Tagesarchiv: 11. Juni 2010
Q: I’m 44 and in the best shape of my life. But I wonder if I’m about to start losing it as I close in on 50. How many more years can I maintain my present cycling fitness? — Barry C. Coach Fred Matheny Replies: At 64, both Ed and I are still hanging in there, although recovery time has certainly increased over the years.
We and some roadies we know managed to keep improving into our 50s. In fact, Ed and I each rode a 40-km (25-mile) time trial faster than ever at that age, and we’d been racing the event since our 20s. So I believe you still have lots of good years to look forward to.
In preparation for my talk on „Aging and the Cyclist“ at a medical conference, I did quite a bit of research on this subject.
Studies show that although sedentary people lose their ability to consume oxygen (VO2 max) at a rate of about 1% a year after age 40, active people lose only 0.5%. And competitors who continue a long-term vigorous training program might lose only about 0.25% annually.
In fact, some life-long endurance athletes have actually improved their oxygen uptake between ages 45 and 55.
—Hard efforts. Don’t just cruise on your bike by gearing down and backing off when the going gets tough. Ride with intensity. Attack the hills, attack your friends. Vigorous pedaling preserves oxygen uptake better than spinning.
—Weight training. This helps keep strength high and body fat levels low. Most people gain fat and lose muscle as they age even if their bodyweight stays constant. Lift consistently to preserve precious muscle mass.
—Healthful lifestyle. Avoid risky habits and behaviors. Stay active and motivated by finding ways to keep cycling fun. Ride with others, buy a new bike, find different roads, accept the challenges of racing or long-distance events.
—Longevity genes. Some people seem to age slower than others. Did you choose the right parents?