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS
Latest update: 12/14/2021
Aging and Physical Performance
Physical performance naturally declines as we age, but staying physically active will slow the
Physiologic and performance measures peak in the late teens and 20s, and then
decline with age. However different measures decline at differing rates and the
rates of deterioration vary according to a person's lifestyle (the old "use it or lose
a) Bones (osteoporosis)
Aging is accompanied by a loss of bone mineral content. Although the role of
a high calcium diet (or calcium supplements) in slowing or preventing this process
is controversial, there is strong evidence to support the benefits of
regular physical activity to maintain muscle, tendon, and bones. However,
all exercise is not equal. Exercise that induces microscopic bone deformity
(running and hopping) is much better for bone health than
non jarring activities such as swimming and cycling.
study compared elite runners to cyclists. Even though the cyclists included weight lifting in their off season training, it did not compensate for the lack of a "jarring" activity. The result? The cyclists, as a group, all had thinner bones than the runners, and more than half of them met medical criteria for low bone mineral density in some portion of their skeleton.
So if you do not regularly cross train, consider adding regular bone-stressing activities to your weekly routine:
If you have limited time, jumping rope for 10 minutes a day is the most efficient approach.
- Jumping Rope
- Stair climbing
- racquet sports
As to diet, this blog
suggests drinking an extra glass of milk a day isn't the answer and a better strategy might be an
increase in the non dairy, high calcium foods
in your diet.
Muscle strength peaks between ages 20 and 30, and then,
without a regular exercise program, falls off. The increasing weakness is
the result of a combination of
Muscle mass decreases
3-8 % per decade after the age of 30, accelerating as we pass 60.
Some muscle loss (sarcopenia) is inevitable no matter what we do. But we can minimize the rate of loss by paying
attention to our level of physical activity (more will minimize muscle loss) and our
nutrition (adequate dietary protein is required to maintain muscle repair and growth.)
- a gradual loss of individual nerve/muscle fiber units,
- a decrease in the size of each individual muscle fiber cell.
One study of men, 60 to 72, training with standard muscle resistance
exercises, demonstrated strength improvement equal to young adults. Another
revealed that a group of 70
year olds who had regularly trained from age 50, had a muscle mass (cross sectional area)
equivalent to a group of 28 year old students.
I thought this NYT article was a nice summary of options and strategies. It shows you can turn things around within 3 months on a
3 times per week resistance training program that includes adequate dietary protein.
Proper technique is critical to getting the desired results without incurring an injury. And you should use your perceived level of exertion to determine the amount of resistance to use. Do 2 reps. Judge your effort. It should be "somewhat hard".
(More on using a "feeling scale" to set resistance training levels.) Do 8 to 12 reps at this level of
exertion - which should bring you to the point at which you would normally stop from fatigue.
And don't forget to review you daily protein intake as your muscles need adequate protein to respond to the resistance training. We know that older people absorb protein less effectively, so you will need at least 0.54 grams of protein per pound of ideal body weight, an amount well above what older people typically consume.
There is a third factor that has been speculated to be playing a role in the weakness of aging, a decrease in
the contractile force each muscle fiber can develop.
study compared the force of individual muscle cell contraction across 3 groups - 80 year
old master athletes, a cohort of sedentary peers (also 80 y/o), and a third group of 23 year olds.
Although it has been speculated that the regular training of master athletes blunts
aging's effects on individual muscle cell performance, the data showed otherwise.
"... when contractile force was normalized to cross sectional area ...both older (masters aged) groups did not differ,
and the MA (masters) and NA (sedentary) were both approximately 45% weaker compared with younger volunteers."
So how can regular exercise blunt this inexorable decrease in individual muscle cell function?
Regular exercise minimizes the expected loss of "motor units" (MU),
the basic contractile unit in an intact muscle, with aging. The motor unit is
a single motor neuron and the several muscle fibers that respond when it is
"fired". A single neuron can innervate several muscle cells, so a motor unit is
not necessarily limited to a single nerve/muscle fiber but can be a
single nerve/multiple cell unit.
2010 study revealed that the number of functioning motor units in
the tibialis anterior of masters runners (approximately 65 y/o) was comparable
to the values in recreationally active young volunteers (approximately 25 y/o),
and significantly greater than healthy age-matched controls (approximately 65 y/o).
"The estimated number of MU did not differ between masters runners and young, but
MU number estimates were lower in the older sedentary group (91 +/- 22 MU) compared
with the masters runners (140 +/- 53 MU) and young (150 +/- 43 MU)."
It confirmed that a ".....greater preservation of the number of motor units
rather than individual contractile muscle cell function may be the reason for the
Master Athlete's exceptional athletic performance. Additionally, fewer denervated muscle fibers (thus,
a greater maintenance of muscle fiber number) and the ability of the MA
(master athletes) to activate their muscle to a greater extent than NA (non-athletes)
may influence EC-coupling and Ca2+ kinetics ..."
Although the impact of aging on individual cells cannot be stopped, regular exercise provides us
a tool to compensate by both maintaining more active muscle motor units and maximizing
the size of individual muscle cells. So keep up those intervals and that weight work at the gym.
c) Nervous system
Reflexes will slow with age, but as with muscular strength, regular activity minimizes
the extent of the slowing. Active men in their 70s were shown to have reaction times
equivalent to inactive men in their 20s.
If you are worried about dementia (another disease more common with aging), regular exercise decreases
This blog post
from Dr. Mirkin provides details as well as references. A few excerpts:
It's never too late to take advantage of the memory benefits of aerobic training.
documents the neurologic benefits of aerobic training, but similar benefits have been found
in the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems as well. The study compared 3 groups:
- Researchers tracking physical activity and brain MRIs of 3700 men and women
over 60 years of age for more > 10 years found the more active people
had larger hippocampi (the part of the brain that controls short-term memory) and
those over 75 had the greatest benefit from exercise (J of Geron Ser A: Biol Sci and Med Scien, August 2016).
- Canadian researchers analyzed brain scans of 330 healthy adults, ages of 19
and 79, and found that those who walked stairs regularly had younger-appearing
and larger brains (Neurobiology of Aging, April 2016;40:138-144). They estimated that every
added flight of stairs regularly walked per day reduced a person's brain age by half a year.
- A group of 100 men, aged 55-68, with mild cognitive impairment (progressive
impaired memory) enrolled in a supervised program of progressive resistance exercise
twice a week for six months. Compared to those who did just stretching,
the weightlifters had a significant improvement in memory and problem solving ability.
The greater the gain in strength, the greater their improvement
in mental function (J of American Geriatrics, Nov 30, 2016).
- A study of 3050 twins, followed for 25 years, demonstrated moderately vigorous
physical activity to be associated with better memory and problem
solving (J of Alzheimer's Disease, September 2, 2016).
- Exercising muscles produce a substance called Cathepsin B (CTSB) which
has been shown to increase memory and grow nerves in mice, monkeys and humans (Cell
Metabolism, June 12, 2016). Previous studies show that the higher the blood level
of CTSB, the greater the improvement in fitness level and memory. Researchers showed
that after just one week of exercise, a normal mouse's memory improved dramatically.
Mice genetically engineered to be unable to produce CTSB gained no
improvement in memory with exercise. Studies are underway to determine
CTSB can be given to people to prevent and/or treat the amyloid plaques that
characterize Alzheimer's disease.
- When patients develop Alzheimer's
disease, the hippocampus becomes smaller. When healthy, regularly-exercising master athletes,
ages 50-80 years, stopped exercising for just 10 days, MRI brain scans showed a marked reduction in blood
flow to the hippocampus. (Frontiers in Aging
Neuroscience, August 5, 2016).
The diet and exercise intervention group gained an 8 year advantage in
memory, reasoning, and problem solving skills compared to the control (or do nothing group).
The exercise only group also improved, but to a lesser degree.
- control group (with no intervention)
- exercise only group (six months of of aerobic exercise - greater than 65 percent of max heart rate, three times a week, for 45 minutes.
- exercise AND diet group (put on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet).
d) Lung (pulmonary) function
Studies indicate that a lifetime of regular physical activity
will retard the decline in pulmonary function associated with aging.
e) Cardiovascular function
Cardiac changes with age include:
- aerobic capacity declines twice as fast in sedentary individuals as in those
on a regular training program.
- maximum heart rate does decline with age
- cardiac output falls with age - partially related to a lower maximum heart rate, but also from
a decrease in stroke volume.
f) The immune system
This study on exercise and immunity
found that "..125 long-distance cyclists, some now in their 80s, .....had the immune systems of 20-year-olds."
As summarized by Dr. Mirkin
"T-cells recognize foreign proteins on the surface of invading germs and cancers and engage the
immune system ....to make antibodies to attach to and kill invading germs
and cancer cells. Chemicals called cytokines activate T-cells to remove germs and
cancer cells from your body."
He speculates that the weakening of the aging immune system is related to a reduction in thymic
activity and the production of T cells, an effect that is blunted in regular cyclists."
Aging diminishes aerobic performance.
These quotes from this
web article summarize key points:
- there is "...a gradual and fairly linear decline in most physiological and
performance measures of 5 to 10 percent per decade after 30."
- "...you will experience an even rate of decrease in both your maximal (performance) ceiling and
your mean Time Trial wattage."
- The specific impacts:
- a decreased maximal power during ramp test, 30 W (7 percent) per decade.
- a decreased mean power output during TT, 24 W (7 percent) per decade.
- a decreased maximal heart rate (8 beats per minute, 4 percent) and mean HR during the TT (7 bpm, 3.8 percent) per decade.
- a slight but significant decrease in cadence (3 revolutions per minute, 3.1 percent) per decade.
The reasons behind the decreases in performance are a combination of 2 factors:
"The maximal ability to utilize oxygen (VO2max) is a predictor of endurance performance across ages. In the
general population, VO2max tends to decline by about 10% per decade after the age of 30." But "....competing
and training (aerobic training- intervals) can reduce the drop by about half, to 5% per decade."
- a decrease in VO2 max and
- a decrease in muscle strength.
This graph (from
The Journal of Applied Physiology) supports both the
Using the linear regression equation in the graphic, we find an average decline in VO2max of about 1.5% per year
for the actively training athlete. Following is a quick calculation based on the regression equation
using a 5 year span from age 75 to 80.
- inevitability of the decline in VO2max with age as well as
- the benefits of endurance training in slowing the trend.
Second, the decrease in muscle strength.
"Muscles are made up of thousands of individual muscle fibers. With aging, humans lose the
nerves that innervate muscle fibers (the motor unit) and
with each nerve loss, lose the associated muscle fibers. For example, the vastus medialis muscle
(front of your thigh) contains approximately 800,000 muscle fibers when you are 20 years old,
but by age 60, it will have only about 250,000 fibers."
- VO2 (age 75) = -.59 (75) + 80.74 = - 44.25 + 80.74 = 36.59
- VO2 (age 80) = -.59 (80) + 80.74 = - 47.2 + 80.74 = 33.54
- Percent decrease = (36.59 - 33.54)/36.59 = 8.3 % over 5 years = ~1.5% per year
"You can slow the loss of muscle fibers with aging, and can
enlarge the remaining muscle fibers, by regular resistance exercise, but you cannot
replace fibers once they are lost. In one study, older men gained more muscle
strength by spending more time (more reps) lifting lighter weights, whereas younger men gained more muscle
strength by lifting heavier weights through fewer reps. In younger men, doubling exercise
volume (reps x weight per rep) by spending more
time lifting weights produced limited added muscle enlargement. In older men, it resulted in
much larger muscles and far more strength."
Regular training, stressing the CV and muscular systems will blunt the performance effects of aging
and help keep you ahead of your peers.
Aerobic Exercise Blunts the Effects of Aging
Ben Franklin once said that the only constants in this world were
death and taxes. The negative effects of aging on physical performance should probably be
added to the list. However numerous studies have demonstrated the dramatic effect a
regular exercise program (riding three to four times a week) can have to blunt the
- 41% less likely to die from heart disease
- 58% less likely to develop diabetes
Even though we have overwhelming data to support the longevity benefits of exercise, a recent study suggested that
no more than 20% (and more likely less than 10%) of adults in the US exercise enough to have a
measurable impact on their health and fitness levels.
A dedicated training program effect is so effective that the aging process may be held at bay for up
to a decade or more. For any specific age grouping, regular riders are 150% less like to
die from all causes than their more sedentary peers.
Why is exercise so effective in blunting the effects of aging? Here are
- Exercise changes our Metabolome - the complete set of metabolites (organic molecules) in a cell, tissue, organ
or organism, which are involved in or are end products of cellular metabolism.The last few years have seen
a dramatic increase in the number and type of tools for
metabolomic investigations. This paper
is a fascinating example of how detailed these investigations into exercise physiology have become.
To quote from a
comment on the paper. Scientists ...
"decided ....to complete a full census of almost every molecule that (might) change when we work out.
Study participants were "asked ....to complete a standard treadmill endurance test, running at
an increasing intensity until exhaustion, usually after about nine or 10 minutes of exercise."
Blood was drawn at time 0, immediately after this exertion, and again 15, 30 and 60 minutes later.
The scientists "...measured the levels of 17,662 different molecules. Of these, (the concentrations of) 9,815 - or more
than half - changed after exercise, compared to their levels before the workout. Some increased. Others declined.
Some gushed immediately after the exercise, then fell away, while others lingered in heightened or lowered amounts for an hour after the workout. The types of molecules ....ranged widely, with some involved in fueling and metabolism, others in immune response,
tissue repair or appetite."
The explanation of positive health effects is almost certainly buried in this collection of 9815 organic molecules.
- This study, commented on in the
Times supports the concept of a blood born molecule that can impact the functioning of distant organs and cells.
- A second possibility is a direct effect of aerobic exercise on our chromosomes. With aging, our
chromosomes, and specifically the DNA at the end of the chromosomes (telomeres), shorten. And
at a critical minimal telomere length, cells are unable to replicate and enter a
process called programmed cell death.
This process of aging is common to all cells, thus any strategy that delays
(or better yet, reverses) the telomere shortening process will extend cell life.
study suggests that aerobic training does just that.
A recent study
suggests that aerobic exercise may not only delay telomere shortening, but reverse it!!
A real fountain of youth! The study began with 124 non exercisers who were randomized to 4 groups.
At the 6 month followup, those who had engaged in aerobic training (jogging or interval training) had
actually increased the length of the telomeres in their white blood cells, while the weight trainers
and controls remained unchanged.
There are 2 takeaways:
- a control group continued with their normal lives as a control or to start exercising.
- the second started brisk walking or jogging for 45 minutes three times a week
- the third began a 3x a week program of high-intensity interval program consisting of 4 cycles of four minutes of strenuous exercise followed by four minutes of rest.
- The fourth instituted regular resistance training.
- It is never too late to benefit from an aerobic training program. All the volunteers were sedentary at the start of the study.
- Aerobic training will not only delay the aging process, but as far as telomeres are concerned actually reverse it.
- Another possibility may be via the
effect of aerobic exercise on our
mitochondria to preserve our cells' energy supply. Although this reference
focuses on the energy supply for nerve cells, there is almost certainly
a similar process in mitochondria in all cell types throughout the body.
"Researchers ....discovered that an enzyme called SIRT3 that is located inside mitochondria
may protect mice brains from loss of their energy supply (Cell Metabolism, November 19, 2015).
Normal mice who ran on a spinning wheel increased their levels of SIRT3 in nerve cells, maintained brain
function with aging ..... A special group of mice that were genetically engineered to be unable to produce
SIRT3 gained no benefit from running on a spinning wheel..... This implies that SIRT3 strengthens
brains and that blocking SIRT3 prevents exercise from benefiting brain function."
Nutritional Needs Change As We Age
There is a tendency to gain body fat after age 30. But also sound evidence that
a resistance training program will minimize the loss of muscle mass, while
good eating habits and self awareness prevent the body composition "fat shift".
Protein needs of older athletes increases with age. The US Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
for protein intake is 0.8 g/kg/day for adults. This may be on the low side for an athlete and was
likely developed from nitrogen-balance studies in the "average" young adult. And it is probably too low for older adults who are less efficient in their protein digestion and absorption. It has been speculated that
too little dietary protein with a resulting relative protein deficiency, may be an aggravating
factor in the loss of muscle mass that accompanies aging.
Taking both aging and activity level into account,
this international panel of experts recommended protein intakes of 1.0 - 1.2 g/kg/day for adults 65 years or older, with even higher intakes for those who are more physically active. So for all of us who are riding regularly - even if just with friends
on the weekend - it is important to keep an eye on the protein content of our diets.
I have never been a fan of the over response of the paleo diets as the excess red meat protein
comes packaged with a significant amount of undesirable fat. There are plenty of
non meat sources of protein to add to your diet.
As we age there is also less latitude to skipping a pre-event carbohydrate
meal along with an increased sensitivity to major fluid shifts from sweating and inadequate
replacement. But aside from these two caveats and a slightly
higher daily protein requirement, the
general principles of nutrition are exactly the same for all age groups - including vitamin, mineral, and
electrolyte replacement as well as the use of ergogenic aids such as diet supplements and
unusual food products.
Age Appropriate Training Intensity
Should we be focusing on the numbers (MHR, wattage) as get older?
This article is jargon heavy, but suggests using an RPE type scale
(called the FS or "feeling scale") is the best intensity guide for resistance and aerobic training.
A regular exercise program involves discomfort. Too much discomfort
and commitment can quickly wanes. And this is more of a risk as you age.
For aerobic exercise we have the RPE scale based the
perception of how hard we "feel" we are exerting.
It correlates well with the objective measures of heart rate or power meter readings. And
the study validated using a similar Feeling Scale (FS) (originally
described as spanning -5 (I feel very bad) to +5 (I feel very good) with 0 being neutral) to self-regulate
For resistance exercise, it has been suggested that we aim for an intensity (weight stress) of
between 55% and 85% of our personal 1 repetition maximum (1RM). How does that translate into a FS rating for
resistance exercise? Using a group of non exercisers, exerting to a level between feeling "good" (+3)
to "fairly bad" (-1) matched up with resistance intensity between 55% to 85% of the 1RM.
For aerobic training, the same general relationship applies. An inensity
between "good" (+3) and/or "fairly good" (+1) led to cardiovascular improvement.
This table shows the relationship between a
traditional 10 point RPE scale and how you feel (although not the specific FS number scale
referred to above).
Use It Or Lose It....Perhaps Forever
Regular exercise has a powerful effect on many metabolic processes (beyond beefing up your VO2max and limiting
the loss of muscle mass). This is especially true of
insulin metabolism where a lack of exercise directly affects the tendency to obesity,
insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Generally, we assume that taking some time off from aerobic activity, and the resulting impact on our
metabolism is reversible when we get back to the gym or on the bike.
This study suggests it's not so, especially for older adults.
So the old adage "use it or lose it" takes on a new level of significance for older adults in that once they lose it,
it may be gone forever no matter what they do. So on that business trip, or family vacation, it is worth
taking the time for a 30 to 60 minute daily walk or other activity that will boost your heart rate.
Original NYT article.
Strategies To Stay Ahead Of The Curve.
Is it safe to exercise as you age? Common sense indicates the long term health
benefits far outweigh any potential cardiac complications assuming one avoids the extremes -
exercising above and beyond the level you have trained for, environmental
extremes of temperature and humidity, and exercising when not feeling well. But even
orthopedic injuries, which might be expected more commonly in the older athlete, don't appear
to be more frequent with activities of moderate intensity and duration. A few thoughts:
- It's not just the miles you put in. Athletes who maintain workout
intensity, especially if they contain intervals, see their VO2 max decline at a lower rate than those who
focus on higher mileage at a slower pace. Stay with those intervals - year round. And aim to keep your normal
training heart rate at 85 - 90 % of max.
- There is a drop off in muscle volume near age 60. Keep lifting those weights.
- You will need a more recovery time than when you were 25. So factor in a
little extra off-the-bike rest time to let those muscles heal between workouts.
- Maintain a balanced diet with an emphasis on fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
And with enough protein to help main muscle volume (you will need a bit more as you age, not less).
And, of course, plenty of replacement carbs for the Calories you will be expending on those rides.
- Aim for emotional balance between your riding and family, friends and other activities. Don't let
your biking goals consume you.
These strategies were reinforced in a recent Outside blog article, "Age is irrelevant when it
comes to fitness." Several quotes I enjoyed:
Friel believes that ... "both training volume and intensity are important to the maintenance of fitness
as we age but intensity is more important." He believes the key lies in intensity - that is,
consistently jacking your heart rate into the upper echelons of its potential peak. Yet intensity
is typically one of the first things to vanish from your workouts, maybe even your races,
when you hit middle age. That's because many athletes drift into long, slow distance (LSD),
not because they are no longer capable of redlining, but because this type of training
feels less taxing. But all those intervals you did in college? You never should have stopped.
If anything, they become more vital as you get older."
- "Even if you can't quite turn back the clock, you can actually slow it considerably and maintain a high
level of performance deep into your sunset years."
- "As much as 70 percent of your athletic power after turning 50 remains under your control."
- You can minimize the factors working against you:
- declining aerobic capacity
- more body fat
- shrinking muscles
- decreased mobility
But even if you slacked off on those intervals, just keeping to a routine which includes regular aerobic
activity will pay off with huge anti-aging dividends. How big? This recently published study provides some insight.
My take aways? Training strategies as you age should include:
- There were 28 in the active study group, average age 73. They exercised because they enjoyed it and
only rarely competed. Running, cycling, and swimming, for more than 50 years they averaged 5 days/wk for
a total of 7 hrs/wk.
- They measured cardiovascular health defined as aerobic capacity (VO2max) and found that the active
elderly group had
- aerobic capacities that were 40 percent higher than those of their sedentary peers and
- equivalent to that of people 30 years younger than themselves!!
- The measurement of VO2max was supplemented with muscle biopsies measuring the degree of
muscle vascularity (capillary density) and cellular aerobic metabolism enzyme levels. And again
they found both measures in the study group to be equivalent to the younger athletes.
- reducing training volumes (number of rides a week). As you age you need more rest to
recover from the minor physiologic traumas of hard physical activity. And if you are more
rested, you can then push yourself harder during interval training. So the first challenge for
those of us who have been used to pushing ourselves for years is decreasing the number
of hours (or days) a week on the bike.
- Make aerobic activity part of your lifestyle. Five days a week. A solid hour.
- Add intervals (or a period of aerobic stress) several days a week.
- Supplement your aerobic program with resistance training
(lifting weights) and increased dietary protein.
Q. I am 70 years old and increasingly find that aches and pains of old
age are affecting my cycling. My speed is dropping because I have to use lower
gears but I cannot turn the pedals as fast as I used too due to increasing
stiffness and/or sore knees. The worst effect of old age is the loss of power.
... I increasingly get dropped on the hills, and I live in a hilly area.
But again too much hill climbing and the knees suffer! So more rest and recuperation
is needed, which cuts down on training time. So some advice on juggling the
variables to improve, or at least retain, my hill climbing ability. DD
A.If you don't stress the CV system, you will lose aerobic capacity over time.
But you can minimize that loss by regular riding - and by pushing yourself. I would
consider doing intervals once or twice a week as one part of a program (if you are
not now). And that means getting your heart rate up into Zone 4 for you. As to the
knees, make sure you have a good fit on the bike, pedals (if you have clips) with
good play (like frogs/speedplay), and then keep that RPM between 90 and 100. Don't
lug on the hills, or spin too fast - it plays havoc with the knees.
Q. I am 69 years old, female. I ride about 130 miles a week and am
working on interval training and sprinting to get stronger and faster. I ride
a minimum of 20 miles a day. I have osteoarthritis in my back and hands. I don't
take anything for the osteoarthritis and find that cycling is my key to living
with OA and hopefully preventing it from getting worse. Today, I did 4
intervals of 1/2 mile. From a dead start, I was able to ride 18.8 on the 2nd
interval and 18.7 on the 4th. My goal is to ride the 5K and 10K in the
Senior Games in October at 18 mph. On a dead start, I can sprint up to 23 mph
in the first few seconds, but it poops me out quicker and I ride slower, on
the 1/2 mile interval, i.e., 17.7. My question involves maximum heart rate. I
have noticed that my heart rate number is going higher, before I get exhausted,
than a couple of months ago.
A.This question suggested that you may have fallen into a deadly trap in
training, the "if a little is good, a lot is better" approach. It is really
important to warm up before you do the intervals. If you are not doing
so (5 miles or so at a modest pace) you risk injury and, as the CV system is
not yet into its rhythm, you won't get maximum benefit from the intervals
before feeling fatigued.
I don't see any advantage to a 23 MPH sprint for a few seconds - the
whole interval should be at a steady pace you pick. If you can't hold 23
for the full interval, either decrease the interval duration or the speed.
It is really important to take off a few days a week off the bike. I'm not sure
what to say about "your MHR going higher" but it is possible this is a sign of
overtraining, not ideal training.
And finally, I did get the following question which raises a point I'd like
Q.It seems your website is mostly designed for much stronger riders than I.
Perhaps, you will see the benefit of gearing part of it to someone on my level,
although there is a really small percentage of women my age, who have the drive
to "push their limits." Presently, I know only one other female with that
A.As to age, if you key your training to your personal max heart rate
(less as you age) the general approach to a training program (how you divide
up the rides during a week)should be age independent.
All questions and
appreciated and will be answered.
Cycling Performance Tips
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