Trainer Road has made me a faster rider - a MUCH faster rider!
I started using TR at the start of 2018 and saw noticeable improvement by cyclocross season. My results were a bit better than in 2017, and I felt stronger at the end of races.
In 2019, I did more or less the same training plans as I did in 2018 (mostly Sweet Spot Base and Short Power Build), but my first two cross races last weekend were out of this world! I beat guys I never could challenge before by as much as 2 minutes! This happened both on Saturday and Sunday, so it wasn’t a fluke. The two races were quite different: one was punchy with lots of turns, the other one was a “grass time trial” with long straightaways. In both, I could sustain power throughout, I could turn on the burners whenever I needed to, and I was ready for another lap at the end!
I’m ecstatic about my “test-this-guy-for-drugs” level of improvement, but I’m not sure I understand it. FTP alone is not the explanation - I saw significant FTP increases throughout 2018, but 2019’s FTP is about the same as 2018’s. I can simply sustain my power much longer.
The most likely explanation is the cumulative effect of two years of TR training, but I should point out that I am 72 years old, not 22 where “miles in the legs” are unambiguously good. I wonder what three or four years of TR will do at this age?
I choose to believe that TR’s outdoor workout feature was a big factor. I know the science (aka Coach Chad) says that indoor rides are more efficient, but it seems to me you have to climb actual hills to compete in the real world. I did about half of Short Power Build’s workouts outside, culminating with last weekend’s races. Earlier this year, I did part of Sustained Power Build to prepare for a hilly 62-mile gravel ride (a long ride for a pure crosser), maybe that helped. I started the Cyclocross specialty plan today, and I’m eager to see how that goes.
Whatever the reason, I don’t think this improvement was because of yoga or retirement or new tires; it’s gotta be Trainer Road.
Well done, very stoked to hear you are kicking major a$$ out on the track. I believe your sustained power must be tracking very well and at 72 years of age that’s amazing. How are you handling your diet? You eating clean and lots of protein and carbs?
Blown away by this post! I’m so pleased for you and I hope you can continue this form
I was reading and impressed by your season start and then I saw your age!
Kudos Sir, that is fantastic!
DA$*!!! Good for you! And then I saw your age – really dag gone good stuff!
Guess we found a guy for the podcast!
What plans did you use in year 1 and 2? LV, MV or HV?
I want to be like you when i grow up
Thanks! My wife is a dietician, so we have always eaten well. No fads, just moderation in all things. Carbs and protein for sure!
I used medium volume both years. I was training informally long before TR, putting in about the same amount of hours/week as MV, so I knew I could handle the time requirements.
One of the things I hear from people who are most familiar with TR user data is that athletes who are most consistent in their training have the best results. Sounds like you’re a prime example of that!
Congrats and great job, I had similar results this year after my first 16 weeks of TR this past winter, still manage to surprise myself every time I go out. Afraid my “low hanging fruit” is gone and improvements will be harder to come by this winter but damnit I’m gonna do my best. Your year 2 results give me hope!
Your example is for sure an incentive to keep on training hard with TR. Hope next season gets me to some huge improvements to.
I’m not 72 but reading your statement I kind of wish I had
What else do you do apart from CX? Any weights, yoga or gym work? Any other sports?
I started to thank everyone individually for their encouraging remarks, but was gently suggested to consolidate my replies. So, thanks everyone!
In response to anirudh, I don’t do other sports, I do yoga once a week, I’ve lifted moderate weights and stretched for about half an hour most days for several years. My cycling is 95% cross, although I bought a mountain bike this spring. That may not be the sport to start when you’re so old you don’t heal quickly, but we’ll see.
The reason I ride cross so much is that I LIVE on a cyclocross course, although I let my wife think it’s a horse farm. Even before I started cycling, I stayed pretty fit working around the farm - cutting and splitting firewood, tossing hay bales and such.
This is turning into a mini-memoir, but I sense that you young whippersnappers want to know the secret of my “success” (I haven’t won anything important yet). I was a scrawny, sickly kid who outgrew asthma in my 20’s (if my asthma doctor could see me now!). I had a desk job my whole career but stayed physically active with the farm. I never was overweight, although I didn’t start exercising formally until I was 55, when I started running. I won a 5k on my 60th birthday and quit on top; I liked running, but loved cycling. I mostly rode around the farm, then started racing cross when I was 63. My high point so far was finishing 3rd in the 2016 Nationals 70-74 class (and there were more than 3 of us!).
So, what can be learned from my story? It’s never too late to start, although the jury’s out on mountain biking. Or follow my path exactly: choose parents with good joints (my 97-year old mother still climbs steps several times a day), marry a dietician, and don’t start exercising until you’re in your 50’s or 60’s. And of course, use Trainer Road.
This sounds like the races I did this past weekend – you in SE PA?
I am - see you at Nittany this weekend? I’m the old guy in the Bikesport/Sly Fox kit.
Nope, away this weekend. Next for me is Cooper River. These last two were my first races ever - of any kind. Was a blast! Will keep an eye out for you over the season