granfondo2007  0090Cycle Training Wisely: Part 2 of a 3 part series

The importance of training in relationship to limiting physical loss over time cannot by over-stated. In my article ‘Does Age Matter?’ I alluded to the importance of recognising the unique challenges in getting our training in order as we age. This takes on even greater significance if you still have major or even moderate riding performance ambitions. This might range from a desire to one day ride the French Alps; win a club grade race; or maintain a level that allows you to stay with your favourite riding bunch. The important point is with smart training you can more than offset the changes occurring within our biological clock.

To limit the decline in aerobic capacity it has been shown the importance of continuing to expose one self to high intensity aerobic activity. Those that continue to race and train from their 40’s have been shown in studies to have the least drop off on aerobic capacity. The key here is training consistency and intensity. Whilst racing supply’s more than adequate intensity, so too will a well implemented and executed interval work out, or indeed a ride over hilly and mountainous terrain. Do this and you should be able to hold aerobic capacity decline to a level that allows you continue to pursue your riding ambitions with panache as you move through your forties and beyond.

Example Session

  • 10 min easy riding @ 90rpm
  • 5 min progressing from easy to ‘all-out’ @ 95rpm +
  • 8 x 1min ‘all-out’ @ 100rpm + with 1min easy spinning in-between
  • 10min easy riding @ 90rpm
  • 6 x 2min ‘hanging on by the skin of your teeth’ efforts @ 95rpm with 3min easy spinning in-between
  • 10min easy riding @ 90rpm
  • 20min ‘fast not hard; riding @ 95rpm
  • 10min easy riding @ 90rpm

In the example above, other sessions can easily be built upon this framework. The interval schemes should vary from session to session to avoid the possibility of any plateau in performance. The 8 x 1 minute ‘all-out’ efforts could be 30 second ‘all out efforts’; 6 x 2 minute intervals could be substituted with 4 x 5 minute efforts or 3 x 10 minutes. Be creative, and keep your riding alive and fresh.

The published training programs have been developed by or on behalf of Slow Trails Pty Ltd t/a Solo Bike. They are suggested programs only and do not take into account specific individuals and their medical and physical needs and capabilities. Solo Bike does not make any representation whatsoever as to the appropriateness or effectiveness of the programs for any specific individuals. We advise you speak with your doctor or healthcare professional before you start any of the programs. Except to the extent required by law, Solo Bike is not responsible or liable to any person for the information or advice which is provided in the programs or any loss or injury you suffer as a result of undertaking any of the programs.