Masters Racers- What’s The Commonality?


My good friend and coach Bruce Hendler recently wrote a nice summary of the issues facing master’s racers. And racing as an ‘old man’ isn’t as futile as you may think.

Here’s an excerpt…”As a coach, I am continuously amazed at how well masters athletes can perform, especially versus younger athletes.”

Of course some of us ultra-competitive guys know in our ‘inner selves’ that even Lance Armstrong wouldn’t have stood a chance if we’d been racing when we were young.

Ha! Take that.

But enough of the bravado and posturing, here is some of what Bruce wrote after working with hundreds of masters cyclists.

I’ll include a tidbit from each segment of his article. You can see the original article by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

  • Maximum heart rates drop with each year we trod the highways and bi-ways of this ole planet. This may necessitate a ‘recalibration’ of training intensity zones.
  • Body composition shifts…and not in the most excellent direction.
  • Max VO2 drops about 10% per decade.
  • It takes longer to recover from workouts as the years go on. Bruce didn’t write this, but I’ll just add that you won’t be able to recover at all from the second to last day of your life.
  • As the years go on, we lose our ability to detect thirst.
  • We become more sensitive to heat as the years accumulate.
  • And to top it off, we’ve got them outnumbered…USA cycling has 53% of its members between the ages of 35-54 and only 19% of its members from the ages of 19-34.

  • You can easily get to the ‘real’ article here.

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