I’m 71 and have been coaching for 25 years. I could retire; however, I enjoy the intellectual stimulation of coaching and the personal satisfaction of helping riders achieve their goals. In addition to personal clients I enjoy writing for RBR because of the interesting questions I get from you.
If you have a question you think might be of general interest please submit it here with a paragraph of background about yourself. I’ll answer those that I can.
Here are examples:
How to Improve
Kevin from the UK wrote me last spring,
“I’m 73. Way, way back I was an average club time trialist here in the UK. Then I went to university and forgot it all. About five years ago I climbed back on a bike and, using Strava, I steadily improved but for the last couple of years I’ve pretty much plateaued – my Strava segment times reflect that. Somehow I need to break out of my comfort zone. The endurance is okay – I can ride 50-75 km without collapsing in a heap and have done a 100 km sportive and lived. Average journey speed is around 15mph.
“I know there’s something extra there – last year I holidayed in Ireland, took in a sportive and ended up climbing (slowly!) two Cat 2 peaks, something I never believed possible and only did because I was with friends.”
Coach John here’s the column I wrote in response: A 73-year-old Asks is It all Down from Here
On Sept 21, 2020 I just got a note from Kevin,
Kevin “I’ve just completed the Land’s End to John o Groats bike ride here in the UK (that’s farthest point SW to farthest NE): 987 miles in 14 days. Mainly roads but a few trails. Roughly 70 miles a day, a few stiff hills, 1400-1500 feet, great countryside. Stayed in AirBnB but still had a couple of pannier bags to carry. Not sure I’m any faster but I’ve proved I’ve got stamina – and a sturdy backside!”
Coach John, Well done! I’m very proud of you for training for and completing Land’s End to John o Groats.
The psychological element in biking
Coach John, Eli from Massachusetts recently wrote me:
“I’m 81 and there is a hill nearby which tests my limits. When my son who is a lot younger visited and cheered me on, I was able to do it, but absent his encouragement I am unable. This leads me to the psychological element in biking, and the power it exerts on us all. I wonder if this is a subject you can address.”
I responded in a recent column Anti-Aging: 8 Tips to Ride Smarter.
Here are some other Ask the Coach columns:
- How Should a Beginning Cyclist Train
- What Should a Beginning Cyclist Eat and Drink pt. 1
- What Should a Beginning Cyclist Eat and Drink pt. 2
- How Can a Beginning Cyclist Improve
- Eating for Endurance
- How Much Recovery Do You Need
If you have a question of general interest for Ask the Coach please send the question to Lars. I’m particularly interested in questions from new riders and from us seniors.
Coach John Hughes earned coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. John’s cycling career includes course records in the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200-km randonnée and the Furnace Creek 508, a Race Across AMerica (RAAM) qualifier. He has ridden solo RAAM twice and is a 5-time finisher of the 1200-km Paris-Brest-Paris. He has written nearly 30 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John's full bio.