Training Plan for Older People

I’m new to Zwift and I like the idea of the 12 week training plan to improve my fitness level. However, being 67 my recovery rate is somewhat slower than it used to be, so I wonder if this plan is going to give an oldie like me the most benefit? Any words of wisdom would be gratefully received.


Great question I’m 65 and definitely agree about recovery .


Me too! I was just starting to look for training rides for those of us post 60.:blush: Anything out there? I’m all ears.

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I’m 60 and found the 10-12 week FTP builder good for me. I did try the 12 week build me up plan but found that a bit too intense. I think some training plans for the older rider would be great though.


this is a beginner plan so it should be better as far as less intensity, also if you find that it is too much you can always lower your FTP so the workouts are not as hard.

The build me up plan is an intermediate difficulty plan so it should be a little harder and more intense.


It also depends on what you want to get out of your training. For me, I hadn’t done much cycling for a couple of years so I was looking to build myself up a bit over the winter and get out for some longer rides when the weather got better.With the build me up plan, the sessions I tried consisted of lots of short intervals, which are good in any training plan but as an older rider I also like some sessions with longer steady intervals too.


It’s not so much the ride intensity that bothers me. It’s purely enough built-in recovery time within a training plan for muscles to adapt and develop which is of concern as we age.

Over-training is not the best approach for development at any age. A couple of training plans with increased recovery times would be great for the silver foxes and vixens amongst us.


Please vote up this thread:


There are a couple of 12 week training plans available. I am not familiar with the new gravel and dirt plans however, but for the older 12 week plans there is the Build Me Up plan as well as the Active Off Season plan. These might bit a bit tough to start off with from scratch if you aren’t already riding often. You may want to try out a four week training plan to see how you like it after having taken an FTP test. From there you could tackle an 8 week plan like the Gran Fondo plan. And if that makes you happy you could try one of the 12 week plans after having built up some resilience. Also just enjoy riding around and try out some events like the upcoming Ride for All events.


Thanks Fez, for the rundown on training plans available.

I’m new to Zwift, not to cycling. Having cycled Land’s End to John o’Groats, London to Paris, the CTC Century Challenge (3 x 100 milers in a year), London to Brighton 3 times, plus many others, and Alpe d’Huez twice in recent years. I was planning to climb Mont Ventoux this year.

However, there is absolutely no questioning that ageing muscles take longer to recover, repair, build and strengthen. That is the only reason I’d like training plans with greater recovery times. I don’t care about the intensity of a single workout… bring it on! But time between workouts is crucial and I’d have thought that the great coaches that Zwift works with would find it easy to create an improvement training plan for older riders.


I’m 61 and quite new to Zwift. I have used TraineRoad and structured training for several years. Maybe some of my experience will be useful here. FWIW: ftp 267, w/kg 4.0.

I have found the Gravel Grinder 12-week plan (currently in week 4) to be good for me in terms of workout intensity, variety, and recovery. I tend to be an over-trainer, so I am really trying hard to focus on recovery. This plan provides 4-5 workouts per week, with a couple of “hard” workouts each week and a few moderate to easy ones.

The workouts themselves I find to be quite forgiving because they work with power and cadence, so they often spread effort across “lungs and legs.” Weeks often include a one-hour free ride, so you can use that day for more recovery or whatever.

I do supplement this plan with a weekly 4-hour Zone 2 ride outside.

I also see a coach’s presence in this program, and I like the way the info accompanying the workouts provides insight into the plan’s purpose and process.

Good luck with your hunt for the perfect mix of effort and rest. And when you find it, PLEASE let me know!


I’ve never had enough patience to finish a training plan except for the zwift academy twice. But if you want recovery then be aware you can manually select a workout and do it. Then when you are ready to do another you can choose another. Not sure if this includes all of the workouts or just some but there seems to be a good number.

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Hello. I was 75years when I did this plan. When I could I road every other day but parts of the plan needs every day riding but I managed it. Always listening to the body. Lost weight but boy on the FTP test at the end was I good jump 30 watts. Give it a go you can always cancel the program. Good luck.


I’m super impressed with all of you! I’m 52 but have had close to 30 surgeries after a major cycling accident in 2008. I’m still 40 lbs heavy around 200 lbs and today’s tempo ride in the beginner FTP 6 week plan (week 4) just kicked my butt! Now I have no idea how I’ll recover before next Tuesday morning’s threshold builder ride?


Hi Jeff. That was some accident! At the end of the day you can only do what you can do. Hats off to you for having a go. If it’s too much for your condition there’s absolutely no shame in dropping out of the programme.

By now you will have some idea of the workouts involved in a training plan. Why not just pick some of the individual workouts and do those with the regularity that suits you? You can always do the training plan again at some point in the future.

Tuesday is a few days off, so I suggest you leave the decision then but there’s no way you should feel a failure for just changing the approach to one that suits your body better.

Kim, that’s great advice and it’s great to meet you!

Likewise Jeff and Ride on!

I found this thread because I am 69 and working the build me up plan. It’s friday morning and I see I have a ride due at the end of the day and two due by Sunday night. WHERE IS THE RECOVERY??? I think I can do it but I don’t think I should. My legs feel a little stiff and I had a little trouble sleeping last night. Of course I am one of those types that can’t say no and when the plan says 210 at 100 rpms my understanding is that I never go under that. My problem, not the designers. So I am trying to find peace with skipping at least one of these workouts and calling it the 70 year old plan. I think that might be the best way to survive this plan and be successful. So hard to do though.


Did you start the plan on a Monday? Usually when workouts get bunched up like that it is because someone started the plan midweek instead of Monday. When it comes to cadence goals in a workout, you won’t fail if you can’t meet it. The only thing that matters is the power target for getting stars.

Hi @Kim_Kendall ! I just found this thread today and was wondering what all you have tried out (I see the original post is from April) and whether you have found a training plan that works for you?

I, like @Gunther_Stern, am in the midst of Build Me Up and find that there is not enough recovery time and/or recovery riding for me. I am super curious as to what others are finding that works for them! I am in my mid-fifties and relatively new to cycling. Currently all of my riding is done indoors and I have a flexible goal of 120 to 150km per week.

I’ve finally botched a week after wondering pretty much all along how far through I would get. I had such a hard time with the workouts at the end of last week, that I ended up taking the advice to do the FTP Test (Shorter), which is actually 45 minutes with warmup and cooldown, but has the 20-minute non-ERG section that is the actual test. (I had previously only done the Ramp Test Lite.) So that was Monday’s ride, Tuesday I did the workout with my new (lower) FTP, and Wednesday I rode the final TdZ stage… Now I’ve missed one and have three challenging ones to go for the week. My motivation to continue is very low, but I also really want to have a plan to stick to as opposed to cobbling together workouts.

@Gunther_Stern, hi, and thanks for posting! I really appreciate knowing I am not the only one out there struggling with this Build Me Up plan! I had already done the FTP Builder twice and wanted something a little more challenging, but this plan is not working well for me. I dread it instead of looking forward to it most days at this point. Do you wake up with your legs feeling sore in the night? That has started happening to me within the last week or two… I just was googling around about it yesterday… I hope you find something that works for you!

Hope to see you both out there!