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Intelligent Cycling Training—Seniors Cycling

Fit for Life: Training for Older Riders

The more you exercise all aspects of fitness - cardio, strength, flexibility, balance and weight-bearing - the slower you lose fitness!

by Coach John Hughes

John Hughes is the author of Anti-Aging — 12 Ways to You Can Slow the Aging Process, of Distance Cycling and many articles on training, nutrition, psychology and medical issues for RoadBikeRider.com. More about Coach Hughes.
© John Hughes, All Rights Reserved

A series of columns describing how to stay as fit as possible as long as possible.

Fit for Life I: Squaring the Geriatric Curve. As you age your overall health and fitness would decline at an accelerating rate if you didn't exercise consistently. The more you exercise all aspects of fitness - cardio, strength, flexibility, balance and weight-bearing - the slower you lose fitness. Flattening the geriatric curve means staying as fit as possible and then dropping dead.

Fit for Life II: How Athletically Mature Are You? Athletic Maturity gauges your overall fitness and maturity as an athlete. The more mature you are the better you are slowing the physiological aging process despite chronologically aging. Take the quiz to gauge your Athletic Maturity

Fit for Life III: Improving Your Athletic Maturity. Five ways to improve your Athletic Maturity.

Fit for Life IV: Act Now! The recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Fit for Life V: 105 Isn't Old! Lessons from a 105 year old cyclist who set a one hour record of 22.547 km (14 miles).

Fit for Life VI: The Four Pillars: #1 Is Consistency. Staying as fit as possible — slowing your personal geriatric curve — rests on four pillars: 1. Consistency, 2. Intensity, 3. Recovery and 4. Enjoyment.

Fit for Life VII: The Four Pillars: #2 Is Intensity. How to slow the decline in your aerobic capacity.

Fit for Life VIII: The Four Pillars: #3 Is Recovery. The increase in how much recover you need is one of the most obvious signs of aging. Three ways to increase recovery so you can continue intensity training

Fit for Life XI: The Four Pillars: #4 Is Enjoyment. Permission not to suffer!

Anti-Aging — 12 Ways to You Can Slow the Aging Process. 106 pages for $14.99 from RoadBikeRider.com

Examples of Senior Cyclists

Elizabeth Wicks broke the women’s age 65 to 69 record at Calvin’s 12-Hour Challenge in 2013 and the W70-74 record in 2014. I coached Wicks. Here is her 2013 training program.

Peter Lekisch was the first 60-year-old rider to finish the solo Race Across AMerica in 2001 in 12 days 20 hours 50 minutes. I had the pleasure of coaching Peter. Here is his training program.

More Information for Seniors

Cycling Past 50. A 4-article bundle of 98 pages for older cyclists for just $15.96, a 20% discount from RoadBikeRider.com. The bundle includes:

  1. Healthy Cycling Past 50. What happens as you age and how to incorporate cycling and other exercise activities into your daily life to stay healthy and active for many years. Includes three balanced exercise programs for older cyclists.
  2. Off-Season Conditioning Past 50. How to best work on your off-season conditioning given the physiological changes of growing older. Includes two 12-week programs for older cyclists.
  3. Healthy Nutrition Past 50. What an older cyclist should eat and drink to support both a healthy lifestyle and continuing performance.
  4. Performance Cycling Past 50. How older cyclists can train to achieve more specific cycling goals given the physiological changes of aging.

Cycling Past 60. A 2-article bundle of 47 pages for senior cyclists for just $8.98, a 10% discount from RoadBikeRider.com. The bundle includes:

  1. Cycling Past 60, Part 1: For Health. If a senior exercises correctly, you can slow the effects of aging; if you exercise incorrectly, you can speed up aging. Includes three well-balanced exercise programs for senior cyclists.
  2. Cycling Past 60, Part 2: For Recreation. Builds on the information in Part 1 and uses the concept of “Athletic Maturity” to design six more rigorous programs for more athletically mature seniors.

Cycling Past 50, 60 and Beyond. A 3-article bundle of 100 pages for seniors for just $13.50, a 20% discount from RoadBikeRider.com. The bundle includes:

  1. Fit for Life. The article shows how you can exercise in different ways to be fitter for life as a senior and have fun. It provides a variety of exercise options available to you to strengthen your body's functions that keep you alive and help to keep you fit for life, including the aerobic, skeletal, muscular, neural, core and balance systems.
  2. Peak Fitness The article contains four specific programs for seniors to improve fitness in one or more of the following ways: Improved Endurance, More Power, Faster Speed and / or Higher Aerobic Capacity (VO2 max.)
  3. Training with Intensity. The article describes five progressively harder levels of training for seniors and gives 3 to 5 examples each of structured and unstructured workouts for each level of training, a total of almost 40 workouts.

Other articles by Coach Hughes