Progress report on our training program

Several of you have asked about our training progress since I retired from my radio show and full-time medical practice. Diana and I are a 66-year-old woman and a 73-year-old man who want to ride a tandem bicycle faster than any one else in our age group. We know that training for sports requires stressing and recovering. On one day, we take a hard workout in which we ride as fast as we can, feel sore the next morning, and then go slow for as many days as it takes for the soreness to leave our muscles.

Since we often go to rallies on weekends, we usually ride very fast on Saturday and Sunday. I feel so sore on Monday that I take the day off, and then go slowly for the next four days because it takes that long for my muscles to recover. So we are doing two hard days, followed by a day off, then four recovery days and repeat the cycle. I must tell you that training depends on how you feel, so our schedules vary from week to week, depending on how sore or tired we are. There are days when we plan to ride hard, but have to take an extra easy day or even a day off, or we can expect to become injured.

It took many years for us to get up to schedule we do now. Diana had never exercised hard until she was in her late forties, so she has built up gradually over the last 17 years. She has never had a wear-and-tear injury from riding too much, but she has had three serious injuries from crashes. On the other hand, I have spent my lifetime trying to exercise hard all the time and have paid with repeated, persistent wear-and-tear injuries. Until recently, I just refused to take days off.

Last Saturday we raced 62 miles over a hilly course almost as fast as we could, holding back a little because we knew that we had to ride fast the next day also. On Sunday we raced 45 miles. On Monday, my legs were so sore that I took the day off. On Tuesday, my legs were still sore so we rode 20 slow miles. On Wednesday, my legs were still tired so we rode 43 miles, mostly easy with slight pickups when other riders came along. On Thursday, we rode 38 miles and on Friday, 46 miles. That amounts to 253 miles for the week with one day off. We are doing so many miles now that I try to stay off my feet when I'm not riding, because I know that walking and standing delay muscle recovery from hard exercise. We have several wonderful cycling trips planned this summer and will post some pictures soon.


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