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IF Increase speed is important, what would you do?

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IF Increase speed is important, what would you do?

Old 11-14-22, 11:39 PM
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Here’s a time-tested way to get faster that doesn’t require a power meter, HRM, computer, or new bike:

Ride with faster riders.
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Old 11-14-22, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Did a heavy Zwift session the day before yesterday with an average HR for an hour and a half of 160, staying in threshold and tempo the entire time. Started feeling twinges in my chest which have since stopped. Had the same thing occur when I first got Zwift two years ago and went absolutely crazy pushing myself and ended up getting a EKG and other studies to see if I was damaging myself. All the results came back negative but didnít like having those minor pains, so backed way off. Looks like running my heart that hard for so long is not a good idea as my body is telling me it is not happy so will moderate my efforts to either decrease duration or effort.
Spamming Zwift makes people fast, and people say indoor training in general is the most time efficient way to get fast.
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Old 11-15-22, 06:42 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR
I feel for the OP.
I did not hit the genetic lottery either.
Acceptance is brutal in middle age.
At about 35 y/o, its been all downhill.
Interesting. Iím far from being an athletic powerhouse, but Iíve made it a point over the past 5 or so years to get back into shape and as I head in to my mid-40s, I havenít been this fit since college. Iím certainly in better shape now than my late-30s. I guess I can thank the pandemic for that. I will say itís a constant challenge to make time to get proper training in, but it makes it that much more gratifying when I have a great workout (on bike or off).
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Old 11-15-22, 07:06 AM
  #54  
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My list, by priority. Increasing / Enhancing these will result into more power and/or less effort according to me.

1) Cardio / Endurance
2) Leg strength & size (the latter is debatable, I know!)
3) Do other sports requiring cardio (IE, running, swimming)
3) Aero position
4) Aero bike / components

Last edited by eduskator; 11-15-22 at 07:14 AM.
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Old 11-15-22, 08:56 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR
I feel for the OP.
I did not hit the genetic lottery either.
Acceptance is brutal in middle age.
At about 35 y/o, its been all downhill.
35? hahahaha I did 12k miles the year I turned 36, including a 3k mile tour. Things started to go downhill around age 55 then really dropped off after 60 when work got so busy.
I retired at 65 and it's a struggle to try and gain back lost fitness and endurance. I'm 68 now and it's easy to overdo it.
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Old 11-15-22, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by big john
35? hahahaha I did 12k miles the year I turned 36, including a 3k mile tour. Things started to go downhill around age 55 then really dropped off after 60 when work got so busy.
I retired at 65 and it's a struggle to try and gain back lost fitness and endurance. I'm 68 now and it's easy to overdo it.
Yeh, cycling is a bit of an enigma because it is more of an endurance aerobic sport.
I should have clarified.
Fast twitch anaerobic sports like basketball and football that rely on explosveness, is where I realized I was washed up and was not going to keep up with younger athletes.
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Old 11-15-22, 10:01 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR
Yeh, cycling is a bit of an enigma because it is more of an endurance aerobic sport.
I should have clarified.
Fast twitch anaerobic sports like basketball and football that rely on explosveness, is where I realized I was washed up and was not going to keep up with younger athletes.
What I was trying to relate is that you can enjoy cycling for many years to come and can be competitive with your riding friends or even race if you choose.
I don't have a climber's body, I'm 200 pounds now which is 20 pounds less than when I was 35. When I do longish climbing rides with the club I am usually the slowest one but they don't mind, (usually). Actually if I just did the "B" rides I would be fine.

I know a couple guys over 70 who are near the front on those longer rides and I have known cat 1 racers in their 50s.

We can have different strengths as cyclists. I used to be able to sprint pretty well and could pull on the flats.

Last edited by big john; 11-15-22 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 11-15-22, 11:28 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR
Yeh, cycling is a bit of an enigma because it is more of an endurance aerobic sport.
I should have clarified.
Fast twitch anaerobic sports like basketball and football that rely on explosveness, is where I realized I was washed up and was not going to keep up with younger athletes.
This is the reality. The sport/game abruptly shows you it's time to move on. Then you turn to endurance sports and get new life as an athlete.
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Old 11-17-22, 05:37 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Have been a doing a bit of reading and video watching and it appears that the current approach toward training for most athletes is the ladder or pyramid. I keep running into this methodology which is contrary to what I have been doing, which is always push myself except when really exhausted then take it very easy. So now it will be zone 1-2 four days and do zone 5 two days and a rest day. Have also started measuring resting heart rate when I first awaken to determine if I may be overdoing it. Also trying, like today, to take a complete day off - except for weights, core and shoulders/arms. Have always resisted a structured program, but now is the time to give it a shot.

Did a heavy Zwift session the day before yesterday with an average HR for an hour and a half of 160, staying in threshold and tempo the entire time. Started feeling twinges in my chest which have since stopped. Had the same thing occur when I first got Zwift two years ago and went absolutely crazy pushing myself and ended up getting a EKG and other studies to see if I was damaging myself. All the results came back negative but didnít like having those minor pains, so backed way off. Looks like running my heart that hard for so long is not a good idea as my body is telling me it is not happy so will moderate my efforts to either decrease duration or effort.
I would recommend following a good structured training plan. Either from an app like TrainerRoad, SYSTM or a suitable plan from Training Peaks. Obviously something age/riding style/time specific. A good structured plan should be annual based with periodisation, including any key cycling events in your calendar.

I do a lot of unstructured riding too, but I find following a structured plan helps to keep it all sustainable over the long term and consistent training is the key. There's no point in for example thrashing yourself to death on Zwift for several weeks until you can hardly move or just plodding around aimlessly without riding hard for months on end. Once I started training with a purpose in 2019 I made more gains over the first winter than I had in the previous decade of just random riding around.
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Old 11-17-22, 11:02 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by rsbob
There seems to be a common misconception that this is all about me. I was inquiring as to what others do for themselves. If you donít do anything, thatís fine too.
I would ring my former coach and tell him we needed to get back to work.
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Old 11-17-22, 11:56 AM
  #61  
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Then the question is, what is the whole point (or what are your specific goals)? For me, cycling became much more enjoyable when I got beyond the need to follow specific training programs, achieve specific power goals, reach specific speeds or beat other amateur cyclists in races that didn't mean anything. Now I can just have fun and ride to keep myself in good physical condition for my health. To each his own though.
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Old 11-17-22, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
I would recommend following a good structured training plan. Either from an app like TrainerRoad, SYSTM or a suitable plan from Training Peaks. Obviously something age/riding style/time specific. A good structured plan should be annual based with periodisation, including any key cycling events in your calendar.

I do a lot of unstructured riding too, but I find following a structured plan helps to keep it all sustainable over the long term and consistent training is the key. There's no point in for example thrashing yourself to death on Zwift for several weeks until you can hardly move or just plodding around aimlessly without riding hard for months on end. Once I started training with a purpose in 2019 I made more gains over the first winter than I had in the previous decade of just random riding around.
You are absolutely correct. On Zwift there are a variety of training plans available. The tough part will be figuring out, since I prefer to ride outdoors when the weather is decent, how to work one around the other. I am not looking to compete, but just retain what I have and improve a bit before the inevitable backslide of aging really hits. I figure the farther I am ahead then, the fall won’t be so great. I was reading about decline in VO2 (aerobic capacity) of senior ‘athletes’ and it was quite startling how fast it will decline if one either stops their activities or just noodles around. Being surrounded by hills, I need to be able to continue to climb well or I will forever feel like I am flogging myself on the hills or my rides will be restricted to a very small valley area - which would be just too boring.
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Old 11-17-22, 01:23 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by jrobe
Then the question is, what is the whole point (or what are your specific goals)? For me, cycling became much more enjoyable when I got beyond the need to follow specific training programs, achieve specific power goals, reach specific speeds or beat other amateur cyclists in races that didn't mean anything. Now I can just have fun and ride to keep myself in good physical condition for my health. To each his own though.
This.
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Old 11-17-22, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
You are absolutely correct. On Zwift there are a variety of training plans available. The tough part will be figuring out, since I prefer to ride outdoors when the weather is decent, how to work one around the other. I am not looking to compete, but just retain what I have and improve a bit before the inevitable backslide of aging really hits. I figure the farther I am ahead then, the fall wonít be so great. I was reading about decline in VO2 (aerobic capacity) of senior Ďathletesí and it was quite startling how fast it will decline if one either stops their activities or just noodles around. Being surrounded by hills, I need to be able to continue to climb well or I will forever feel like I am flogging myself on the hills or my rides will be restricted to a very small valley area - which would be just too boring.
Then I'll ask the same question I asked(more or less) in post 4. What are you going to do when the backslide hits? You going to quit? As long as you're still out there plugging away, it's all good. That's the only thing that matters in the long run.
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Old 11-17-22, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat
Then I'll ask the same question I asked(more or less) in post 4. What are you going to do when the backslide hits? You going to quit? As long as you're still out there plugging away, it's all good. That's the only thing that matters in the long run.
No se habla quitting.

There is a local gentleman (former road racer) that has set 99% of the PRs locally, that I rode with during the summer. He is at the end of the 65-70 age bracket, and is still dedicated to cycling, lifting and running. He said the wheels came off when he hit the late 60s but he still hasnít and wonít quit because he loves cycling and has resolved to keep at it.

There is no way I can still ride 20 MPH all day long like I did in my 30s and accept that. If I have an average speed of 16 MPH over 30 miles with 2000í climbing, I consider that good. In my 30s that would have been considered by me, rather pathetic. Just having trouble developing acceptable of the fact that I will deteriorate faster and unrecoverable as a part of aging. Have a tough time letting that go even though so many have said they now enjoy cycling more because they donít put artificial constraints on cycling. Have to get over that psychological hump and develop acceptance, but until then, will probably fight like hell to improve on what I have to lessen the fall. I know there are no good answers to that unless people can talk about how they came to terms/acceptance. Could be about maturity too.
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Old 11-17-22, 01:55 PM
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Three weekends ago coming up, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Training didn't go too well this year and I bonked around mile 22. Got all crampy and was struggling to get in. Thinking how crappy it was and how much it was sucking at the time. In the last mile, along comes this runner. I don't know if he was a disabled vet, or had some type of condition/disability. His upper body was tilted about 30 degrees to the left, which made his head tilt the opposite direction to get it straight. He was craddling something in his left hand and literally dragging his right foot with a heavy limp as he went along. He was working so hard and finishing strong. He had a huge grin on his face! I actually got embarrased about the way I was thinking. This guy has to put up with his condition 24/7, yet he was as happy as he could be. I had a change of heart. After thinking about it, it was a great day. The weather was beautiful, and I was having a great day...........because I was still out there getting it. It motivated me to pick it up and finish strong as well.

This past weekend I ran the Richmond half. It got a little hot, but was still a nice day to be outside doing something. Life is what you make it.

Last edited by seypat; 11-17-22 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 11-17-22, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by seypat
Three weekends ago coming up, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon. Training didn't go too well this year and I bonked around mile 22. Got all crampy and was struggling to get in. Thinking how crappy it was and how much it was sucking at the time. In the last mile, along comes this runner. I don't know if he was a disabled vet, or had some type of condition/disability. His upper body was tilted about 30 degrees to the left, which made his head tilt the opposite direction to get it straight. He was craddling something in his left hand and literally dragging his right foot with a heavy limp as he went along. He was working so hard and finishing strong. He had a huge grin on his face! I actually got embarrased about the way I was thinking. This guy has to put up with his condition 24/7, yet he was as happy as he could be. I had a change of heart. After thinking about it, it was a great day. The weather was beautiful, and I was having a great day...........because I was still out there getting it. It motivated me to pick it up and finish strong as well.

This past weekend I ran the Richmond half. It got a little hot, but was still a nice day to be outside doing something. Life is what you make it.
Thanks for putting things very much into perspective and congrats on a strong finish. Wow
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Old 11-17-22, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
No se habla quitting.

There is a local gentleman (former road racer) that has set 99% of the PRs locally, that I rode with during the summer. He is at the end of the 65-70 age bracket, and is still dedicated to cycling, lifting and running. He said the wheels came off when he hit the late 60s but he still hasnít and wonít quit because he loves cycling and has resolved to keep at it.

There is no way I can still ride 20 MPH all day long like I did in my 30s and accept that. If I have an average speed of 16 MPH over 30 miles with 2000í climbing, I consider that good. In my 30s that would have been considered by me, rather pathetic. Just having trouble developing acceptable of the fact that I will deteriorate faster and unrecoverable as a part of aging. Have a tough time letting that go even though so many have said they now enjoy cycling more because they donít put artificial constraints on cycling. Have to get over that psychological hump and develop acceptance, but until then, will probably fight like hell to improve on what I have to lessen the fall. I know there are no good answers to that unless people can talk about how they came to terms/acceptance. Could be about maturity too.
OK. Just saw this. I've thought a lot about it. As it is said, "when the going gets tough the tough get going." Or the corollary, "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Which latter refers more to politicians than anything. Aging, the going does indeed get tough.

I guess "resiliency" is the word. One takes stock, sees what's weak, attempts to make that better. Of course it's a losing battle if you compare yourself to what you used to do, but you don't do that. You don't compare yourself to anything or anyone. You just try to do your best, whatever that is. You look for your limits, just like you always did. You accept that they aren't what they used to be and move on. But really, the battle is just what it always was, you against your limits. I haven't developed "acceptance." Why would I do that? I won't accept anything less from myself than my best. True, compared to my younger self, I'm slower. But I try just as hard as I always did. I was always slower than many other riders. Now I'm also slower than my younger self, but what difference does that make? It's the same thing.

I've changed some of my emphases. I discovered that more of my training time needs to be spend on strength training. Strength is key. It's easy to lose track of that and wonder why one is so much slower. I'm working to get back to deep squatting my bodyweight. I think that's important. My pedals are starting to feel light again. I don't recover as fast, so my weekly training load is less but my legs feel great anyway. Every year is different now so I'll just have to see how it goes, hope for the best. Hopefully, this cardiologist period will have a good outcome and I'll be back out there leading rides on our tandem again and doing some Alpine skiing this winter, as usual.
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Old 11-17-22, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
OK. Just saw this. I've thought a lot about it. As it is said, "when the going gets tough the tough get going." Or the corollary, "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." Which latter refers more to politicians than anything. Aging, the going does indeed get tough.

I guess "resiliency" is the word. One takes stock, sees what's weak, attempts to make that better. Of course it's a losing battle if you compare yourself to what you used to do, but you don't do that. You don't compare yourself to anything or anyone. You just try to do your best, whatever that is. You look for your limits, just like you always did. You accept that they aren't what they used to be and move on. But really, the battle is just what it always was, you against your limits. I haven't developed "acceptance." Why would I do that? I won't accept anything less from myself than my best. True, compared to my younger self, I'm slower. But I try just as hard as I always did. I was always slower than many other riders. Now I'm also slower than my younger self, but what difference does that make? It's the same thing.

I've changed some of my emphases. I discovered that more of my training time needs to be spend on strength training. Strength is key. It's easy to lose track of that and wonder why one is so much slower. I'm working to get back to deep squatting my bodyweight. I think that's important. My pedals are starting to feel light again. I don't recover as fast, so my weekly training load is less but my legs feel great anyway. Every year is different now so I'll just have to see how it goes, hope for the best. Hopefully, this cardiologist period will have a good outcome and I'll be back out there leading rides on our tandem again and doing some Alpine skiing this winter, as usual.
Thank you for your introspective thoughts. Much appreciated.
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Old 11-18-22, 03:53 AM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by seypat
Then I'll ask the same question I asked(more or less) in post 4. What are you going to do when the backslide hits? You going to quit? As long as you're still out there plugging away, it's all good. That's the only thing that matters in the long run.
This is what age categories are for. I'm not super competitive, but I like to compare my performance with my peers - who are all getting older at exactly the same rate as I am. So it's a level playing field. When I get beaten by younger riders it doesn't bother me in the slightest.

At least as far as road cycling goes, the "performance" aspect of it is what makes it interesting FOR ME. If I want to noodle around admiring the countryside I prefer mountain biking. Maybe when I get older, and perhaps have more spare time, I could get into mellow touring, but I'm not there yet.
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Old 11-18-22, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
You are absolutely correct. On Zwift there are a variety of training plans available. The tough part will be figuring out, since I prefer to ride outdoors when the weather is decent, how to work one around the other. I am not looking to compete, but just retain what I have and improve a bit before the inevitable backslide of aging really hits. I figure the farther I am ahead then, the fall won’t be so great. I was reading about decline in VO2 (aerobic capacity) of senior ‘athletes’ and it was quite startling how fast it will decline if one either stops their activities or just noodles around. Being surrounded by hills, I need to be able to continue to climb well or I will forever feel like I am flogging myself on the hills or my rides will be restricted to a very small valley area - which would be just too boring.
I find the Zwift plans too generic and too focused on short term gains to use effectively all year round. Plans from the likes of TrainerRoad and Wahoo SYSTM allow for a mixture of indoor and outdoor rides. They can also be tailored more effectively for older riders (e.g. 2-1 vs 3-1 build/recovery weeks) and key target events.

This year I've beed using a new App called PILLAR, which builds a custom adaptive training plan (similar to Xert I think, although I haven't used Xert). With PILLAR I can schedule all my outdoor rides and events and the App builds an adaptive training plan around them. At the end of each week I provide basic feedback on my physical and mental fatigue and the plan adapts for the following week. I can even schedule in holidays and other times I'm not available to ride, along with maximum daily/weekly time constraints. This allows me to build a pretty customised annual plan around all my other commitments. The other thing I like about PILLAR is that it evaluates every ride against the target session for that day. So for example I could do a hard Zwift race instead of a planned VO2 max interval session and PILLAR will evaluate my Zwift ride against the targets for the planned interval session. I can also use my favourite workouts from other Apps instead of PILLAR by matching the target intensity and duration. So I often use individual Wahoo SYSTM workouts, but within my PILLAR training plan rather than a more generic SYSTM training plan. You could do the same choosing individual Zwift workouts within a long term plan built from PILLAR.

If you are interested here's a link to PILLAR. They are UK based (not that it matters for the user) and I think it's still free to use in beta - but they are about to move to a modest subscription model. I have no affiliation to them other than as a user and beta-tester.

https://www.pillar-app.com

Last edited by PeteHski; 11-18-22 at 04:32 AM.
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Old 11-18-22, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
No se habla quitting.

There is a local gentleman (former road racer) that has set 99% of the PRs locally, that I rode with during the summer. He is at the end of the 65-70 age bracket, and is still dedicated to cycling, lifting and running. He said the wheels came off when he hit the late 60s but he still hasnít and wonít quit because he loves cycling and has resolved to keep at it.

There is no way I can still ride 20 MPH all day long like I did in my 30s and accept that. If I have an average speed of 16 MPH over 30 miles with 2000í climbing, I consider that good. In my 30s that would have been considered by me, rather pathetic. Just having trouble developing acceptable of the fact that I will deteriorate faster and unrecoverable as a part of aging. Have a tough time letting that go even though so many have said they now enjoy cycling more because they donít put artificial constraints on cycling. Have to get over that psychological hump and develop acceptance, but until then, will probably fight like hell to improve on what I have to lessen the fall. I know there are no good answers to that unless people can talk about how they came to terms/acceptance. Could be about maturity too.

Before your health puts you at the curb, giving up most of all that you've achieved thus far; I'd seek a few professionals of there services to help determine just how far you can push the envelope before pushing up mushrooms. It's just my humble opinion based on how you've described that episode in your post # 38
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Old 11-18-22, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
Before your health puts you at the curb, giving up most of all that you've achieved thus far; I'd seek a few professionals of there services to help determine just how far you can push the envelope before pushing up mushrooms. It's just my humble opinion based on how you've described that episode in your post # 38
You probably saw in the notorious and infamous, How FER did you ride today thread yesterday, I backed off a bit and did just fine with zero issues. I know I am full of BS, but I would prefer to push up daisies instead of mushrooms. I did go through a battery of tests the last time I had twinges, including wearing a halter monitor, blood tests, EKG and it all came up negative, so maybe its mushrooms after all! (The previous week I did 10 more Watts for 1.5 hours and that lead to the twinges).

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Old 11-18-22, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Have been a doing a bit of reading and video watching and it appears that the current approach toward training for most athletes is the ladder or pyramid. I keep running into this methodology which is contrary to what I have been doing, which is always push myself except when really exhausted then take it very easy. So now it will be zone 1-2 four days and do zone 5 two days and a rest day. Have also started measuring resting heart rate when I first awaken to determine if I may be overdoing it. Also trying, like today, to take a complete day off - except for weights, core and shoulders/arms. Have always resisted a structured program, but now is the time to give it a shot.

Did a heavy Zwift session the day before yesterday with an average HR for an hour and a half of 160, staying in threshold and tempo the entire time. Started feeling twinges in my chest which have since stopped. Had the same thing occur when I first got Zwift two years ago and went absolutely crazy pushing myself and ended up getting a EKG and other studies to see if I was damaging myself. All the results came back negative but didnít like having those minor pains, so backed way off. Looks like running my heart that hard for so long is not a good idea as my body is telling me it is not happy so will moderate my efforts to either decrease duration or effort.
I've had similar "twinges." I talked to my doctor about it. He said if it were your heart acting up, you'd know it. If the ECG didn't show damage, there wasn't any. The most likely explanation, said my doctor, is that we had some minor cramps in our chest muscles from all the hard breathing. My doctor is a hard riding cyclist in his late 60s. He did RAMROD with me last year, at least with me until I got dropped on the final 3000' climb.

That said, you were being um, stupid? Don't do that. Sure route to an aFib diagnosis sometime in the future, maybe not for another decade, but it'll happen. Structured training is the way to go. My damage is probably from doing competitive group rides with folks who were younger than I, for years. We'd start with 35-40 mile rides this time of year and work up to 100+ in late summer. I had a lot of fun, though now I pay for it. Outside of that one day a week of max efforts, I've always done structured training with a year long periodized plan. I started by getting The Cyclist's Training Bible, absorbing the principles, and writing my own plan. All the plans I see online are short, up to only 12 weeks, which is nothing. One needs at least a 45 week plan, figuring one will want a month or so's break with just random moderate efforts or maybe a tour. I switch to hiking training and do a 10-day backpack with my wife every year. That sure shows up the weakness of only doing cycling training.

I use TrainingPeaks Premium and fill in the workouts I'm going to do ahead of time, a couple of weeks or so, just to keep the fitness increase going up at a slow, steady pace, and putting in easy weeks for recovery. Then I can look back at past years and see where it went wrong, too.
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Old 11-18-22, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
All the plans I see online are short, up to only 12 weeks, which is nothing.
That's a bit of a generalisation as there are plenty of longer term plans online too. I do agree with needing an annual plan. Short plans are not usually sustainable e.g. most of the Zwift plans are designed as starter, booster or event build-up plans.
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