Am I Too Old To Start Racing?

A long term client of A1 coaching called me yesterday.

When he came to A1 coaching at first he was a sportive rider and although he never rode a race he was an active member of his respective club.

He has moved in and out of working with me one to one due to work and life commitments but from my perspective it’s always been a symbiotic relationship.

‘Oul fella’

You see he’s pushing 50 which makes him pretty much twice my age. He believes I’m miles ahead of my age in terms of life lived but I just think he’s a big child.

Anyway it works and we learn a lot from each other.

He now resides in A1 members and gives me the odd call to make sure all’s in order.

This didn’t happen overnight and he was years getting to this level of autonomy – but it works. Really well.

You see he never liked being ordered around but (he won’t mind this) he was a Fred of the highest order so had no choice, if he wanted to improve he had to listen.

3 years later he is just finished he first ever competitive season, netting a top 10 in his final race of the season a few weeks back.

Shitting himself

We went through a full season of discussions before I convinced him he would be well able to hold his own in a race.

He was like bamby on ice when he started and was incredibly nervous, but he had something not every rider possessed.

Desire, commitment and a willingness to progress.

I can almost smell these attributes off a rider at this stage and he had them in abundance.

He also loves a bit of hardship – this also helps!

Super green as he was, we began the process.

Barrier my arse

Our friend is living proof.

If you have patience, you’re consistent and serious about your training, then you will undoubtedly become fitter faster and stronger, regardless of your age.

Our friend went from being someone he peddled along with guys his own age for a scone twice a week, to regularly riding with lads 20 years younger than him.

Right, if you’re in the over-50 category, don’t write off high intensity training just yet!

The difference our mate had in the quality of life as a result was unbelievable.

That much so his lovely wife (who bakes a whopper scone by the way) sent me a thank you card for helping with her husband’s health.

A highlight of my somewhat tender coaching career so far.

High intensity workouts (HIIT) will help you to achieve better results in far less time.

These results will be so obvious you can’t help but feel better about yourself.

Take away points if you are considering racing as an elder lemon!

  • I wouldn’t proceed with anyone (no disrespect) without the all clear from the doc, so go and get yourself a once over and the all clear from your doctor.
  • Find a plan that uses a tried and tested approach and one that you can get feedback from and ask questions!
  • Do strength training! Cycling all year round on its own is great but for your general health you really should be doing a little strength work.
  • Recovery! This is super important and where you can use your smarts over the younger folk. Look after your recovery which includes nutrition and sleep!
  • Include some high intensity sessions you will reap the benefits, trust me!
  • Patience and consistency. Chip away at it and it will happen for you!

The seed is planted!

Aaron Buggle

About the Author