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  1. #1
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    Master's, what kind of training do you have planned for the off season?

    I am changing things up by adding some of the Nino Schurter exercises from the video below. I will be investing in a balance board, doing individual leg work, core, etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC-tA1ZqWlU

    What's up for debate on my end is what to do on the bike,,,Being 53yrs young, I have a hard time recovering/building CTL. A LONG ride for me is 2 hours. So I am up in the air about what to do exactly...
    Last year:
    -Some SST or Z3 on trainer based on time available,
    -Z2 rides with the occasional burst, and
    -weekly all out 1m 15sec w/10 min recovery based from this article.

    https://www.pezcyclingnews.com/toolb.../#.WdTIuVuPKM8

    I did invest in a Wahoo Snap trainer and plan to do some Zwifting

  2. #2
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    A 2 hour ride is too short to be a long ride, that would be a 4-7 hour ride.

    In the off season, I am of the opinion that you should leave all structured training aside and just bike for fun. Unless you are super competitive, you don't need the structure in this part of the season.

    Try to bike whenever you feel like, when you are tired, rest. When you don't feel like biking practice something else, when you feel good try to put some prs down and so on. It's also a great time to socialize in bike rides or groups.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    A 2 hour ride is too short to be a long ride, that would be a 4-7 hour ride.

    In the off season, I am of the opinion that you should leave all structured training aside and just bike for fun. Unless you are super competitive, you don't need the structure in this part of the season.

    Try to bike whenever you feel like, when you are tired, rest. When you don't feel like biking practice something else, when you feel good try to put some prs down and so on. It's also a great time to socialize in bike rides or groups.
    At 51, I'm of the opposite mindset to a point in terms of keeping structure during the slow months, as it were. There's too much room for regression at this age, so this past year I decided to work hard on the 'off months' (though not as intensely). Seems to have paid off this year for me anyway.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  4. #4
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    50 and planning to crush at 24HOP in Feb so lots of z2 - SS most likely

    IMO, your off bike strength stuff sounds good. Have fun!

  5. #5
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    I'm 50, I'm never able to get out longer than 2.5 hours it seems, but I'm not doing races much over an hour this time of year anyway. Our 'spring' series starts in early February; I back off a bit after cx season, but through early winter I try to ride 2.5hrs + every Sunday morning, close to 4 if I can, the one 'long' ride per week helps me out quite a bit in fade-resistance during race season, the one 'long' ride per week is probably #1 on my priority list.
    Same as Crankout, I'm afraid I won't ever get it back if I lose my speed.

    OP; how long have you been training?

    I'm into it a pretty solid 5-6 years now, and suprisingly I'm still making some gains, but they are pretty small.
    I don't do any real structure, but my regular trails have good hill interval opportunities; I typically ride with a couple of slower guys, and I hit the 1min hills super hard, recover in between etc. I have been getting out on the road bike too for some longer hard efforts, plus a race every couple of weeks for some real 'leg-ache the night after' workouts.
    I did add an improvised squat workout starting in August, the last thing I have time for is regular trips to the gym, I typically only scrape together 5-7 hrs per week for training time. I took a pair of empty 5 gallon kitty litter buckets, filled them about 2/3 full, hoist them in a sort-of curl, and do a couple sets of 8 after one of my short rides, doing this about twice a week. My quads were very sore after the first set, - not that that is any real indicator, but I've kept up with it and I don't think they've hurt me at all, - like I said earlier I've seen a few recent gains (strava koms and prs, plus I can climb the really steep stuff a little better on my cx bike than before).
    carry clippers! cut something off the trail every time you ride.

  6. #6
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    Following this. At 57, I feel like each year that goes by it gets tougher to keep what you have and build on it the next year. Been working my butt off the last couple of years (with 2 diff coaches) just to tread water.
    You can't buy happiness. But you can buy a bike. And that's pretty close.

  7. #7
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    You old people make fair points, however it seems you are more interested in a year-long plan to keep you in shape rather than a proper season plan, where you will perform at your best for a couple of months at best.

    From what you commented, it seems your training load is very manageable during all year, enough however to keep you in shape and progress a bit.

    My initial recommendation was to take the off season very light, but I was asumming you were having a strenuous workout plan during season. Here is the thing many people don't get, to further progress in your performance you have to overload your system, this overload comes with a price and is not possible to sustain throughout all the year. Yet some people still believe they can get the same results by being consistent throughout the year and doing a specific workout.

    You could be doing 1 min all out every third day for one year and you would plateau very soon, even though its a hard workout. The trick is in overloading your system in the right way, then resting. The problem I have with people taking off-season too seriously is that if they train with structure throughout the year, adding complexity in the off months is just asking for a burnout.

    My best tip for anyone looking to be competitive in the season, is too take the training seriously then and leave the other months as a more relaxed regime.

    I'm sure you have seen guys in teams that seem to slack a lot during the year yet in season when the most important races happen they always perform and beat their teammates who are consistent through the year, yet can't match the slackers. Sometimes people attribute this to genetics, talent and what not, but usually the case is that these "slackers" have very well thought out working plans for the off season and in season and doesn't necessarily involve biking. They also work the hardest during the highest training loads, something that is possible because they have rested so much, mentally and physically.

  8. #8
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    I usually take 3 days off per week, so with my low volume of 5-7 hrs-ish it's tough to know how much of a break I should take. Other than sleep right now (due to the new kitten, other cat and kids) I'm getting plenty of rest. I did take a break from high intensity in July and August of 2016 after a hand injury, and my cx season was pretty disappointing.

    Backing off the intensity for a month seems to work as a good 'break' for me, and it coincides with dealing with all the new trail growth that slows down end of June, my early summer break involves a lot of trail maintenance. End of cx is a good time for trail work too.

    What I have been doing has apparently worked, to my surprise, given that I re-started from a very low level of fitness 6 years ago. At the start point 6 years ago I hoped to maybe be at the top of sport masters someday, but wouldn't have dared to hope for three cat1 season wins, and a cat1 season 3rd in 2014.

    There's hope as we get older too; in our spring series I race with a guy who's 64, the last race we did together I could not get him out of my rearview mirror, and I finished 3rd overall that day, he was 4th overall and he beat all the 35-49 cat1s, - mid summer he got a top5 in Nationals.
    carry clippers! cut something off the trail every time you ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    the one 'long' ride per week is probably #1 on my priority list.
    Same as Crankout, I'm afraid I won't ever get it back if I lose my speed.

    OP; how long have you been training?
    I am sure you will explain, but not sure how you will "lose your speed" by not doing long rides.

    I just looked at Strava, I have been training regularly on the bike for the last 3 years. Started back on the bike from "ground zero". I used to race back in the 90's - I feel old now

    I have lost 50lbs or so in the process (I didn't think I had that much to lose - I did lose some muscle mass - I used to weight lift regularly)

    BTW: Congrats on your race finishes!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TDLover View Post
    You old people make fair points, however it seems you are more interested in a year-long plan to keep you in shape rather than a proper season plan, where you will perform at your best for a couple of months at best.

    From what you commented, it seems your training load is very manageable during all year, enough however to keep you in shape and progress a bit.

    My initial recommendation was to take the off season very light, but I was asumming you were having a strenuous workout plan during season. Here is the thing many people don't get, to further progress in your performance you have to overload your system, this overload comes with a price and is not possible to sustain throughout all the year. Yet some people still believe they can get the same results by being consistent throughout the year and doing a specific workout.

    You could be doing 1 min all out every third day for one year and you would plateau very soon, even though its a hard workout. The trick is in overloading your system in the right way, then resting. The problem I have with people taking off-season too seriously is that if they train with structure throughout the year, adding complexity in the off months is just asking for a burnout.

    My best tip for anyone looking to be competitive in the season, is too take the training seriously then and leave the other months as a more relaxed regime.

    I'm sure you have seen guys in teams that seem to slack a lot during the year yet in season when the most important races happen they always perform and beat their teammates who are consistent through the year, yet can't match the slackers. Sometimes people attribute this to genetics, talent and what not, but usually the case is that these "slackers" have very well thought out working plans for the off season and in season and doesn't necessarily involve biking. They also work the hardest during the highest training loads, something that is possible because they have rested so much, mentally and physically.
    "You old people" - I like that

    With part of the problem being a problem building CTL, I was under the impression that I couldn't let it drop much during off-season because I would have a hard time building it back up.

    Joe Friel talks about in his book Fast after 50 to do VO2 work year round to help slow the progress of declining VO2 max as you age.

    My off season has consisted of more steady stuff mostly on trainer (Z2,3 & SST & the hard 1m+ max efforts), and when the weather warms up, more punchy stuff with mtb'ing and hill rides and Strava Segment challenges

  11. #11
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    You old people make fair points, however it seems you are more interested in a year-long plan to keep you in shape rather than a proper season plan, where you will perform at your best for a couple of months at best.
    Just turned 62. Get old and you don't do peaks and valleys so well as steady. Sure build into the season and peak for important stuff, but not so much as when you could take a base level of fitness for granted.

    Besides, Masters races are decided by who's doing okay at work / retirement, parents / kids not having problems, health issues and other life kinda stuff.

  12. #12
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    mytwobigwheels: I wasn't very clear, I meant two different issues;

    I'm afraid that if I take too much time off it will take forever to get back up to speed. I remember being 24 and taking the winter off, then being fast again in 2 months or less, -those days are long gone.

    ('long' ride) My spring races are 1.5 to 2 hours, typically, and when I started training for my first season back on cat 1 I started the 2.5-3 hr rides on sunday mornings in December to prepare, they really tired me out for a while, but 6 weeks seems to be what it takes for me to feel a change, and by race season start in February I had much better fatigue resistance than 6 months earlier, that fatigue resistance was what I was going for. Nowadays my lap times are typically really strangely consistent, like within 20 seconds ea for 4 laps of a 100 minute race, I feel pretty good at the end, and my achy legs that night tell me I made a proper effort. I attribute that to the weekly (or minimum once every two weeks) 'long' ride, and I feel that ride is a really important part of training. My regular trails have a lot of short steep climbs, it's very on/off, so it's not just cruising at an easy pace for 2-3 hours.

    You and I have a similar history, I also raced in the very early 90s, stopped riding, and gained a bunch of weight in my 30s, I think I'm down 60 pounds from my peak of about 230, so at 6'3" (or I used to be 6'3") I'm getting to a proper build for xc, without really trying to lose any weight.

    Speaking of getting/feeling old; I was picking up my 10yr old daughter from her friends house this afternoon, a younger sibling and his friends were in the garage, one of them looked and me and looked to his friend and said "is that your grampa?" -first time that's happened to me.
    carry clippers! cut something off the trail every time you ride.

  13. #13
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    Haha, I threw the you old people because you made me feel young.

    Don't get too caught in numbers and metrics because by themselves they don't mean much. You could have a 0 CTL and by training hard 1 week, it would get very high very fast. What I mean on taking off season without structure is on not worrying about doing specific stuff and durations, but just go by feeling. You still want to do the workouts you mentioned, but those can be done on your fun ride.

    For example, some things I like to do without any structure is cycling through the city when it is mostly empty, then I just exhaust myself riding the streets.

    Other times I do group rides and we do sprints at every red light, point is you still get benefits but feels different than normal training.

  14. #14
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    I was going to recommend the book, Fast After 50, but someone already beat me to it. I believe the adage of "if you don't use it you'll lose it" applies really to the Masters racers so you should do some short, max efforts once or twice weekly on the bike year round. And it doesn't have to be structured...just sprinting hard to the stop sign or up a short hill works. But Masters also have to factor in recovery time because you're not going to recover like a 20 to 30 year old unless you're doping.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    I attribute that to the weekly (or minimum once every two weeks) 'long' ride, and I feel that ride is a really important part of training. My regular trails have a lot of short steep climbs, it's very on/off, so it's not just cruising at an easy pace for 2-3 hours.
    Thanks! Good stuff.

    Ok. I never shoot for longer saddle time on mtb. When on mtb I am usually doing race paced efforts on strava segments with recovery in between.

    For your longer mtb rides, what kind of overall mph vs if you were at race pace for an hour?

  16. #16
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    I thought this was an interesting article - it came in my inbox today.

    How Long Should Your Longest Training Ride Be? - CTS

  17. #17
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    Friel's 'Fast Over Fifty' is a good guide.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

  18. #18
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    My long ride today was 2:34, 22 miles 2235 elevation, avg speed 8.6. I stopped quite a few times to cut blackberry vines off the edge of the trail, I think strava autopaused mostly. Half was a chat ride with a buddy, we went hard for one short section, and rode a 'brisk' pace mostly. He cut out about halfway through, feeling bad from a cold. I went for two short koms late in the ride since trail conditions were good. I feel a little heavy in the eyelids and legs are tired, so I think todays ride was about right. Now 2 days off or super easy to recover for Sundays cx race. My last race was really fast, gravel road for maybe 20%, and fast trails, that was 12mph avg which I'm sure is my all time high. I probably typically avg 9 to 10mph racing, guessing.
    carry clippers! cut something off the trail every time you ride.

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