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Pensioner Returns to the road

Chris65Chris65 Posts: 41
edited September 2010 in Road beginners
I am 65 and recently retired from work so have decided to start road cycling after a 25 year layoff. Over the past few years I have done a bit of mountain biking.

At my age I don't intend to race or time trial but I would like to go out with a club.

Any suggestions on how to build up to this in terms of distance, speed I should be aiming at would be much appreciated

Posts

  • dmch2dmch2 Posts: 731
    General advice seems to be to just go out and ride and have fun and not worry about things to start with. So ride until you're a bit tired then go out again a few days later a go a bit further. Having fun is the important bit!

    Average speeds etc are tricky as it depends on terrain. Club rides seem to do 30-60 miles spread over a few groups of various speeds. You could always join the 'slow' group and turn off for home early if it's too fast.
    2010 Trek 1.5 Road - swissstop green, conti GP4000S
    2004 Marin Muirwoods Hybrid
  • gbsgbs Posts: 450
    edited September 2010
    I was 66 when I began, two years ago. FWIW here are my conclusions:
    1. ease yr way into it and do not let enthusiam tempt you into riding more than 3 times per week initially or with the faster groups.
    2. v often the first 20/30 mins of a ride are such that one asks "why the hell I am doing this?" Normally you know the answer later but if the feeling persists try a short burst of speed.
    3. we all have comfort zones and riding within the comfort zone feels effortless for mile after mile but an increase of 1-2 mph requires considerably more effort and that soon has its impact.
    3. on one ride each week delibarately push beyond that comfort threshold for 30 mins or so
    4. exercise depletes the immune sytem and overexercise leading to tiredness undoubtedly increases the suseptibility to colds. So, increase vitamin and zinc inputs.
    5. ideally, a regular cyclist has two bikes and all season clothing; so set aside funds accordingly.

    This and other websites have masses of info re equipment, training, nutrition etc. I have made my own notes of useful points/lessons learnt over the last two years - if you want to see them send me a PM.

    Good luck and enjoy.
    vintage newbie, spinning away
  • Finlab6Finlab6 Posts: 127
    Good advice from gbs but disagree with the statement about immunity. Moderate exercise is actually good for immune system. It's only sustained vigorous exercise which can deplete immune system. Usually only marathon and triathletes need to worry and it only lasts 72hrs following an event.
    MTB GT Avalanche 1.0
    Road - Specialized Allez Sport


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  • gbsgbs Posts: 450
    edited September 2010
    Finlab6 wrote:
    Good advice from gbs but disagree with the statement about immunity. Moderate exercise is actually good for immune system. It's only sustained vigorous exercise which can deplete immune system. Usually only marathon and triathletes need to worry and it only lasts 72hrs following an event.

    I think that it is all in the defintion of moderate; without any medical stats to support my view I have concluded that for those described by the French as "seniors" the thresholds are lower. I guess I was sending a warning signal for someone who may have the opportunity to ride most days of the week. I know that, having ridden to Paris in early August of last year I felt indefatigable, over-exercised in the second half of the month and spent much of September spluttering into a handkerchief.
    vintage newbie, spinning away
  • All good stuff and well worth heeding. The important bit, at our age , is how you manage recovery. After a long ride have a day off, then ride "easy" the next day. It is the same for younger people who excercise at high levels of intensity but we have to be more cautious, lacking the "elasticity" of yore.

    However that doesn't mean you can't enjoy yourself nor push harder when you feel like it, just use the wisdom these years have given you :wink: Your general health will improve as the fitness improves, the range of rides and challenges should increase in line which will maintain your interest. A virtuous cifcle.
    The older I get the faster I was
  • Thanks to all who have contributed. Maybe I was in danger of overdoing it.

    It seem a gradual pick up of effort is what is required. After all it is 25 years since I did any serious distance.

    Those hills still hurt though even though my bike has a compact chain set . I have read about keeping up canedence 80 rpm but that is not possible for me on a reasonable climb. Maybe in time.
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