The effects of gender and age on the training practices (distance and frequency) and body mass index of masters cyclists
While the training practices of young cyclists have been previously investigated, no research to date has examined the training practices of masters cyclists. The purpose of
this study was to examine the current training practices and body mass index (BMI) of masters cyclists in Queensland, Australia. Specifically, the current study investigated the
effects of both gender and age on training practices (frequency and distance) and BMI among male and female masters cyclists over the age of 35 years. An online survey
questionnaire was developed after being trialed using a focus group consisting of local Rockhampton masters cyclists. With the support of Cycling Queensland, the online
survey was sent to all eligible cyclists within Queensland over the age of 35 years. Complete responses were received from 181 male and 27 female masters cyclists with a total response rate of 19%. Student's t -tests and ANOVA analyses were undertaken to examine gender and age group differences in training practices. Results showed that both gender and age have no effect on either the distance trained per week or the frequency of training per week in masters cyclists. While there was no effect of age on BMI, there was significant lower BMI (t (207)=4.08 p=0.00) in females (22.9 ± 3.0 kg/m2) compared to male (24.9±2.6 kg/m2) masters cyclists. In conclusion, the present study found that both female and male masters cyclists maintain similar training distances and frequencies of training per week as they appear to age. Female masters cyclists have a lower BMI than male masters cyclists however with age BMI does not change in masters cyclists.