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Well that is awesome! As a 49 yo full career, wife and two kids I fully understand how much discipline it takes to do what you're doing. Honestly, you have more than most so chapeau to you sir!
 

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Man,

While reading this thread the whole time I hate to admit it but I was thinking everything from " this guy is crazy ". to " ah but he sounds knowledgeable ". Back to " this guy is just nuts and is gonna run himself into the ground ". back to " huh, well he's still got some determination.

Then reading your last post sealed the deal. You're awesome man. And good for you! Inspirational. Even without the last post, good for you for going for it.

As most of us here can absolutely relate to sacrificing things just to get that next ride in for the week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 · (Edited)
Another national championship

After making the commitment Dec 2014 to stay consistent and train the entire year like I did 20 years ago, I've seen steady improvement back to the top. Picked up some hardware and a cool jersey at Cyclocross Nationals in Reno this week. 55+

Shiny
2018_CXnats_medal.jpg


Sprint
Cervantes_finish.jpg


Woot
IMG959933.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Video from pre-ride of Masters Cyclocross Worlds last week. Was gridded 50th of 62 riders so I had no illusions of winning. Even the podium would be a stretch. Made it up to 7th and was still closing on guys, just ran out of race! Passed 25 riders before the first pass through the beach. Proud of my ride, even if the final result was nothing spectacular.

CX Nats in Louisville next week where I go in as the defending champion. I get 1st call up there so my odd are a bit better :)


 

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I really enjoyed reading all this. Thank you for sharing your experiences.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
2019 update

After deciding to train full time again in December 2014, my weekly average hours have been thus:
2014 .64 hrs/wk
2015 7.36 hrs/wk
2016 9.32 hrs/wk
2017 10.73 hrs/wk
2018 11.8 hrs/wk
2019 YTD 14.76 hrs/wk

Before I started my business back in 2006, I would typically start my winter base training with a block of two 300 mile, 16-17hr weeks. Then settle back into my usual 150-200 mile 10 hr/wk habit.

For 2019 I decided to try a big jump in hours. In the past (1998-2003), I had a few jobs (long commute) where my weekly hours went way higher than usual. Those were always my best periods. I knew the simple answare was to train more, no magic there huh?

So the plan for 2019 was to simply keep doing those 300 mile weeks all year, if possible. I knew there would be interruptions because of work and tapering for certain races. So the plan was to go well over 300 miles, close to 20hrs/wk when I could. As a business owner, I now have the incredible luxury of simply taking half a day off to go do a 6hr Z2 ride mid week.

I started this plan immediately after getting back from CX nats in Louisville 2nd week December 2018. I started seeing some of my best Z2 numbers and great recovery before the end of December. By early January I was riding stronger than I have ever done at that point of the year. So far in 2019, I have had some breakout performances. 3 road race wins in a row, 2nd GC in a stage race, best ever finish (top 10!) in the grueling Rock Cobbler gravel race in Bakersfield, CA.

The surprise to me, the real eye opener was that I actually began recovering faster, not slower. I had this plan for 300 mile weeks back in November 2018. My expectation was that this 56 year old athlete would find a ceiling for just how much training load I could absorb and recover from. I thought I'd crack, but wanted to see how much I could take. The surprise came when 3-4 weeks into this bigger mileage plan I was actually recovering faster and some days feeling really good at the 6hr mark, enough to nearly hit my best 5min and 10m power.

I came to the realization that after a few week adaption period this new, larger training load became my new normal. I was adapted to it so I would only get really tired if I did a 330 mile week with a race thrown in there. Even then, I'd recover much faster than when I was averaging closer to 190 miles a week.

This newfound engine capacity has changed the way I train profoundly. No longer focused solely on recovery like a worry wart. I now focus on maintaining this high workload. This keeps the engine big and allows me to tack on races or a few days of interval workouts during an 18hr week and still recover.

I'm hoping I can stay focused, manage my schedule and maintain this training volume for the whole year. I'm getting stronger week by week instead of leveling off as a I do most years in late spring. I don't have detailed data from the 98-03 period except two VO2 tests. Near as I can tell, I'm within 1% of my best numbers from 2003. Massive confidence booster!

Marathon XC nationals in 2 weeks, Dirty Kanza, State TTT champs (2 man) then XC nats.

Oh and I decided to finally get a track bike. Focusing on individual pursuit, which is 2K for my age group. 32mph for 2:20. Ouch.

Off the front at San Dimas Stage race, stage 2 road race. For the win.
FB_IMG_1554039232933.jpg

Off the front next week at Sea Otter road race, final climb.
2019_Sea_Otter_RR_1.jpg

And the track bike. Medieval torture device but gawd its fast.
Felt_FRD_7.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Fall 2019 update

Been a while since I updated this. Initial post was 2010, when I decided to start riding again. Only in 2015 did I really start regular year round training. It's taken roughly 4 years to get back to about the same level as I was back in '98-04 when I won XC nats. My ultimate goal is to win a UCI masters world championship in XC or CX. To do that I would have to reach a level even higher than back in 98-04, age corrected. I know that everything else being equal, higher Zone 2 volume has always been the key to any success I've ever had on the bike. The big jump I made in 2019 was maintaining the highest weekly average hours I have ever done in my life. It's worked. Even with a full 6 day break at the end of September, I have consistently gotten stronger as the year has progressed.

Closer to my ultimate goal, 3rd at XC worlds and 3rd at US road nationals.
In both races, guys ahead and behind me on podium are former and current world champions, former pros, a former Tour De France competitor, many national champions. I feel like an outcast amongst such accomplished bike racers. Maybe I can win one of those rainbow stripe jersey one day.

US Road nats.
2019_Road_Nats.jpg



XC worlds. Yes that's Tinker Juarez. 2nd is Tommy Olson, last years winner.
XC_Worlds_2019_Podium.jpg
 
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