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For "Darned Hearts" - How much cycling is too much ??

Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

For "Darned Hearts" - How much cycling is too much ??

Old 09-17-13, 02:08 AM
  #26  
Winnershcyclist
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I am 54 and was training for the London 100 when I got a cheap offer for a V03 test (they hook you up to all sorts of things)at the Surrey Sports institute in the Uk . I thought what the hell might as well find out how fit I am and to my surprise for someone who has made a real effort turns out that I have abnormal heart beat under activity it kind of peaks and troughs for a few minutes and then settles down.
I fatigued real easy on this test managed just 10 minutes at 90 rpm .
previous to this I was getting faster and could do a 45 minute spin class with full brakes on I had noticed I was finding it harder and also I was getting slower on the bike I put it down to age I have now started taking it easier by not cycling so much and seem to now be able to do the spins again easier.
I have been using a HRM through out and had never noticed this anomaly .

i have been referred to the hospital but that could take months so my advice for what its worth get a thorough test done get as much info as you can dont play it by ear alone or amateur advice.

My condition would not have been detected unless I had undertaken this V03 max test so I recommend it
finally even though it was harder going than I thought I did finish the 100miler but a lot slower than expected at 8 hours instead of the 6.5 I was working on
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Old 09-17-13, 07:31 AM
  #27  
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Thank You for sharing that Winnershcyclist.
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Old 09-17-13, 12:23 PM
  #28  
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i suffered a mild heart attack while racing my daughter in November 2000 at age 46. Of course a mild heart attack is like being a little pregnant. My first cardiologist was in worse shape then I was. He said that I shouldn't get my heart rate over 110 BPM and put me on a heavy dosage of beta blockers to make sure I stayed under 110 BPM.

Then I switched doctors to a cardiologist who was a marathon runner. She understood. Maybe this is what you need to do.

Since then I've done many century rides; 4 double centuries; and started doing half marathons. I'm slow, but persistent. I average about 4.5 K miles a year riding.

Note: I didn't have a bypass, stent or any other procedures except for a cardiac cath. My blockage is difficult to get at and would take open heart surgery. Not worth the risk so I just live with it. I wear a HRM while exercising and keep my HR under 160.
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Old 09-17-13, 01:06 PM
  #29  
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My Dad, A life long smoker and drinker, he loved fried chicken btw.

Had a FIVE way bypass at 60, I got the call to come home, his lungs were so thin and full of holes they said he was a gonner.
21 days later he snuck out of the Hospital Intensive care unit, he was good at sneaky, government trained and all that.

The doctors told him to do as he pleased after he passed four stress tests over the next year...
He did, was not a bicyclist but every year from then on they did a stress test and he did fine.
Lived to 84

Your Doctor should test you, you should ask, you should reach Max 'Q' and be told to ride your bike as far and as hard as you like.

And if Its that Important to you,,,, Do It !

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.
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Old 09-20-13, 04:31 PM
  #30  
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I had a heart attack last April and had a stent put in. As an active person, I was fairly fit to begin with and my recovery has been rapid.

Told by the nurses in cardio rehab that I should listen to my body...basically that if I felt up to it, do it.

So that's what I've done.

Got back on my bike and have been doing about 80 miles a week , mostly on flat greenway/roads with an occasional short hill thrown in. I've done 730 miles since June 9th.

Sound excessive?
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Old 09-27-13, 01:41 PM
  #31  
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A doctor who practices sports medicine will be best able to answer your questions and he will ask for your medical records.
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Old 09-28-13, 08:54 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
A lot of good advice above. IMO, seeking a second or even a third opinion is almost always warranted in any significant medical situation. Most insurance covers it. I try to find physicians that specialized in sports medicine if at all possible. Certainly physicians that are athletes themselves are much more likely to understand your issues, how important your sport is to you, and how to optimize recovery with respect to maintaining fitness and speeding return to your sport.

Your doctor's offhand recommendation to limit activity to two hours seems rather simplistic and weak. Certainly intensity needs to be factored in as well. I would imagine that an optimal recovery program would have you gradually increase volume and intensity while monitoring your condition.
+1
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Old 09-29-13, 07:37 AM
  #33  
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I am 65 with afib and have had an abliation which was fine for over a year and then all of a sudden I was in afib all the time. I have been riding a couple of times a week 15-20 miles. I wear a hrm but it does not always work as it can "miss" the weaker contractions. Anyway I take a blood thinner and a very low dose beta blocker. My heart guy said that rather than do another abliation he feels that we should just see how I feel. I have no damage no other symptoms and have lost 10 lbs over the summer. 6'5" 199. His approach is keep doing what you are doing and we will keep checking but the best treatment may be keep riding. I feel kind of guilty when I look at my mileage as most would look at my "long rides" as recovery rides but I get my heart rate up spend at least an hour on the bike and am for sure worn out at the end of the ride.
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Old 09-29-13, 01:21 PM
  #34  
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I have a self-correcting SVT (tachycardia), only when I ride. After one event when this turned into 24 hours of aFib (which finally resolved itself when I decided to get on my trainer for half an hour ...), my cardiologist told me to stop riding, at least till it was sorted out. Eventually, went to a different cardiologist, and after a Holter etc., he just sent me back out on the road with some Flecainide 'just in case' and told me that the benefits of exercise and being fit and healthy outweighed any potential risks.
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Old 09-29-13, 02:06 PM
  #35  
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Pattobin, My $.02 worth. Years ago in the OB-GYN literature there was a study about what sports and activities the OB docs let their pregnant patients participate in. Almost universally, they restricted those women from sports they themselves did not do. If they didn't swim, they didn't allow swimming, the same for running, tennis. etc. For me, when I had a knee problem I went to an Orthopedist that I trust and happens to be a cyclist - he has ridden across the country. I thought he was going to do something and get me going again right away. So, when he took me off my bike for 2 months I had to accept that it came from someone who was familiar with the sport. He did get me better, had me change my seat height for 2 months to change the stress angles on my knee and I am back, once again on pace for my 1000 miles a year - now at 955. Look for a 2nd opinion from a Cardiologist that is active in sports, especially cycling. Andy
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Old 09-30-13, 02:15 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Flying Foot Doc View Post
Pattobin, My $.02 worth. Years ago in the OB-GYN literature there was a study about what sports and activities the OB docs let their pregnant patients participate in. Almost universally, they restricted those women from sports they themselves did not do. If they didn't swim, they didn't allow swimming, the same for running, tennis. etc. For me, when I had a knee problem I went to an Orthopedist that I trust and happens to be a cyclist - he has ridden across the country. I thought he was going to do something and get me going again right away. So, when he took me off my bike for 2 months I had to accept that it came from someone who was familiar with the sport. He did get me better, had me change my seat height for 2 months to change the stress angles on my knee and I am back, once again on pace for my 1000 miles a year - now at 955. Look for a 2nd opinion from a Cardiologist that is active in sports, especially cycling. Andy
Thank You Andy !!

After the advice and inputs I received here (mainly), I visited my Cardiologist two days ago. The thinking that a Medical Person who is not into sports cannot advise accurately, is absolutely valid. Your observation refines this view.

I told the Doc about my keenness on Randonneuring. I asked specific questions like (a) What would be the bodily dangers related to my heart condition that I would expose myself to ? (b) What is the maximum heart rate I should ensure is not exceeded ? ...and so on.

I was appalled by this person's responses. The main ones that stuck with me are:-

(a) "Why would you or anyone want to cycle so much ?? Relax, enjoy life, meditate, reduce stress ...."
(b) And regarding to physical risks, believe it or not, this person said "TRAFFIC" !! Not a word about the 'graft' or 'influences of my medication'.

I will take it easy for a year till my medication is at its minimum and then go ahead with my long distance work.

I do appreciate all the help I received here.

Thank You All

Pat
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Old 11-11-13, 01:04 AM
  #37  
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Yesterday, I completed my first 200km Brevet clocking 10:56 h. I wish to thank all of you for your support and taking the time off to share experience. Thank You All.
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Old 11-11-13, 01:13 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Pattobin View Post
(a) "Why would you or anyone want to cycle so much ?? Relax, enjoy life, meditate, reduce stress ...."
(b) And regarding to physical risks, believe it or not, this person said "TRAFFIC" !! Not a word about the 'graft' or 'influences of my medication'.

I will take it easy for a year till my medication is at its minimum and then go ahead with my long distance work.

I do appreciate all the help I received here.

Thank You All

Pat
Originally Posted by Pattobin View Post
Yesterday, I completed my first 200km Brevet clocking 10:56 h. I wish to thank all of you for your support and taking the time off to share experience. Thank You All.
So what happened about taking it easy?

Good on ya but now the problems start. Don't go mad and do too much because you have proved the doctor wrong. You are still in recovery mode and have to listen to your body. BUT don't go the other way and take it too easy. Careful balancing act is required
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Old 11-11-13, 01:23 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
So what happened about taking it easy?

Good on ya but now the problems start. Don't go mad and do too much because you have proved the doctor wrong. You are still in recovery mode and have to listen to your body. BUT don't go the other way and take it too easy. Careful balancing act is required
Stapfam, I will keep that in mind !!! Tried to PM you but I do not have 50 posts so couldn't. A Very Big Thank you for showing me what could be done.

Patrick
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Old 11-11-13, 09:21 AM
  #40  
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Something to remember is that you might wind up seeing your cardiologist a lot more often than your GP, but she isn't your GP. But neither is a sports doctor a cardiologist. If you want to get a second opinion on your cardiologist then you need to ask another cardiologist.

Still since your doctor had no reasonable answers it sounds like you are in the clear. I had a similar experience with my GP, who is a nincompoop and getting replaced.
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Old 11-11-13, 12:04 PM
  #41  
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I had three stents put in in May, afterwards my doc gave me the choice of either riding or going to Cardo rehab (treadmill at the hospital with a nurse watching), I obviously picked riding. He was concerned with the heart rate that I would hit riding, I'm 55 and would typically see 150 - 190bpm. He put me on a beta blocker to hold my heart rate down (now 125 -155bpm) and told me not to be too extreme in what I did.

That being said I would do what the doctor said and if I wasn't comfortable with what he told me I would look for another cardo doc. You pay these guys to know more about the heart than you do and I if I didn't trust what he was telling about riding time I would have trouble listening to his other recommendation. I would find someone I trusted and let them do their job.
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Old 11-16-13, 11:19 AM
  #42  
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I September of 2011 I had a aortic valve replacement. I have a great cardiologist who is a Tri geek. She said cycling is a great way to rehab the heart. I rode indoors for 2 months, she worried more about balance than exertion. Worked rollers for a month, then started outdoors. After 2 months of 50 -70 mile weeks with my wife, she had me ride for 2 days with a Holter monitor. It seems at that point all was good under stress. I'm now back to 150 -300 mile weeks and am loving life. You might want to see if you can give the monitor a try. It works in real life, not just in the Drs. office.
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Old 11-16-13, 05:48 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Pattobin View Post
Yesterday, I completed my first 200km Brevet clocking 10:56 h. I wish to thank all of you for your support and taking the time off to share experience. Thank You All.
Well done Sir, very well done, this makes my day. When we all overcome doubts and personal issues it is amazing what you can accomplish on your bicycle. Returning to riding and the encouragement I receive here are the best things I have for my recovery from my own health issues. How about your own thread with a ride report, please, Pattobin.

Bill
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Old 11-17-13, 07:56 AM
  #44  
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Great job! Congratulations and yes, we need a full ride report.
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Old 11-17-13, 09:47 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by jhazel View Post
My experience, for what it's worth: After my heart attack (moderate damage) I decided that since I had to get back in shape I'd like to do a century. Doctor's response was "okay with three conditions." No racing - plan to finish in the back part of the riders. Not the Hotter n Hell. Not this year, the first year after my MI. We agreed on the San Diego Century a year and a half after my MI. I finished in 8 hours including rest stops. Eventually we refined the criteria to include no strenuous riding over 95 degrees and avoiding getting my heart rate over 85% of max. I always ride with a heart rate monitor. It took some negotiation but we are both satisfied.
I'm always curious about this, since my doc has admitted that the 'medical max' (the infamous 220-age formula) is not a good individual predictor. Does your doc mean 85% of your medical max, or of your actual max? And if it's the actual max, how does s/he know what it is?

Seems to be a catch-22 - you want to know actual max to avoid excessive stressing, but you can't measure it without excessive stressing.

Other than that, I appreciate what your doc has conceded for you. If I am ever in that situation, I hope mine is as accommodating.
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Old 11-17-13, 01:06 PM
  #46  
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Road Fan,
That is an excellent question. I've adopted a don't ask don't tell policy on what max hr is. I started with the medical max and have adjusted up as I have seen heart rates higher than the medical max.

For perspective, my doc has no illusions that any of his patients are going to be 100% literally compliant, so he doesn't stress about what we use as a target as long as it is in a reasonable range. When I pressed him on what bad things would happen if I ran higher than 85% he used the analogy of a car engine red line. The motor won't blow up when you go over the line, but it puts more stress and if you make a habit of it you risk a lot of damage.

The other thing that puts perspective on the 85% is the no racing rule. He is pretty serious about that because it is easy to get carried away and overdo it. Since I can't race, there isn't much point to training at levels that seriously violate the 85% (more or less) rule.
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Old 11-17-13, 01:58 PM
  #47  
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Pace is the question , I Pootle at my own Rate ,
and dont go to places where there is a competitive minded peer group
to make me feel inadequate, if I dont Keep Up..

Several long tours Cycling with all my camping gear, at 7mph
for 6 hours a day for 3 months you can go quite a ways ..

I'm Ok with 200 miles in a week with Pub lunches along the way.

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