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Cycling Coach For Over 40 Riders

Is it still worth having a cycling coach when you are past 40? We spoke to coached rider Paul Southern, 46, for his opinion.

‘I’m not sure that 40 is necessarily the start of a slippery slope in terms of cycling performance, I guess it probably varies rider to rider. It is however, inescapable that as you get older your performance will begin to slowly decline’ explains Paul. ‘This certainly has not meant my fun or competitive years are over.  What is highly likely is that along with age comes a variety of other challenges that I certainly found a coach really helps address.’ What Paul has found is that it also opens new avenues, meaning you can arguably be more competitive than you may have been in your late 30’s.

‘Time constraints certainly seem to ramp up around the middle-aged years. Family, work and other such things all seem to conspire to make quality training time increasingly harder to find. There is also no doubt with these constraints come an appreciation for the time you do get on the bike.  Personally, I like to use the time wisely and this is where having a coach comes in. A coach will provide quality training designed to work in tune with time commitments, helping you get the most out the time you have on the bike. Your sessions can be quite flexible to, allowing for those days when getting out becomes impossible!’ Adds Paul. ‘On these days, a quick chat with my coach takes away any stress I may have caused myself by missing the session. That 2nd opinion has really added something I could never achieve on my own’.

‘I certainly never thought at any point I would be a professional rider- or even close- but this doesn’t stop me having aspirations. A good coach has really helped me with this. It doesn’t matter if it’s a National level race, a 3rd cats crit, a Time Trial, Sportive or a Charity event, having someone helping you achieve your goals is a fantastic feeling!’

We agree. When you are training hard on a regular basis, getting the right amount of rest and recovery is vital, perhaps even more so as you get older. It’s important to remember fitness comes from resting as much as training and a good coach will ensure you not only don’t overcook things, but also ensure you have the right balance of fitness and freshness for your key events.

‘Whatever age you are, cycling is an extremely tough sport, and in my opinion one of the toughest. Training to be competitive at any age will take a lot of commitment and motivation and frankly that can be a little tougher to muster as you get older. The amount of times I have come close to hitting snooze and going back to sleep skipping training are many, we have all been there. Something always ensures I get up and head out though, a huge part of that for me is knowing that my coach has carefully spent time preparing a session for me, the least I can do is get out on my bike and get it done’ explains Paul.

‘Coaches know, they just do! Most coaches are either riders themselves or ex riders, they know how you feel, they know the challenges, they know the suffering. Having someone who understands on hand to add that little note of acknowledgement for your efforts onto your Training Peaks comments section can have a very positive effect. I now cannot see myself riding without one and see the financial cost of having a coach to be far outweighed by the benefit of enjoying my riding more.’

Thanks Paul!