What's considered "old" to train?

In my early 30’s - while racing with a local squad in Germany, mind you - I got dropped on a climb by the over-70 women’s world champion at the time… :grimacing:



I think that is possibly a little harsh. It’s a valid question in terms of self-doubt, at times.
I played a moderate standard of football up until Coronavirus lockdowns killed that at 40.
The team I played for often had kids coming in who had just “washed out” of professional academies, so each year I was turning up to the first day of training as a later and later 30s bloke wondering if he could still keep pace with teenage kids…

It’s a perfectly legitimate point of self-doubt to wonder whether you can still achieve what you want to as you get old (and what’s wrong with a tiny bit of “chest beating” (so long as it’s not rubbed in others’ faces) if you find you can?)

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40’s was my endurance prime, setting PRs in races etc. After a couple of years off and turning 50+ just means adjusting expectations, but all completely achievable.

Next time you do a no vid workout, can I recommend watching an Ironman world championship re-run on YouTube.

After the pros finish, the age groupers stories will give you inspiration and a genuinely humbling experience.
They get me every time.

Try googling Dick Hoyt, or Sister Madonna Buda

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Hi @Fantom i haven’t read the book yet but it’s on my to do list. You and @njgecko Check out this podcast with the author, incidentally Colby Pearce is awesome as well, great gems in there.

#threadhijack :slight_smile: :innocent:

Check it out: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/cycling-in-alignment-with-colby-pearce/id1565828578?i=1000536926286

Podcast with Phil Cavell

No chest pounding here, just backing up our encouragement with our own examples. I especially like @Coach.Spencer.R’s example of his father who is over 90 years old.

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Adding strength training and yoga certainly has its benefits. As well as improving strength and mobility, Strength especially has great health benefits. As we get older, we experience a drop in muscle mass and bone mass, adding Strength can help slow this process meaning you can be less likely to experience muscle and bone issues as you get older


In my early 30s, I was doing a hilly double metric century - about 3-4000m climbing. I passed a group of about 3 gray-bearded guys having fun - they were probably in their 60s or 70s - and it gave me… hope? Not quite the right word, but something close… that I would be enjoying cycling when I got to be their age. Now that I’m in my mid-50s, it’s comforting to be reminded of that moment.

I’m sure those guys didn’t just decide on a whim to borrow some bikes and give it a go. They were kitted up and riding some nice bikes. And I’m guessing they had been training in some form or fashion (group rides or whatever), otherwise they would not have been enjoying it. Who knows, maybe they started training in their 40s, or even later.

As for me, I dusted my bike off about a year ago after 8 years of no riding, and am finally back to roughly where I was 10 years ago. Not there yet for long or steep climbs, but I’m still improving. I find I need to be more methodical about it, but it’s still fun!


I was still winning open races when I was 40. Now I’m 60 and have slowed but still train everyday unless I’m deliberately taking a day off. I needed something time efficient and find that the sufferfest work out really well


#%*^ eh 60?? Me what??

You’ll know I’ve stopped training when you read my obituary.


Too dead to train

(I thought better of posting a real cadaver)


I’d guess that the bell curve of the age of Sufferfest/Systm users hits its peak around 40-50 so you’re in good company.

As for training, I suppose it depends what your training for. I’m 46 and I’m “training” to just be fitter than I used to be which isn’t really hard as I spent most of my teens/twenties clubbing/partying and most of my 30s eating. Lock down got me into Zwift and from there I came to the Sufferfest as I wanted more structure. I can say categorically (although anecdotally as I’ve still got to do FF… eek!) that, after 4ish months of following a SF/Systm plan, I feel fitter and stronger than I have EVER felt so it definitely works for me.


I am almost 70. I do wonder sometimes how hard I need to train, if so, why? does it matter if I get a few watts better? who would care?. The bottom line is that I am still competitive with myself , I enjoy a challenge , and so currently do not mind working hard


A common question I think.

If you read “Lifespan: Why we age - and why we don’t have to.” it will confirm what I’m sure you already know - the answer is not in some miraculous pill or anti-ageing clinic but in doing what you’re already doing. Any watts you gain are really just a nice by-product. The author also stresses the importance of reducing volume as we get older but not intensity. Stressing our body is good for us. +10 for Sufferfest/ SYSTM workouts.


If it is, I should order my rocking chair now. Since I turned 60 I have done at least a dozen imperial centuries, countless triathlons including a Half Ironman and still have a full IM and a run at Knighthood ahead of me. I turned 66 yesterday.

Come back and re-ask the question (age adjusted) in 2050. Until then, enjoy!!


I’m 55 and still going strong. Only stopped CX racing during covid lockdown after 10 seasons I also ran an ultramarthon aged 47 and two Dirty Reivers 200km gravel races aged 50 and 51. You’re never too old, but your focus changes, I am unlikely to win anything now but enjoy being fit enough to take part and give it a decent go.


Couldn’t have said it better!!


My in-laws are in their mid-nineties. They either garden or go to the gym together every day. My in-laws are awesome.


I plan on continuing to ride until I’m the only one in my age group. Then I’ll win every event I enter!!! Until then, I’m just trying to keep the rubber side down.


Outlast. That has always been my strategy as well. :wink: