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RED-S: not just a female phenomenon
  1. Doug Bentall
  1. Correspondence to Mr Doug Bentall;

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Long-term love of cycling

I ran as a schoolboy at both cross-country and middle distance athletics. After a knee injury at university, a school friend introduced me to the pleasures of cycling as a leisure pursuit. In my mid-30s, I joined my local cycle club and I continued to ride for leisure. My peak weight in my early 40s was around 73 kg. At the age of 48, I regained my interest in cycling and started doing club time trials again. My performances were considerably slower after a 12-year break, and after another, year I decided to look for the help of a cycle trainer.

Transformation in middle age

Working with a trainer completely transformed my training and approach to cycling. My weight was now around 65 kg; however, after a year of gradually increased training load, my weight dipped as low as 62.5 kg. I did not make any effort to lose weight and I took advantage of the fact that I could eat more. I also did not really pay attention to the nutritional needs of being a competitive cyclist. After my first full year of training, I could beat my personal bests from my mid-30s, and investment in better cycle equipment helped to cut my times even further (figure 1).

Figure 1

On my bike at …

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