Recovery for Older Athletes

Who are most coaches? Everybody I listen to, read and study loves volume and the long ride for building endurance and VO2max. Even Frank Overton’s sweet spot base contains tons of Z2 and he’s talking about 5 hour rides towards the end of the base phase.

In the end I guess it depends on what your goal is. If the goal is to be as fast as possible then you probably need to find 10-15+ hours to devote to training and you need to do the long rides. If you find a coach and tell them that you have 3 workouts and 5 hours max per week to devote then you will probably get SST and HIIT intervals and a weekend ride. You’ll get an initial big bump and then stagnate.

The OP said that she intends to do an Ironman. She’s got to put in the time and build the aerobic engine. No way around that.

The key to this is to not bury yourself to the point where you need multiple weeks of recovery.

2:1 or 3:1 isn’t going to be the difference in achieving really good fitness. It could very well be the difference in overtraining or too much fatigue and not completing workouts.

I think a “Week Tip” from Chad is often missed: For the MV and HV plans, feel free to make Sunday a longer Z2 ride. GREAT tip particularly for masters althetes or those where LV is not enough and MV may be too much.

A full 7 days (week) of recovery is probably not needed, particularly if doing 2:1 programming. I like to take a good two days off every couple weeks but don’t need 5 or 7. For those weeks I’ll cut the load and cut the intensity. Instead of 3-4 “good” days I will do 2 and fill in the rest with easier volume.

Do not be afraid to experiment with more recovery. It won’t kill you and it really won’t set you back. 2-3 good days a week, done consistently with some increase in TSS and IF, will build great fitness. Particularly if done well for long periods.

I am 70 and I am doing SSBLV. Lots of intensity but 4 days of rest. In the summer I was riding outside and doing mainly base and avoiding intensity. My FTP decreased with this. So, I have a plan for an 88 mile gran Fondo in August. Plan on doing low volume riding until then. This type of programs helped me to increase my FTP. There are low volume triathlon plans as well.


Just outdone in the age stakes by @DennyD :grin:

I’m 60 and have been doing the SSBLV plans. Generally I’ve been fine with them, making sure I rested properly and (@chad will be pleased with this) making sure I’ve got plenty of sleep - going to bed at the same time and getting 8hrs sleep - I take a while to get to sleep so I’m probably sleeping 11pm to 7am or thereabouts.

With the intensity of the indoor rides my outdoor rides have been very much Z1/Z2 territory, means I get to enjoy being outdoors while not overdoing things.

I don’t see any reason not to keep to the plans, I just have to be more aware of what’s happening to my body.

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