We have received a pleading e-mail from Jeffrey Evans in Silverdale, WA; who feels that his age (48) is slowing him down and what can he do to combat it. This is inevitable, age slows us down and changes our body, so we run through some things he can do to help his riding, but we can’t stop the ravages of age.
Question: Been actively riding again for about 3 years…48 years old…didn’t ride for about 30 years…having a hard time with my stamina…can’t seem to keep with the younger guys …I know…age, but what can I do to improve? I try to ride at least 30 miles on quick elevation change trails, but not extremely hilly by no means…full suspension bike..good components. What do ya think I can do to help?
Age catches up with us all eventually, but there are a few things we (yes, we!) can do to combat the problem.
At 40 you can just about do the same things you could do when you were 30, but when you get to 50 then your body has changed and it takes longer to recover, so training less and resting more will help. By all means, ride your bike as much as you want, but only do a hard ride twice a week at most, on the other days ride your bike but don’t push it too far and on off days take it easy. You need to recover and then you should be able to ride harder on the other days.
Eat well and sensibly, lots of fruit and vegetables. Take a good multi-vitamin and vitamin C as this will make sure that your body has all that it needs. Your joints will be less supple so you should be doing stretching exercises or/and yoga to help your movement. Some other supplements you might consider could be oil, either Cod Liver or Salmon and also Organic Silicium as these will help the joints and flexibility.
The speed you can pedal at will drop as you get older, so experiment with using bigger gears when you can and rely on your technical skills and bike handling abilities to get ahead of your younger ride partners. Younger riders are going to be fitter and faster, but if you use your head more and try to build up your flexibility. Your other option is to get older ride partners! Your bike is probably as good as it can be, concentrate more on your body and mind.