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40+ riders only: how many days off do you like between hard rides?

  • i will be able to ride like an animal every day until i die...

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  • one day off between hard rides

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  • two days off between hard rides

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  • more than two days off between hard rides

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm interested in finding out if those of you who are over forty feel that your recovery times between rides and hard efforts is getting a little longer.

what do you do to work around slower recoveries or to improve your recovery as the aging process takes its toll on our bodies?

i turn fifty in january. i don't feel like i could do four hour (about 40 mile) rides on consecutive days. sometimes it seems like it takes a bit longer to recuperate from a good, steep climb as well. i commute a half hour each way five days a week and generally try to get in at least two two hour trail rides a week, if not three, so i'm in pretty good bike shape. i just feel like i have to wait a day or two between longer rides nowadays.

thoughts and tips, please...
 

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It's all if not mostly about your condition and diet. Have a friend who's 74, who does road rides through the mountains for 45+ miles each time at least 4x a week. The more you do it, the more you can do it. Think a good rule to follow, for me anyways, is to take 2 days off in a row each week, and a week off every 2 months or so. As well as not doing the same type of intense training 2 days in a row. So if I road ride hard 1 day, I'll hit the gym or mtb hard the next. I find that if I mostly follow these few rules I avoid overtraining and over use injuries.
If you feel pain in a certain muscle or group of muscles, it's best not to do anything harder than a light workout on them till the pain goes away. As your condition improves, so will your recovery time. A high protien meal right after a hard workout is key, as well as feeding on some protein every 3 hours or so for an ideal muscle recovery situation. A ratio of 4-1 carb-protein is thought to be best for muscle growth and recovery. A warm-up before, and stretch after is also helpfull, especially for an older person.
 

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Although i've always been biking, it's only recently i've got back into longer journeys (20+ miles) , having done a few in as many weeks i'm easily ready to start clocking up more miles(depending terrain and steepness of hills) so obviously i'm getting more used to it.

I hadn't noticed about recovery because the longer rides are a week appart, but after being on my bike for the best part of 8 hours yesterday(only about 3 hours of strong cycling though) I didn't feel like doing a long run today, I could even feel some muscle tiredness in my calves and thighs walking up the stairs , this is a long weekend(bank holiday) in Scotland so i'm off work tomorrow and have planned a route which takes in two pretty steep climbs, one on dirt and one on tarmac and each about 2 miles long, with plenty of other ups and downs along the way.

I'll let you know how I feel tomorrow :D

i'm 41 and fairly fit
 

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I don't do days off, recovery rides. A nice easy spin, so easy you would get dropped by Bette White after really hard days. Agree with theMeat, conditioning and nutrition play a huge roll in recovery times.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't do days off, recovery rides. A nice easy spin, so easy you would get dropped by Bette White after really hard days. Agree with theMeat, conditioning and nutrition play a huge roll in recovery times.
i agree with you about easy rides; i take it really easy on my commutes after a good ride the day before. i usually only take one full day off the bike per week. i don't own a car, so my bike is the only way to work besides the bus.
 

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I'll be 53 the 1st of October. I avg 3, sometimes 4 MTB rides a week. Time on the trail varies but my rides are always at least two hours, most times 3hrs and sometimes if I'm feeling it and I have the time I'll stretch it to almost 4. Seems it's getting more difficult to do 2 days in a row but I push myself, I love to ride so I don't have to push myself too hard. The days are getting shorter now and I'm not able to get in as much trail time during the week as I'd like to. Winter is just around the corner and there will be a couple of months of very little riding. Seems that every spring it's more difficult to reach the fitness level that I had the previous fall.

Getting older pretty much sucks but I feel I'm doing a lot better physically then a lot of guys my age. I'm not as fast as I used to be but I'm having as much fun as I ever did!:thumbsup:
 

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i'm interested in finding out if those of you who are over forty feel that your recovery times between rides and hard efforts is getting a little longer.

what do you do to work around slower recoveries or to improve your recovery as the aging process takes its toll on our bodies?

i turn fifty in january. i don't feel like i could do four hour (about 40 mile) rides on consecutive days. sometimes it seems like it takes a bit longer to recuperate from a good, steep climb as well. i commute a half hour each way five days a week and generally try to get in at least two two hour trail rides a week, if not three, so i'm in pretty good bike shape. i just feel like i have to wait a day or two between longer rides nowadays.

thoughts and tips, please...
You are already riding quite a bit with 5 hours of commute time + 4 hours of trail time for a 9 hour week.

A lot of discussion about what you ask on the XC Racing/Training and Endurance racing forums. Search and study the "Training Effect". How many days of recovery between "hard" efforts depends on how "hard" and what your goals are with those hard efforts. Are you trying to simply maintain your current fitness, are you to trying to achieve a stress load, recovery of that work load with subsequent growth to reach a new peak in your fitness, etc....? Are you asking about active or passive recovery between the "hard" efforts?

Lots of books, websites, coaches that are devoted to it - no matter what the age of the cyclist. Based on your goals, it wouldn't be hard to structure a weekly/monthly plan combining your commute hours and your off road longer rides. Again, it all depends on your goals.

A good and proper warm-up, as well as a good and proper cool down followed by recovery nutrition within the 30-60 post exercise window seems to help this aging cyclist recover better between efforts. If you want to get luxurious, you could add massage and other recovery aids to help blood flow to the legs. But let's not get out of control here...

[email protected]nceLastTuesday
 

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I'll let you know how I feel tomorrow :D
Knackered :lol:

First climb was torture, I got off and walked at least half of it, by the time I was climbing back I was more in the swing of it and it was tarmac and it wasn't so bad , It was only 12 miles all in , I reckon I could go out tomorrow and cycle many more miles on a fairly flat route but I won't be doing any steep uphills until next week.

P.S my downhill was ruined by strong oncoming wind and feckin farmers gates :madman:

Here's my route

Sports Tracker
 

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44, and ride either a roadbike or mtb three to four days a week. Unless I suffer a bad crash, I'm ready to ride every other day, and would probably ride everyday if not for grownup responsibilities.
 

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I'm 47, ride 90 - 160 miles a week on road and off.

I use short, higher intensity rides during the week, sometimes followed by a low intensity ride. After a longer ride, 50+ miles, I try and nap for a couple hours. This makes a huge difference for me. I also supplement with amino acids, creatine, and MSM or Glucosamine. My wife also is very understanding and willing about massages.

Rest I think is really the biggest key to recovery, regardless of age...but everyone has different needs.
 

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...My body hurts when i dont ride.
Weird, but true for me also.

I would much rather take an easy ride after a hard day than have a day off the bike. That's not reality now, but way back when it was great for me.

The most riding I've ever done was 111 miles of singletrack in GA and TN over 4 days with 11,000 ft. vert. with some reasonably strong guys. (for a point of reference, there are lots of people who do this in one day). I felt fine. A bit worn, but fine. If you measured my output on subsequent days, I'm sure it was going down, but I felt fine to push hard all 4 days and I don't recall walking anything or having pains. I would attribute that to fairly good pre- and post-ride nutrition, as well as pretty good training.

As you get older, it is def. harder to go fast, but in order to prevent yourself from sliding backwards in fitness, you have to get out of your comfort zone, and it often takes a conscious effort to do so. Think about making those feet spin, staying seated on climbs, and remember to breathe. I'm sure you have developed endurance, but keeping that aerobic threshold high takes a concerted effort. This will also help you recover.

Or, do like my friend, Frank. When training, load your backpack with tools, just for the weight. Or mix it up and chain up your bike somewhere, drive far away, then run back to your bike, then ride to your vehicle. Keeps it fresh.

-F
 

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45. My legs would be shot for days at a time. I have very tight ligaments, and I never realized the havoc it would wreak on me. I spend a lot of time on a road bike as well, which probably contributes to the problem (repetitive motion). Then I discovered the foam roller. Best thing since adjustable seatposts. It hurt like a bastard at first but after about a week of use, my IT band and quads felt great. No muscle pains the next day. I would never have believed had I not tried it and stuck with it.

Adequate rest, diet AND stretching the proper muscles and ligaments are key to being able to beat the crap out your body the next day.

Pete
 

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I must admit, doing stretches is very good advice, about a year ago something went ping in my calf muscle and I still had quite a few miles to home, i've been doing stretches ever since and it's been good so far, I don't warm down though which is probs good advice too.

If my legs are really sore (as they were after 10 hours hillwalking in January) I go in a cold bath, as cold as you can handle,even adding ice if you can take it, 15 minutes is perfect but you'd be surprised how hard it is to sit for 15 minutes in such cold water so as long as you can handle it too, 10 minutes would be doing well and still beneficial to your muscles
 

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recovery time

I am 42 and i feel that the recovery time has increased a bit , in my 20's it was day after day, but now i feel 2 days is in order after hard rides (not just rides). I like doing moderate outdoor house work after the hard rides, keeps me moving and makes me feel better, but i wouldn't ride again until i felt good about it, if it doesnt feel right then it probably isnt at our age. maybe try to reduce the recovery from 48 hrs to 36 and see how you feel, then so on....ride on buddy
 

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I dunno, I'm so old I can't remember what I used to do when I was younger :D

I know I need more sleep, and regardless of age most of us don't get enough...

Most people that claim they do successive hard rides aren't riding as hard as they think. If you can ride "hard" 5 days in a row it wasn't that hard. In actuality they are probably towards the moderate category of intensity difficulty. The body and mind will only allow you to meter out a truly hard effort if you consciously keep pushing.The old advice about making your hard days really hard and your easy days really easy is good advice.
That being said, after a long hard race (3 hours or so) it can take me a good week or better to be able to hit it "hard" again.
 
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