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Some help would be appreciated. In resource after resource, I read that more time on the bike is the best way to improve strength and endurance. I'm a 45 year old male, 5'10", 158lbs with a body fat of just over 6%. I think I'm in decent shape and I'm minful of my diet. My training consists of four days a week of weight training, low weight, lots of reps and lots of core exercises. Each week, I put 100 to 125 miles on my bike, typically two 30 mile solo rides (I strive to improve my time each ride) and one 50 to 60 mile group ride (usually about 22-23mph average). I mix in one day a week focused on hill climbing. There's a one mile long, 8% grade hill near my home. I also do a road race or two each month. For me, I find that anything more does not yield improved results. And, if I push it, I actually see a negative result. I'm guessing that a longer recovery time is needed with additional age.

Am I missing something in my training or is it simply a result of age? Or something else?
 

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Getting old means you need more recovery. I have to take an extra day off a week now at age 47 than I did when I was 30. But my rides are harder now. I take an easy week about every three weeks.

You do a lot of weight training and not much riding compared to most masters racers I know... most don't do any weight work, or only do it in the winter.
 

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What eric said. The weight training isn't improving your recovery during the season. Group rides (and races?) get fast this time of year, and weight lifting isn't one way to get faster on the bike.

What are your goals? Sorry for sounding like a broken record, but asking for training help without specifying your goals is like trying to choose a car without knowing its purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your point hits home, and I may be way off base, but my thought is that using low weight and lots of reps would offer a good mix to training without adding bulk.

This may sound rather nebulous, but my goals are to stay in the best possible shape and remain competitive when I do race. For the most part, I'm there today, but I'm always looking at ways to maximize my efforts and improve. I really don't care about winning, for me, it's more about the personal satisfaction of getting the most out of myself.
 

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More and more..

bianchi bob said:
Your point hits home, and I may be way off base, but my thought is that using low weight and lots of reps would offer a good mix to training without adding bulk.

This may sound rather nebulous, but my goals are to stay in the best possible shape and remain competitive when I do race. For the most part, I'm there today, but I'm always looking at ways to maximize my efforts and improve. I really don't care about winning, for me, it's more about the personal satisfaction of getting the most out of myself.
The low weight, high rep thing is just bunk really. Weight training is meant to do one thing, increase strength. I might be talking out of my butt, but I don't think so. High reps isn't going to help with endurance that much.

Also, the more things I've been reading lately has taken a turn from a lot of time on the bike to get strong, and be strong, to QUALITY time on the bike. Lots of garbage miles on the bike is being debunked more and more as really not doing much of anything for you, unless of course you like to do long rides. I know some who do, but how many of us are doing races of 5-6 hours? Not too often I'd say, more like 1 hour, or less, crits.

I think I read an article that Greg Lemond wrote in Procycling a short while back about how he used to train when he was racing and winning Tours. He went against the grain back in his day (big surprise there from that guy), and didn't do the long off season rides, he did quality training rides, and rode with intent, not to just be out for a ride. I mean, again, if you want to just ride, there isn't anything wrong with that either, but I take it that you want to be race fit.
 

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bianchi bob said:
Some help would be appreciated. In resource after resource, I read that more time on the bike is the best way to improve strength and endurance. I'm a 45 year old male, 5'10", 158lbs with a body fat of just over 6%. I think I'm in decent shape and I'm minful of my diet. My training consists of four days a week of weight training, low weight, lots of reps and lots of core exercises. Each week, I put 100 to 125 miles on my bike, typically two 30 mile solo rides (I strive to improve my time each ride) and one 50 to 60 mile group ride (usually about 22-23mph average). I mix in one day a week focused on hill climbing. There's a one mile long, 8% grade hill near my home. I also do a road race or two each month. For me, I find that anything more does not yield improved results. And, if I push it, I actually see a negative result. I'm guessing that a longer recovery time is needed with additional age.

Am I missing something in my training or is it simply a result of age? Or something else?
22-23 mph avg on 50-60 mile group ride?

Are you suffering or sitting in with ease?

Sounds like you are doing really well.. What are you goals?

To win the next sprint? To pull longer?

Sounds like you might be at your max. Enjoy it.
 

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I'm getting a wishy-washy vibe from your posts. You ask about improving training, but then back away from it. Which is it?

I think you could drop the weight sessions entirely, cut your core sessions to minimal maintenance mode, take one of those 30 mile rides and turn it into structured intervals of the 3-5 minute variety, take the other 30 miler and turn it into Tabata intervals, and alternate the group ride and hill repeats. In a month or two you'd see a difference in your racing results.

But I'm no coach.
 

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Drop the weight lifting. I'm 49 and do what others have said. 1 week "off" every 3 weeks. I lift about 3 months during the winter and that's it; your lifting isn't helping your riding nor is it helping your recovery. Maybe throw some pilates in there to strengthen your core if you are concerned about over all fitness.
 

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Hey, I feel your pain, being an old guy racer myself. A few years ago I was 'stuck' at a level like you seem to think you are, so I began trying even harder to find ways to improve. I did lots of reading about other's ideas about training, then began trying a few of their ideas, with generally good results. After 30 years of riding (with a few breaks) you'd think I would know about how to train...but I've managed to find some new (to me, anyhow) ways to keep improving.

In your schedual...I would nix the weight training, too. It won't likely make you better on the bike, done during the riding season. I've found intervals(like weight training, but bike specific) to be a big key in improving my race and fast group ride performances. Short very intense intervals. Lots of em. I try to do two days a week of intervals. I do (right now) 10 reps of 30 seconds with 1:30 recovery..(I do MAX effort intervals...real max as frikkin hard as you can, just like when you are dangling off the back of the pack..) usually I do these on a climb, for convenience and safety. The first few seem relativly short and kinda easy..the tenth is difficult. I sometimes combine an interval session with a tempo ride or a 'spinning' ride...high foot speed..low load. I love riding, so I won't do a day with just intervals..I like to spend a couple of hours riding, at least.

I do, rather than weight training, some high load-low cadence climbing. Picked this up from a teamate (National Mast. TT champ..RR runner-up) Mindful of overstressing my knees, I'll go up a climb..~1500 > 3000' elevation gain..in a ridiculous big gear. 40, 50, sometimes even 20 rpm in the big ring on 8-9%..That gives my legs a good muscle build session..but watch the knees!

I've also found working on concentration helps me. I try to keep mindful of making a full circular very efficient pedal stroke going..work on my breating at the same time and keeping my body quite...Basic stuff, but we tend to forget that..or ignore it or get sloppy.

I sleep as much as I can and take a full day off the bike every week along with a day of true recovery riding...under 120bpm..I find it good for my performance to take care when I taper into a big event or anticipate a killer club ride (informal race). If I have a special hard event and I feel wasted afterwards..I take an extra day off sometimes, maybe with a very short spin...
Good luck, have fun
Don Hanson
 

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Are you training for 60 mile road races, or for 45 minute crits??? If you're training for crits, you need to do shorter "eye poping" intervals. (and lots of them)
Three rides a week won't cut it. You will be eaten alive by the 40+ fields.

PS If your group ride averages 22/23 mph, you must spend a lot of time at 26/27 mph in this ride. Warm ups, stop signs and stop lights, really kill average speeds.
 

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Weights

Drop the lower body weights. They are doing nothing to make you faster and are likely impacting your recovery in a negative way. Keep the upper body stuff if you want. It will not make you faster on the bike but it is good for lifestyle type fitness (carrying luggage, moving furniture etc..).

Mike
 

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I'll "chime in" on Slow. I had to work on that, too. I have a default loop I do..about 28 miles with ~2000' climbing. Hard days, training alone, I get about 17mph average. Recovery days, I do about 14 average and I feel like I'm crawling. Recovery days, I try to keep below 130bpm on my hrm unless I am climbing,then I try to keep it below 150..It's difficult when an acquaintence comes along and wants to hammer..
Don Hanson
 

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I ride with my 2 girls on some of my recovery rides. Usually about 30-40 min at a screaming 10mph.....
 
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