Flavio Zappi: Inspiration to Train

Today, I had a tough workout. I’d logged a fast 54 on Saturday, did a moderate solo 30 miler Sunday, and with Monday being in the 70’s, I jumped on my bike and logged a solo 35. My legs were like lead and climbing was a joke. Nevertheless, I pushed it when I could, trying to make it a high-intensity ride.

I posted it on Strava, and when I checked my teammates results, I developed a mild case of Strava-envy. Granted, I’m the oldest and slowest, but still, it was a blow to the ego.

So to find some encouragement, I turned to an article I’d read not too long ago. It’s from Cycling Weekly entitled, Don’t Let Age Slow You Down. To be honest, I almost didn’t finish   reading it the first time because the facts were depressing. Don’t believe me? Decide for yourself. Here are what cyclists over 50 can expect:

  • Steady decline in exercise capacity.
  • Decline in recovery after workouts.
  • Maximum heart rate declines.
  • Maximum oxygen intake declines.
  • Fast twitch muscles (power) decline.

         IMG_0426                                                                                                         Now before you go trade in your road bike for something with 3 wheels and a basket, keep
reading the article. For me, I found renewed hope in this gentleman, Flavio Zappi. First off, he’s riding a Colnago with matching kit. That right there won me over. I won’t spoil the read but here’s one of his quotes:

“What changes have I seen to my physique now I am 50? Well, I’m fatter and have less power. Your body is becoming less efficient and takes longer to get ready for action.

However, training is training – you need to seed well if you want a good harvest! Training must be very constant – you cannot give up and start again like when you are young as ‘again’ will take so much longer to achieve.”

Flavio adds that in order to reclaim some of the power and glory from our younger days, over 50 cyclists need to focus on power workouts (intervals, hill training) and diet. More on those topics later.

For now I just want to say thanks, Flavio, for giving this TN boy an encouraging kick in the butt!




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