I am a senior cyclist, yet I enjoy cycling as much, perhaps more, than I did 40 years ago. I am fitter, more skilled, and have better equipment. I’m in my 72 year, and like years past, I plan to participate in several century rides. And, like previous years, I plan to train for these events with the goal of beating last year’s times.
I have just finished re-reading Joe Friel’s Fast After 50, an outline of training methods to negate, or minimize, the effects of ageing. He illustrates that the major limiting factors for the older athlete are –
- a decrease in aerobic capacity.
- an increase in body fat, and
- a loss of lean muscle
and recommends losing weight, strength training, and a program of regular HIIT workouts.
Last year, I focused on reducing my weight by implementing a program of intermittent fasting, regular fasted-HIIT sessions, weekly strength workouts and a cleaner, simpler diet, resulting in a 25 pound weight reduction. Today, I remain close to my ideal cycling weight, and body fat percent.
So, what do I do next? How can I continue to improve my performance?
The table above illustrates the key health and fitness indicators that I plan to track over the next year. My objective is to increase my FTP, power to weight ratio, efficiency on the bike, and century performances.