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Getting lean as a masters rider

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Getting lean as a masters rider

Old 03-28-19, 01:40 PM
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Getting lean as a masters rider

I need some suggestions from other masters level cyclists.


I'm 48. I'm sure many of you have battled the "weight creep" over the years. As my early 40s were spent chasing toddlers and small kids around and getting fat (I had kids late) I have literally found that the last 20 pounds just won't come off now that I've started getting serious about cycling again. And I'm a big dude; 6 feet and 180 - 185 at my leanest racing weight as an adult when I was a Cat. 3 in the 1990s. I'm still at 210 and am racing my first criterium in 10 years coming up in two weeks. All the old tricks don't work anymore: fasted 3 hour zone 2 rides, 200 mile weeks, and even intermittent fasting. I mean, the weight literally will not come off. I realize that if I just resign myself to being 210 that I'll never realize my potential as a masters cyclist--but I'm a very goal oriented person and this has been frustrating as hell.


Just wondered what other have done.


Thanks!
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Old 03-29-19, 12:18 PM
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Ah, the everlasting conversation on how to lose weight. Weight has been my middle-to-old-age windmill.

What is the duration of your fast?

I used to fast in my late teens to early 20s to try to improve my ability to burn fat (based on reading about training studies of Scandinavian Nordic skiers from the 1970s). My fasts lasted 24-72 hours, though generally 36-48 hours. At that time, I probably weighed about 125 lbs. I won't ever see 125 lbs again, but I'd like to get down to 140 lbs or so. A month or so ago I tried a 36 hour fast, 9:30p on a Sunday through 9:30a on a Tuesday. I rode 30 flat, easy miles on Monday and Tuesday morning and the result was a little dizziness on Tuesday's ride and a loss of about 3 lbs.

Gained back a pound this week.

Might try another 36 hour fast in May in preparation for the National Senior Games in June.
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Old 04-28-19, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by threeteas View Post
I need some suggestions from other masters level cyclists.


I'm 48. I'm sure many of you have battled the "weight creep" over the years. As my early 40s were spent chasing toddlers and small kids around and getting fat (I had kids late) I have literally found that the last 20 pounds just won't come off now that I've started getting serious about cycling again. And I'm a big dude; 6 feet and 180 - 185 at my leanest racing weight as an adult when I was a Cat. 3 in the 1990s. I'm still at 210 and am racing my first criterium in 10 years coming up in two weeks. All the old tricks don't work anymore: fasted 3 hour zone 2 rides, 200 mile weeks, and even intermittent fasting. I mean, the weight literally will not come off. I realize that if I just resign myself to being 210 that I'll never realize my potential as a masters cyclist--but I'm a very goal oriented person and this has been frustrating as hell.


Just wondered what other have done.


Thanks!
Get MyFitnessPal on your phone.
Log everything you eat
Log your exercise.
Let the program do the math.

You will be amazed at some of the things you do regarding eating that are working against you. Find other options that satisfy you without so many calories. I lost 40 pounds this way about 13 years ago and have been logging everything I eat since then.
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Old 04-29-19, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by threeteas View Post
I need some suggestions from other masters level cyclists.


I'm 48. I'm sure many of you have battled the "weight creep" over the years. As my early 40s were spent chasing toddlers and small kids around and getting fat (I had kids late) I have literally found that the last 20 pounds just won't come off now that I've started getting serious about cycling again. And I'm a big dude; 6 feet and 180 - 185 at my leanest racing weight as an adult when I was a Cat. 3 in the 1990s. I'm still at 210 and am racing my first criterium in 10 years coming up in two weeks. All the old tricks don't work anymore: fasted 3 hour zone 2 rides, 200 mile weeks, and even intermittent fasting. I mean, the weight literally will not come off. I realize that if I just resign myself to being 210 that I'll never realize my potential as a masters cyclist--but I'm a very goal oriented person and this has been frustrating as hell.


Just wondered what other have done.


Thanks!

I’m four years older than you and have transformed from a crit/track specialist to a hill climb specialist. I’ve lowered my race weight by 15 pounds over the last couple of years. How? We all mostly eat too much. I made friends with being hungry, and knowing when to stop eating. I also rarely eat before lunch time, and eat really clean. I’m a lot smaller than you, so when you consider percentages it’s quite a dramatic change.

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Old 04-29-19, 08:30 AM
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Go on long difficult rides, and when you get home, just eat what you would have eaten normally had you not ridden. I know it's much easier said than done, but this way (as opposed to a fast) your body is still getting some nutrition, just not as much as it would like to have. This creates a caloric deficit, and you can't help but lose weight, it'll happen.

I find this technique works better during warm months, it seems like the body is much more willing to shed extra fat in hot weather, and plus you won't be walking around with cold hands (I hate fasting in the winter). I'm 57 and lost quite a bit of weight last summer doing this.
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Old 05-07-19, 12:26 PM
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Good luck. I feel your pain, I too am a big guy - too big for this sport.

How much time do you have? The only thing that worked for me in middle age was long, long, steady distance rides for winter training. I'm talking 15 hours/250 miles per week, combined with intermittent fasting. I'd fast for 36 hours, from dinner one night until breakfast the day after next, once a week.

I was never able to lose weight during the season, I couldn't combine training volume and fasting with the intensity required to stay competitive.
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Old 05-07-19, 03:21 PM
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When I was 47, I weighed 325. When I celebrated my 50th birthday, I weighed 165. I'm 55 now, and while I'm not setting the world on fire, I stand on my share of podiums, hang with riders half my age, race both Masters and cat divisions, and am generally in the best health of my life. I have maintained my weight within 5 lbs of 170 since 2013.

You can do it, you just have to find what works for you and stick with it. For me that meant logging everything and going low carb off the bike, high carb on the bike. Something different might work for you, but don't think you can't lose weight in your 40s or 50s.

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Old 05-08-19, 11:24 AM
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BB, very cool that's not just performance improvement that's life changing level stuff.
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Old 05-08-19, 11:40 AM
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Holy cow, BB. That's amazing.
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Old 05-08-19, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Voodoo76 View Post
BB, very cool that's not just performance improvement that's life changing level stuff.
Thanks. The "life changing" is the important part if someone really wants to get fit and stay that way. Anyone can drop 20 lbs. Dropping weight and keeping it off takes a shift of priorities. but it is entirely doable if you put your mind to it.
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Old 05-08-19, 05:06 PM
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Booyah BB. Great success story!
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Old 05-09-19, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
When I was 47, I weighed 325. When I celebrated my 50th birthday, I weighed 165.

BB
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Old 05-13-19, 07:48 AM
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Wow, these are all great anecdotes and some important information. Thank you! I think, for me, making friends with hunger is super, super important.
Also, my weight seems to have a "tipping point" and I could almost graph it, which really should be motivation enough for me. 180 - 194: I'm really pretty fast, depending how much I am able to train, am a pretty good masters rider in my area and can hang with regional heavy hitters. 195 - 205: Pretty fast on flat sections but really struggle on the short punchy climbs around here. 206 - 215: Can hang for short amounts of time when guys get really rolling, but inevitably get dropped even on small rollers. Immediately dropped on climbs of any significance at race or hard training pace. Those numbers pretty much exemplify my frustration (I'm still at 211 or so). Thanks everyone!
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Old 05-13-19, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by tourisme View Post
Chapeau. Staggering.
So cool!
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Old 05-13-19, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by threeteas View Post
Wow, these are all great anecdotes and some important information. Thank you! I think, for me, making friends with hunger is super, super important.
Also, my weight seems to have a "tipping point" and I could almost graph it, which really should be motivation enough for me. 180 - 194: I'm really pretty fast, depending how much I am able to train, am a pretty good masters rider in my area and can hang with regional heavy hitters. 195 - 205: Pretty fast on flat sections but really struggle on the short punchy climbs around here. 206 - 215: Can hang for short amounts of time when guys get really rolling, but inevitably get dropped even on small rollers. Immediately dropped on climbs of any significance at race or hard training pace. Those numbers pretty much exemplify my frustration (I'm still at 211 or so). Thanks everyone!
Sounds like you have it dialed in and know what you need to do. You just have to want to win more than you want to eat the next whatever it is you shouldn't eat. You can do it.

BB
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Old 05-13-19, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
Sounds like you have it dialed in and know what you need to do. You just have to want to win more than you want to eat the next whatever it is you shouldn't eat. You can do it.

BB
Oh yeah. I definitely know where I need to be at. Getting there is the biggest obstacle, currently, of my life! For my own overall health reasons (slightly high BP, snoring at night, slight elevation in blood glucose levels) I also need to lose this.

BTW--do you think it is reasonable to lose 15-18 pounds before a big race on Labor Day (A Gateway Cup crit in St. Louis, Missouri)?
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Old 05-13-19, 10:22 AM
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I like to have goals driving my training and, for an endurance sport that is about speed of whole body movement, weight is a key metric. Even track sprinters have to optimize weight. I like to have constant reminders to keep me focused on optimum weight and reading books about cycling and performance seem to help. There are many but one is Faster by Hutchinson https://www.amazon.com/Faster-Obsession-Cyclists-Hutchinson-2015-03-12/dp/B017PNQ0N0/ref=sr_1_2?crid=3IX7UB4GO7JDH&keywords=faster+hutchinson&qid=1557763786&s=gateway&sprefix=faster+hu% 2Caps%2C191&sr=8-2 One of things he does is ask himself a simple question - will this action make me faster or slower?

When it is time to eat or I am standing at the fridge - will this make me faster or slower? It is pretty brutal to run ones life in this manner but it is true for professional cyclists looking for that 1-2% edge. And his other thought is that if one is not making marginal gains prospectively, one is losing ground to the field.

So I moderate his thinking because life gets in the way but when I want that whatever to eat, I can ask myself the question, will this make me faster or slower and if I want to be faster, it is easier to close the door of the fridge and walk away empty handed.
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Old 05-13-19, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by threeteas View Post
Oh yeah. I definitely know where I need to be at. Getting there is the biggest obstacle, currently, of my life! For my own overall health reasons (slightly high BP, snoring at night, slight elevation in blood glucose levels) I also need to lose this.

BTW--do you think it is reasonable to lose 15-18 pounds before a big race on Labor Day (A Gateway Cup crit in St. Louis, Missouri)?
That gives you 3 months - 5 lbs a month isn't too hard - just a little over a pound a week. You should be able to run a 3000-4000 calorie/week deficit with a little discipline and extra workouts without too much difficulty.

FWIW, I had a similar set of physical issues before I lost my weight - My blood sugar, BP, cholesterol, etc were all high or borderline, I had sleep apnea and a host of other issues that were annoying or worse. Losing the weight cleared all of them up, and even cleared up issues I didn't think were related, like my chronic sinusitis. The discipline was easily worth the effort and then some.

Which day(s) are you thinking of racing? I typically finish my season with the Tour de Francis Park or the Benton Park Classic. Love the Gateway Cup. Are you doing any of the TNW races in Carondelet?
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Old 05-13-19, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
That gives you 3 months - 5 lbs a month isn't too hard - just a little over a pound a week. You should be able to run a 3000-4000 calorie/week deficit with a little discipline and extra workouts without too much difficulty.

FWIW, I had a similar set of physical issues before I lost my weight - My blood sugar, BP, cholesterol, etc were all high or borderline, I had sleep apnea and a host of other issues that were annoying or worse. Losing the weight cleared all of them up, and even cleared up issues I didn't think were related, like my chronic sinusitis. The discipline was easily worth the effort and then some.

Which day(s) are you thinking of racing? I typically finish my season with the Tour de Francis Park or the Benton Park Classic. Love the Gateway Cup. Are you doing any of the TNW races in Carondelet?
Yeah man! It's either the Tour of the Hill or Lafayette for me. The last time I raced the Tour of the Hill? 1995. I got top 20 in the 3s that day and it was an awesome result for me. Guys from all over the country were there. I hear it's about the same, maybe even bigger these days.

I'm quite a ways from St. Louis so can't make the TNW at Carondelet. Wish I could though.
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Old 05-13-19, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
I like to have goals driving my training and, for an endurance sport that is about speed of whole body movement, weight is a key metric. Even track sprinters have to optimize weight. I like to have constant reminders to keep me focused on optimum weight and reading books about cycling and performance seem to help. There are many but one is Faster by Hutchinson https://www.amazon.com/Faster-Obsess...s%2C191&sr=8-2 One of things he does is ask himself a simple question - will this action make me faster or slower?

When it is time to eat or I am standing at the fridge - will this make me faster or slower? It is pretty brutal to run ones life in this manner but it is true for professional cyclists looking for that 1-2% edge. And his other thought is that if one is not making marginal gains prospectively, one is losing ground to the field.

So I moderate his thinking because life gets in the way but when I want that whatever to eat, I can ask myself the question, will this make me faster or slower and if I want to be faster, it is easier to close the door of the fridge and walk away empty handed.
This is a good link, thanks! I think, for me, being lean comes with a whole host of good health outcomes, in addition to being fast on the bike. I absolutely need to remind myself of that. A year of self-discipline regarding food (I think it will take at least a year to get down to 180, which is my ultimate target) seems well worth it. It will also take a complete revision of the way I think about food going in to the future, which will also require a lot of self-discipline. The health outcomes, I know, are very real, however.
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Old 05-13-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by threeteas View Post
Yeah man! It's either the Tour of the Hill or Lafayette for me. The last time I raced the Tour of the Hill? 1995. I got top 20 in the 3s that day and it was an awesome result for me. Guys from all over the country were there. I hear it's about the same, maybe even bigger these days.

I'm quite a ways from St. Louis so can't make the TNW at Carondelet. Wish I could though.
Most fields will be near capacity or sold out. Great weekend of racing.
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Old 05-13-19, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by threeteas View Post
This is a good link, thanks! I think, for me, being lean comes with a whole host of good health outcomes, in addition to being fast on the bike. I absolutely need to remind myself of that. A year of self-discipline regarding food (I think it will take at least a year to get down to 180, which is my ultimate target) seems well worth it. It will also take a complete revision of the way I think about food going in to the future, which will also require a lot of self-discipline. The health outcomes, I know, are very real, however.
Your welcome. Cycling for performance is a cruel mistress.
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