Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Next level-Training

Old 04-22-19, 10:04 PM
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McMitchell
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Next level-Training

I am interested in moving my bike training to a “higher” level. I ride on gravel/paved roads in the community I live in. There is an actual gravel section I also ride, regularly on. I am in the North GA Mtns so there are steep hills. I currently do 10-15 mile rides. I will turn 70 soon.

I find that the day after I ride I am often tired. I work with barbells a recumbent bike and an Eliptical Trainer too. I am interested in riding most days. The problem I am having, is I am often tired and sore the day following a ride. I think I am moving at a good pace. I am finding I can climb hills in higher gears. How do I improve my training so I can ride every day?
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Old 04-23-19, 08:11 AM
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Just get on the bike the next day and after a few miles the tired feeling goes away but I’m almost 20 years younger than you are. I think you are doing great.
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Old 04-23-19, 08:14 AM
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Ride more. That's it, there's no magical formula to increasing your endurance. You just have to keep riding. I'm a little concerned that you are that sore after a 10-15 mile ride. Are you pushing the pace beyond your abilities? Are you climbing mountains the whole time? We should start there and see what your normal routine looks like. My initial thought is to say slow down, go easier, and build up to longer distance until you aren't getting sore anymore. Then increase the pace. At your age keeping your heart down isn't a bad thing. There's a growing body of research that speaks against extremely high heart rates in all ages.
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Old 04-23-19, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by McMitchell View Post
I am interested in moving my bike training to a “higher” level. I ride on gravel/paved roads in the community I live in. There is an actual gravel section I also ride, regularly on. I am in the North GA Mtns so there are steep hills. I currently do 10-15 mile rides. I will turn 70 soon.

I find that the day after I ride I am often tired. I work with barbells a recumbent bike and an Eliptical Trainer too. I am interested in riding most days. The problem I am having, is I am often tired and sore the day following a ride. I think I am moving at a good pace. I am finding I can climb hills in higher gears. How do I improve my training so I can ride every day?

Spin. Try to keep it around 100rpm – no need to mash it with a high gear going up hills.

Also, eat something healthy within 30 minutes after riding. That is when your muscles are hungry to recover. Stay hydrated.

The best way to increase fitness is to do some hard intervals once a week on days when you are fresh. At the velodrome, I’ll do 15-20 seconds full out and then recover for 40seconds and repeat 8-10 times. These are extreme efforts – 1,000+ watts – to the point I feel like throwing up. I find the older I get, the harder it is to recover between efforts. Or maybe I’m just getting out of shape. ;-)

I also like some longer days in the saddle – where I just get out and ride 2, 3, 4 hours and a comfortable pace.
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Old 04-23-19, 08:40 AM
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I ride 10,000 miles a year, my average daily effort is around 35 miles, and I've never found cadence to matter one single bit. Unless you're turning like 40-50rpm, self-selected cadence is usually what works best. As cadence gets higher and higher, it becomes increasingly inefficient.

What will leave you tired after rides is riding at a level of intensity that is unsustainable at your level of fitness. Some days simply need to be of lesser intensity, and most days will be of 60% effort or less.

The bottom line is, if you want to ride more miles, you need to ride more miles. Longer rides, more often. I can't even get my legs warm in 10-15 miles.
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Old 04-23-19, 08:41 AM
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Might help to remember you are talking to someone who is 70 and not used to that level of intensity.

Yes, just ride more but do so intelligently. Find a route or two that has fewer or no hills as an easier recovery ride.

sort days into Hard, Easy, Rest.

Start out slow and respect your age. Try:

H, R, E, R, E, R, H... repeat
After a bit try:
H, R, E, R, H, R, E, R... repeat

Mix it up a bit depending on how you feel and basically just move your hard days closer together by dropping some easy and rest days but remember that progress depends as much on recovery and rest as it does on stress and the need for recovery goes up with age.

And as noted, spinning instead of mashing is your friend.
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Old 04-23-19, 10:39 AM
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Thanks for the help guys. I wonder if you guys try to do “strength” training or just cardio vascular, riding your bikes? The weight training might be causing issues. I have thought about doing Yoga or Tai-Chi between bike rides instead. I wrestled from 4th grade through college, paddled white water for 20-30 years, so I am use to getting upper body exercise too.

I think the suggestion to eat something within 30 minuets of training may be a good one. I tend to ride middle of day or PM then wait until dinner. I cover 10-15 miles in 30-45 minuets, so I do not usually take water on the bike, which may also be ill advised. Do you guys ride & drink or stop to drink? All the hills & turns I encounter make me hesitant to “drink & drive”! I see guys eating while they ride too. My blood pressure tends to run a little on the high side (135-80, 140-80). I am working on it.
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Old 04-23-19, 10:57 AM
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Here's what works for me, but please know that I am not a trainer and that I am a few years younger. I would say that in general the ideas here are what to look at vs. copying this exactly.

-2 days of full body resistance training (pushups, pullups, core exercises, squats, lunges, and more depending on what equipment you have access to). I try not to get too crazy...maybe 45 minutes with minimal rest

-1 day of interval training on the bike (road if the weather is nice, trainer if its not). I mix this up with 15-30 sec sprints with 15 sec breaks, or hill sprints, or pushing a hard gear at a low cadence. Basically, driving my heart rate into the hard-to-breathe zone and then resting. These workouts usually take an hour (maybe +15 mins, depending on the day) which includes warmup and cooldown

-1 moderate day on the road or trainer with variable speeds and intensity. This is more of a recovery effort and typically goes 1-2 hours

-1 long day on the road, which I progressively increase week-over-week in either miles, feet of climbing, or both. Really depends on what I'm working towards
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Old 04-23-19, 11:05 AM
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pedal assist gravel bike.

kidding...but not really. Itll allow you to ride further, longer, and more frequently.

Just mentioning it since it hasnt been mentioned yet. I dont love em, but i am also not in a position to consider them yet.

Also- i hope I am switching off between riding 15mi of mixed surface and strength training each day when I am 70. That is fantastic to read.
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Old 04-23-19, 11:21 AM
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Yoga. You will be surprised how much fresher you are after every ride with some weekly or bi-weekly Yoga thrown into your training.
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Old 04-23-19, 11:39 AM
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In a 30 minute ride, you don’t need to drink during the ride, if you drink before AND after.

As shoota mentioned, you might be going too hard? I used to go as hard as I could for a ride (probably riding at my aerobic threshold the whole time). That was exhausting and counter productive (although I didn’t know better).

I now tend to ride a little more moderate with periods of high intensity (i.e. sprinting or hill climbing). The time in a more moderate intensity builds my endurance, and the time at high intensity builds my strength. My earlier habit of just riding a fast temp the whole time did neither.
One thing that changed my training was to get a heart rate monitor - although they really are no good unless you get know your individual performance.

Theoretically your max heart rate is 220 – age (so 150 for you).
The Aerobic threshold is 180 – age (so 110 for you)

Of course these generalizations can be way off. My theoretical "max" HR is well below my actual Anaerobic threshold. The only way to know for sure is to measure in the lab, and/or do some home made testing (riding as fast as you can under the same resistance for 20-60 minutes, measuring your max heart rate under intense race like conditions).

Interestingly, above your Aerobic Threshold, your body is burning 100% sugars and 0% fat.
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Old 04-23-19, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Just get on the bike the next day and after a few miles the tired feeling goes away
This.

It's the same thing with muscle soreness too.

They only hurt when you rest. Get back on the bike and the soreness goes away until you stop again.

It's like a drug. Pretty quick you realize you NEED the bike to feel normal!

(Only applies to soreness. Not actual pain. If you have actual pain, see a doctor. Or...not...whatever. I'm not anyone's mom.)
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Old 04-23-19, 12:56 PM
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[QUOTE]...I've never found cadence to matter one single bit. Unless you're turning like 40-50rpm, self-selected cadence is usually what works best. As cadence gets higher and higher, it becomes increasingly inefficient..../QUOTE]

I used to think that. But then I found with a little education I could learn from other people’s experience and improve myself.

I do see people mashing too large a gear, wearing themselves out quickly, and not knowing why. There is always more to learn. Self selecting works fine if you are happy where you are at, but that is not the case here.

I’m not sure what “As cadence gets higher and higher, it becomes increasingly inefficient” Means. Starting at 0RPM? Maybe true with electric bikes. ;-) Power is directly related to speed, so low RPM is not going to give you power. Efficiency depends a lot on the rider. Maybe that is what you meant by self selecting? I’ve seen riders efficiency peat at 120rpm, and some at 50rpm (highly trained and untrained respectively) Still, you can train yourself to be in the sweet zone.


In my experience, “efficiency” is balancing my muscle strength to my heart rate. Cadence is the link between the two. Of course, if I’m not pushing my heart or my muscles to exhaustion, cadence doesn’t matter. But that is not the case here.

If I’m exhausted the day after the ride, that tells me:
- I’m mashing too hard a gear and my legs are worn out
- I’m not in good cardio shape and/or I’m just pumping my heart too hard
- I’m not doing the proper things for recovery.
Hence my advice.
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Old 04-23-19, 01:44 PM
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I would also say that at 70 one should be looking at keeping bike rides enjoyable rather than viewing them as detailed workout routines. Talk about ruining a pastime! Aim to just get out and ride more mainly at moderate intensity with a harder push once in a while if that's fun for you.

If you want to increase frequency long term the best way is to keep it fun and make riding part of a lifestyle rather than regimented workout routine. At your age the risk of long layoffs due to burnout (fatigue) or overuse injuries will be an issue to manage intelligently.

You can also add some resistance/strength training but again, go slow. At a recent conference (I work in health care for the elderly) a speaker talked about research that links cardio and strength training to reduced cognitive decline in older populations. Strength training was considered slightly better in that regard.

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Old 04-23-19, 02:39 PM
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OP: I'm a bit younger than you, but I definitely need more recovery than I did even ten years ago -- so I think it's not unusual for you to be tired and sore the day after a ride.

You'll be less tired if you ride more, and follow (even just casually) a training regimen -- HappyFeet gives a general guideline several posts up the thread.

The soreness is a bit worrying. More regular riding, along with some of the other advice you have received, will help. But (and I'm surprised that no one seems to have yet mentioned this, from my quick skim of the thread), you might want to have a knowledgeable cyclist or shop check out your bike fit.

By the way: the person who got me into cycling (many years ago) kept riding beyond your age. When he was exactly your age, we rode this race together. The human body is capable of amazing things, if it's treated reasonably well. (Sometimes even if it's not treated reasonably well -- see Keith Richards, for example.)
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Old 04-23-19, 05:57 PM
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FWIW, there is an entire "Training and Nutrition" sub forum. If you like, you can ask a mod to move your thread. Most of us here seem to be of the "ride more and it'll work out" school, but if you have limited time there might be better plans.
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Old 04-23-19, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
FWIW, there is an entire "Training and Nutrition" sub forum. If you like, you can ask a mod to move your thread. Most of us here seem to be of the "ride more and it'll work out" school, but if you have limited time there might be better plans.
Thanks for that info. I looked but apparently missed the Training and Nutrition sub Forum. I did find it after you mentioned it. It might be better to move this thread there.

I probably should not say I am sore, more like tired, the day after a ride. I understand about being weary after training, particularly after training too hard. I push fairly hard, probably too hard. I did go through two a days, football practice.

The pictures below are the hill I start rides on which may be the an issue, about 1/2 mile...






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Old 04-24-19, 04:19 AM
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Being a little sore after a ride is not a bad thing at all - if you aren't a little sore the following day you aren't likely pushing hard enough to improve. There's a forum about training you should probably post your question in to get more responses though.
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Old 04-24-19, 08:30 AM
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Beautiful hill. Must be fun going down.

I find that if I am worn out the next day, I either didn't feed/hydrate properly after the ride, or that I stayed in my red zone too long and just drained myself. I do have some recovery drinks that I use if I feel I've really drained myself, but if I'm riding from home I would rather just use real food from my kitchen.
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Old 04-24-19, 09:54 PM
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Definitely more “fun” to go down than up chas58, assuming one has good disc brakes ;-)
I followed some advice above. I did a combination of paved & gravel roads today, some of which was a little flatter. The app I downloaded says I did about 19 miles, in about an hour.

Maybe someone could suggest a bike app? I downloaded RideTracker and Footpath. Footpath allows me to trace a route with my Apple Pencil on my iPad Pro. The app calculates mileage for out&back.

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Old 04-24-19, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
This.

It's the same thing with muscle soreness too.

They only hurt when you rest. Get back on the bike and the soreness goes away until you stop again.

It's like a drug. Pretty quick you realize you NEED the bike to feel normal!

(Only applies to soreness. Not actual pain. If you have actual pain, see a doctor. Or...not...whatever. I'm not anyone's mom.)

Yes a a very healthy drug. If I don’t get my bicycle fix I become a grumpy maybe the influx of endorphins has something to do with it. Also a great bike ride is an escape from everyday BS.
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Old 04-25-19, 07:09 AM
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I am right behind you, will be 69 in June. I take two hours to do a 32 km ( 20 mile) ride, mixed terrain, climbing up and down the escarpment that splits our city. You, brother, are moving at quite a pace. I take it easy on the MUP's when they are busy, try not to mash, 82 rpm is comfy for me until I get fatigued. I do Tai Chi twice a week, that has helped with joint pains and balance. I drink about 750 ml of water during my rides and more when I get home. I'm 5' 10 and 198 lbs, that is a big belly hanging off a skinny frame.

I agree with others, try slowing down a bit, definetly drink while you ride. I find my eliptical trainer is a killer for me and I no longer use it.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Yes a a very healthy drug. If I don’t get my bicycle fix I become a grumpy maybe the influx of endorphins has something to do with it. Also a great bike ride is an escape from everyday BS.
I agree! I had a period, when I was younger, where I was running 5-10 miles, at a fairly fast pace, so I understand about the endorphins and how one might adjust to that “feeling”. A poster above mentions doing 35 miles most days. Thinking back to when I was running long distances, I am unclear on how a person can do that and “get anything else done in the same day”?

Trying to move this to another post I have that discusses bike adaptations for faster riding on Cyclocross & Gravel bikes. I think I have explored the fitness issue as far as I need to. Thanks for all the good suggestions and wisdom.
https://www.bikeforums.net/fitting-y...l#post20901616
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