Thoughts From a Mid-life Cyclist: 40 Years Young!

I reached the milestone of 40 this year, which means I’m officially in the ‘Masters’ category for racing. They say age is just a number, but I am definitely feeling the physiological changes beyond the growing number of grey hairs!

I just can’t do the late nights anymore and hard rides take more than a curry and cobra to recover from. And I’ve definitely become a bit more conservative on the descents (is this because I’m now a dad… or is it the rim brakes?)  

Despite these ‘concerns’, I’m actually optimistic about the road ahead and would almost go so far as to say that I’m probably a better rider now than I was 10 years ago. I’m certainly more knowledgeable and conscientious with how I treat my body, and as such, I’m much better at knowing when to push and when to hold back. I’m certainly more efficient, but I’m having to learn new ways of getting the most out of my body.

In the past I’ve made ALL the mistakes (overtraining, poor bike fit, poor sleep hygiene etc.) but perhaps this is the pathway everyone needs to really understand what they need. You need to fail and mistakes to realise the truth (I talked about this recently on Instagram). 

So don’t be afraid to fail, take risks, make mistakes… but do so backed with knowledge… life is an experiment, cycling is an experiment. This is what we try to encourage in all our bike fits. There is NO PERFECT position (sorry!), there are only choices… choices based on what you want to achieve through your cycling… what works best for you?… I don’t know… the only way to know is to try different things… reassess… and try again! 

So, keep on learning, keep on experimenting, keep on pushing, keep on failing (well!) and keep on improving. We’re chasing a moving target… but that’s part of the fun! 

Thank you to Tabs for inspiring these words. He is THE happiest grandad I know, and he’s done this through enjoying his cycling. He’s just completed the biggest cycling challenge of his life, the Pan Celtic Ultra. Kudos to all those behind the Ultra Distance Scholarship who have made this happen for him 🙂 

If you like real pages, I’d highly recommend The Midlife Cyclist (despite the title) to ANY cyclist over 30. There’s so much good advice here and some compelling reasons why strength training should be a critical part of how you can become a better cyclist.

If listening is your thing, then there’s a great Rouleur Podcast with Phil exploring all things Midlife and Cycling.

If you’re interested (and ALL endurance athletes should be!) in some strength coaching, check out our friends at STRENGTH FOR ENDURANCE as well as their blogYouTube channel and Podcast.

Words by: Wei

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