39-49 Years old and 4+ W/KG - how hard is it to get there and maintain at that age?

I’m 41 and 4w/kg on ~5 a week (LV + some additional outdoor, or longer workouts or occasionally an additional workout. Just started TR this year, I guess 4.2-4.3 should be doable on this volume/tss (~300).

But, some are more gifted then others, never really saw myself like that, and still not sure, but here’s a good read on the subject:

I’m pretty sure I could get to 5 on high volume, but hv doesn’t fit into my live :smiley: (or maybe I just don’t want it right now, maybe when I’m sure I hit a plateau on current volume ;))

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That’s the other thing: the younger people I ride with, the people in their 20s, they have soooo much time. They can spend 1, 2 entire days each weekend just riding bikes. Also during the week, I am limited by time. I need to drop off my daughter at day care by this time, etc. And I’m cool with that. :sunglasses:

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Same is increasingly true of the older people I ride with! Teenaged or grown up kids with much more independent lives. Retired, semi-retired, or at least in a job where they are valued for their knowledge/experience/contacts not for the number of hours they put in.

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I’m 46 and seem to be stuck at roughly the same FTP for most of this year, which puts me at about 3.5W/kg. (275W @ 80kg)

I’m doing mid volume plans for the first time this year, and have found my weight dropping (losing some of that middle age spread)

My feeling is that I might hit 4W/kg next year, but that would probably require better diet and recovery. I’m not sure life will allow me that much recovery, and I don’t know I have the discipline or motivation to change my diet

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yes, I get most of my structured workouts in the evening when the kids (8 and 9 y/o) are sleeping, during the day, it’s mainly work, some times I can squeeze in a workout or ride during the day, but nothing long. In the weekends a semi-long ride is in most cases fine, but with a family it’s not feasible to go out on a 6 hour ride every weekend :slight_smile:

ow, my youngest boy want to ride more too! :smiley: nice to enjoy together, but it doesn’t even count as a recovery ride for now :relaxed:

So enjoy your free (own) time before you get kids and when they are older, but for me, now is not the time to train 10+ a week

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It’s harder to get there than most posting here lead on. They probably got there so easily that they don’t even realize that they are in the top 3% of their age bracket.

One can look at the bell curve charts of TR cyclists that have been posted. It’s a small percentage in the 40-50 age bracket that get above 4 watts/kg. The percentage gets even smaller in the next age group which tells me that there is probably a big gap between 39 and 49.

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I’m 51, and I’ve always been over 4w/kg. I broke my hip last December and took a while to get back to my ‘normal’. In fact, this summer probably has been my best year for a while, what with the lockdown here in the UK and lots of Zwift racing.
It has got harder to stay there since my son was born (10yrs old now) as training volume isn’t as great (I’ve been using powermeters since 2003) and my appetite for beer has increased :beer:

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My FTP on TR on the Kickr snap varies - I was up at 300W in the Big chainring - middle rear gear but couldn’t get the wattage floor low enough in the recovery valleys so…a summer of cruising outside and no structure plus doing a ramp test in the small ring has brought this down to 260W. That is more in line with what I can put out on the TT bike (252W for a 25m TT) and 268W on the road bike for a hour TT in March when I was fit…hope to get back the lost summer watts…that said I did some good TT for me in the short season we had and would have pb for 25 had I not of exited a roundabout turn a junction early needing a U turn (still managed 54:58 - only missing my pb by 2 secs) - I am 52 and weigh 61kg so 4.3 - 4.9 W/kg depending on which bike/ramp test/chainring I am using…long post to say yes it’s possible even when you are 50 plus - and I have only been riding a few years - use to run…16:48 5k/2:47 marathon so I suppose I have a decent engine. Structured training as Chad says is the way to go…I loved my lockdown zone 2 in the sun on my summer bike…did nothing for my FTP though! :laughing:

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That’s quite interesting. I’m still very new to cycling. I was a runner and transitioned to cycling about 10 months ago due to injuries etc.
I started riding (more seriously) in March with structured training starting around late May or June. I’m currently at 3.92 watts per kg but was hoping to make the jump to 4.xx W/kg in the next weeks. Anyhow, it’s interesting to see that my numbers aren’t too bad then…but I’m only 39 and counting :slight_smile:

300 watts based on a ramp test, but you only averaged 268 watts during a TT? Am I the only one who sees something wrong with that?

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+1. Maybe a crazy aggressive position on the road bike for TT’s could drop some significant power? If that 300w is from the snap trainer and not a power meter, it’s highly suspect since it’s not a direct drive trainer. 252 or 268 is still really strong at that weight and a sub 55minute 40k is moving right along.

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Perhaps two different sources of truth (= power meters)?

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My numbers are pretty much the same as this except with the 20min test.

295w on the ramp test and 286w on the 20min test. The difference in “FTP” results in big. I guess I’m just anaerobic.

Both tests were done on my 4iiii precision PM which is up to date and calibrated.

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I suspect a lot of people in that age bracket just let their weight creep up as the the perception that its hard to get to 4-5 wkg once you hit masters. Luckily, thats not hard to change.

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Nothing’s impossible, but that would be a huge hit even comparing out-of-the-saddle climbing ala Contador to a road position. It seems more likely that he has overestimated his FTP via the ramp test.

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Yep - I can’t average anywhere near 300W on my TT bike - I have a Favero PM on both my road and TT bike and use the kickr snap in the winter as I don’t have one on the turbo bike…used the 50x17 for the 300W - this year I have adjusted by using the 34x17 on my compact chainring turbo bike and this gave a ramp of 260W - much more in line with what I can do on the road …so I will use that as it also gives a decent wattage floor - which was a problem in the big chainring…doesn’t really matter as I am using TR for all my winter training so it is calibrated to that…I did win the club hill climb averaging 400W for just over 2 mins last month so I can get decent power out for a bit…my TT position has changed a lot this year will my elbows really narrow and hunched over…lost a few watts but going quicker! :grinning:

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I’ve been waiting to post in this thread for a long time! Finally 4.0 w/kg in today’s ramp test at age 44 :smiley:. It took me almost 3 years with TR and it’s a far way from my first ramp test of 193 at 2.3 w/kg.

Last year (2020) was a bit of a mess as it saw me plateau if not regress in some areas. But after a good long break after this past season I started the high volume plans. Having now finished SSBHV 1 & 2 and ShortPBHV I’ve PR’d my FTP at 316. Now back to SSBHV 2 followed by Specialty which I hope leads into a full XCO/XCM race season. Can’t wait!

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47 here and i’m in the weight is harder to maintain than the watts category. I hang out between 3.8 and 4.0 most of the time but it’s mostly dependent on my weight.

I love to train hard but am also good about mixing in a lot of easy rides. I feel like that mix has both prevented burnout and kept me in a good place from a watts standpoint for several years now. I’ve even taken chunks of time off here and there and getting the watts back is never that hard.

The weight part of the equation however is rough for me. I eat like crap for a few weeks and next thing you know i’m 15lbs up and heading towards 3.5 or lower very quickly.

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I’m 46 in just over a month and been up to 4.4w/kg recently but now I’m down to around 3.8w/kg. Ease of reaching 4w/kg at this age has a lot to do with genetics, how far off that figure you all ready are, time to train and your diet.
I’ve been following TR mid volume plans for the past couple of years and not really sure what has lead to my rapid decline - I think it’s a combination of things.

  1. I changed power meter after my existing Garmin Vector 2 pedals gave up, switching to Vector 3. My next ramp test saw big drop in ftp.
  2. I started using powermatch - I liked its performance in the beta app, don’t know if this affected anything though
  3. Lockdown - I’ve kept my training up but not had as many outdoor rides, group rides of distance. I think this was topping off my indoor training previously.

Despite all the above I still feel as fast outside, which makes me wonder did I ever really reach 4w/kg or was it all down to faulty power meter? I don’t race so training is just about keeping fit and making the most of my time. If I was serious I think I could make serious gains by just eating and drinking better. I’m currently 64kg and weight rarely fluctuates by more then 1kg either side of that but I have a small beer 4-5 nights a week and eat too many cookies/cakes/ sweet stuff in general to be able to make that next step.

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I will be 52 and I should be back over 4W/KG in the next 4 to 6 weeks. As I am still in the SSMV phase. I think it basically up to genetics and I remember reading that only a a small percentage of people will ever be able to go over 4W/KG