Age 63, wanting to go faster and higher ...

StuartG

slower but further
Location
SE London
I returned to cycling three years ago. It was terrific to go from 10 miles to 100 comfortably. Indeed distance is no problem. I can just keep going. I would rate myself above average in my peer group of touring cyclists for distance and its still improving.

But I'm below average in speed and hill climbing. And if anything I'm getting worse. This is what I need to address. On the flat I feel the problem is pure strength. On the hills it is oxygen. I just can't get enough of it.

I have a hunch that by concentrating on long distance riding and hence giving up on road running and the gym treadmill (there are only so many hours in the week) my aerobic capacity is dropping. Is this reasonable? Is there a cycling answer or is it back to the gym?

Its not a cadence issue - its a triple and I'm wallowing on the granny gear far too soon :angry:
 

sittingbull

Veteran
Location
South Liverpool
This claims to increase lung capacity and endurance .

expandalung.jpg


I have not used one and do not know anyone who has. Also, I'm inclined to think that the best way to improve hill climbing is by practising....well....er....hill climbing :smile:
 

Nebulous

Veteran
Location
Aberdeen
Going faster depends on - going faster. You need to try intervals. Push really hard for a short distance (between two lamposts?) recover a bit and repeat. Do that about 6-10 times, twice a week. You can then increase the distance, (two lamposts?) without losing the speed until there are fewer and fewer gaps.

Eventually you get a 'feel' for what going fast is like and know the effort involved.

You might need to get your health checked out first though to make sure you don't have an underlying problem.Pushing yourself hard always has some degree of risk.
 

accountantpete

Brexiteer
I think you need some specific training.

Riding around does nothing to improve much apart from your heart and lungs - so your aerobic capacity should be generally good.

To improve (I'm a mere 56) I had to train in order to improve the cadence and muscle strength.

For example I got a turbo and pedalled as fast as I could in an easy resistance for 1 min rest and repeat rest and repeat for as long as you are able. Do that every day for a year, gradually increasing the resistance, and your natural cadence will be a lot higher than it is now. The same goes for hill-training. Pick a small hill and practice.

The end result is that you pedal up hills at a slightly lower cadence and easier gear than you have been practising at and suddenly you find that you can match these to your breathing and manage things much better.

The problem is that the older you get the more work you have to do and the longer results take to show!
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
But I'm below average in speed and hill climbing. And if anything I'm getting worse. This is what I need to address. On the flat I feel the problem is pure strength. On the hills it is oxygen. I just can't get enough of it.
To get faster, you need to ride faster! Sound's a bit simplistic but essentially, you need to ride above your current sustainable pace for period's of time (interval training) with rolling rest (riding at an easy pace) in between. There are many ways to do interval training, it is best you look it up.

As for hills, interval training on the flat will make hills easier because essentially the same demands are there, on the flat you need to generate more power to go faster, on hills you need to generate more power to ascend faster. Hill's do require a bit of technique and mental prep though, so it is a good idea to ride hills for practice. Rather than knacker yourself by taking on a tonne of hills on your long rides, choose a couple of 30 mile routes that includes about 2000ft of climbing (maybe one route that includes a long drag of a climb and another that is a couple of short and steep climbs). Try to plan the route so you have a flattish/moderate ride out to the hills, a section of hilly terrain then a flattish/moderate run home and go round them on an alternating basis. Treat the ride to the hilly section as your warm-up, then hit the hilly section hard, then enjoy the descent to recover and then ride the run home as a bit of a cooldown. Time yourself up the hill to see how your climbing is improving (also note HR and perceived effort levels).
 
This claims to increase lung capacity and endurance .

View attachment 12784

I have not used one and do not know anyone who has. Also, I'm inclined to think that the best way to improve hill climbing is by practising....well....er....hill climbing :smile:
I've got a Powerbreathe thing. It may help some people with specific conditions but otherwise it's useless. You'll get more out of running or biking.
 

gavroche

Getting old but not past it
Location
North Wales
If you are 63, just accept that you will not ride as fast as a 21 year old. If you can already ride for long periods of time with ease, you are doing vety well indeed. Just enjoy your cycling, listen to your body and be thankful that you are still in good health and may it last for a long time. :bicycle:
 

AndyPeace

Guest
Location
Worcestershire
I've got a Powerbreathe thing. It may help some people with specific conditions but otherwise it's useless. You'll get more out of running or biking.
out of interetst are you saying, for you it brings no results? I have found exageratting your breathing from the start of a climb helps. I practice yoga to help expand my lungs functional capacity and often use mantras to help keep my breathing deep and rythmic whilst riding.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
If you are 63, just accept that you will not ride as fast as a 21 year old. If you can already ride for long periods of time with ease, you are doing vety well indeed. Just enjoy your cycling, listen to your body and be thankful that you are still in good health and may it last for a long time. :bicycle:
But it is likely he can still train a bit to be faster than he currently is, if that is his desire.

Wouldn't recommend doing anything too strenuous until checked over and given the all clear, but some training should be fine and should bring some results.
 
out of interetst are you saying, for you it brings no results? I have found exageratting your breathing from the start of a climb helps. I practice yoga to help expand my lungs functional capacity and often use mantras to help keep my breathing deep and rythmic whilst riding.
Just a couple of points - you cannot physically increase your lung capacity and breathing is a function of your autonomic nervous system - controlling it is not necessary, as it will automatically adjust itself to the effort you are making. You can practice yoga, religion, witchcraft, jedi mind tricks, or chanting mantras - but the only thing which will make a real improvement in performance is an improvement in your aerobic fitness.
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Just a couple of points - you cannot physically increase your lung capacity and breathing is a function of your autonomic nervous system - controlling it is not necessary, as it will automatically adjust itself to the effort you are making. You can practice yoga, religion, witchcraft, jedi mind tricks, or chanting mantras - but the only thing which will make a real improvement in performance is an improvement in your aerobic fitness.
It is common for people making extreme physical efforts to do some odd things despite the autonomous nature of breathing, such as hold their breath and then gasp a bit then do it again, which can affect performance. So for some, a mindfulness of breathing can bring about benefits. Breathing can be controlled autonomously or consciously, unlike HR and it makes sense to correct bad habits through conscious effort.
 
out of interetst are you saying, for you it brings no results? I have found exageratting your breathing from the start of a climb helps. I practice yoga to help expand my lungs functional capacity and often use mantras to help keep my breathing deep and rythmic whilst riding.
'For me', yes, for what I do. I did use it to warm up my breathing so's to speak and yes, it helped a little but it was just as good to control my breathing during exercise while I warmed up and to to control my breathing during any effort. I didn't feel I gained any benefit, increased breathing capacity, from regular use when I tried that.

I should add, I wasn't expecting any miracles, I was hoping only that it would help my asthmatic breathing but it doesn't, it's far better to improve my aerobic fitness, which helps more. I do think it has some applications for obstructive airways but for most, no.
 
It is common for people making extreme physical efforts to do some odd things such as hold their breath and then gasp a bit then do it again, which can affect performance. So for some, a mindfulness of breathing can bring about benefits.
People do odd things all the time - but the easiest thing to do with breathing is to not worry about it - it takes care of itself.
 

AndyPeace

Guest
Location
Worcestershire
Just a couple of points - you cannot physically increase your lung capacity and breathing is a function of your autonomic nervous system - controlling it is not necessary, as it will automatically adjust itself to the effort you are making. You can practice yoga, religion, witchcraft, jedi mind tricks, or chanting mantras - but the only thing which will make a real improvement in performance is an improvement in your aerobic fitness.
Sorry I ommitted the fact that I have a lung condition and that some of my lung tissue is very stiff, hense yoga style exercise makes a huge difference to me in opening up my chest and usable lung capicity.
 
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