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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Entered a 55+ RR at the end of the month and have a few training/racing questions from the masters racers out there.
I have been riding 5-6000 miles annually for the last few years so my basic fitness is good but I figure that I lack speed and I need to lose weight(6', 195, bf 16%). I was a cat 2 back in the day but that was in the late 80's and my last RR was in 91.
What kind of w/kg should I be producing? I used to be a pack sprinter type and never could produce the power to be a breakaway/TT guy and did better in flatter roadraces. How does the pace in a 55+ race( large 30 or more pack) compare to a cat 3 or 4 race? I train with a large group of cat 3-5's and can hang but a big effort off the front or a sprint means I get dropped when the counters happen.

Training - Lots of 12 hour/200 mile weeks over the summer but school has started up again so my hours go down and recovery suffers. After the Saturday hammerfest of 3-3 1/2 hours and 65 miles and a 2 hour Z2 Sunday ride, it is Tuesday or Wednesday before I can attempt intervals. By Thursday, even if I don't do ints, the week has caught up with me and I sometimes struggle to do a 90 min Z2 ride. So it looks like I'm limited to 2 big efforts/week. I don't drag around all day and have plenty of energy for normal activities but my legs just don't have snap very often for hard training. I wake up without an alarm after 6 1/2 - 7 hours sleep and don't feel overtrained and take an easy week every 3-4 weeks.

My real question seems to be - Is 2 hard efforts a week normal for a man my age(58) with a full workweek of 50 hours? I know my speed or what's left of it will come around someday but is there an adjustment I need to make somewhere? Usually Monday is a 1 hour gym stretch, core and upper body w/o and Friday is a stretch /core 20 - 30 min day at the gym.
 

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My real question seems to be - Is 2 hard efforts a week normal for a man my age(58) with a full workweek of 50 hours? I know my speed or what's left of it will come around someday but is there an adjustment I need to make somewhere? Usually Monday is a 1 hour gym stretch, core and upper body w/o and Friday is a stretch /core 20 - 30 min day at the gym.
At your age it is unlikely that you can do 3 hard sessions per week.

From Basic Training for Roadies (www.roadbikerider.com/bt_excerpt.htm) by Fred Matheny: here's a 7 hours a week, weekly schedule that works for many riders:

Monday: Rest day with 15 minutes of resistance training.
Tuesday: Ride 1 hour with 3-8 sprints or other short, hard efforts.
Wednesday: Ride 1 hour at a steady, moderate pace.
Thursday: Ride 1 hour including about 20 minutes of any type of hard effort.
Friday: Rest day with 15 minutes of resistance training.
Saturday: Ride 1 hour at an easy pace.
Sunday: Ride 3 hours at a varied pace. Group rides or hilly courses are good choices.

Remember, intensity is one key to this program. If you could ride 200 to 400 miles per week, sheer volume would guarantee a high level of fitness. But you can't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks, I had forgotten about Matheny. I remember and reading and following his articles in Velonews and Bicycling long ago.

His program isn't that different from what I give my riders that I coach, I just couldn't quite see that what I was doing or not doing for myself wasn't what I needed. I'm always saying to others either Z2 or Z5 and spending too much of my time in Z3 and Z4.
 

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I have no experience in master's racing, nor have I been a cat 3 in over a decade, so take the following for what it is.

But I'm a big advocate for z3-z4 in time crunched situations, and when building or rebuilding more base/strength. I'll do 4-5 sessions a week (shorter, 20-40 min sessions of z3-z4) during winter time when I don't ride much.

Z2 or Z5 only I feel cuts out a lot of essential elements necessary for proper aerobic development.

I employ a 2x a week workout at points during the season, as well, and you can certainly do very well with those. For 2x a week I especially like "kitchen-sink" type where you might start with 20-30 mins of threshold and then a few v02 max and then maybe 2-3 sprints or something similar. Doesn't have to be a ton of intensity overall (might only be 30-45 mins total, depending on fitness), but a smattering of different work loads/durations.
 

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Grab a copy of Joe Friel's book, "Fast After 50". I'm in that demographic, have the book, and can say it's detailed enough to answer your questions. It's right up your alley. Good stuff.

Preview: One key recommendation of his is to think of training not in terms of a 7 day cycle, as your post suggests you do now, to a 9 or perhaps 11 day cycle. It gives you more recovery time, which is necessary for us geezers.

Trust me; read the book and you'll get all the info you need.
 

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I would "second" Peter P's suggestion to read Friel's "Fast After 50" book.

steelbikerider,
With RR at end of Sept, you're not going to improve your aerobic base much, if any, but with your volume of riding that should be pretty decent.

You probably ought to focus on 2 solid vO2max interval sessions per week, as you're apparently intending. Reduce the interval volume in the week before the RR, but still preserve the intensity. It will be a tricky balance between a "small peak" in 30 days, and being fatigued and wanting a few rest days.

You asked "How does the pace in a 55+ race( large 30 or more pack) compare to a cat 3 or 4 race?"
but very difficult to answer without knowing the RR course or even the competitiveness of your racing district.
In Calif, a 55+ RR will typically have racers of all abilities, cat 1-4, and you can always count on some district, state, or national RR and TT champions entering :-(
Some promoters take pity and have separate 55+ cat1-3 and cat4-5 races ;-)

Some courses have a few defining climbs -- one can hang on the flats in the peloton, but then the strong riders make their move on the climb(s) & shred the pack.
Other courses are relentless up-and-down rollers, and there's a stream of racers being spit out the back.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies.
I have Fast after 50 and keep reading it. Lots of good stuff.
Pedalbiker - actually the kitchen sink stuff is what I have been doing and it's not working well. I won't feel great on Tuesday and decide to do Z3 or Z4 stuff and on Thursday, I'm still not recovered. No real change in top end which is my weakness. Once the attacks start at 27+, After 2-3 I'm OTB. I'm thinking that I will need to take an easy Z2 day on Tuesday with some pedaling drills( spin-ups, one leg etc) hard ints on Wednesday and Z2 again on Thursday.
I'm under no illusions that I will be a world beater in 4 weeks. My goal is to hang with the main pack as long as possible and get an idea about what I need for next year. Some of the names are the same that were winning 30 years ago when I last raced. Course is rolling( Fort Hood TX state championship)
 

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actually the kitchen sink stuff is what I have been doing and it's not working well. I won't feel great on Tuesday and decide to do Z3 or Z4 stuff and on Thursday, I'm still not recovered. No real change in top end which is my weakness. Once the attacks start at 27+, After 2-3 I'm OTB. I'm thinking that I will need to take an easy Z2 day on Tuesday with some pedaling drills( spin-ups, one leg etc) hard ints on Wednesday and Z2 again on Thursday.
I'm under no illusions that I will be a world beater in 4 weeks. My goal is to hang with the main pack as long as possible and get an idea about what I need for next year. Some of the names are the same that were winning 30 years ago when I last raced. Course is rolling( Fort Hood TX state championship)
But what exactly are you doing? What are the numbers? The durations?

And why are you still trying to do z3-z4 if you're not recovered enough to do what's planned? Sounds like you're selling yourself short by doing "intensity" that isn't serving the correct purpose?

Take the easy Tues./Thurs. and nail the Wednesday workout.
 

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It all depends on where you race, and the strength of the field. Where I live, the 50-54, and the 55-59 race together. To give you an idea of the speed they race at, there are 13 riders in that group who can break the hour, in a 40K TT. With that many strong riders, the pace is higher than a Cat 3 race, and close to a 1-2 race.
 
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