Anyone over 50 at 4 watt/kg? Can I make it? (Long)

You and I are real close size wise, you just have the 40 more watts that I need in order to get to 4w/kg. Unfortunately loosing the weight will be really hard for me. I have never drank alcohol and I haven’t eaten processed sugar or anything fried in years. (My wife has thought that I was boring for a long time. lol)
I bet you drop that seven pounds like a rock if you cut out both.


Haha, I know the feeling, lol! It’s only 5lbs I need to drop, it’ll just take a bit of willpower to not snack, I always have the excuse that I’m “really fit and healthy so it doesn’t matter”. And I love snacking, at all times of the day!

Good luck with your own TR plan - sounds like dropping lbs is not an option for you.

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Thanks. I can loose some, but it will likely be muscle, which I can loose, but I don’t know if I can increase my power while doing so.

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Besides a drop in FTP from a fall layoff, you’d think that last couple of pounds would be easy. I’m 5’9" 153.5 lbs. I’d like too get to 150lbs/68kg even but they are the most stubborn ones. I don’t think at this point in life, I’ll crack the 300W mark so I best stay thin

While I’m still <50yrs old, this is pure nonsense! Don’t listen to these people. I haven’t read the thread yet, but I imagine others are saying the same thing. There are plenty of 50+ here w/FTP over 3.5w/kg and plenty over 4w/kg. They will probably chime in as well. Don’t limit yourself. Do the training. Eat right. Sleep well. Rinse and repeat. Consistency is key especially as we get older.


Any hard rules around age and power output have to be junk. I am 48 and around 4 w/kg. One of my riding buddies is 53 and at least 4.5 w/kg. And guess what? He trains a lot more than me, thats why he has the watts.


A fair few 50+ 4W/kg guys in my club and local races. They’re all pretty consistent with their riding and recovery and have been for a number of years though, at that age I don’t think many people have the genetics to hit those numbers without paying attention to the details. The top end power seems to decline more quickly than threshold (and/or the older guys are staying competitive through volume and not doing a lot of high intensity training).


It’s a goal I have i mind but I’m flexible as I’m more interested in what changes my 28 week training plan over the winter delivers in terms of improvements for endurance, speed and strength on local roads and the essential ability to break my mates on a hill.

However maxing out FTP improvements out my training through quality nutrition and rest are the main focus.

Get these right and everything else will drop into place. We just have smaller room for error at our age than younger riders!

Thanks guys.

Would I be best served doing the base phase then the build phase and repeat or could I get away with doing say an extra four weeks of build?

Extra build puts significant strain on your body and you’ve noted that a limiter for yourself is the amount of sleep to get. The link below provides some guidance for your next steps.

Personally if I were in your position I would be trying to max out my body’s adaptation through improved rest?

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That is my main focus right now and I’m trying different things to improve the sleep I’m getting. I think that I can be in the bed for 8 hours, but I need to improve the sleep that I get during that time.
I’ve watched TR podcast on sleep a few times and there is some good info there.

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At 47 I’m at 4.2 on the trainer, 4.6 outdoor right now. Peaked at 4.8 in July. I think a big metric people don’t use is ‘pounds per inch’. TDF Winners are around 2, sprinters at 2.2 and don’t get much heavier than that. If you have too much upper body mass 2 may not be in the cards. 2.2 should be though.

Of course that’s not 50 and supposedly some people drop off like a rock somewhere between 46-54.

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Can we change that to 46 to say 58?lol I’m 54 right now and I don’t need to be dropping like a rock.

I’m at 2.13 pounds per inch now and can get to 2.1 by loosing 2lbs, which I will likely do in order to get to an even 65kg.

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Yes I agree 100%. My point, I guess, was more along the lines of if you want to improve, it’s important to use data that is comparable. Going from a gym bike then to an SRM to virtual power etc…would make training adaptations much more difficult.

It’s supposed to be 10% per decade after 40, but most of the loss (up to 70yrs) can be offset by training. Delaying the decay is only observed in men though for some reason.

There is certainly a gradual drop in Vo2max with an increase in body fat as we age, but I haven’t seen any data showing a “cliff” at any particular point. From what I see, most people see the big drop off when they no longer have the motivation to train. That’s true whether they are 25 or 65, but it’s probably more common that people get sick of hard training after they have been doing it for many years. There are plenty of really fast guys in their 50’s and 60’s. I think Friel’s “fast after 50” book has some finishing times of elite athletes by age for running and cycling and I don’t remember seeing any particular drop off.

In open master’s racing, it’s not unusual to see guys in their 50’s beating guys in their 40’s and taking overall wins. When I look at the cyclists I know locally, I know a bunch of fast 50’s, a few fast 60’s, but I can’t think of any in their 70’s who are really fast. Hard to say how much of that is pure physiology vs. lack of motivation as we age, but I’m guessing it’s a combination of the 2.


Do you have a link to the study on the 10% drop per decade? Just wondering if it’s based on people who have never been active? Or maybe only elite athletes?

I’m neither elite or sedentary but, have a long history of riding. At 51 I’m basically seeing the same things I saw in my 30’s except max HR. I’m guessing there is a large group of cyclist that don’t follow this 10% rule. That and I’m in denial I’m old! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Not seen the 10% link but did you read the post that was linked by @nickcs (reply 7) Nate published his TR data for the bell curve of cyclists, this is for active TRusers… it shows an .25FTP/kg approx every 10 years on the bell curve. Thread is a good read if you have the time. You might have already read this and apologies if you have.

Top of bell curve for men
18-30 : 3.25 - 3.5 FTP/kg
30-40 : 3.0 - 3.25 FTP/kg
40-50 : 2.75 - 3.0 FTP/kg
50-60 : 2.75 - 3.0 FTP/kg
60-80 : 2.25 - 2.5 FTP/kg

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One aspect of this discussion that I am interested in is how much of a role does prior endurance training play into 50+ endurance performance. There are long-term structural adaptations that take years to develop, and don’t really go away. To what degree are 4.0 W/Kg 50+ riders also people who have been riding seriously for many (lets say 10+) years, or have done many years of endurance training. It’s one thing for someone who was 5 W/Kg in their 30s to be 4 W/Kg in their 50s, it’s a different thing for someone who started training seriously in their mid 40s, without prior significant endurance training.
How many 4+ W/Kg 50+ riders have 5-10 years of overall endurance training?


Hey Landis, link attached below. It’s a review covering a number of studies. I think only the abstract is available online. I do have a copy of the full paper that I can send on. I’m not sure what the rules are about uploading it are though.

Can anyone offer advice?

I think this might be plenty of motivation to keep training :sweat_smile:

“In sedentary individuals, this non-linear decline generally occurs during the twenties and thirties whereas athletic individuals demonstrate a non-linear decline upon decreasing or ceasing training.”