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Age, Rest, Workout Spacing, Etc.

Old 07-27-22, 08:50 AM
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DaveLeeNC
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Age, Rest, Workout Spacing, Etc.

I am going to type this and see if I have a question - if not then I won't post. I am old (soon to hit 73) and have both slowed down (ftp off 10 to 20% from 5 years ago - I was never a slave to that number). I still ride in the 150 miles per week range and am a solo rider - haven't taken a ride seriously since the 2019 Six Gap Century. My #1 goal is is to assistance in weight control and secondary goal is to be in good enough condition to actually start training if I ever decided to take something seriously again. "Something seriously" might be an area century or maybe show up at an area group ride and see if I could keep up with the A group's 50-70 mile ride. But the training motivation is not there at the moment (and there is a good chance that my shoulder would not be able to handle that anyway).

The other change (besides being slower) is that I can no longer ride 7-14 days in a row. I find that after a rest day a ride 'feels pretty good' (like most of my rides, mostly a tempo ride). 2nd day is not bad - sometimes even good. Some of my best (as measured on my power meter and by avg speed) rides recently have been 2nd day rides. But things start to drag about halfway into a ride, on day 3 and day 4 things really start to drag (unless I really backed off on a previous day and sometimes that is not enough). Power is off, speed is off, heartrate is sometimes high when it 'does not need to be' and sometimes it won't come up at all until I hit RPE's of 9-10. I do get a thorough annual physical, BTW.

Yesterday I rode indoors (afternoon - just too damned hot - heat tolerance is another old age victim) and the plan was 90 minutes of kind of tempo riding where I would throw in a few 'simulated climbs' just for grins. I ended up fielding a phone call that took an hour about halfway in. After the rest the 2nd half of the ride was both 'way better' (WRT how it felt) and it was at an average power output that was at least 10% higher than it would have been otherwise. And that means it burned more calories which is one of my goals here.

So now that I have typed this I guess I have a question. Does the last half of this workout (now that I look at the data it is actually the last third) have more training value vs. having stayed on the bike and slogged through (higher RPE) at a lower power output (assume the same power profile)?

I guess a post like this can go many directions, and that is OK. At least I finally figured out a question.

dave

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Old 07-28-22, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
So now that I have typed this I guess I have a question. Does the last half of this workout (now that I look at the data it is actually the last third) have more training value vs. having stayed on the bike and slogged through (higher RPE) at a lower power output (assume the same power profile)?
There are days I take interval sessions with 15 minutes easy followed immediately by 15 minutes hard, repeat 2x. I'm typically able to push harder during the 2nd 15 minutes hard interval just like what happened with you when you took that phone call.

I can do hard (beyond tempo) sessions much longer than 15 minutes continuously but I don't do it everyday. I only do it twice a week during a training session with 45 minutes to 1 hr 15 minutes harder-than-tempo effort continuously.

You might indeed be able to burn more calories if you did intervals or broke down your hard efforts into shorter periods with easy efforts in between. Another way to burn more calories is simply make long hours of easy effort spinning.
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Old 07-29-22, 03:38 PM
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Look at it this way: You`re 73 and still riding, I think that`s good enough. I wouldn`t worry about performance and numbers... Just continue to enjoy riding, consistency is far more important than intensity.
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Old 07-29-22, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by koala logs View Post
There are days I take interval sessions with 15 minutes easy followed immediately by 15 minutes hard, repeat 2x. I'm typically able to push harder during the 2nd 15 minutes hard interval just like what happened with you when you took that phone call.

I can do hard (beyond tempo) sessions much longer than 15 minutes continuously but I don't do it everyday. I only do it twice a week during a training session with 45 minutes to 1 hr 15 minutes harder-than-tempo effort continuously.

You might indeed be able to burn more calories if you did intervals or broke down your hard efforts into shorter periods with easy efforts in between. Another way to burn more calories is simply make long hours of easy effort spinning.
My general thinking here is less interval oriented and more along the lines of a derivative from back in my working days as a runner. I would put in 5 miles early morning (or maybe lunch depending on my work schedule) and then another workout most evenings. That two a day workout (weekdays anyway) seemed to work well for me, although I had nothing to compare to exactly. Now that I am an old man cyclist, maybe try that again.

BTW, on a calories burned per unit of time spent, running is about as good as it gets. But ankle sprains, osteo-arthritis in multiple joints, and spinal stenosis rule that out these days. In fact I became a cyclist as a way to get serious exercise without sprained ankles. Even I cannot sprain an ankle while clipped in.

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Old 07-29-22, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Look at it this way: You`re 73 and still riding, I think that`s good enough. I wouldn`t worry about performance and numbers... Just continue to enjoy riding, consistency is far more important than intensity.
While that is quite sensible, it may not be who I am (maybe). I will say that the last time I decided "just go out and ride - ignore the power meter, odometer, etc", two months later I was seriously training for the Six Gap Century.

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Old 07-29-22, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
While that is quite sensible, it may not be who I am (maybe). I will say that the last time I decided "just go out and ride - ignore the power meter, odometer, etc", two months later I was seriously training for the Six Gap Century.
I think you and I are of a certain type.

Every time I get back on the bike after a hiatus, I tell myself I'm just going to ride for fun. That "honeymoon period" usually lasts about 3 weeks, then I drop into the "must get back in shape" phase.

Currently, I'm on the "my buddy talked me into doing the Huntsman Senior Games with him", scared of a humiliating defeat on race day, daily training regimen.

Even so, it's still fun.
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Old 07-29-22, 09:11 PM
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I'm a few years behind you, but I think it's presumptuous for anybody to tell you or anybody else to just be grateful to be riding that one shouldn't care about performance.

Lots of people I know in their late 60s and early 70s are still riding strong. They may not be what they were 10 or 20 years ago, but people at every age take pleasure from the feeling of really being in shape, whatever that may be for their age and ability. Or for that matter, their disability.

Ride on.
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Old 07-29-22, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I'm a few years behind you, but I think it's presumptuous for anybody to tell you or anybody else to just be grateful to be riding that one shouldn't care about performance.

Lots of people I know in their late 60s and early 70s are still riding strong. They may not be what they were 10 or 20 years ago, but people at every age take pleasure from the feeling of really being in shape, whatever that may be for their age and ability. Or for that matter, their disability.

Ride on.
​​​​​​I aspire to let my mind deteriorate faster than my body such that I never realize I'm not what I used to be. So far I'm doing an excellent job on the first part.
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Old 07-30-22, 03:19 PM
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I am, as you probably know, 77. My experience is that when the going gets weird, the weird get going. The others are history. The older I get, the more important it has become to train to a schedule, not just ride my bike Otherwise it soon becomes otherwise, and I don't want that. I like the feeling of being able to do whatever I want. I never grew up and don't intend to start now. I understand the Buddhist principle of right wanting very well, so I'm careful to only want things I can have - with enough care and work. I know my wife and I can't go touring in the mountains on our tandem anymore. We just can't make enough power and that's that.

I've become a slave to TrainingPeaks. I plan my rides and workouts a couple weeks in advance, using the CTL and TSB tools which TP provides. I ramp it up and ease it off as it pleases me and suits my objectives. Yes, I have objectives. Without them, I don't think I'd try hard enough to keep this old man moving up the road.

Trying to answer the OP's questions as if there were any, throw out all your history. Just forget it. Only look to the future. It's a scientific expedition into the unknown. Figure it out. Plan one week one way, another week another way. See what works. I just took 3 days completely off after a 10-day taper before an event ride, which I finished and finished with a decent pedaling time, though I took a lot of long rests and was probably 2.5 hours longer elapsed than what I used to do. But it was really hot and I really sucked on the 3500' pass climb in the heat. I was also undertrained because this spring was very wet even for the PNW and the snow levels crazy low so we couldn't go hiking in the mountains, which was always my secret weapon. Nothing like gong uphill with a heavy pack for a few hours with a steady zone 1 HR. Fixes my legs right up. The event was this past Thursday, and tomorrow, Sunday, my wife and I are heading for the mountains for an 3-day backpack. My legs aren't going to like it, but whaddya do. The alternative is unacceptable.

A schedule that's been working for me:
Sunday - 4 hour hilly ride, more or less, all the zones except Z1, hammer the hills.
Monday: - 30' Z1
Tuesday - 1-2 hr. strict moderate ride, constant power or just 30' Z1 if still trashed, 1 hour weights
Wednesday - 1.5 hr. moderate ride, not strict
Thursday - repeat of Tuesday, different lifts
Friday - 30' Z1
Saturday - off
Alternatively, hike several hours in the mountains on Monday, then Tuesday 30' Z1, no gym, not necessary.
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Old 07-30-22, 04:34 PM
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I am a little younger but I train with a purpose. A few comments.

If I cannot get my HR up, it means I totally misjudged my readiness for a workout. I turn around and go home. Seriously. That is a warning sign. I monitor TSB and CTL ramp rate, sleep quality, mood, and heart rate variability. I think rest is more important than the workout, rest is when your body is digesting the training impulse and making your stronger. it takes me a little longer to digest a hard workout as I get older. A coach that I follow and respect has written that you need 4 loading days per week. That means 4 good workouts. Personally, I shoot for 5 or 6 rides per week and try to never take 2 days off in a row. Typically, I ride 5 days and take a day off. Most rides are zone 2 at 115-120 BPM. At the most I do one interval session per week but it is a very hard and intense one. Long story short, I cannot imagine riding 14 days in a row to be beneficial to improvement at our ages. OTOH, 2-3 days per week would be too short. You have to find the balance of sessions per week, intensity, and duration that works for you.

WRT to your 30 minutes at Tempo vs slogging straight thru, it depends on your training objective. If your goal is to increase endurance and fat oxidation, you want to do the zone 2 work first and IF you do any higher intensity, save it for the end as you did. It is very likely your tempo work did a lot more benefit than concluding the session at a lower intensity in my opinion, unless the overall training stress takes you more than a day to recover. Why? Consistency is the key to performance improvement. Year round consistency. For me, I can maintain fitness on 4 rides per week but it takes 5-6 rides per week over many months to see a big improvement (say 5%) in power
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Old 08-03-22, 05:28 PM
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Today really brought home the observation that "this getting old stuff is really getting old". Riding today would have been my 5th straight day without a rest day (DOB 1949). Yesterday was an absolute slog with no energy and I cut short the last 15 or so minutes of the ride simply because I was tired. It was not that hot and the ride was not that long. And those previous 4 days were not that hard. Today I took a rest day even though this coming Friday (today being Wednesday) will be a 'forced rest day'.

Five or so years ago I did not think twice about 10 to 12 (or even 14) straight days of similar rides (effort and duration). Like I said, this getting old stuff is getting old.

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Old 08-05-22, 08:42 AM
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My recent experience with riding every day for long stretches could be interesting, but it comes with a don't try this at home warning.

My 84-year-old buddy signed up for the Huntsman World Senior Games this coming October, and he inspired this humble 64-year-old, fully detrained rider to do the same. So after essentially no riding for 7 months, I started my own personal "crash course" of training -- riding daily with no rest days.

I worked out 33 days straight (one of those days was a hilly hike because my butt was sore). Mostly endurance-tempo pace, with some threshold segments and uphill springs when I felt fresh. Easier ride if I wasn't feeling it. After day 33 ride, I was feeling quite tired, and I had a low grade fever, so I rested the next day and ate everything in sight. Thus the streak was broken. The ride after rest day felt fine, and I'm back to daily rides.

Results: In just over a month, Garmin Connect says my estimated VO2 has increased 10 points, and I've been setting PRs on some shorter uphill segments. My "best power of the year" curve is inching close to last year's, when I riding consistently. So I'm pretty happy with the progress -- and delighted that I'm still in one piece after that long bout of training.

Am I fit enough to do well at Huntsman? LOL, not even close. But I'm fitter than I was, and there's still time.

July Totals
Activities: 31
Energy: 1,072 Calories/day
Time: 131 minutes/day
Distance: 32 miles/day



Power curve comparison -- current vs last year
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Old 08-05-22, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
My recent experience with riding every day for long stretches could be interesting, but it comes with a don't try this at home warning.

My 84-year-old buddy signed up for the Huntsman World Senior Games this coming October, and he inspired this humble 64-year-old, fully detrained rider to do the same. So after essentially no riding for 7 months, I started my own personal "crash course" of training -- riding daily with no rest days.

I worked out 33 days straight (one of those days was a hilly hike because my butt was sore). Mostly endurance-tempo pace, with some threshold segments and uphill springs when I felt fresh. Easier ride if I wasn't feeling it. After day 33 ride, I was feeling quite tired, and I had a low grade fever, so I rested the next day and ate everything in sight. Thus the streak was broken. The ride after rest day felt fine, and I'm back to daily rides.

Results: In just over a month, Garmin Connect says my estimated VO2 has increased 10 points, and I've been setting PRs on some shorter uphill segments. My "best power of the year" curve is inching close to last year's, when I riding consistently. So I'm pretty happy with the progress -- and delighted that I'm still in one piece after that long bout of training.

Am I fit enough to do well at Huntsman? LOL, not even close. But I'm fitter than I was, and there's still time.

July Totals
Activities: 31
Energy: 1,072 Calories/day
Time: 131 minutes/day
Distance: 32 miles/day



Power curve comparison -- current vs last year
This is an interesting response (thanks, Terry) and gets to the heart of what was on my mind. I could give this training schedule a try. I would end up with most days being quite fatigue limited (having to make up 'lost work' using 'more duration'). Or I could throw in some days off and have many of those fatigue limited days being done at a higher level of output/effort. So which one (or if you go somewhere in between, then where in between).

8 years ago at age 65 (probably the peak year for performance for me-I restarted cycling at age 63 coming off a period of inactivity) the answer was probably 'go for the 31 days'. I think that is no longer the correct answer in my case.

dave
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Old 08-05-22, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
Yesterday I rode indoors (afternoon - just too damned hot - heat tolerance is another old age victim) and the plan was 90 minutes of kind of tempo riding where I would throw in a few 'simulated climbs' just for grins. I ended up fielding a phone call that took an hour about halfway in. After the rest the 2nd half of the ride was both 'way better' (WRT how it felt) and it was at an average power output that was at least 10% higher than it would have been otherwise. And that means it burned more calories which is one of my goals here.

So now that I have typed this I guess I have a question. Does the last half of this workout (now that I look at the data it is actually the last third) have more training value vs. having stayed on the bike and slogged through (higher RPE) at a lower power output (assume the same power profile)?
Doesn't surprise me that the brief "breather" you took rejuvenated the ride. Intervals, with occasional lulls or "breathers" for short-term recovery during the activity. Very useful.

In my experience, everybody's body and training results can be different enough for a given training technique that it's worth finding what works for yours specifically.

In my own case, with my performance distance running I found occasional hill work along with regular intervals/fartlek made huge differences in my overall cardio and speed. And much of that translated to stamina on the bike as well. When I could "peg" the right number and intensity of such workouts, combined with my strength training and general distance "base" mileage to keep up, I found I would perform better on tougher routes, longer runs and rides, hills, etc.

I've also found that HIIT seems to work reasonably well for me. Or, at least, it did back when I could "bring it" to the level that gains could be had from such periodic challenges in my training.

Doing a small variety of workouts, too, has helped. For cardio, a bit of swimming, a bit of rowing, a bit of higher-tempo HIIT/fartlek type segements. For strength, a bit of hills, a bit of gym strength exercise of the compound varieties, a bit of hard trail hiking. With plenty of cycling and running as the "base" part of the training. By varying which types of workouts I once did, interspersing the tougher stuff within the regular workout every other day or so, I found I could keep doing activity nearly every day with only the rare day off, while still improving. That varied approach worked well, back in the day. (Injuries, these days, preclude my doing much intensity in any of my workouts; needs to be closely managed, given the hard limits I've now got as compared to when I was seriously fit.)

As I'm aging, too, my biggest barrier: recovery time. Seems best when I do a reduced-intensity active recovery, doing some sort of physical activities other than my tougher, primary exercise activities, allowing the body the increased blood flow, increased flexibility, but allowing the impacts from most-recent harder workouts to repair themselves.
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