As I approach 60 I realise my fittest years are behind me, but I want to make the most of the fittest years I have left, which I want to make the most of, there are still things I want to do before I inevitably can’t, I know those fittest years I have left could be dictated by health issues, so it could be this year, in 5 or 15 years.

Normally as a racer often that finish line can’t come soon enough, but now I want that finish line to be as far away as possible when it comes to the decline in my fitness and health.

I’m already dealing with a couple of health issues for a few years now, autoimmune diseases, which I manage, but I’m used to managing health issues as I’ve had to manage a back issue my whole cycling career, Spondylolisthesis, so there’s already things I can’t do because of these but I work around them and do the things I can do.

I’ve realised in the last couple of years just riding a bike isn’t great for my fitness longevity, I love being fit and the feeling I get from it, but I’ve realised it’s movement I need most, I still ride 4 to 5 times a week averaging 5 to 6 hours a week which is enough to get my fix of cycling and keep my aerobic base, I’m not after peak fitness anymore, I’m not chasing increases in FTP or VO2, I’m quite happy in the middle so I can maintain fitness all year. The people that follow me on Strava are sometimes amazed at the speed I can still ride at, but health and fitness isn’t about how fast you are, you might be doing half my speed but as long as you’re consistently doing it you could be as fit and healthy as me. One of the fittest people I know is my old GP but he doesn’t ride around at my speed, but he can run a marathon, swims outside, but can walk across the Alpes with his wife from Chamonix to Verbier for 9 days with full backpacks. 

So today I’m trying to be a more rounded athlete, I still call myself an athlete because it’s who I am, I’m doing more off the bike to help me in my old age, for 10 to 15 years time, things that you take for granted now, I walk most mornings for 20min, often go for an 8mile walk in stead of a bike ride, started doing body weight and balance exercises at home, it feels a long way off but these things will help me in my 70’s and 80’s do the simple things we now take for granted, I’m doing half the riding I was 3 to 4 years ago but physically and mentally I feel better for it by mixing it up.

My advise is to have an holistic approach to your fitness, be consistent, mix it up and listen to your body, if you’re still chasing FTP and VO2 improvements because you’re racing still mix it up and listen to your body, remember we don’t recover as quickly as we used to, so often less is more, one of the reasons I like walking is it forces me to slow down but I’m still moving.

My daughter says ‘daddy you still think your 20’, I admit when I get on a bike now I’m still that 20 year old kid that loves riding a bike and long may it continue.

‘You don’t stop playing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop play’, Keep playing as long as you can, as what you do today you may not be able to do tomorrow.

Sorry for the long post it’s an age thing!

To health, fitness and happiness,



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