67 in about 3 weeks and I accept this slow progression. I too like the plans just being there. My approach is to not kill myself on the ramp tests. I get to 20 minutes, fine. That might set my FTP a little lower than what it could be, but I’m getting a 4-5 watt increase every time (over the course of more than a year), so I am ok with that. I did make a note on the one yesterday “Maybe go for 21 minutes the next time.” We’ll see.
Sweet Spot Base II seems to touch a lot of bases. I’m going into Sustained build now and will probably hit the plan builder after that. The specialty phases are not really attractive for me. Not that they aren’t good, I just am not a specialist. Well, I am, a specialist in long distances, some would say “ultra long”, but I always know someone else doing longer, so I just say long.
68 here and I also desire a less ambitious training plan for older athletes. After two years of trying the mid-volume base plans and then hitting a wall with the mid-vol build plans, I let the Plan Builder set up a low-volume sequence of training plans this year. I’m adding 1-2 easy commuting rides per week - 13 km each way, with more distance if I have time and feel up to it. I’m also using @dlridings approach of not killing oneself on the ramp tests. A high FTP is good for the ego, but harmful if it results in dreading all trainer workouts.
Also sticking in my mind this year is Coach Chad’s comment that the wheels will start to fall off if you get less that 7 hours of sleep. I’m getting closer to 8 hours per night this year.
Very interesting topic. I’ll be 56 in April, so not quite at the 60 mark yet, but time seems to be moving very quickly in that direction!! I feel that I’m not progressing as much as I think I should, which maybe more down to the slightly erratic nature of my training than anything else. I do remember Nate saying somewhere that once you reach a certain age past 50 TR’s data suggests that just maintaining your level should be seen as success. I do wonder if TR should investigate it more, possibly a specific podcast that addresses the aging issue. I also think that while plan builder is a very good tool, more flexibility in terms of work or holiday breaks and also the aging athlete would be fantastic
I’m definitely slower than seven to ten years ago but not by much, maybe 10%. I still get close to some of my Strava PBs if I’m careful about how I approach the ride but it’s a bit hit and miss for much of the time!
I first started with TR about 4 years ago then let it lie fallow for a couple of years before re-enabling the account last autumn and going the whole SSB->Build->Speciality kaboodle. So far I’ve done both Sweet Spot plans with full compliance apart from one workout shortly after I’d had a cold (my first in six years ), that’s no back pedalling or reducing intensity for any workout. The workload definitely got “interesting” towards the end of SSBLV2.
I broke my collarbone two weeks ago so at the moment I’m just picking out a few short workouts to keep me ticking over before starting the Build plan.
I think it was either Chad or Nate who mentioned in one of the podcasts that for older riders you shouldn’t expect to see an increase in FTP (nice though that is) but following the plans should prevent a decrease or at least slow the decline.
Is anyone successfully doing the Mid or High Volume plans? I’m currently finishing up the Low Volume, SSB 1, which is 3 rides per week for 3.5 hours. I think I could handle more training than that, but the Mid Vol jumps to 5 rides per week /~6 hours total with back-to-back 90 min. sessions on the weekend. Given the need for more recovery as we age, I’m wondering if only two days rest is enough? I note that Training Peaks 55+ plan I linked (Over 50s Endurance and Conditioning Plan w/ Sufferfest | cycling Training Plan | TrainingPeaks) averages 6 hours per week over 4 rides.
It’s becomes a greater issue with Triathlon training plans, especially those targeted at Ironman athletes. Now maybe my frustration is simply because TrainerRoad isn’t targeting me as a customer - I’m at best a middle of the pack athlete who will have a great day if I can pull off a 6:30 bike at IM CA, followed by a 5 hour marathon.
I can’t do a low volume training plan and expect to be on the bike for 6 1/2 hours on race day. But it’s pretty clear that anything higher than the low volume plans will have too much intensity without a lot of hacking for a 60yr old athlete.
Hello all, I am 63, took up triathlon at 54. I have been with TR about 5 years. One thing I’ve learnt and my training history shows is if you’re consistent you can expect improvements. Having given some thought to why I lose consistency, I believe it could because I need more recovery time. As others have said following the plans does not cater for the older users. However, you can modify the plans in calendar yourself. With the advent of Plan Builder however this is not the case. If you’re working towards an event the PB fills in the time with the standard plans. Trying to insert extra recovery weeks then breaks the plan. I still fully support TR and its objectives but wonder if @Nate_Pearson or @chad might wish to comment on the issues raised in this thread. Happy training everyone.
You could choose the LV plan and add another workout day of your own choosing. Sort of LV+ if you were.
If you look at the plans as a grid then there’s a definite pattern. For example in SSBLV2 each row has a VO2max day and two threshold days. Go down the columns and each workout gets a little harder, either by more intervals or shorter rest between intervals. Add a day that stresses whatever you think your weak point(s) is/are and do similar - Look in workouts and filter accordingly and order by TSS or IF and add them to your personal plan.
So you might want a longer workout, say 2hrs, and target zone is tempo. Using those criteria gives you 21 workouts to play with.
Interesting reading and the insights of us experienced riders. I’m 63 and currently 151lbs after getting I’ll around Christmas and missed 3 weeks and worse, 3 counting events for the North West Cyclo Cross league. I’ve been using TR for just on a year and maintaining an ftp of 225, 3.3w/kg, but I the summer I was at 3.5.
I use the low volume plans for the quality workouts and supplement with road rides and cx rides in the Autumn.
I also like to get out with the young riders i coach, you can pass on so much more riding alongside someone, especially with skills and tactics.
I run a cx coaching session once a week from September and had one of my “lads” pick up a National title in the U14s race.
I find the ramp test to intense and prefer the 20min test even though I can handle VO2 workouts ok.
Presently just starting LVSS1, then Power mv build and this year Rolling road low volume to build into a few crits and short road races. Then build another base before the cx season.
I use the Polar Flow Orthostatic tests and try and stay within the balanced zone for training, though races do push into the strained zone. I advocate the use of HRV monitoring for my athletes as well.
The other topic not mentioned is the custom workouts. I use the Workout Creator tool to reduce the peaks in workouts I find too challenging, and increase the recovery to simulate real world riding. It’s easy to use and can be so much more effective than suffering unduly on a workout designed for a younger rider.
TrainerRoad has the knob for modifying intensity during the ride, but wouldn’t it be great if there was some “age-scaling” setting(s) that would automatically clip the top off the VO2Max level, and insert more recovery time between intervals. Maybe that would be enough so that 99% of the canned workouts, when age-scaled, would be usable as is.
I’m probably oversimplifying the problem, but it sure seems like only a few extra settings would make this possible.
That’s a good idea and tool. I’ve used the Elite HRV app in the past with my Wahoo Tickr first thing in the morning. I will restart that practice as I ramp up my training. For those who may not be aware, HRV gives you a morning readiness reading based on the variability between your heartbeats. What are R-R intervals? - Elite HRV Knowledge Base
We’ve got a few things cooking that will help with this. Now that we have plan builder we have a ton more flexibility. Amber’s working on something pretty sweet at the moment, then once that’s out and stable we’re going to work on different work:recovery ratios.
I can’t promise any timelines at the moment though.
Thanks, Nate. Great to hear that your team is working on this. I actually just posted a question on the podcast based on this thread, FWIW. One of the suggestions I saw in comments on this article, How Aging Athletes Can Get Faster (Yes It's Possible) is to stretch a 7 day plan into 9. That seems like a sound approach, and one I may try in moving to the SSBMV plan next week. Doing 90/90 minutes or 90/120 back-to-back days in the MV plan probably does not permit enough recovery for most over 60 cyclists. An option in PB to spread the week’s plan over 9 days hopefully would be a relatively easy tweak.
The thread @DavidWms started and now this post from @Nate_Pearson is a big tonic to this geezer. I remember early TR blogs on “older rider,” which was used synonymously with “Masters,” of which @Chad on the podcast was the example, with continuing podcast jokes about poor old Methuselah. Yeah, right. I was 75 then (nearly 79 now), and doddering old Chad was almost 10 years younger than my son! I remember my ears perking up when on another podcast Nate briefly mentioned putting his 70-year-old mom on the trainer, and I thought “Hey, I really am in the club, and I’ll bet she gives him an earful of things to thing about!”
Personally, I’d have set the geezer age at 65 for a number of reasons — e.g. average retirement age, which frees up time — but won’t quibble as long as it’s recognized that we really old people have goals just as passionately felt but different from young crit-racers or downhillers, or even “Masters” Chad’s age. I’m also heartened that Amber may be helping on this, so we don’t have to start the letter-writing campaign to Nate’s mom. She consistently mines out the potential in apparently daunting situations (e.g. rain or a loony physiology) so I trust her to treat advanced age as cheerfully.
The wish list has already started. I won’t add to it until after I find time to post my list of specific reasons why I feel so deeply indebted to the TR team, despite being such an outlier in the demographic, and maybe irrelevant to TR’s mission of getting me ever faster. For now just an observation about the demographics. Sure, there are a fair number of us older people here in the forum and/or subscribing to TR. But beyond that, age is a different kind of outlying than some other parts of one’s profile — like height, weight, disabilities, genes, etc. Although only a handful of current TR users are close to 80 today, absolutely 100% of them will be someday, unless they die first. So they too have a stake in this topic, and are welcome.
I don’t know if @scotscyclist65 meant it that way but I just love the black humor of: