Something I’m trying to cultivate an addiction for, Long Slow Distance.

In my cross training days, 30 odd years ago cycling had to be fitted in with running and swimming and was pared back to fit the available time. I tried to do one long ride, one session of intervals and one or two short rides a week. A short ride was usually followed immediately by a run to help get used to the transition between the two activities. Long slow distance was helpful for building stamina without leaving yourself so over-tired that the next session could not be faced. Sadly all my swim sessions were short slow distance, not my strong suit the swimming.

Now that I’m a born again cyclist I’m looking forward to introducing both a long ride and some interval sessions into the routine. With three months of setting down a base during which time three kilograms just went away without dietary modification I’m ready for the LSD. The added bonus is that exercising at a relatively gentle pace will metabolise fat.

Back in the jogging boom of my middle years I came across a rule of thumb for calculating your chances of surviving a long run. If you had a base fitness derived from four or five sessions a week you could expect to cope with a run that was up to three times your average run. You would need to back off on your pace a bit. It worked well enough for me.

So in working out what my long ride should be I took my typical ride of 20 km and multiplied it by three and scaled it back a bit in deference to my advanced age. I completed the second one today …

Achievements, my goodness, Strava just keeps on giving!

Post exercise recovery is slower in older athletes largely because of poorer muscle repair processes. A very readable article on the subject can be found by clicking <Here>. It suggests that …


  • Masters athletes should consider implementing age-specific dietary protein strategies. Specifically, increasing their post-exercise protein intake to ~0.4-0.6, and consuming high quality leucine-rich whey (milk-based) protein, particularly if previous training has resulted in muscle-damage.

  • Masters athletes should consider implementing the above dietary protein strategies, namely increased dose of protein at all main meals and post-exercise to optimise daily protein synthesis rates for muscle protein remodelling and thus facilitate adaptation to training.

Going too hard too soon will make you feel lousy and leads to abandoning your exercise routine. With that in mind I don’t intend to start high intensity training (intervals) right away.

It is, however, a good time to scrutinise my diet.


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