As people get older they find that there are some things they can’t do or that are more difficult to do, and running is no exception. Runners who have stayed fit and trim all their lives may find that in their 60s they are picking up niggling running injuries that either don’t seem to heal or look like they going to take a long time to heal. The problem for runners in particular is that running is quite spectacular in its level of intensity and its positive Impact of their general well-being and on preventing obesity and other illnesses. Stopping running for whatever reason can very quickly lead to weight gain, and the accompanying depression or negative feelings because of the inability to run and because of the weight gain.
However there is a convenient solution, in the form of mountain biking over relatively level bike trails. It is very easy over a relatively straightforward and non-technical bike trail to achieve a level of intensity during a bike ride that is very similar to that achieved during running. The beauty of this is that the bike ride doesn’t lead to the same muscle and joint soreness as does running, but it can easily be just as much fun and even joyful due to biking at speed in The Great Outdoors. As long as the bike trail doesn’t have any risky or technical sections then biking at speed can really be just reduced to hard work with very little element of danger, and a reasonably competent rider with a good bike with good tires, brakes and front suspension can do an hour’s hard work and at the end of it feel as though they have worked as hard as if they went out for an hour-long run.
The bike ride becomes even more fun if the rider can mount their iPhone on the handlebars, plus wear a heart rate monitor, and then see a very graphic display of their current speed, average pace and heart rate while they are biking flat out. This can be very motivating for some bikers, especially average speed readings, as they quickly become a target that is to be met on every training bike ride. Ideally the rider will adopt a set section of trail and use this as a regular bike ride, and monitor the average speed and the heart rate and other details to check progress. In this sense biking is actually easier than running, because the details are all available in very large font and displayed in real time in front of the rider for the duration of the ride.
Any rider who used to be a very consistent runner will love having a set course and being able to measure their performance accurately at all times, and the feeling can be very strongly that old age has been delayed indefinitely. It is possible for a rider in their 60s to be able to maintain a very high speed relative to their age group, and to stay competitive for many years.