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Thread: Life after 40

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    Life after 40

    Finally, at 44, hit some power PRs. I thought the days of increased power was behind me, especially for these shorter efforts. I haven't hit any power PR's since 2009; most of them were in 2008 though,
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    Last edited by Poncharelli; 06-09-2011 at 08:42 AM.
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    I had some of my best finishes at 40. It's the new 30. Racing a course like the King of the Rockies, Tipperary Creek, for 15+ years I never thought I could break 2 hours, till after I was 40, when I put down a 1:57, my all time fastest time on that course.

    Being 40 only sucks for the younglings that can't catch you.

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    lgh
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    Life is just beginning. You'll hit your sexual prime sometime after the age of 50.

    Larry

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    awesome ponch..inspiring!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    awesome ponch..inspiring!
    +1!!!

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    Good to hear! Now in analyzing the situation what were the stimuli that helped?

    Congrats again!
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    I always heard those old infomercials that said, "I am in the best shape of my life at 40!"----
    --I now know they are true---my boss even thinks I am 15 years younger than I actualy am!!---At 26 I was fat and out of shape (and still got my smooth skin and hairline which helps fool eveyone)------------------------------
    PLUS I read an article in Men's Health years ago where Nelly (rapper) said he could not slam a basketball until he was over 30... I can also jump higher and lift more weight now after 40 than ever before!!! --Organic Food, supplements, exercise and 8-9 hours of sleep!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by whybotherme View Post
    Now in analyzing the situation what were the stimuli that helped?
    For a successful experiment, one has to change one or few variables to make a decent conclusion. The problem is, I changed too many variables. But in order of importance, I would give credit to the following:

    1. My coach from last year.
    a. He taught me the importance of winter base building, Zone 2 training, and to what volume that could be performed to.
    b. The polarization that should be performed between hard and easy rides: hard rides should be pretty damn hard, and easy rides should be easier than I previously thought (during build periods).
    c. The importance of consistency and variety in training; 6 days a week, most all the year, and for the second year in a row.
    d. The importance of quality versus quantity, i.e., better to do fewer really good intervals rather than a bunch of intervals that start good, then end bad.

    2. Sleep. 8-9 hours a day. Just started a new job that allows me 8 hours most days. Key for adapting to large work loads. For the last 12 years, the best weeknight sleep I could get was about 7.5. Most nights were 7 or less.

    3. Hard, short road group rides this spring just about every Tuesday. Lunch time rides were 40 minutes of hell. Evening rides on the rivet for about 1 hour. (Warmup, cooldown, and additional zone 2 time excluded). Twice I did both lunch and everning ride.

    4. Crossfit. Donít know about that one, but I did it for a couple of months, bi-weekly, pre-season. So thatís another change from before.

    5. Professional massage, once a week. Found a guy who does Ĺ hour for 30 bucks. Iíve only done this 3 times, but it preceded the weeks of these breakout power efforts.

    During the month of April, I was sick most the month with a cold and subsequent ear infection, so raced like $hit; but now it seems like I am getting out of that funk. Also, felt good during a 100 mile road race with the younger roadie Cat 3s four weeks ago, and holding some stronger wheels in our local Tuesday night worlds (which is where the PR power data came from). I have MTB races next 2 weekends, so curious to see how this translates.

    As long as all the climbs are less than 4 minutes!!
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    It's the solid early season miles and doing those super hard Tuesday and Thursday 1 hour group rides pushing you hard enough to improve probably. It's easy to end up plateauing and settling at a comfortable fitness level. If you look at your records for 2009 and 2010 maybe you didn't work hard enough during those years to improve fitness which is why you're going better in 2011?

    What I've been finding is that most of my best short efforts (5 sec up to about 2 minutes) seem to be when well rested. When fatigued that top end is missing a bit. Good (for me) short efforts tend to happen in relatively gentle rides where I'm well rested and fresh enough to sprint well or really attack a steep section. Gentle rides after a few days off are one of the best places to produce a good short effort.

    A slow start to a maximal uphill effort during an otherwise gentle ride is good for 1-2 minute bests. Some of the 20% gradient climbs round here are excellent for that. You get to the bottom and it's 3-5 minutes of trying as hard as you can just to keep going at all. Because you're fresh you can go harder than going up the same hill during a long hard ride where you're either already tired or pacing yourself.

    In terms of riding to improve short efforts doing lots of off road seems to be really good training for producing short bursts of power. You have to do that anyway in order to get up short steep sections, especially on loose surfaces when the back wheel is slipping. Riding offroad is fun but also a good way of improving your short term power output.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    A slow start to a maximal uphill effort during an otherwise gentle ride is good for 1-2 minute bests. Some of the 20% gradient climbs round here are excellent for that. You get to the bottom and it's 3-5 minutes of trying as hard as you can just to keep going at all. Because you're fresh you can go harder than going up the same hill during a long hard ride where you're either already tired or pacing yourself.
    All good observations, but especially this one. All these bests were during the group ride on the first steep hill where the group attacks. Prior to that it's a 15 minute warmup. Then it splits up into subgroups. The hill starts steep (10%) and goes into a long false flat which lasts about 5 minutes to the first point of relief. It really hurts awful. There I hit from 30" to 4' one week, and improved the 30" the following week.
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    All things being equal perforance should start to drop in your 40s. Of course that is assuming all things are equal.

    Many people don't figure out how to effectively train themselves until their 40s. Quality training beats a small drop in absolute potential.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Great job It's funny to listen to radio commercials that leads you to believe that as a male it''s all down hill at 26 year old.......... unless you take the low testosterone medicine/snake oil their offering.
    Comas aren't as fun as riding your bike, so wear a Helmet.

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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by lgh View Post
    Life is just beginning. You'll hit your sexual prime sometime after the age of 50.

    Larry
    I turned 63 in April. Back in November, 2010 I was diagnosed "pre-diabetic" with "metabolic syndrome" -- Since then we're down 50 lbs (way more to go), and doing some serious riding.

    Four decades is just getting started. You have two decades to get really fat and come back from the dead . . . just to pull even with me here!


    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    Good Job Ponch! I look forward to seeing how this new power works this weekend (if you are racing Deer Valley?)

    My power has been going up over the past two years and I am at 41 years young. Yet, my power profile is quite different than yours, I have much higher w/kg in the higher duration than you, but you have much higher w/kg in the lower duration - about the 5 min duration we are the same. I really need to work on my short duration intervals so that I can do better at the start!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mooddude View Post
    Good Job Ponch! I look forward to seeing how this new power works this weekend (if you are racing Deer Valley?)

    I have much higher w/kg in the higher duration than you, but you have much higher w/kg in the lower duration - about the 5 min duration we are the same.
    Yes, doing deer valley! We should have a good group there. Heard the course is pretty muddy at the beginning so be prepared to clean mud post race.

    In MTBing, the higher w/kg for longer durations is probably an advantage because over longer durations, normalized power seems to fall towards that number. So over the course of half hour and beyond, you will have higher capability in terms of normalized power. Oh well, I'll try to keep up!!

    But in road/crit racing (which is more my emphasis), there's absolutely no question that the shorter term w/kg really help. Especially when you have a group of 10-15 guys coming to the finish within 5 seconds.

    It also interesting to see that some of the guys who innihilate me on the MTB side, I beat handily in road races........even in hilly road races. Just because those hills are truly short compared our MTB races. Even 1-2 second power is pretty critical if you want to make a break that goes off.
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    I pre-rode the deer valley last night - it isn't that muddy at the start, just one spot where you are on an off camber (no trail - no road) and it is muddy (due to snow). Yet, Ed just announced today that he changed the start (ugh) so I got to go ride it again. The laps are short, so this is going to be a fast race.
    I will be watching you go away from me at the start due to your high short interval w/kj. So, I think you are right about the over time I tend to catch a bunch of people, yet than I have to pass them - the short interval w/kj come into play again. So I usually wait until a good passing zone, which means I loose time that I could have had if I could pass sooner. That is the difference between me finish first and where I have been - 4th or 5th.

    Good luck, see you at the start - this is going to be a fun race!

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    Ponch you race expert, correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gatorback View Post
    Ponch you race expert, correct?
    Yes, and Open Cat 3 or Masters 1-2-3 on the road.
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    Ponch,

    Those are impressive numbers, but I can see what it took to get there. I am very impressed!

    My absolute potential is on an absolute decline at 49, but better training and better mtb skills still put me ahead of mysefl at 40-45. And reading your post about the stimuli that helped, I may have a bit more improvement left in me. Or at least I can maintain what I have.
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    Are there any bigger climbs where you race? In California, I would assume the answer is yes.

    I can tell I've got a lot of work to do with my bike skills and my raw sprint power. My power to weight numbers are strong when I get to the aerobic stuff, anything more than a minute really, but my sprint for race starts is weak. Unfortunately we don't have any real climbing in Florida where I race, which would help me immensely. The good news is that, at 42, I can still improve my speed on the trail and my sprint power.

    I need to get out there and work on that 30 second race start sprint to the singletrack, then another couple minutes in anaerobic territory, then settle in near my FTP threshold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    In MTBing, the higher w/kg for longer durations is probably an advantage because over longer durations, normalized power seems to fall towards that number. So over the course of half hour and beyond, you will have higher capability in terms of normalized power. Oh well, I'll try to keep up!!

    But in road/crit racing (which is more my emphasis), there's absolutely no question that the shorter term w/kg really help. Especially when you have a group of 10-15 guys coming to the finish within 5 seconds.

    It also interesting to see that some of the guys who innihilate me on the MTB side, I beat handily in road races........even in hilly road races. Just because those hills are truly short compared our MTB races. Even 1-2 second power is pretty critical if you want to make a break that goes off.
    If you're aiming to set some personal bests this year then your power outputs at 60, 90 and 120 minutes look like they're all soft targets.

    If you roughly estimate your potential FTP (best 1 hour power) as being 95% of your 20 minute best power then your theoretical 1 hour best would be 287 watts x 0.95 = 273 watts for an hour. Your actual best power for 1 hour is only 238 watts though. A shortfall of 12.8% (35 watts) from the 95% 273 watt theoretical figure, leaving room for improvement if you were to do some targeted 60 minute long time trials.

    The 90 minute and 120 minute power outputs are also ones that you could aim for specifically. Your w/kg figures at longer durations look quite low. I'd consider going out and doing some 90 minute and 120 minute rides by yourself absolutely on the rivet to see what the numbers look like. It sounds like you tend to do mostly shorter rides at high intensities but the longer rides end up being steady or group rides. If you don't do many consistently hard 2hr+ rides or longer time trials of that duration then you're unlikely to have reached your best power for that length of time. Some focused sessions might do the trick to set new personal bests at those durations.

    Chasing numbers is a cheap tactic but it will make the chart look better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mooddude View Post

    Good luck, see you at the start - this is going to be a fun race!
    Man, you kicked some butt today!!!! Congrats!!

    Normalized power wins. If your FTP is 4.4 W/kg while mine is 3.7 or so, over time, with all the on and off attacks, normalized power starts approaching FTP.......and your FTP is higher. Hell, I think you were ahead of me from the start anyway.

    How about that first hill off the start, wasn't that cruel and unusual? 20%+ grade right from the start. The beginners and weaker sport riders must of loved it.

    I also think I was affected by the elevation. First MTB on the backside of the Front, and I could feel it (at Deer Valley's 7200 base level).

    But bottom line, our Expert group is tougher than hell, and every year it gets faster. This was a qualifier for nationals and I wouldn't be surprised for someone from today's group take it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WR304 View Post
    The 90 minute and 120 minute power outputs are also ones that you could aim for specifically. Your w/kg figures at longer durations look quite low. I'd consider going out and doing some 90 minute and 120 minute rides by yourself absolutely on the rivet to see what the numbers look like. It sounds like you tend to do mostly shorter rides at high intensities but the longer rides end up being steady or group rides. If you don't do many consistently hard 2hr+ rides or longer time trials of that duration then you're unlikely to have reached your best power for that length of time. Some focused sessions might do the trick to set new personal bests at those durations.

    Chasing numbers is a cheap tactic but it will make the chart look better.
    Man, 1 hour TT is cruel and unusual punishment. But you're correct, most those powers listed are group rides, even the short ones. I believe I did the 5-minute indoors on rollers though; the only non-group ride. The 90-minute was a SST solo ride, in which the final 30 minutes was a long climb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllisonWunderland View Post
    I turned 63 in April. Back in November, 2010 I was diagnosed "pre-diabetic" with "metabolic syndrome" -- Since then we're down 50 lbs (way more to go), and doing some serious riding.

    Four decades is just getting started. You have two decades to get really fat and come back from the dead . . . just to pull even with me here!
    I assume you are now doing a high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet to address the pre-diabetes and metabolic syndrome?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poncharelli View Post
    Man, 1 hour TT is cruel and unusual punishment. But you're correct, most those powers listed are group rides, even the short ones. I believe I did the 5-minute indoors on rollers though; the only non-group ride. The 90-minute was a SST solo ride, in which the final 30 minutes was a long climb.
    That's why those personal best average power outputs should be easy to improve. If you only do hard time trial pace rides over longer durations infrequently then your 60 minute+ power bests won't reflect what you can actually do. Average power is what appears on the personal best charts, rather than normalized power, so a ride done at a sustained pace is likely to give the best average power results.

    As an example my two best 60 minute average power outputs so far this year were both from doing 60 minute rides flat out as time trials. The rides lasted roughly 60 minutes and were ridden at 60 minute pace.

    For comparison the best 60 minute average power outputs from longer group rides that I've been out on this year have all ended up being lower than that. The best 60 minute sections of the group rides were very hard (with high normalized power) but average power wasn't as high. The problem being the pacing where with other riders it's either flat out at an effort far above what is sustainable, or sitting in and following wheels which is much easier and well below your best pace. That hurts your overall average power.

    Having slightly better numbers on a chart doesn't mean much of course. It's something to aim for but you shouldn't let it distract you from the main focus of your current training.
    Last edited by WR304; 06-12-2011 at 03:36 PM.

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