When coaching mature age athletes, it is important to note that our bodies are not as they were when at our peak in our 20s and 30s. Some physical changes occur including loss of muscle mass, decreases in maximum heart rates, decreased flexibility and lowered lactic acid tolerance.
However depressing this might sound, the good news is that no matter what age we start exercising (including mature age athletes), we can reduce the physical declines of age at the same time as protecting our brains from age-related decline. Physical fitness is linked with a reduced rate of memory decline in middle age.
There is growing evidence that many of the physical and mental declines common with aging can be reduced with appropriate fitness and nutrition programs. It is not too late to start improving fitness, no matter what your age. Most masters cyclists are particularly concerned with maintaining their speed and there are a number of strategies that PCS uses to combat this age related disorder with interval training, strength and conditioning training and plyometric exercises.