If you look at the race rankings, you will see that the master categories are one of the largest fields. Then look at their completion times and you’ll see how blazingly fast they are.
If you want to be on top of the podium in the Master 40 category, you must train hard and compete smartly.
Our bodies change as we age. Aerobic capacity and lactate threshold decrease. We experience a decrease in muscle fibers, strength and loss of muscle mass, and most of all, the biggest impact on training that we experience as we age is a slower recovery rate.
Exercise is the source of youth
Studies have shown that age-related losses are inevitable… you can’t hide from biology, but you can control the magnitude and timing of these losses.
Studies have also shown that lifestyle has a great influence on how quickly age-related decline occurs. If you slow down and adopt an older man lifestyle, you will regress at a steady pace. This is not your only option. Following a training plan aimed at mitigating age-related decline factors will reduce the fall and even postpone it altogether. We all know some “lifelong” athletes who are still competitive with runners decades younger than them.
The top four age-related decline factors to target in a master-40 training plan are:
• Aerobic capacity
• Lactate threshold
• Muscle loss
• Reduced recovery rate
A fifth factor, specific to mountain bikers, is technical ability.
Strength training should be a year-round routine for Master-40s to maintain their muscle mass. In the preseason, the focus should be on the heaviest weights to rebuild strength and muscle mass. In racing season, the focus should be on a low-volume maintenance program that allows more priority to be placed on training on the bike.
Aerobic capacity and lactate threshold
Aerobic capacity and lactate threshold must be trained throughout the year by master cyclists. Keep the volume low and the frequency low once or twice a week during the preseason, then increase the volume and frequency as the main races of the season approach. The key is to keep training year-round to prevent age-related declines from diminishing.
Recovery is the age-related decline that is most noticeable for cyclists. Obviously we take more time to recover from a hard race or training than we used to. Intense training sessions should be further separated in the training plan to allow for recovery and quality. Recovery weeks should appear in the training plan more frequently. This means that, in general, a master-40 can include fewer sessions and high-intensity runs in a training plan, therefore, you must get each one right enough to know how to fit them into your schedule.
A master-40 rider must use tools to speed recovery. The most important thing is to sleep. Aim for 8 or more hours per night and nap after training whenever possible. Sleep supercharges the release and recovery of beneficial hormones.
Nutrition is another critical factor. At 20, you were able to absorb lack of sleep and poor nutrition habits. At 40, that will lower your recovery rate, prevent quality training, and undermine your plan.
Other helpful recovery strategies include foam rolling, cold baths, compression garments, massage, stretching, stress management, and meditation.
Health and Injury Prevention
Consistency in training is a priority for masters, for which staying healthy is a requirement. However, as we age we accumulate injuries.
Injuries that set us back and never fully heal may need to be managed for life. Daily stretching, physical therapy, and yoga are appropriate to prevent these accumulated injuries from playing tricks on you.
Planned rest is always better than forced rest due to injury.
Technical skills can be a great strength for cyclists who have been pedaling for more than 25 years. This factor is purely a lifestyle factor and you can continue to develop downhill speed and technical riding skills beyond age 40 if it is a regular part of your training routine.
A 20-year-old rider has different natural abilities and training requirements than a 40-year-old rider and will thrive on a different training plan.
(Source: Lynda Wallenfels)
Original article: https://www.adnciclista.com/entrenamiento-master/