Fast After 50?

Having recently completed my 50th lap around the sun I have been reading with interest Joe Friel’s “Fast After 50” along with other guidance for older athletes.
A common theme is to look to do what Friel calls “Aerobic Capacity Workouts”. This is essentially targetting VO2max, and these should be done throughout the year. My question is what Focus Duration (and maybe Athlete Type?) should I look for to identify/be prescribed these sorts of workouts? I like the Closer workouts already, and note there are various VO2 to %reserve smart workouts available but am interested to see if there are any more that would be appropriate.

The second question is that the guidance also encourages increasing the amount of running (or similar) to reduce bone density loss, and also increasing weight training. I know I shouldn’t log these in my XERT cycling account, but this is going to significantly reduce what XERT thinks is my training volume (as historically the vast majority of training has been on bike). I realise I can address Intensity by the Freshness Slider (although this seems a bit of a fudge) but won’t XATA prescribe (eg) 2 star workouts representing my cycling volume when my real volume/fatigue may be (eg) 3 due to running, rowing, etc?

I would be interested to get some advice on how to best use XERT, which has been great for me for the last three years now, with this changing training emphasis. Thanks.


Maybe you should select a few VO2max workouts of your own, and then let Xert recommend around those. As you know having read the book, the types of workouts Friel would recommend are the Ronnestad intervals and the VO2max intervals at least 3 minutes long. You need to get your heart rate to at least 90% of your max in the second and later intervals, (actual max, not 220-age), and 95% is even better.

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The Midlife Cyclist is a newer book and is better in my opinion, well worth a read.

This book has a simpler prescription, just go hard once or twice a week and make the other rides endurance. In other words polarized, which Xert will support if you filter your “endurance” rides by difficulty so they stay below LTP. For the hard rides, just let Xert pick them when you are fresh.

This book also calls for weight training and recommends adding another activity that is significantly different to cycling (author makes a good case for something like paddleboarding but it could be running) which is easier to do if you are following that polarized style approach to cycling, it means you can do weights the same day as your hard rides and you get 2-3 days of easier rides after that to recover.


I think you just saved me reading the book. :slight_smile: I read the Friel book a few years ago. The prescription is pretty easy to follow in the end, and seems common sense.

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The book got 23 ratings, not counting his mother’s, Frances Cavell. It looks interesting…maybe worth a read,

Thanks, I will give this approach a try.


Thanks, I have got and read this book as well, and have in the past had a Bike Fit with Phil (and others at Cyclefit) and I agree the training prescription is simpler to understand and apply. I thought Friel’s book might be better known due to having been around for longer. the Midlife Cyclist does also cover a lot of other interesting ground, particularly around holistic health and wellbeing founded on an active lifestyle rather than focussing on strictly maintaining athletic performance.

@CarmenV - amusing that Phil’s Mum left a review, but in her defence she was very transparent about her relationship and reasons for doing so :laughing:.