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Is it possible to keep up at 56?

on-yer-bikeon-yer-bike Posts: 2,974
I go riding with men most of whom are early forties or younger and not slow. I also do long sportives TTs and have started circuit racing. Ive been cycling just under 3 years. Is it expecting too much to get faster than the people I cycle with/against? I'm certainly not the slowest and acheive gold standards in sportives, but Im just wondering if I have to accept the inevitable. Also should I watch how much I do? The Sunday is always harder than the Saturday and I really feel knackered after a ride. Where I ride is pretty hilly so its not uncommon to do 3000 ft of climbing on a 40 mile ride. I know one rider who is 52 and Cat 2 but he is also retired and trains everyday. Any advice welcome.
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  • sungodsungod Posts: 15,259
    so much depends on individual fitness and genetics, some people are naturals, others don't have the potential to be that good no matter how long and hard they train

    there will be younger guys you beat, there'll be older ones who beat you, everyone is different

    just focus on being the best you can be in the areas you enjoy most

    regarding how much you do, if you are following a training/event plan that's right for you then that shouldn't be an issue, if you don't have a formal plan then might be worth considering that
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • I heard somewhere as you go past 28 (your muscular peak) it gets more difficult to maintain your fitness so it would mean training harder than your 28 yr old self to get the same improvement.
  • pastey_boypastey_boy Posts: 2,083
    at 56 your closer to being dead than alive so if i was you i would just stock up on werthers originals and buy a lot of beige clothing :wink: but being serious an ex work colleague of mine who must be 58 by now cycles 90-100 miles every sunday at a very good pace, he would destroy me and im over 20 years younger. as already mentioned, judge yourself against yourself, no one else matters.
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  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I know someone who's over 65 and still does century rides at a good speed. At 43 he's my inspiration for the future :-)
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  • I am 21 and regularly get beaten by loads of people in club timetrials and roadraces, many guys over 50
  • danowatdanowat Posts: 2,877
    There are a number of "older" (late 50's, 60's and even 70's) gentlemen and woman on the TT curcuit round this neck of the woods that destroy many riders, regardless of their age.
  • mattshropsmattshrops Posts: 1,134
    heading back from my ride on friday there was a guy stood on the side of the road looking at his bike. i slowed and asked if all ok. he said yes so i carried on. about a mile down the road, on a decent hill, he pulled up alongside and started chatting. i guess he was 65+ and it turned out he lived quite near me. he could see i was a bit knackered he said do you want me to tow you back? anyway i just about held his wheel for nearly a mile- then he was gone :shock: age doesnt seem so significant in cycling, i think its the endurance side of the sport which (i am told) can take up to 5 years to reach good levels.
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  • fuelexfuelex Posts: 165
    I'm 35 and regularly get my censored kicked by my mates dad who's 61!
    :oops:
  • Garry HGarry H Posts: 6,639
    I know a fair few riders over 50 who would kick my censored , but most of them have been riding/racing since they were much younger. The fact tnat you get gold standards in sportives after only 3 years of cycling indicates that you're no slouch yourself. Recovery though takes longer as you get older, so you might want to take a look at how much you're doing and what exactly your goals are. To paraphrase Friel, do as little as you can get away with in order to achieve your goals.
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    Came back with a guy who was 69 today-definitely no slouch. Just focus on being the best you can be.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 3,830
    It does get harder though - by rights if a 20 something is getting a kicking of lots of 40 and 50 year old blokes they need train harder or wonder if they weren't cut out for it. Of course talent permanent but age does water it down a bit.

    To On-Yer-BIke - if you are racing have you thought about LVRC races ? Nothing wrong with having a go at BC too but crit/circuit races tend to be fast and furious with lots of sprinting out of corners which I think typically lends itself more to younger riders.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • HeadhuunterHeadhuunter Posts: 6,494
    If you're 56 and fairly new to cycling it might be harder to build the power and strength necessary to keep up on long, fast rides. What I'm trying to say is that it's probably easier for a 56 year old cyclist who has been cycling hard and fast since s/he was in his or her 20s or 30s to maintain strength than it is for a new to cycling 56 year old to build a strong fitness base from nothing.
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  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,038
    If you're 56 and fairly new to cycling it might be harder to build the power and strength necessary to keep up on long, fast rides. What I'm trying to say is that it's probably easier for a 56 year old cyclist who has been cycling hard and fast since s/he was in his or her 20s or 30s to maintain strength than it is for a new to cycling 56 year old to build a strong fitness base from nothing.

    To the OP, thats about as true as its going to get ...
    My club has many who have been pro riders in their yoofs... it's about 79 and 3/4s when they start to need to a 34/21 instead of a 53/19 going upwards.
    mind you, dont get depressed about it.... :wink: get to ride harder and LOTS more of it... after all you must be retired by now
  • PepPep Posts: 501
    If you've been cycling for 3yr you can still improve a lot.
    But you won't peak where you would have peaked if you started earlier.
    I think it's true what we say in running that you peak 10yr after starting, perhaps a bit sooner if you start later in life.
  • an ex club mate at 73 managed to do a couple of sub hour 25 TT times, faster than me at the time by nearly 2 minutes. He is not the only S Wales DC vet to compete in the vets standard prizes at open events.

    There are plenty of 50 somethings riding the vets session at newport, and competing in the LVRC events. If you think 56 is past it, then try the aforementioned vets session at the track :wink:
  • I'd say that the main thing is to stay injury free, no reason why you shouldn't continue to improve for at least another 10 years if you eat properly, train properly and most importantly, want to....
  • mz__jomz__jo Posts: 398
    I am just coming up 54 and have been asking myself much the same questions, not about what I can do but more about how much I can recover from what I've already lost so all your replies are very reassuring. One thing is certain though; past 50 you do need to be more careful about managing your rest. I have hit the stage where muscle power is going down, I know this from work, and it appears that I am not unusual, but that won't apply to everybody.
    I am in a club of tourists where the vast majority are well over 60. The ones that ride regularly can go indecently quick when they want to and for a long time. It seems that the golden rule is to ride as regularly and as frequently as you can.
    Cheers Jo
  • Ron StuartRon Stuart Posts: 1,242
    an ex club mate at 73 managed to do a couple of sub hour 25 TT times, faster than me at the time by nearly 2 minutes. He is not the only S Wales DC vet to compete in the vets standard prizes at open events.

    There are plenty of 50 somethings riding the vets session at newport, and competing in the LVRC events. If you think 56 is past it, then try the aforementioned vets session at the track :wink:


    Did you actually click on this link?..... http://www.vtta.org.uk/newsite/php/Records.php
    :wink: Denis probably knows your club mate.
  • Just had a look at that VTTA link and the records section:


    Distance: 10 miles
    Age: 91
    Name: J Brownhill
    2003
    29.43 (!) I think that's amazing at 91!

    http://www.vtta.org.uk/newsite/php/vtta ... &road=road
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