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You mention testosterone a few times in this article to support recommendations of intensity and strength training. Same reco's for women?


Really great post!
As a 60+ recreational rider I vow to add more intensity to my program even if it requires some cut back in my mileage.

David Tichy

Hi Joe.....did you notice the recent testing done by Miguel Indurain. Looks like at 46 he still retains pro level fitness..


Cheers David

Joe Friel

Jennifer--Yes, women produce testosterone during sleep also. One study even found that they release relatively more than men.

Andrew Voris

Have your fueling recommendations changed since this article? We do significant amount of work in this area and are following Bob Seebohar's recommendation of much less carbohydrate due primarily tomthe increase of cortisol. Are you familiar with him and what do you think?

Andy Edwards

Joe - in Training Bible you say that Masters should not cut short their base period (which is all about strength & endurance). Can you please clarify in the context of your intensity points above. Thanks.

Joe Friel

Andy, that's still the case. Never shorten base period.but when it's time to train hard, make it hard instead of. Lot of LSD.

Joe Friel

Andrew, I agree with Bob on most all things nutritional. Good luck.


Great article Joe. Are you advocating little or no LSD, and how many strength training sessions per week?

Joe Friel

paulgdonovan--It comes down to what we mean by LSD. I don't include aerobic threshold training in LSD and see a need to do a great deal of that in base. I would define LSD as being z1 and avoid that.


Very interesting article. I've heard that triathletes do better when a bit older as their endurance improves? Not sure if its true but agrees with your concept of getting older and faster.


Joe; Thanks for the article and books. I wonder if this applies to older but untrained "athletes". I am a 65 year old duathlete but have been competing for only 5 years and find endurance to be my limiter.

Joe Friel

Don--Endurance is slow to develop. Hang in there.


I have a related but unrelated question. A casual observation of the information available on the internet suggests that most endurance athletes reach their prime in their 30's. Is this because it requires 10-15 years of training to peak or is it because the body reaches its most adaptable state at about 30 years old regardless of training?

I have searched the internet for studies that might answer this question, but I have found nothing that suggests any endurance related adaptations have time courses on the order of 10-15 years. I have found information that suggest V02Max and anaerobic power/capacity have time courses on the order of 8-12 weeks (i.e. they peak after just 8-12 weeks of training). I also found some information that power at lactate threshold has a time course of 2-3 years. I have not found any information on the time course of neuromuscular power (e.g. CP0.2).

This information leads to believe that the answer to my question is that endurance athletes peak in their 30's because their body is the most adaptable then; not because it requires 10-15 years of training to peak. Does the 10,000 hour rule (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_%28book%29) not apply to endurance sports?

I have read accounts of female cyclists that became professionals after only a few years in the sport. These seem to support my hypothesis. Are there similar examples of male cyclists?

What are your thoughts, Joe?


For what it's worth, this is the best source of information I have been able to find on the time course of chronic training adaptations. I misstated the time course of lactate threshold. The article states a figure of 3-4 years not 2-3.

The Time Course of Training Adaptations
Copyright 1996 Stephen Seiler

This article is old and hard to find. It's also unclear where the data was sourced from since there are no references.

Joe Friel

Mike--That's a good piece from Seilor and well worth the read. Sharp guy.


The reason I bring this up in response to this blog post is:

1) I have read many articles like this and
my impression is that the intended audience is an older athlete that has trained and competed from a young age (<30 years), climbed to a peak, and is now wondering how fast they will fall.
3) Although I am an older athlete (42), I entered the sport only 3 years ago and I am wondering how far I have to go up not down.

The more I read and the more power data I collect, the more I think I have don't have much farther to go up before I start going down.

Bill Cullins

Good article related to aging athletes – thanks! Several aspects still appear to be a dichotomy, however. You recommend workouts above 80% intensity two or three times each week and also strength training. That would be (for me) four to five hard workouts per week (2-3 intense + 2 strength). I find that it takes me at least two days to recover from hard intensity workouts such as power stomps on the bike or 6-8 minute zone 4 intervals. Same goes for lower body strength training – it works, but quite a bit of recovery is needed. The end result is that I have to “block” a hard interval workout with a strength session on the same day and then do easy recovery sessions for a couple of days afterward.

For reference, I’m 64, 30+ years as a cyclist and runner, and compete primarily in cyclocross, duathlons, and trail running. My hard workouts are fairly intense … I can maintain almost 98% of my max HR during a 3 mile cycling field test and about 95% during a 30 min TT @ threshold.

I guess the bottom line is just to do fewer workouts but keep the intensity high?

Joe Friel

Bill--Yes, it can be difficult to fit everything and still recover. That's the last piece I hope to write on this topic (when things let up a bit--if ever!).

John Hetfield

Thanks for the information you shared through your blog. I am an aging athlete and I loved and enjoyed reading your blog because I got so many useful and helpful information. Thanks again!

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