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Old 10-28-20, 09:18 PM
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How important is the heart

I understand that this whole post is a bit irrational, but I prefer to think of it as being "driven"! I'm a seasoned cyclist (currently 45 years old, 30 years of riding, 15 years of racing, racing ended in 2010) who had a serious "widowmaker" heart attack from a blood clot a few years ago, along with several pulmonary embolisms and DVTs throughout the past several years. Not surprisingly, my fitness has suffered. I still ride well over 10,000 miles a year, but anything at or above threshold level become a problem. VO2 efforts don't go particularly well, but hard anaerobic efforts of around a minute are even worse. They cause a good amount of tingling throughout my body when really digging deep, along with lightheadedness. I believe that might be coming from hypoxia, although I'm not 100% certain about that. I think I've accepted that 1-minute max efforts are a thing of the past, but I'm still a time trialist at heart (no pun intended), and would like to improve my FTP. What I'm trying to figure out is how important the heart itself is for threshold power, and whether the heart itself is now what determines my "ceiling", or if it is more an age thing that is holding me back. The heart recovered very well considering the severity of the heart attack, but the efficiency of the heart, something called ejection fraction, is still much lower than normal at 45% (normal is about 60%, was 30% just after the heart attack). The other clots have caused a slight amount of lung / vein damage, but I think those are making a very slight difference. So, if my FTP is 80-85% of what it was back at my peak, is that about all I can ask?


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