I have a problem although its a good one. I am 67 years old 5’8" and 170 -175 lbs. March 31 will be my last day to work. I have been riding pretty steady for the last 6 years and using TR off and on for most of it. I have been working/commuting 12-13 hours a day 5-6 days a week for years. I work second shift and usually get to bed about 3 am and wake up by 9-10. I don’t set a alarm I just wake up.
My training has always been limited by my free time but I usually manage 3-4 rides of a hour or two a week either on TR or outside. I don’t and have never raced I just ride t-shirt rides and a few centuries with my daughter & 22 year old granddaughter. I do enjoy trying to get a PR or even a occasional KOM on Strava.
I am starting to add some “circuit room” workouts that our local gym has added for us old folks so I hope to gain some upper body fitness that I am lacking from a few sessions a week there.
My problem is I have plenty of motivation that I don’t want to loose and will soon have plenty of time to either do it right or overtrain and loose motivation. I know I can handle more stress when I no longer have to work long days on a assembly line. We did RAGBRAI last summer which was 470 miles of riding hills and eating whatever came along while sleeping in a camper and although tired at the finish I felt good. That gives me confidence I can handle more but how much?
So my question after all this rambling is how should I handle all my new available training time to get the most out of it?
First off, CONGRATULATIONS!!! There will be some adjustment time, and like most of the fellas I know you will be bored out of your mind for a while until you get set into a cycle or plan but the main thing is ENJOY LIFE, now that you will have extra time take that time to enrich your life, ride different places, meet new people, have fun and dont take things to serious…
Just get out and ride your bike - lots like I do. One of the advantages of being retired is you can generally choose when to ride. So no more sh*tty weather. Seriously though I’ve found it helps to have a goal to train towards. With me it’s either some sportive in the future or just simply to be able to hang on the back of the faster guys in the club. I’ve also found though that with all my outside riding I can’t do the training plans in TR as all the SS stuff just shatters me so I’ve toned it down and do mostly Tempo or a little Vo2max if I’m not getting that intensity outside. Happy retirement. PS You’ll find more cafes than you knew existed.
Sounds like you’re already on the right track which is do what you enjoy. Seems you have an affinity for the long distance stuff, which is a perfect fit for somebody who is older but with plenty of time on their hands! I would look for some like minded people in your area to maybe get more into touring events or just epic rides with friends. And some strength work to maintain or build a bit of muscle mass is also a very good idea.
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Seriously though I’ve found it helps to have a goal to train towards. With me it’s either some sportive in the future or just simply to be able to hang on the back of the faster guys in the club.
Like you I do much better when I am training towards something. We decided to do RAGBRAI 2019 two years before hand and that goal lasted me the whole time. I have a few rides this summer to work towards but am looking for my next “goal”
Second the suggestion of joining a club, or any sort of riding group. If there is no club around that you like, see if there is a bike shop or a cafe where regular rides start. Ask how far and how fast they go, and find some that you fit in with. It’s fun riding with others and you’ll make new social contacts, which might be nice once you don’t see your workmates anymore.
Enjoy, everyone in my club who has retired gets a massive fitness boost once they can ride as much as they want!
I live in a small town but we do have quite a few fairly active cyclists. I ride with some of them when our schedules allow. My schedule should allow a lot more of that. Wichita Falls is 45 minutes away and its home to the Hotter 'N Hell 100 which we ride every year. There is a active group there and I may try to do some rides them. We do have miles and miles of gravel and I have a suitable bike to explore it on so I plan to do some of that.
My concern is I don’t want to burn out. I know no one knows what is best for anyone else but I have got some good ideas and confidence that I am on the right track from the feedback here.
Polarized is how you ramp up volume without burning out. Also take increases in volume and intensity slowly.
Just think, now you’ll have the time to be the best you on a bike - I mean time to focus on training, time to hit the gym for full body fitness which helps cycling, time to focus on nutrition and recovery.
We have a mid-week bike club in town. They meet every Tues and Thursday at 9am every day of the year.
My buddy started his own cycling club via Facebook group. He didn’t want to do the Saturday hammerfest group ride and he doesn’t like getting up at the crack of dawn for a 7am ride when it’s hot in the summer. So, he started his 9am on Sunday group. He’s always got 5 or 8 other riders showing up now.
Hi, retirement is awesome. I am so busy, I don’t know how I had time to work.
Like the previous comments, I would set some goals (make sure they are SMART to keep Chad happy!) I enter some Sportives over here in the UK + trying to improve my FTP.
Definitely do strength work, I invested in some kettlebells to work with in the garage.
Get involved with a cycle club. They appreciate any help they can get.
Enjoy life. So much to do & learn.
Every day above ground is a good day
If you can… add some regular walking or jogging. Bones need impact to stay strong. Strength training is smart but ease into it.
Cycling… you are retired, do long rides with people you enjoy at the best time of day!!
I think it is worth investing in a top notch inside trainer set up for the bike. Dedicated computer, good size monitor, nice trainer and rocker plate, big fan. A dedicated bike for indoor work makes it that much easier too. No sense going outside in crummy weather so make indoors that much better with a nice set up.
FWIW, when my dad retired this is the advice I gave him. It’s worked out well. He is in 80s now and rides every day indoors or out depending on weather.
I’m 62 and counting the weeks until I can step away from full-time work. Here’s what I’m thinking I’ll do more of related to cycling/fitness:
(1) Regular weight training using heavy weights. Heavy weights are needed to mitigate the muscle and bone loss associated with cycling. An added plus: if you crash, dense bones break less easily than brittle ones. Check out the Maximum Overload program that was featured by Bicycling Mag a couple years ago.
(2) Become more active on my cycling team. I love road racing, and if I had more time I would race more – and in particular race as a domestique for teammates. I also hope to develop an off-season conditioning program for my team.
(3) Focus on polarized training. Polarized training is most effective if you have time for long, slow rides. I find those the most fun I have on a bike. I love going hard, too, but what a gift to be able to ride 3-5 hours at a time. Besides, if you’re married you’ll want to get out of your spouse’s hair during the day.
(4) Do big races/rides. There are so many cool rides nationally that I’d like to do: BWR, Big Sugar, RPI, and Steamboat Gravel are a few examples. There are so many more. With time to travel, pick a big ride or two a year and make vacations out of them.
(5) Ride in rural France. I love to ride in France. So many little paved roads out in the country, courteous drivers, great food, great wine. I’m partial to the Southwest and Provence, but all of France has its beauty and its charms.
Good luck. What a wonderful problem to have!
Congratulations. You will have an awesome time. I’m 65 and retired 8 years ago. To avoid the over training or burnout syndrome, I diversified my hobbies. While I was averaging 4,000 to 6,000 miles of cycling each year, I added triathlon to my routine. This provided plenty of other training and fitness options so as not to get overdone with any one. Then I added other interests to my activities such as woodworking, photography, and backpacking. My goal is to never wake up and feel that I have nothing I want to do. I make it a point to enter events with my three kids who either run, cycle, or do triathlons too. I use vacations with my wife for down time for me. It’s all about striking a balance keeping it fun as we’ve worked so hard to get to this point in life.
Never wake up and feel I have nothing to do. Now that sounds like the perfect goal. I have two brother in laws that have retired and they say they hate it. One sits around and watches old westerns and the other watches sports and drinks. I tell them to get off their a$$ and do something. They say they have done everything and are bored with it. I DON’T want to be like them. In the last few weeks I have joined a gym that is about 5 minutes away (by car) and have found a hour there at least every other day along with TR is very doable even while I am still working. When it warms up I will ride my bike to it. Reading the replies here I am excited that you guys aren’t sitting around bored watching TV. I plan to join you.
I’m one year ahead of you, not in age, but in retirement. I retired last year at this time at 66.
The upper body stuff is mandatory. Now you can go the the gym when everyone else is working.
You might want to look into randonneuring, brevet events. The standard series for a year is 200, 300, 400, 600 km (standard = super randonneur series). Then there are 1000 and 1200 km events that get really fun … if you’re prepared for them.
Age is not an issue. Young girls and guys can’t leave the husband/wife at home with the kids every weekend as they disappear for hours (the fastest do 600 km in a bit under 24 hours, the normal people around 30-35 hours). All kinds of ages participate. It takes endurance and the mental tenacity that gives us older people a tool to make up for our physical decline.
Don’t know where you live, but in the US you can check out https://rusa.org for calendar events all across the states. The UK has something similar.
You might end up finding out that retirement doesn’t mean you have more time on your hands, but you end up doing more things, and have to plan your time even more than before.