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  1. #1
    Daniel the Dog
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    Pedalling fast and long is they key

    No secret there It is like running or jumping...some guys just pedal better than others. You can train to get better but at the end of the day you may be fighting age and genetics.

    Do you agree with my fairly simplistic but I believe accurate assessment.

  2. #2
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    I'm inclined to disagree if by long you mean more than 6hrs. If you are talking 12hrs or more then that simple statement is too one dimensional but you probably already know that.

  3. #3
    Daniel the Dog
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    I think that is why older athletes do better in endurance events. You can level the speed playing field by gutting it out with experience and desire. In cross country events it is harder because it takes quick, explosive efforts which the less explosive and aging athletes struggles to match with those younger and more talented.

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    No doubt.

  5. #5
    AZ
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    Pedalling fast and long is they key

    But not too fast so you can go long.

  6. #6
    Feral Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    No secret there It is like running or jumping...some guys just pedal better than others. You can train to get better but at the end of the day you may be fighting age and genetics.

    Do you agree with my fairly simplistic but I believe accurate assessment.
    It's also an excellent excuse. We all do have built in limits, but I'd guess 99.999% of the time we never get anywhere near our true potential. Especially if you are self-coached as I suspect most of us are. To me that's the beauty of endurance sports. Until you reach the very top levels, performance is largely directly related to desire and motivation.
    Even if you do have a genetic advantage, you still have to put in the work to be able to use that advantage.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbense View Post
    It's also an excellent excuse. We all do have built in limits, but I'd guess 99.999% of the time we never get anywhere near our true potential. Especially if you are self-coached as I suspect most of us are. To me that's the beauty of endurance sports. Until you reach the very top levels, performance is largely directly related to desire and motivation.
    Even if you do have a genetic advantage, you still have to put in the work to be able to use that advantage.
    ^ This^
    Small ring in front makes it easier. Small ring in back makes it harder. That blows my mind.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I think that is why older athletes do better in endurance events. You can level the speed playing field by gutting it out with experience and desire. In cross country events it is harder because it takes quick, explosive efforts which the less explosive and aging athletes struggles to match with those younger and more talented.
    Hmmmm, that might explain why there's 3 different race categories and numerous different age brackets.

  9. #9
    Daniel the Dog
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    Okay. I hear you but how are you doing in races? Living up to your potential?

  10. #10
    Feral Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    Okay. I hear you but how are you doing in races? Living up to your potential?
    Nope, not even close... That's what makes it fun. When you get near your potential and you start to figure how much work it will take to improve is the difficult part. Training is a lot more fun when you know that extra hour a week might make a 20% improvement. I suspect if I ever get enough time to get near my potential and start to plateau, I'll probably get bored/frustrated and try a different sport.

    I am a "jack of all trades, master of none" kind of person when it comes to sports.

  11. #11
    FKA Malibu412
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    I'm not giving up my day job any time soon to go pro so I'm still thinking that I race mostly for fun, camaraderie, to appease some competitive urges, and to motivate me to continue to hone skills and stay in a little better shape overall.

    Living up to my full potential? Nope. Don't care that much.
    "I love the bike. It's my meditation. I think I'm bike-sexual." -Robin Williams

  12. #12
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    "more talented" is not age specific just my .02cents

  13. #13
    Daniel the Dog
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    More talented is somewhat age specific. I would put my money on a 25 year old over a 50 year old guy most of the time. I know I could run a lot better 25 years ago...and I would cycle better also.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    More talented is somewhat age specific. I would put my money on a 25 year old over a 50 year old guy most of the time. I know I could run a lot better 25 years ago...and I would cycle better also.
    If you are talking about short course races I would tend to agree that the 25yr old has an age advantage (as a generalization). But the longer the race gets the less age has to do with it (another generalization). If we are talking 24 Solos I think I would put my money on some older guys I know versus the 25yr old (yet another generalization, but one based on observing a lot of 24's).

  15. #15
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    I know that until I passed 50, I thought age was mostly a convenient excuse to not try and/or train as hard. In fact, two of my best overall performances in endurance races came at 50 and 52.

    Once I passed 50 by a few years, I realized that some things just can't be cheated, and IMO it is the result of both actual age, and a slightly fading competitive drive.

    I did say slightly.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  16. #16
    Daniel the Dog
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    I think drive and determination along with working hard to prepare can make up for age. You are a big, strong guy who works hard and are a talented rider. I bet you would ride faster if you did all the same things at 25 but I know when I was 25 I was not all that motivated to train for a really painful sport

    I do think the ability to spin your pedals fast has to do with fast twitch muscles and natural ability. I don't believe a guy can be the next Adam Craig with just desire...as Adam clearly has natural gifting for bike (along with working hard).

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    I think drive and determination along with working hard to prepare can make up for age. You are a big, strong guy who works hard and are a talented rider. I bet you would ride faster if you did all the same things at 25 but I know when I was 25 I was not all that motivated to train for a really painful sport

    I do think the ability to spin your pedals fast has to do with fast twitch muscles and natural ability. I don't believe a guy can be the next Adam Craig with just desire...as Adam clearly has natural gifting for bike (along with working hard).
    Pedaling slowly engages fast twitch more than faster cadences. You may have heard the old roadie saying, 'spin to win'. High-ish cadences saves the fast twitch muscle, which have less endurance than slow twitch muscle, for when you really need them

  18. #18
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    I don't think you can last long in any sport if you're always competing against the "other guy". There will always be somebody faster/better/younger. I'm at best a "back of the pack" racer these days, but I enjoy it primarily as a competition against myself and father time.

    Up until about 35, I could pretty much get right back to "good shape" with 3 or 4 months of serious effort. But after 35 I found I really need to train year round to stay in any kind of shape, and if I take a few months off, it takes 2x as long to get back to the same place.

    Now at 52, I'm slow as spit ( even for an old guy ). I think at a certain point racing becomes a very pointless activity if the primary person you're competing against isn't yourself. If you aren't having fun racing, for whatever reason, then stop. There are some sports ( road bike racing comes to mind, or racing windsurfers ), where the whole point is to beat someone else. Those have no appeal to me these days. I can come in dead last in an MTB 8hr race and still feel like I've accomplished something.

  19. #19
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Since we're over in the endurance forum, yup. I always roll my eyes a little at these threads asking "how do I win my next 6-hour race training 6-hours a week for no more than 90 minutes at a time." If you have so little time, how do you have time for the race?? All about putting in the hours.

    I think preparing for shorter events can have a bit more to it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbense View Post
    I don't think you can last long in any sport if you're always competing against the "other guy". There will always be somebody faster/better/younger. I'm at best a "back of the pack" racer these days, but I enjoy it primarily as a competition against myself and father time.

    Up until about 35, I could pretty much get right back to "good shape" with 3 or 4 months of serious effort. But after 35 I found I really need to train year round to stay in any kind of shape, and if I take a few months off, it takes 2x as long to get back to the same place.

    Now at 52, I'm slow as spit ( even for an old guy ). I think at a certain point racing becomes a very pointless activity if the primary person you're competing against isn't yourself. If you aren't having fun racing, for whatever reason, then stop. There are some sports ( road bike racing comes to mind, or racing windsurfers ), where the whole point is to beat someone else. Those have no appeal to me these days. I can come in dead last in an MTB 8hr race and still feel like I've accomplished something.
    I understand completely what you're talking about, I'm struggling with a very similar problem these days. I'm a little older than you, but not much, so I know what you mean about taking longer to get back into shape. What I've found is that I can get endurance back relatively easily, but can't seem to get any speed back.

    I started road racing in my mid-30s, track racing in my late-30s. I was never what you'd call a pure sprinter, but could pack a pretty good sprint after the end of a long, hard race. However, about 4 years ago I stopped road racing, did some XC and marathon mountainbike races, but not seriously. Last year I focused on trying to complete the DK200.

    I started missing the thrill of going fast, rubbing elbows, all that stuff, so I decided late last year to switch back to road and track racing this year. So far my winter training has gone pretty well, though I can't seem to be able to lose any weight and keep it off. My power numbers are looking good (really good) for mid-to-long intervals, but I can't generate any true power and what pittance of a sprint I can muster is pathetic. I'm hoping that maybe getting a few races under my belt will awaken some sleeping anaerobic monster that I haven't aroused yet. Otherwise, it's going to be a pretty miserable summer spent hanging around with the no-hopers at the back (or off the back) of the fields.

  21. #21
    Daniel the Dog
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    How old are you? Job?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaybo View Post
    How old are you? Job?
    Not sure who you are talking to?

    I'm turning 50 this year, and I have an (almost) full-time job coaching athletes across N. America. When I'm not doing that I'm looking after my 8 and 9yr old boys, etc.

    I don't use my age or workload as an excuse regarding my personal results, though I am aware of my reduced abilities/recovery rates as compared to 20yrs ago. My paycheque isn't dependent on my results, so ultimately I'm racing to see how I stack up against everyone on the line and more importantly how I stack up against my own expectations for myself. Sometimes I get on the podium and sometimes I don't, I like winning (who doesn't?) but if I'm mid-pack and had an excellent personal performance I'm good with that.

    Racing distances of 6hrs or more isn't easy, but it's what I enjoy and every once in a while I do ok at it. If I enjoyed racing short course, more than I enjoy racing long distance, I would switch over to that genre and try to do the best I could in that field. I'm wired to compete in any form of races, I enjoy it, no matter who's on the line I do my best on that day. Not sure if you will find it interesting, I talked a little about this very subject a day or two before you started this thread:

    24hrs of Old Pueblo 2013 | A Piece of Our Universe

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by staylor View Post
    Not sure who you are talking to?

    I'm turning 50 this year, and I have an (almost) full-time job coaching athletes across N. America. When I'm not doing that I'm looking after my 8 and 9yr old boys, etc.

    I don't use my age or workload as an excuse regarding my personal results, though I am aware of my reduced abilities/recovery rates as compared to 20yrs ago. My paycheque isn't dependent on my results, so ultimately I'm racing to see how I stack up against everyone on the line and more importantly how I stack up against my own expectations for myself. Sometimes I get on the podium and sometimes I don't, I like winning (who doesn't?) but if I'm mid-pack and had an excellent personal performance I'm good with that.

    Racing distances of 6hrs or more isn't easy, but it's what I enjoy and every once in a while I do ok at it. If I enjoyed racing short course, more than I enjoy racing long distance, I would switch over to that genre and try to do the best I could in that field. I'm wired to compete in any form of races, I enjoy it, no matter who's on the line I do my best on that day. Not sure if you will find it interesting, I talked a little about this very subject a day or two before you started this thread:

    24hrs of Old Pueblo 2013 | A Piece of Our Universe
    I approve this post.

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