I can’t help but conclude that 1) getting older can be a bollocks right enough and 2) it’s also a case of use it or loose it.
I’m not in denial about getting older you understand. It’s just it’s a love / hate thing. I rather like my the lines all over my face but the salt & pepper hair sucks and a Just For Men rinse would be a tad ridiculous. I love having decade’s worth of previous experience in my database (and occasionally I even learn from previous mistakes and don’t repeat said mistake again) but the flappy, wrinkly skin over where my quads used to be makes me hanker for another day in the body of the 17 year old version of myself.
Still, what can you do about it ..? Well, quite a lot it seems. I found myself in a book shop the other day and picked up a copy of Joe Friel’s book “Fast After 50”. Flicking through it, two key messages jumped out – the decline in sporting performance as we age isn’t quite as rapid as was once thought and if we don’t use it we loose it. Or put another way – if we expect to go slower and ride slower as a consequence guess what …. we go slower. However, if we push ourselves in training (appropriately when conditioned, of course) we keep more of our ability for longer. As Mick Hucknell crooned in the mid ’80’s “I’ll keep holding on”.
The other things that I’ve learned about being an ageing “athlete” is taking extra protein (supplement or real food) post training really does speed up one’s recovery. For me it’s the difference between 2 decent training sessions a week and lots of muscular fatigue and 4 decent training sessions a week and light, manageable fatigue. It’s a sort of magical elixir of youth for non dopers.
So if you find yourself saying “I would have done that ride when I was younger” why don’t you just make it happen instead. Use it or lose it right enough. There’s maybe none of us “Vets” that’ll be going faster than we once did but perhaps we can all start going less slow for longer.
Oh, if you have the notion to “Use It” across the Alps or the Pyrenees then we have a range of rather splendid and fully supported trips across both.