- - New Book: "The Midlife Cyclist"

New Book: “The Midlife Cyclist”

With the help of medical experts, leading coaches, ex-professionals, and pro-team doctors, cycling biomechanics pioneer Phil Cavell produces a practical guide for mature cyclists who want to stay healthy, avoid injury, and maximize their achievement levels.

Midlife Cyclist offers a gold standard road-map for the mature cyclist who aims to train, perform and even race at the highest possible level. Cycling has seen a participation uplift unprecedented in any sport, especially in the 40, 50 and 60-year-old age groups. These athletes are the first statistically significant cohort to maintain, or even begin, genuine athletic performance beyond middle-age. But, just because we can continue to tune the engine into old age, does that mean that we should? And, what do these training efforts do to the aging human chassis? This book answers those questions and offers a guide to those elongating their performance window.

Using case studies and expert contributions from all aspects of the sport, Midlife Cyclist looks at cycling as an aging person’s exercise of choice, the physical implications of hard training, and the use of sport medication and specific training in combating them. It also considers the age-specific questions raised, including what happens to performance as we mature? Will the bike specifications alter as our bodies change? Should we refine our riding technique and how do we best deploy the psychological advantages of being older riders?

more from the author…

I had been thinking about The Midlife Cyclist for a while. Long before we hosted the two Midlife lecture Series at Cyclefit in 2017 and 2018. We had been tracking a trend for over a decade where our clients were both getting older but also training and riding harder – expecting more of both body and bike. And then in a handful of years, few things happened that lit a bonfire under midlife performance – power-meters, Strava and Zwift. Not only could we quantify and track our pain, but we could now also compare it to our friends and rivals pain all around the world. There were no limits now.

FTP to Crash-Test Dummies

FTP became the unabashed god. And we had become the crash-test dummies for future generations who wanted to explore elite physical fitness into middle-age and beyond.

Which posed quite a few questions:

  • Just because we can – does it mean we should? What are the health risks of intense training into middle-age and beyond?
  • If exercise is fundamentally healthy, is more exercise necessarily more healthy?
  • Is the advice different for male and female athletes?
  • Is the advice different for new-to-exercise athletes?
  • Is cycling sufficient on its own? Do we need to supplement with other activities?
  • Is there such a thing as too much exercise or training too hard?
  • Should middle-aged athletes change the way they train, eat, sleep, drink, live as they age?
  • Is alcohol harmful or beneficial as we age?
  • Is the research-based advice different for men and women athletes? (spoiler alert, it is)
  • How important is stress/inflammation as we age and train? Is this burden different for men and women?

The Midlife Cyclist is my attempt to square the holy triumvirate of age, speed and good-health, using the very latest clinical and academic research.


You can buy The Midlife Cyclist here from Cyclefit or here from Amazon.

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