A question for the 50+ cyclist

As a 50+ cyclist with a few years cycling behind me I’ve noticed that my recovery from hard sessions takes a little bit longer than it did just a few years ago.

This has led me to want to split up the ssb plan of 5 weeks build and 1 week recovery to maybe 2 weeks build then 1 week recovery and so on, or 3 weeks build then 1 week recovery.



What do you 50+ cyclists out there recommend?


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“It never gets easier, you just get faster.”

I hear what you are saying. I’m 60+ and can do endurance riding for hours and hours and hours.

But this kind of structured training is different than just riding the bike. I think you would be better off if you could get into a framework of “this is not easy, and it is not easy for a young whipper-snapper either.” Just stay the course. Follow the plan. That’s my plan and yes, it is tough sometimes.


I’m 55, I just try to be more flexible with my schedule. If I’m not recovered enough to do a ride I move it back and/or replace it with something else. I’m still making gains but I’m sure it will be another story if that stops.


I’m rapidly closing in on 51, and I’m new to structured cycling training this past two months. I have however followed structured 1/2 marathon and marathon training plans for several years.
My little nugget of advice is ‘listen to your body’ and either move or skip a ride depending on how you feel, there is no point doing junk miles, and a plan will still work even if you miss a few rides / runs. My running PB’s have come through this mantra.

As others have said, being hard is not an excuse not to do a ride. It is hard for all age groups and all abilities, but if you are fatigued you may just exacerbate the problem blindly following the plan.

Shifting the recovery is also a very good idea, especially as the years pass…


@GHetherington, you took the words from my mouth.

I’m a 54 year old TT-ist in my second winter of TR.

My observations on the subject are as follows.

  1. Hit it hard, ride the threshold and VO2 workouts until you can’t go any harder. Make yourself suffer, deeply at times. You WILL get gains.

  2. Ignore the small issue that you have done a few more laps of the sun than other riders. It’s completely irrelevant to me.

  3. Listen to your body. One advantage we have is that we’ve had a good few years of listening to our bodies. Rest and recovery is good. Sometimes a little extra is better. Sometimes less.

  4. Be flexible in your TR plan. The OP structure sounds good but it may be overcautious and restrictive at times, in that you may miss out opportunities for improvement at those times when you don’t really need the extra recovery week.

My approach is to do low volume plans (currently SSBII low volume) which allow the opportunity to either move the next workout back a day to give an extra day of recovery or insert an additional workout as and when my body tells me it’s appropriate.

Last winter using this method I went from 242 to 275 FTP at 70kg.

Good luck with your training all of you, whatever number you are!


@GeorgeAnderson adding in a week of recovery does not sound like a bad idea.

FWIW, a couple of years ago I sailed through sweet spot mid volume but, got trashed during the build phase. As @chad suggested during one of the podcasts, in lieu of making a dedicated masters plan, make every third week a recovery week instead of every fourth. This year I did this and ended up the strongest I have ever been… peaked at about 3.75w/kg at summers end (finishing up my third year at Trainerroad)

I will just add, my takeaway from Fast After 50… don’t give up intensity, just rest more.


Solid advice there johnnyseven- Cheers

56 year old,

All these comments are right on the money, I’ve tried numerous combinations but what works best is two loading weeks then recovery week. Make the loading weeks count, do the hard stuff.


Here is a recommended adjustment from Nate and Chad.


Fantastic thanks Chad

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Makes perfect sense. Thank you for posting this!!

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I’m 61. What has helped me:

Cleaning up my diet.
Following more of the Endurance Diet advice.
Adding some body weight.
Inserting more recovery weeks.
Selecting easier workout variants when I’m not ready for whatever the plan says to do.


I’m 61 and on my 3rd winter of mid volume SSB followed by mid volume general build. For the most part I’ve been able to pull it off. Over/unders and VO2 max workouts or the most physically and mentally challenging. I’ve come to realize that I do need good recovery compared to younger riders. For example, I’m pretty wiped after a hard effort like a TT or drop group ride and need days or recovery after. I’ve come to realize that I can’t handle the multi day load of stage races, so I’ve decided that my best place to compete are efforts of an hour or less, like a masters crit or TT. Key focuses :

  1. Good sleep - which is harder as you get older
  2. Good nutrition - without trying my diet has more evolved to salads, fruits, lean proteins, etc. and less junk carbs.
  3. Mentally “Just do it” - I have McAdie on the calendar today - 90m/112 TSS/4x of 12m over/unders (thanks Chad). I rather just sit on the couch.
  4. “Check and adjust” - if I’m having a hard time completing workouts on a regular basis, I know my FTP is too high. I think as you go through a few seasons of these workouts you get an innate sense if your FTP is correct (too high/low) based upon workout performance
  5. Take a break if I need it. Taking a few days or week off if overly fatigued is better than trying to power through.

Hope that helps!


57 and doing the high volume plans. I’ve built up to this over a few years. My suggestions:

Look at the workout variations. They may better suit you.
If you’re serious about being fit and fast you can actually train pretty hard
Go to bed early.
Take a mens multi-vitamin tablet daily. I’m sure these help me with not feeling run down.
During a 2 hour trainer session I’ll eat a banana half way through to help keep me going
A short stretching and foam rollering workout once or twice per week.


62 yr old triathlete.

I started Triathlon at the grand age of 55. Endurance sport was new for me, I’d always taken part in team sports. I applied old training methods of do it all and do it hard, but have slowly learnt better. As others have said, rest for me has become the number one consideration. I now believe my improvements are down to this one fact. In terms of TR, I use the low volume plans and also the workout variants.
Good luck and listen to your body.
As an aside I managed 10k and Half Marathon pbs this year.