The Secrets to Staying Strong as You Age, with Ned Overend

Maintaining strong training on the bike while aging isn't as difficult as it may seem, as guest MTB champion Ned Overend illustrates. We will delineate what age effects truly exist — for example, a drop in maximum heart rate — and others that have been traditionally attributed to aging that now appear to be trainable, such as a loss in fast-twitch muscle fiber strength.

Ned Overend Mountain Bike Fast Talk Podcast
Ned Overend (Specialized) zips up his new UCI World Championship jersey following his victory in the men 55-59 event.

In this episode, we discuss something that’s a factor for many of us right now, but will ultimately be a factor for all of us sooner than we’d like: the effects of aging. We’ve all said or heard it before: “I’m not what I was in my 20s!” Popular media would have us believe that after the age of 35 we will plunge off a precipitous cliff of decline, from which there’s no escape. Run out and buy your joint medication and back brace soon!

Or not. Is it really as grim as it’s made out to be? Today we’ll first address what the research says, and why even past research painted a much grimmer picture than reality. In simple terms, it’s hard to conduct a study tracking athletes over the course of 50 years, and there are many inherent issues with comparing current older athletes to current young athletes. We’ll explore.

Second, we will delineate what age effects truly exist — for example, a drop in maximum heart rate — and others that have been traditionally attributed to aging that now appear to be trainable, such as a loss in fast-twitch muscle fiber strength.

Finally, we’ll look at the changes that have taken place in cycling legend Ned Overend, and how he’s been able to remain strong through the years, with an emphasis on recovery and staying healthy. Overend was the first world champion of mountain biking, but more relevant to this podcast, he was still winning pro races, including the Mount Washington Hill Climb, into his 50s. Now in his 60s, Overend still rips with the local pros in Durango almost every week.

We have some fascinating data to analyze, including a lactate test that Overend performed when he was 53 (see below). We’ll also talk about how he trains, how he stays “young,” and what has slowly changed over the years despite his best efforts. He has some great advice not just for older athletes, but for anyone trying to stay strong on the bike.

In addition, we’ll hear from Dr. Jason Glowney, head of medicine at the University of Colorado Sports Medicine and Performance Center, who has plenty of real-world experience keeping older athletes on top form.

We’ll also hear from Fast Talk regular Frank Overton, owner of FasCat coaching, who has worked with many masters athletes over the years and races as a master himself.

Finally, we’ll hear from Glenn Swan, a three-time masters national champion and world champion about how he was able to scare the pros on the East Coast into his 50s.

So don’t despair. Age is just a number, right? With that, let’s make you fast!

  • Borges, N., Reaburn, P., Driller, M., & Argus, C. (2016). Age-Related Changes in Performance and Recovery Kinetics in Masters Athletes: A Narrative Review. J Aging Phys Act, 24(1), 149-157. doi: 10.1123/japa.2015-0021
  • Lepers, R., & Stapley, P. J. (2016). Master Athletes Are Extending the Limits of Human Endurance. Front Physiol, 7, 613. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2016.00613
  • Louis, J., Hausswirth, C., Easthope, C., & Brisswalter, J. (2012). Strength training improves cycling efficiency in master endurance athletes. Eur J Appl Physiol, 112(2), 631-640. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2013-1
  • Ozemek, C., Whaley, M. H., Finch, W. H., & Kaminsky, L. A. (2016). High Cardiorespiratory Fitness Levels Slow the Decline in Peak Heart Rate with Age. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 48(1), 73-81. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000745
  • Ozemek, C., Whaley, M. H., Finch, W. H., & Kaminsky, L. A. (2017). Maximal heart rate declines linearly with age independent of cardiorespiratory fitness levels. Eur J Sport Sci, 17(5), 563-570. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2016.1275042
  • Reaburn, P., & Dascombe, B. (2008). Endurance performance in masters athletes. [Review]. European Review of Aging and Physical Activity, 5(1), 31-42. doi: 10.1007/s11556-008-0029-2
  • Storen, O., Helgerud, J., Saebo, M., Stoa, E. M., Bratland-Sanda, S., Unhjem, R. J., et al. (2017). The Effect of Age on the V O2max Response to High-Intensity Interval Training. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 49(1), 78-85. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001070

Episode Transcript



Welcome to fast all the news podcast



everything you need to know to run. Hello, and


Chris Case  00:12

welcome to another episode of Fast Talk. I’m Chris case managing editor of velonews joined by my rather old co host, Coach Trevor Connor. Today we’re talking about something that’s a factor to many of us right now, but will ultimately be a factor to all of us sooner than we’d like. The effects of aging. We’ve all said or heard it before. I’m not what I was in my 20s I can’t keep up with them. They’re too young. popular media would have us believe that after the age of 35 will plunge off a precipitous Cliff of decline, from which there’s no escape, run out by your joint medication back brace. Get it all now or not? Is it really as grim as it’s made out to be? Today we’ll first address what the research says and why even past research painted a much grimmer picture than reality. In simple terms, it’s hard to conduct a study tracking athletes over the course of 50 years. And there are many inherent issues with comparing current older athletes to current young athletes will explore. Second, will delineate what age effects truly exist, like a drop in maximum heart rate, and the others that have been traditionally attributed to aging that now appear to be trainable, such as a loss in fast twitch muscle fiber strength. Finally, we’ll look at the changes that have taken place in one legend of cycling and how he’s been able to remain strong through the years with his emphasis on recovery and its methods for staying healthy. That main guest is a true legend. NET over and needs really no introduction, but a little background, first world mountain bike champion. But more relevant to this podcast, he was still winning pro races, including the Mount Washington hill climb in his 50s. Now in his 60s, Ned still rips with the local pros in Durango almost every week. Fortunately, we have some fascinating data to analyze including a lactate test, Ned performed when he was 53. We’ll post that on the velonews website. We’ll also talk about how he trains how he stays young and what has changed over the years despite his best efforts. He has some great advice not just for older athletes, but for anyone trying to stay strong on the bike. In addition, we’ll hear from Dr. Jason golani, head of medicine at the cu sports medicine and Performance Center, who has a lot of real world experience keeping older athletes on top form. We’ll also hear from Fast Talk regular Frank Overton, owner of fast cat coaching, who has worked with a lot of masters athletes over the years and races as a master himself. Finally, we’ll hear from Glen Swan, a three time masters national champion, and one time world champion about how he was able to still scare the pros on the East Coast into his 50s. So don’t despair. age is just a number right. With that. Let’s make you fast. Hey, Trevor, how many wearable gadgets do you have that tell you how healthy you are?


Trevor Connor  03:14

I have a whole bunch of wearable athletes, none of them.



That’s a couple athletes.



That’s weird. Do they accompany you on all your rides?


Trevor Connor  03:24

Yes, yesterday. Leave me alone. I have a whole bunch of wearable gadgets. But I’ve yet to find one that actually tells me I’m healthy. Hmm,


Chris Case  03:33

this is a good point. Well, that’s alright. Because health, which is a health insurance company built for healthy, active people like you like me, like Fast Talk listeners out there that might be runners, cyclists, triathletes. They’re able to give us favorable rates. And they have a special URL, www dot health Slash Fast Talk, where listeners of the show can go for their free quote. While you’re there. upload all that data from all your gadgets, show race results, screen grabs of your Strava or map my run account, or other proof that you’re indeed a regular cyclist or runner, or triathlete get better cool.


Trevor Connor  04:14

So if my wearable gadget only says you need help, well, I get a better quote. Absolutely.


Chris Case  04:26

It’s an honor, honestly to to have Ned on the program. He’s a humble legend has done so many amazing things in the sport. You look at his results over the years. He’s he won. Did you win mount Evans and Mount Washington while you were in your 50s? I believe that’s correct.



They are Yeah, I don’t know about mount Evans in my 50s but Mount Washington.


Chris Case  04:49

Yeah, it’s it boggles the mind. It kind of begs the question is net over and an outlier but we want to dive into you a little bit more. Get some systems specifics and and understand what has changed for you in terms of performance over the years.



Yeah. And, you know, I get asked a lot, the question, you know, because I’ve had some, some good results of it as a Masters athlete. People are always asking me, What is the secret. And of course, you know, as, as we know, there is no secret. But I do have a unique set of circumstances, which has helped me Stop decline as much as I get older, as helped me maintain that a large percentage of my co2 max. It’s kind of a complex variety of things. But one of them is that as I transitioned from being a professional athlete, and I retired from being a pro mountain bike racer, or specialized in 96, I got a job was specialized. And I was able to keep training and racing and being supported by them. And that rarely happens to athletes, when they retire from their pro career, they usually have to go into something else which detracts from their ability to train and race. As much as I’d like to.


Trevor Connor  06:13

You see, an older athletes, there’s often a big drop in training, volume and intensity, because they get jobs, they have kids, they just can’t train as much as they could when they were younger. And some what the researchers are saying now is, it might not be age might be life. And it sounds like you’re saying you had opportunities in life that some of us don’t get.



Yeah, yeah, I think for sure. And along with that, there’s other things. And another reason I think that I’ve been able to maintain a high percent of my vo to match is that my preferred style of training is more high intensity, low volume, or lower volume. From what I’ve read that higher intensity training is what helps you maintain your vo to max over time. So that’s been my preferred method of training. And the more that I’ve learned about how that’s effective in slowing the decline with age, the more I’ve kind of focused on it.


Chris Case  07:16

When you say lower volume, could you give us a sort of a ballpark figure on what that means?



Well, I, for instance, right now, I train an average of about 10 to 12 hours a week. So that’s, that’s pretty low volume was with some good intensity in there. And that’s a mixture and I do hours because if you do it in miles, mountain bike training doesn’t really relate to miles. Right. But our our wife, and that’s, that’s less volume than I I was doing when I was 45. But still, I think that’s, that’s overall people be surprised that you know, you can race at the elite level on on that low of a lion.


Chris Case  08:01

So Ned, let’s get back to the specifics here. What’s different about you now, from from the time when you were at the highest levels of the sport when you were 2030 years old?



Well, it’s been a long time, right? It’s been like 30 years of racing, you know, mountain road, cyclocross triathlons, you kind of have to go back and compare my different training diaries to really figure it out. Because you Only you get old slowly, right, just like one day at a time. So it changes very slowly. But, but I’ve been going back over some of my training diaries and, and just over Strava, I’ve been on Strava, since 2012, looking at the volume change, and the not necessarily the intensity, but the frequency of training. And there’s definitely, just in the last five years, there’s been about a 15% decrease in in hours trained in overall volume. One of the things I’ve noticed the most is that there’s more bad days. And I think what that relates to is recovery. If I can go out on some some days training now when I will feel so slow that I’m I’m shocked at how weak I feel, right? It’s like, and that’s related to recovery, because I’m still doing some high intensity workout. So what I noticed is that if I don’t get the proper recovery, recovery, I really have some, some poor some days were on where my performance is really poor.


Chris Case  09:43

What about in terms of your performance, looking at your physiological tests that we’re going to get to in a moment, it seems like you have the profile of someone who can go now at your age or the death The test was done about 10 years ago. For really long time at a pretty hard rate, but you’ve lost that top end that that ability to cover attacks or, or things like that, is that something that you’ve noticed compared to 20 years previously?



Well, I actually feel pretty good about. And I gave myself a lot against others in group Brides, you know, fast group bride situations, we have a Tuesday night ride here in Durango, with a lot of fast kids from Fort Lewis College and a lot of the local mountain bike pros and some road pros. And I actually do pretty well, as far as accelerations and closing gaps. And things like that, I feel like I did well there because, you know, I’m able to close those gaps and, and join the break when a lot of guys, you know, fail to fail to close the gaps behind me. But one thing that I was weak at was my finishing speed. And that has definitely appeared to have gotten even worse. That’s if I finish a race with a group of six guys. It’s it’s a pretty rare circumstance where I’m not the last guy in the spring, right? It wasn’t, it wasn’t quite that bad when I was 40, or 35. Mm hmm.


Trevor Connor  11:19

Somebody else in my world. If I want to win a race, there has to be no other cyclist in sight. So



yeah, that’s frustrating, because there’s not that many courses which lend themselves to those kind of finishes. My bike is good for.


Chris Case  11:31

So Trevor, I know as always, you’ve done a lot of looking into the the latest research on trends that have been seen in an older athletes, why don’t you give us a sense of what those Hallmark trends have been in the in the research?


Trevor Connor  11:46

Yeah, I actually read a ton of research for this, because right now, I’m staying at Chris’s place, and you’re watching some silly British show on TV. So how to find excuse to get away. The research has been fascinating. I actually really enjoyed reading this partially because of I’m 46. So this is becoming more and more relevant to me. But if there’s one theme that I hope we’re getting across that we’re also really seeing a net is this idea that yes, there is an age effect, certainly by the time you’re in your 70s, you just probably not possible to be as strong as you could have been in your 20s or were in your 20s. But a lot of what they’re attributing to age effect is more changes in the way you’re training. And this inevitability is not as dramatic as we thought. But looking at it from a high level, there’s definitely a you can find the curve that shows this, the expected decline that you’re going to see where it start, you start to experience it in your your mid to late 30s. It’s kind of gradual until you get to about 6070. And then you see a very rapid decline. The really important thing to know about this is this is all from cross sectional research. Meaning there isn’t somebody who started a study 50 years ago, taking a bunch of 20 year olds and watched what happened to them as they got to the age of 70. It’s more what they’re doing is comparing current 20 year olds to current 70 year olds. When you do that there are other factors did those seven year olds maintain their training through their whole life, certainly, 56 years ago, we didn’t have the sports culture we have now. So in some ways, you can’t compare them to the current 20 year olds. And what the research is starting to say is that cross sectional way of analyzing it is misrepresenting what happens with age. But one of the the proofs that they’re using for this is in the last 20 years, you’re seeing more and more people get involved in sports at a master’s level. And what you are seeing is relative to younger, what you’d call elite athletes, the performance of these masters athletes is improving dramatically. You’re also seeing the the average age of people who are winning championships going up. I think we just had our first 43 year old win the Iron Man a couple years ago. So you’re really seeing that know that this belief that once you hit 35, it’s all downhill. It’s not quite that crystal clear. And it’ll certainly say I back in 2009, I did a race down in your neck of the woods. I’m turning it was that three day stage race you have down in Durango?



The Iron Horse classic. Thank


Trevor Connor  14:30

you. Yeah, ironhorse I was still racing a full NRC calendar, then I thought I was pretty hot stuff. You’re at the race and I will say you kicked my butt.


Chris Case  14:41

He’s done that to a lot of people over the over the years


Trevor Connor  14:44

and I was in my 30s you’re in your 50s. So that was a real eye opener to me of what we thought about age might not be fully true. But here are quickly summarize the changes that they’re seeing and talk a little bit about what is truly Biological and what might not be, the biggest one that keeps coming up in the research is a decline in your vo two max. And that is primarily because of this drop in your heart rate, your max heart rate comes down with age.



And that’s that’s pretty typical right where older athletes cannot generate the same heart rate numbers as they get older. I mean, they have general theories for that for sedentary people, but I’m not sure how that relates to trained athletes


Trevor Connor  15:32

in the research yet. So that’s when they are looking at what are age. Age effects, one of the ones that that keeps coming up that they say this is a true age effect is a drop in your max heart rate. But there’s still a debate of how much it drops. So I found two studies. Looking into this debate last night, one that said no training status, no effect on the decline in max heart rate, it’s just gonna keep coming down. Another one said that actually highly trained athletes, it’s going to slow that decline. I’ve certainly known that I think my max heart rate in the last 15 years has dropped four beats, it really hasn’t dropped very much. But generally, what you see is it’s about 0.7 beats per minute per year. And when your heart rate drops, or max heart rate drops, you can’t pump blood as quickly or as much. So your vo two Max is going to come down. And that seems to be a true age effect. However, one of the other things that causes a drop in vo two Max is a drop in muscle mass. And that is something that you can train that you can do something about it. So that’s the first one. The other big, big change that you see and that you are describing some of this is a change in your muscle fibers. So you see a decline in those type two fast twitch muscle fibers. So you start losing them, they start losing their their cross sectional area. And you basically have this transition towards type one muscle fibers. And what’s really interesting is, in masters endurance athletes, not only do you not see a loss in type one muscle fibers, those are the ones that are what you call your endurance fibers, you purely oxidative they actually increase in cross sectional area. Along with that you actually see enhancements and oxidative enzymes, things like citrate synthase will will increase in older athletes. So essentially what you’re seeing is older athletes become almost these aerobic animals, just their pure robot monsters. And that’s certainly net a bit of what we are seeing in your profile. The question there is whether that is age related or training related, because in these studies, they were looking at older athletes who have had 20 plus years of endurance training, and a lot of them aren’t getting in a weight room, they’re just doing endurance training. So if you spent 20 years just riding a bike, you would expect to see a loss and fast twitch muscle fibers and an improvement in your slow twitch muscle fibers. So they’ve done some recent interesting studies actually hunted a while to see if they had these studies only found two. But when they took masters athletes off took them off the bike who were just doing endurance work and put them in a weight room. Well, you you saw these fast twitch muscle fiber, the strength will come back a bit decides would come back. So again, that might not be inevitability of age, it might be a training effect. The other major effect you see is when you look at lactate threshold, it does decline a bit not as much as vo two max. But interestingly, lactate threshold becomes a higher higher percent of vo two max. So I think it was actually in a longitudinal study where I saw this where they followed athletes, I think it was 25 years. And their lactate threshold. Like I said it didn’t decline that much. But it went from like 85% of their vo to max to upwards 90 to 93% of their vo to max. So the idea here is again, if you’re doing a time trial, you’re not going to see that much of a decrement in performance. Where you would struggle is when you try to go over threshold, you just don’t have that big jump that big burst, that big ability to throw out those one minute attacks that you might have had when you were younger. Because you’re actually when you’re at threshold much closer to your max ability. And that’s again exactly what you were describing earlier. So very interesting. That’s that’s what you saw.



Now, are you are you saying it would be more advantageous for masters athletes to do even shorter intervals, higher intensity in order to keep those fast twitch muscle muscle fibers from from losing those fast twitch muscle fibers?


Trevor Connor  19:56

Usually Sorry, I tell you the studies and I’m looking at some I’m looking at one right now it’s a 2017 study. So very recent in the journal medicine and science and sports and exercise. And the title of it is the effects of age on the vo two max response to high intensity interval training. And they basically say, when they take masters athletes and have them do very high intensity work. So sprint work shorter intervals, at very high intensities, that you could attenuate a lot of that drop in vo to max. Likewise, and I’ll put all these references up on the website, as we always do. There was another one that that showed that you could attenuate or even prevent some of this drop in your fast twitch muscle fiber, strength and size by getting in the weight room and they show that even into your 70s if you get into the weight room and do some heavy weight lifting, that you’re you can not only prevent that loss, but actually bring back some of that size and strength of those faster twitch muscle fibers. So really the the recommendation that I got out of the research is you can prevent a lot of these age effects by a maintaining to a degree volume of training. But more importantly, getting making sure you’re getting that high intensity training, and making sure that you are getting into the weight room and doing more strength work as you get older. And that it seems like that’s exactly what you’ve been describing.



Yeah, I have another question. Now. Say that the real world style of training I do where, you know, I don’t go out and do focused intervals like that. But this time of year, I’m doing cyclocross training. We have like a midweek cyclocross training race, and then we’ll race right cyclocross on weekends. And that kind of power surging out of every corner that you get with cyclocross and starting the race with a sprint, would that be that style of training, which could help masters athlete to generally just train their endurance muscle.


Trevor Connor  22:06

So I think this gets into the there’s a lot of different ways to skin the cat. It doesn’t have to be structured intervals, if you’re doing training races, you can get the same sort of benefits. And you might actually know a good friend of mine, Glen Swan, who you think you two are the exact same age. And he was a three time national champion in the time trial. And he always likes to say he never once did an interval workout, because he can’t stand intervals. But he would make sure he was doing training races and killing himself in those training races every week. And essentially, it was just doing intervals with other people around them.



Yeah, and it’s easier to do those intervals, cuz you’re not thinking so much just about your heart rate or your power. You’re thinking about getting on that wheel or kind of drop a guy in and it makes it more dynamic and, and exciting. I


Trevor Connor  22:54

think as long as you are getting those efforts, and you’re describing that you’re going to those Tuesday night local races, think you had mentioned that you do some strength training off the the bike. So you’re really doing what seems to be the things that are going to prevent a lot of these age effects. That’s what the research says about aging. But Chris and I decided to talk with Dr. Jason Clowney, head of Medicine at the University of Colorado sports medicine Performance Center. Dr. Maloney has a lot of experience helping masters athletes perform a therapist. So Chris, and I were very interested in seeing how he addresses the effects of aging seems to be in line with but both the research and Ned have to say,



Sure. with aging, obviously, there’s there’s a couple factors. One is the accumulation of injuries that happen as we age, we’re all active, we’re all out there, we see arthritis in the knees, and the effects that it can have on your ability to ride the bike to push out too hard watts, assuming everything is okay there and there’s not any chronic issues, you know, from a musculoskeletal standpoint that are holding you back. And one of the worries with aging that we have is the loss of fast twitch muscle and muscle bulk. So usually, my recommendations will be to serious age group athletes, Masters athletes got to incorporate strength training in their workouts, probably with from the years of 40 plus and on, I think that’s definitely beneficial. on doing some some checks like bloodwork, where will typically check ferritin, which is one of the better ways to look at iron, vitamin D, and things of that nature that can make sure that you can keep good good muscle health, where iron is important in myoglobin, which is in muscles, and you need that to extract oxygen from the bloodstream. Vitamin D is important for fast twitch muscle health as well. So those definitely play a big role. But probably one of the more important things is consistency. And so a lot of these athletes that you see who are 60 Plus, who are still doing really well, if they’re cyclists, they’ve been consistent. And that’s probably the secret to staying fit for a long period of time. And hopefully, if you’re lucky, you don’t run into an incident where you’re having a prolonged time away from the bike or from your sport. That’s definitely something that’s harder to dig out of, in particular things. We see our surgery That seemed to set patients back here in the clinic.


Chris Case  25:09

Hey, Trevor, after you do a six hour ride with 15,000 feet of climbing in Colorado, what do you like to eat?


Trevor Connor  25:20

So I would just do at a training camp with with one of my athletes. And there’s this amazing ice cream store in Boulder that has these incredible Ice Cream Sandwich. So we had a rule, we had to do six hours each day, and we finished six hours, we could have her Ice Cream Sandwich. And the last day he was absolutely dying, and we are at five and a half. And I said, Do you want to go home? Or do you want to finish the six hours with me and just looks at me and goes, if I go home, you’re gonna buy an ice cream sandwich and eat it in front of me.


Chris Case  25:53

You know, it’s all about balance, you get a ride to get your treats to be healthy.


Trevor Connor  25:59

Fortunately, our sponsor health IQ only looks at how active you are and what sort of riding you’re doing and not necessarily what you’re eating afterwards. This is a life insurance company that specializes in healthy active people. So they are able to give us favorable rates for life insurance. And they even have a special URL for Fast Talk, which is www dot health slash Fast Talk, where listeners of the show can go for the free quote. While you’re there, you can submit race results screengrabs if you’re Strava or mapmyride account, or other proof that you are indeed a regular cyclist and get a better quote, I highly recommend you don’t mention ice cream sandwiches.


Trevor Connor  26:48

Ned was kind enough to share a lactate test that he did back in 2008. So it says here you were 53. Thank you for letting us post this we’ll put this on the website we have. And it’s an absolutely fascinating test. And one thing it shows just how talented a cyclist you are, we sat down beforehand and tried to interpret this. And we were kind of interested in if you’ve experienced what we’re predicting from from looking at this, or if we’re way off base. But one of the obvious things that we saw is you have lower heart rates. So I mean, you hit threshold at 137 beats per minute, and your max heart rates 159, where if you take somebody in their 20s, you’re generally going to see a max heart rate closer to 200. And you’re probably going to see their threshold closer to 171 80. That being said, I have worked with pros in their 20s who likewise have low heart rates. And so one of the first questions we had is is have you noticed a drop in your heart rate over the years? Or is that just always the way you’ve been?



No, I’ve definitely well, not knowing the specific number. But in general, yeah, I cannot get my heart rate up as high as, as I could 10 years ago.


Trevor Connor  28:01

So I was interested if you’ve seen a dramatic drop, or if it’s been a slower drop.



To be honest with you, I’m I’m really just guessing here because I don’t train with a heart rate monitor. I have a very unstructured, well, maybe not unstructured is the right word, but it’s a low tech training method. methodology. I am pretty much a perceived effort trainer. So when I go out and do intervals, I’m doing based on my perceived effort over the length of the interval I’m doing. And and I use group rides and chasing Strava segments, you know, for either a PR or KLM or for a high finish on the Strava ship segment as as my kind of drive for interval training and I don’t use a watt meter or a heart rate monitor and never have no never have I’ve played around with heart rate monitors 20 or 30 years ago back when polar heart rate monitors were around but I was never really could never really be focused enough to actually do heart rate training. I didn’t like that much structure in my training. So I didn’t really embrace using


Chris Case  29:19

you’ve you’ve used it very effectively, I would say you say low tech but the brain is is high tech in this sense. And it’s it’s definitely in tune with what your body’s doing and has worked for you for your entire career. It sounds like Yeah, and I and I’ve been doing athletics for a long time, right.



I mean, I started in high school as a as a pretty well accomplished cross country runner and track runner. And so I’ve had a lot of time to kind of get in tune with my body. Even back in in high school, we had a great coach who was very much about making training fun. So what were other things Coaches would have guys be doing repeat quarter miles on the track, he would have us out on fire roads called Indian file, you know where the you might have seven guys running and the guy from the back accelerates and goes to the front and, and making it more fun and playful, yet still really hard. And that’s, that’s the kind of training I prefer.


Trevor Connor  30:22

So the other couple interesting things about your, your profile here, one is certainly your vo two max which is 71.1 milliliters per kilogram per minute, you look at your Tour de France champions, your top cyclists, they’re going to be up in the the mid even high 80s 71 is very impressive, certainly something that you would see in pros, and particularly impressive when again, what they’re saying, or one of the first things they point to as an age thing is a drop in your view to max view, it would have been interesting to see what your view to Max was in your 20s if it was just that insanely high. But we’re certainly seeing even in your mid 50s A vo two max that a lot of pros would be very happy to have. But another really interesting thing to me is your lactates stayed very, very low, right around one milliliter per liter, up until a very high water ages. And the ranges here that that Neil created for you are almost a little bit comical. In that you get up to 260 watts, where you’re still pretty much just endurance. So what people would think of is zone two, something you can you can sustain for a long time at your weight that’s about what’s expected of almost a pro tour level rider, then he has your tempo range, which is what a lot of people call zone three or sweetspot. And here’s the funny part, he set it at 265 watts to 275 watts, not sure I’ve ever seen a range that that’s only 10 watts. And then you’re right into your threshold range. So again, very interested, this is your experience racing. But this profile is one of somebody who can go forever at a very high pace. So if you went out and did a 434 hour race with somebody, you could probably just ride them into the ground keeping keeping a very, very high pace. But that sustainable I could do this all day pays very quickly goes into now I’m at threshold now I’m at what I would Time Trial left, there doesn’t seem to be a much room in between, has that been your experience? Or am I reading this wrong?



Well against relating it to finishing at the end of a race. That’s my experience, right? I mean, I can get in a break and dig in and many breaks. And and I think, yeah, if either when guys start attacking at the end of the race, then then I’m not capable of solving I can I can make it down to a small group. But then when the guy started attacking at the end, I can get dropped. Or if I make it to the end when like I say in the sprint, I’m I’m not competitive.


Trevor Connor  33:15

And that’s what this is showing. My guess is if you get into that breakaway, and they, some of them say okay, let’s take this up to 2728 miles an hour and just hold this really high steady pace. See if we can pop Ned, they’re probably going to be really surprised and find that you’re going to be one pop in them. that would that would be my guess from what I’m seeing here.



Yeah, and I guess what you’re talking about would lend itself to being good for for mountain bike racing, right, which tends not to be so many speed changes and more of a steady, steady state, except for the start, of course. And that kind of is true. Also in the start of mountain bike races, I oftentimes struggle and end up having to catch the leaders after the start. And I think same holds true for cyclocross, like these races that start out at a full sprint, a lot of times I get this sense at the beginning and then then end up chasing back on.


Trevor Connor  34:16

So I guess my question for you is what we’re describing here, this this huge ability to sustain a very high pace but but not as good ability to respond to the big attacks. Is that just something in the is that the way you feel you’ve always been? Or is that something that you’ve noticed more and more with age?



Yeah, I think I, I’ve been this way, a lot, but I noticed that I struggle more with the fast starts as I get older. And for instance, like short track, short track, racing as I get older, I’m terrible at it, right? Because I there’s no time to get back on so I’ll tend to get You know, dropped off dropped in the beginning of the race. And before I have time to recover and chase people down, the race is over. So I, I’ve not been a big fan of short track, especially as I’m older and wasn’t that bad when I was in my 40s.


Trevor Connor  35:17

This scares me because I’m in my 40s. And it’s horrible for me.



I should say, I wasn’t that bad. I was still bad. But yeah, but I wouldn’t be suffering at the at the beginning of races, but I could still kind of maintain contact. Also, I could tell that I was suffering worse than the other riders. And then, after a certain amount of time, I became more comfortable. And it seemed like they were suffering more. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ll actually lose contact and then kind of have to chase back to the front if, if I can.


Trevor Connor  35:50

Yeah, no, very interesting. Cuz that’s, that’s been my experience, too. I had a little more explosiveness in my early 30s. Now, the only way I can really compete with people is just say, let’s turn this into a real long drag race. So same thing, if they start out really hard, I’m, I can get popped, I can be in trouble. At the end of the race, I can’t do anything in the sprint. If everybody says, Okay, let’s go out and do four hours at 300 watts. I’m, that’s when I start salivating. So I’m like, yeah, I’m, I think I can pop a lot of people doing this, you know, I have a very similar profile to you. So it’s, it’s interesting. It’s been my experience to that. That’s something I think I’ve always been that way. But it’s become more exaggerated with the years. So I guess if I had to take this profile and summarize it, there are certainly things that you see here that that are consistent with what the research is saying about aging. But if you if somebody had handed this to me and covered up your name, covered up your age, and told me this is somebody in their 20s, not only would I believe you, I would look at this and say, This is a talented athlete, but I’d be excited to coach this guy. So the fact that it’s actually somebody who’s 53, it really does beg that question, Are you an outlier? Or is it just because of what you were saying that you’ve had a lifestyle that’s allowed you to keep up that level of training? I don’t know if we’ll ever fully answer that question. But very interested in, in your opinion, and what you think?



Well, I will say that, first of all, not knowing, not having earlier tests. So we, we can’t really compare whether that 71 vo two Max has stayed the same or actually gone down. I would say that I think that I have a unique training and racing history for somebody who has gotten older and still sustained it over time. And I think that the circumstances and there’s a lot of circumstances involved, right. But being a professional athlete, where I was paid to do that, transitioning to a different job where when I retired from mountain biking, I got into exterra triathlon. And I think x Cara probably helped me maintain my vo two max even more, because it was also doing a variety of sports, where, whereas running and swimming, and those were focused on quality, because exterra tends to be a fairly short, you know, it’s roughly two, two and a half hours. So there’s a lot of intensity in training and three different sports. So I think as I transitioned into that, it probably helped me maintain my co2 max even further into my age. Yeah, and we can keep going into all these different circumstances which which have potentially helped me another one is that I live in in Durango. It snows in the winter. I love Nordic skiing, cross country skiing. So I’ve always done that while I’ve lived in Durango. And it’s been a great way to cross train it, it helps me stay fresh, when I’m going back to cycling in the springtime, because I would usually come into the spring, pretty slow on the bike, I would be fit because you know, I’ve gotten some, some good cross training exercise with skiing and gym work and stuff in the winter. And one thing I’ve noticed over other athletes is that they would train a lot of tickling in the winter, and they’d be quite fast in the spring. Some of them had their best performances in the spring, whereas I had some of my weakest performances in the spring. And then as the summer progressed, it was motivating to find out that I’m having better and better performances. Sorry, fresher. I think at the end of the year when some of the most important races were happening number


Trevor Connor  39:41

we call them March superstars. They come out and crush everybody in March but start to fade pretty quickly.



And that’s got to be hard on your motivation, right when you’ve had some of your best performances in March. Well I


Trevor Connor  39:55

from what I’ve seen, and from athletes that I’ve known, it’s They struggle with it because they don’t get that when they show up march in March that strong they think I’m about to bad the best season in my life because I’m this strong in March, I’m going to get that much stronger. And then when they start to see the opposite, when they start to decline, they get confused. So I was kind of joke but the it’s only partially joking that it’s unbelievable the number of cyclists who are diagnosed with mono in June. Because ultimately, when they can’t explain it, they eventually go and see their doctors. They’re completely burnt out. And the symptoms of Amano and burnout are virtually the same. And doctors not knowing about burnout tell them they have mono. So as you said, That’s right when you want to be on top foreign nationals are that’s when the big races are.



Yeah, I think throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to recognize the importance of recovery and not get too burned out and it’s helped that I’ve been a lower volume trainer. That certainly helps with not getting burned out and overtrained. But I’ve also been pretty good at listening to my body and and taking some time off during the season to to get some force breaks. It’s one thing that you know, I’ve kind of watched Todd weld over the years trying he’s had a long career, he would take forest breaks, I’m literally in the middle of the season a week off the bike. And there’s very few serious bike racers who are capable of doing that. They may say they’re going to take an easy week, but they don’t take a week off the bike. And he’s he’s got some great discipline so that those midseason breaks,


Trevor Connor  41:35

I just did an interview with Larry warbucks, who said he makes he makes sure that at least once during the season, he takes a week where he is on a beach doesn’t even look at a bike, same sort of thing. So Dr. Andy Prue likes to quote you, and I did want to ask you about this since we’re talking about recovery, he said he wants to ask you what was the difference between now and when you were in your 20s? And you said, I train exactly the same way I did in my 20s. It just takes me twice as long to do it. So is that? Is that a fair quote? This is your you take more recovery time now.



Yeah, definitely take, I don’t know if it’s exactly twice as long. But for sure I take more recovery time. I do a lot of my recovery rides on the mountain bike, I tend to do my harder rides where where I can focus on on the effort on road bike or gravel bike and where the terrain is, is not so interrupted as a mountain bike. But I go out on the mountain bike and just kind of enjoy myself. And it’s more about the experience, I don’t get my heart rate up that much. So it’s kind of active recovery, and kind of having a good time and working on skills at the same time. So that’s worked out for me pretty well. And I think back in the day, if I went on a mountain bike ride, I kind of kept pushing. I wasn’t so cognizant of the fact that I needed to keep my heart rate down and make it more of a relaxed recovery ride.


Trevor Connor  43:09

We had Frank Overton owner of fast cat coaching World Tour writer, Sep coos in the studio, we got into conversation about agent, Frank, having coached a lot of masters athletes, and being a Masters writer himself had a lot of insight set being in his 20s just contributed a little snickering in the background.



Believe it or not, I do more as a Master’s cyclist than it did when I was in my 20s and 30s. And 20s. And 30s is just smashed bike, repeat. And I didn’t pay attention to anything. I mean, yeah, you eat, you eat, and you sleep and all that. But you could do a bunch of dumb stuff. But now as a master cyclist, like I eat right, pay attention to my sleep. I do my strength and conditioning. I do yoga. Really I use the space legs, the compression, I’m really cognizant about getting off my feet, I’ll change your it’s like a whole lifestyle, and you have a much sounds super boring, but you have a much more limited lifestyle as a master cyclist and you can is it you know, you know younger cyclists where you can get away with more, but you have to Super parent pay attention to your nutrition. And that’s like a huge thing. Like, if you told me when I was 30 years old racing that I would be gluten free, dairy free. And, you know, eat seven times a day and really pay attention to my carbon take out a laugh, but that’s what I do is a master cyclist. And those little things you have to grab ahold of the as many little things as you can the marginal gains as a master cyclist because you’re just not making as much power and you just can’t recover as much. You can’t train as much and just have to be less aggressive with your training. So that you can you have to pay attention to balancing here training and racing. You know, don’t do too much. Never when I was 30 Did I ever say on the bike, don’t do too much, because you know, you won’t be able to train the next day. But if I do too much on the bike, like tomorrow, Saturday, I could mess up the next week. Because I find as a master cyclists, I’m really good for the one day when I’m recovered, but it’s the next day, the next day that I’m garbage. And so what you have to do is spread out the load over time, as a master cyclists wears younger cycles, you can just jam it down your throat, and recover and go again. And so I see a lot of when I work with Master cyclists, you know, especially the time crunch lens, it’s never a problem Monday through Friday, but on Saturday, Sunday, when they don’t work, they want to cram it down. But man that has a stream of effects downstream and you can’t recover from See, you have to spread that training load out.


Trevor Connor  45:50

So it sounds like those masters athletes who say, I’ve only got eight, nine hours a week to train, so I’m just going to smash it every time I go on the bike and forget stretching, forget off the bike stuff. It’s just every minutes could be on the bike, and you would have a long conversation with them.






eight to 10 hours a week as a master cyclists is not an excuse, you can get really fast on that. But you got to do all the stuff off the bike, to recover and to perform nutrition, nutrition recovery being the two biggest things, but there’s so much that goes into that you need to talk with them. How much sleep Do you get a night, you know, if you get six, you’re not gonna that’s not gonna work. But if there are, you know, talk to them about ways to get more sleep and naps and not doing yard work on Saturday afternoon after the group rod, things like that.


Trevor Connor  46:40

Now that you’ve heard how a good coach would help his athletes, let’s get Ned’s thoughts on coaching.


Chris Case  46:45

After all, the success you’ve had, you’ve never had, we’ve never really had a coach. I’m curious if you’ve ever thought to yourself, would I be even better if I did.



Um, I do think that, except I think one of the one of the reasons for my longevity, is that I kind of train the way I want to, and it’s worked well. For me, the problem was having a coach is that for sure, it’s gonna add structure to my training, and my unstructured style of training. I think it’s one of the things that does help keep me enthusiastic about about writing. Yeah, they’re gonna develop a relationship with a coach. And I’m always afraid that I’m gonna let the coach down because I’m gonna, you know, I’m not gonna follow his plan, because I won’t want that kind of structure, you know, and it will add extra stress to it. Right, because I’ll be feeling the stress of this guy wants me to train this way today. And I don’t want to train that way today.


Chris Case  47:50

Yeah, there’s something to be said about maintaining the the fun of why you do this to begin with the training is, is a means to an end, which is performance and high performance. But it has to all be wrapped in this layer of fun or altijd. It just you you can’t do it at the same level anymore.


Trevor Connor  48:10

I’m just gonna quickly interject here as the coach and say that a good coach realizes that the workouts are 10% of it. And if all you’re doing is telling an athlete do this Tuesday, this Wednesday, this Thursday, I think you’re missing out on a lot of it. And a big part of being a good coach is recognizing what makes each athlete tick and work with that. So a good coach working with you would realize giving him a bunch of wattage numbers and telling them what to do every day is actually going to be counterproductive, and more work with you in the way that you like to train. All that being said, if you had come to me and said, coach me and now that I’ve had this conversation with you and seen a lot of information about you, most of my response would be you have really perfected it and you are doing exactly what they are saying you should be doing. So, you know, my answer is I’m not sure you would see that much of an improvement with a coach.



Yeah, I don’t doubt a coach and like you say a good coach is going to just try and fine tune what you’re doing right and, and little changes what you’re doing wrong when you haven’t athletes, that it’s had some success. I think where a coach could help is, especially in things like triathlon, right, where there’s, there’s so much technique involved, and it gets complicated as you’re trying to juggle three different sports and which, which sports you should be putting your energy into.


Trevor Connor  49:39

Right, especially when you’re somebody like us as careful as you are about recovery.



There’s one topic that keeps reminding me and Chris, I know that you’ve written the haywire heart. And when you talk about athletes that are my age, one thing that was was shocking to me too, recently. I learned that Dave Scott has developed a fib. And I consider Dave Scott to be possibly the fittest. 62 year old on the planet. And


Chris Case  50:13

I think he would take that as a compliment.



Yes. Yeah. I mean, he, you know, he’s an amazing guy, because I know he still trains with huge volume and perhaps too much volume as what we may be finding out with him. him coming down with aces. I think it’s a, it’s important to point out that another downside of too much volume, combined with intensity, as you get older can actually damage your heart.


Chris Case  50:40

Yes, I mean, that is a topic for an entirely different podcast episode. But you’re right, myself, along with Leonard Zinn. And dr. john manarola, wrote an entire book about heart arrhythmias, generally speaking, not just in, in older athletes, but particularly in in in, in older athletes, we’re now seeing a lot more arrhythmias being diagnosed, is there a absolute known cause for those No, but there are definite patterns and trends that we’re seeing, there are good arguments to be made that as you’ve done, paying attention to your body. And recovery is extremely important, as you get older, not only because of the cumulative effect of all the workouts you’ve done in your life, and how that may damage your heart, but also just on performance, we’re talking about recovery, as if it’s a, you know, a task that you’d kind of have to deal with. But if you really want to get fast, you have to take and treat recovery as an equally important part of the equation of your training.


Trevor Connor  51:54

But it does bring up that very interesting question of do do we need to switch the balance of intensity and endurance? Because Chris is I remember from your book, a lot of the people who are experiencing this, we’re doing big, big volume.


Chris Case  52:07

Yeah, you know, that. I think that that’s a generalization a general trend. But for sure, though, the the majority of the people that we did case studies on were people like Dave Scott or Mike Endicott, some of these people who were were fitting in not only a lot of volume, but doing it year round, if it wasn’t on the bike, it was running, if it wasn’t running, it was cross country skiing, and it was this, this constant thing for them. So it was a volume and had this cumulative effect from year to year. Not to mention the, I guess just the general stress in their life compounded by the fact that they added stress by trying to squeeze in at every waking moment, some other activity. And and none of those activities involve putting their feet up on the couch and watching bad British TV shows.


Trevor Connor  53:02

But that I think that comes back to your point of that huge importance of recovery. And certainly as we get older, we might have to shift that, that balance a little more towards the recovery side. I mentioned my old mentor Glen Swan, who was a three time national champion in his 40s and 50s. had a chance to talk with Glenn about the secrets of staying young. We discussed recovery, training races versus intervals, coaching, skiing in the winter, and peaking later. What’s remarkable is how similar these two masters athletes from opposite ends of the country approach their training and racing. I am here in Glen swans bike shop, it is if you want to know what all of that noise is it is 945 at night, Glen is still working on customers bikes, which is what he’s done for probably the last 40 years. Every single night, which begs the question, Where did you find the time to train? I always think back to being i thought was some hot 30 young 30 something year old member being in a race with you and Danny Timmerman and several other riders who are cat one riders were there. And you were about 50 at the time, and we started the race and you broke away solo. And we sat there as a field trying to chase you and you stayed away to the finish and won that race. And that was kind of a lesson and, Dan, this guy is strong.



When you were younger, he could race really hard. He could brutalize yourself. And you know, maybe you went easy on Monday. Yeah. And you were ready to do Tuesday night race. And then it got to where, okay, took a couple of days to recover from injuries are over use. And as a Masters racer, you’re trying to be ready for the next weekend. Or you’re trying not to hurt yourself so bad that you add something on top of what you’ve already done. You’re trying becomes much more about either injury prevention for recovery. There was also the fact that I and several of my contemporaries, the good masters racers in the northeast, you know, we were willing to hurt, we could ride harder. And in more pain, we found pain and hard effort to be invigorating. Right. But this is an observation that I have shared with a number of these older friends of mine that now that we’re late 50s, early 60s, not one of us is invigorated by pain, not one of us wants to ride really hard, and finds it exciting to push ourselves to the limits. And when I look at the Masters race results, the Masters riders who are really kicking it and getting results are a lot of names that I didn’t know, back in my day, I think a lot of them are guys who are new to the sport, and are still excited about getting better and improving. Whereas those of us who were struggling along, holding our position at the top, we kind of burned ourselves out.


Trevor Connor  56:14

So what were some of your secrets of being able to ride in your 40s in your 50s and being able to basically compete with with pros or guys who were close to pro level,



I was lucky to be a bit of a mutant that helps I had very high VO max. And now that I’m older, and I’m feeling as though I don’t have nearly as much strength, I realized that I had very good core strength, I always seemed as though there was something more to reach down and get when I needed more power to climb over a hill or to sprint or whatever. It always seemed to be there. I skied in the wintertime, I did all kinds of sports. So I I had pretty good overall fitness. So combine the abnormal vo to with good overall fitness. I had very good position on the bike, I was very physiologically efficient. I worked on all of these sorts of things and optimized my riding style for my physiology.


Trevor Connor  57:24

So is there anything you did different in your training when you were in your 40s and 50s that you from when you were in your 20s



I’ve always had at least one job. And usually I’ve had my full time job at Cornell and running the bike shop at night. So I never had time to overtrain. And I’d say that was one of the fundamental advantages I had over many the other racers. I would always laugh at the the young guys who were on the program. They were on somebody’s training program, whether they had a coach or whether they were doing something with information they got online. And they were always hammering themselves. They were always working way too hard way too early in the year. And they’d be tired. And I know that by the time we reached the real money part of the season, July and August, that they’d be ready to play tennis and I’d be coming into peak form and I’d be able to kick their butts around. I had good results late in the season. In part because I was managing my training. I never had time to be overtrained. And because a lot of my competition was doing just the opposite. Right. And I, I don’t know quite how a coach really can can get it across to his athletes. But I think one of the things that many coaches lack is inspiring the athlete to have fun while he is riding and training, to see the fun aspects of riding and not see it as simply, this is a structured workout. Because if riding a bike is work, then you’re missing out on a hell of a lot of fun. And life is about fun. And if you are having fun, you will work harder, and you will stay in it for a longer time. The fact that I raced bicycles from grief, I was in my teens when I started and I raced pretty much until I was about 60. That’s a long time to be racing. But bike racing is a lot like chess. It can be different all the time. So it stays interesting for a long time. That’s part of why it’s better to race aggressively and to have a strategy and try to make things work. Because if your whole way of racing bicycles is sit in wait for the sprint. It all starts to seem the same and boring.


Chris Case  59:59

I was gonna To say, to circle back to the question of whether net is an outlier or not, from the outside, it certainly seems like he has to be I mean, he’s done things that few other people have been able to do. That being said, He’s doing all the things you want to hear out of somebody that is aging, you know, he’s, he’s very aware of his body and what it needs, he’s taking more time to recover, he’s doing other things besides riding a bike, he’s, he’s skiing in the in the winters, he’s, he’s mixing it up, he’s doing things in the weight room, all of these things can be applied to anybody of any skill level out there, which is what I think is is important to take out of this, just because Ned is crushing people at the age of 60. And writing at an amazing level still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t follow his lead, and improve your performances or maintain them over the course of of decades.


Trevor Connor  1:01:00

Right now. That’s what I’ve found fascinating. There has been some studies published in the last few years, they’re the ones that are saying, wow, you know, this, this whole thing that we thought was aging isn’t as much of a aging inevitability as we think and then they go into, here’s what you need to do to prevent what we thought were aging effects. And in our conversation here with you, you’re doing all these things. And it just seems like you have you have figured this out.



Yeah. And and I’ve read, you know, a long time ago, about these best methods for, you know, maintaining your vo to capacity. And the older I get, the more I’m staying focused on, you know, whether it’s maintaining training, don’t gain too much weight, very training, high intensity training. So, so all these kind of things. And another thing we haven’t mentioned, which has been a big part of my success is figuring out how to maintain the momentum in your training. And that’s kind of on a on a micro cycle. for, you know, whether it’s not overtraining not injuring yourself not getting sick, to build up your fitness throughout a season. And then on a macro cycle, the momentum and your training, year after year, to maintain your fitness as you get older, you know, and that’s, again, not to get too far out of shape, and winter, and stay healthy by doing more balanced exercises, not getting sick. And it’s kind of you have to maintain enthusiasm for that training year round. And there’s definitely some tricks to that. And again, things like group rides, and mixing up the sport for me then mixing up the different cycling sports, right. I’m fortunate I work for a company and we make gravel bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, you know, cross country and trail, we make fat bikes, a lot of different types of riding to get excited about.


Trevor Connor  1:03:03

Any other suggestions that you would have for our listeners who, like us are getting a little older and want to know what to do with their their training to stay active and competitive?



Well, one, one thing that I’d like to mention is the importance of having the right attitude. Because I know what a lot of people, they assume, as their performances decline that, okay, this is this is a natural thing, because I’m older, I’m going to get slower, you know, I’m going to get heavier, they just assume because that’s what they’ve heard, that their performances are going to decline. So I think it’s really important to have an open attitude to the fact that you can slow the aging, with smart training. And I think in my racing, sometimes I can get down because I am getting dropped by more guys, than I used to get dropped by but, but if I look to the positive side, if I look like on Strava, I am still setting some prs, and having some fast time, so it’s, it’s not necessarily that all because it’s just age related decline. Some of us I’m actually writing with some guys that are faster than I used to be. But there’s a lot of positives out there, which I think are important to embrace and and recognize that you can actually maintain a pretty high level fitness. There is one more thing and we’ve touched on a lot of things, but self preservation. One thing that really stops momentum and training is injuries and injuries from crashing. And I know that I’ve always been pretty fortunate in not having a lot of bad crashes over the years. So so maybe it’s kind of a self preservation thing of knowing when to pull back from from that envelope. You You know, when you lose control, and there’s, there’s more possibility of crashing. But definitely as I get older, and I hurt myself, and I recognize how long it takes to come back, and injuries sometimes live with you forever, so it can, it can really hurt your, your long term ability to maintain your fitness. So, maybe swallowing your pride a little bit, not having so much, much cheese small, not chasing the wrong guys down the trail, that’s important to staying healthy, by not crashing, can make a huge difference in maintaining your fitness.


Trevor Connor  1:05:33

As I sit here wearing a back brace, I couldn’t agree more.



Like you can imagine I do a lot of group rides with people. And it’s competitive. Chris, I know, you know, if you do some of these product launches, every group is competitive, right? I mean, that whether it’s journalists, or dealers, or consumers or product managers, I go on rides and specialize, they have a Friday mountain bike ride with the product managers. And I’ve learned the hard way that not to chase those guys down the hills, you know, not just saying prove that, you know, I’m on bike world champion. So I’ve got to go fast down these hills, you got to swallow your pride a little bit and not worry so much, they have to wait a few seconds for you at the bottom. These guys all arrive with goggles on the tops of their helmets. So you know how important it is when they get to the top of a hill, you know, they pull the goggles down. And they’re focusing on getting down as fast as possible.


Chris Case  1:06:32

That reminds me actually of something that Dave Scott once told me, coming back to the heart arrhythmia issue. You just said Ned that he in your mind is the fittest 62 year old man in the world. I think he’s been dealing with that label for his entire life, the fittest man in the world. And he feels a lot of responsibility to maintain that. And I think that’s a blessing and a curse for him. I think because of that he pushes himself and pushes himself. And over the years, I don’t want to I don’t want to blame him. I don’t want to say 100 with 100% confidence. That’s what happened to him. But he does push himself a lot. I’d also don’t want to criticize him, but maybe he has not been able to set it aside like you have. And he’s just pushed himself. Whereas you’ve said you know what? I can’t follow that 25 year old guy that’s made out of rubber and will bounce off the ground. I’m not. I’m going to break if I do what he does. So yeah,



yeah, common sense.


Trevor Connor  1:07:35

I got my philosophy and I think one of the best bits of advice I ever got was from my grandfather was a world war two pilot. And he did two tours, and never lost them and never failed to complete a mission. And I asked him what, how he was able to do that. And he said simple. I was a chicken. It was not the answer. I was expecting and asked him to explain that he said, Look, I did only what was absolutely necessary to accomplish the mission. I took no risk beyond that. Because when you take risks, you’re gonna get shot down. And that that had an impact on man. It’s kind of what I’ve taken into. Trying to get some longevity in the sport is only take the risk when it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t take him in when you don’t have to,


Chris Case  1:08:23

like on product launches, where you should, you should stick to the 80% rule at all times. Do not go above 80% on a decent on an ascent on anything. Yeah. Well, that was another fascinating discussion. I think we all learned a lot from a legend in the sport. NET over and thank you again for being on the show.



Thanks, guys. Yeah, no, I feel like you’ve given me a lot to think about as well.


Chris Case  1:08:48

That was another episode of Fast Talk. As always, we love your feedback. Email us at Webb letters at competitive group comm subscribe to Fast Talk on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud and Google Play. Be sure to leave us a rating and a comment. While you’re there, check out our sister podcast the velonews podcast which covers news about the weekend cycling. Become a fan of Fast Talk on slash velonews and on slash velonews. Fast talk is a joint production between velonews and Connor coaching. The thoughts and opinions expressed on Fast Talk are those of the individual for net overland coach Connor. I’m Chris case. Thanks again for listening.