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Old 07-16-09, 11:08 AM   #1
bruce282
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Doable or a REALLY Stupid Idea

First off I'm not trolling or trying to start a flame war. I have a legit question which I'm hoping you can help answer due to your own experience or that of someone you know or have heard about.

I'll turn 60 in October.
Type 2 Diabetic with blood sugar under control via meds.
Triple bypass in 2004.
Stent put in my R Femoral artery last year.
Overweight but working on it.

Doctor suggested riding again (I used to about 20 years ago) as a way of weight control and increasing endurance. With enough work and effort on my part over the next year would i be able to keep up with the pack, even the back of the pack, in local 4/5 35+ crits, or am I out of my mind.


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Old 07-16-09, 11:11 AM   #2
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You'll never know until you try.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:16 AM   #3
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lance had cancer...
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Old 07-16-09, 11:22 AM   #4
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there are some strong 70 year olds around here.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:28 AM   #5
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Not to be a downer but those races are faster than you think.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:34 AM   #6
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No masters 55+ near ya?
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Old 07-16-09, 11:36 AM   #7
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I had a hard time trying to seriously lose weight with any kind of hard physical activity. But that's just me.
I mention it since you say you want to lose weight (and I think your body is running out of ways to tell you that) but also want to race. If it was me, I would work on dropping weight hard, and maybe just ride a little on some junker bike. When you get to about 10-20lbs of your goal weight (this goal should be a body fat # too btw, not a lbs # since you will lose lean mass when losing fat) then start training harder. You will find your appetite growing a lot from this, so hopefully having been near starving for the last 6 months, you can carry over some self control and drop the rest of your weight and end up slim, happy, and healthy (you will also probably be able to ditch the type 2).
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Old 07-16-09, 11:37 AM   #8
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I work as a Registered Dietitian with diabetics and cardiac rehab patients.

I wish that just once, one of my patients would ask a question that conveyed 1/10th of the physical ambition in your question.

Please, please try. Be patient, and don't try to undo years of inactivity at once. Start low, build slowly.

Always listen to your MD regarding the intensity you can handle.

But just trying will increase your quality of life by more than you could imagine, no matter how far you get.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:41 AM   #9
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No masters 55+ near ya?
"Those guys" can be brutal.
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Old 07-16-09, 11:43 AM   #10
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It depends on how fit for cycling you are now, your genetics, and how hard you are willing to work. If you are sedentary or are only riding 10-20 miles at 14 mph, I'd say that it would probably take a couple years to get fit enough to race (based on my own experience going from totally sedentary at age 41- it actually took me more like 5 years but I didn't set out to race).

Additionally, the meds you are taking may have an effect. A good friend got a stent at age 50, and the meds he had to take interfered with how his heart rate responded. He could ride for hours at tempo but couldn't go hard in short bursts at all. He's since gotten off the meds and his speed on short distances has greatly improved even though he doesn't train for that. But since you need that ability for races, especially crits, you may be out of luck for racing even if you are already fit and ride 200 miles a week.

It's a really good goal, but if you are not already bike fit, then you should set some intermediate goals... mine were:
-finish a metric century
-finish a full century
-finish a hilly century
-finish the Death Ride
-better my time on the Death Ride
-finish the Everest Challenge
-improve my placing in the EC.

A goal of finishing a M45 cat 4/5 crit would in some ways be easier than my Death Ride/EC goals since there is less endurance involved, and building that takes time, at least for me. It'd be harder in that there's more speed work involved, so the suffering is more intense.

Last edited by ericm979; 07-16-09 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 07-16-09, 12:09 PM   #11
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I think it's cool that you're even considering it.

Couple of things: As MONGO mentioned, crits are probably a lot faster than you think, so be prepared to go otb pretty quickly. Don't worry about it--happens to most of us. Other thing is, if you go down, you probably won't jump up quickly and get back in the race like the 20-year-olds will. I'm 52 and heal a lot slower than in younger days.

That said, I just started racing last year and, while not being real competitive, have had a great time.
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Old 07-16-09, 12:20 PM   #12
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I know some wicked fast guys who are just a few years younger than you, so you never know. Just build slowly and try.

BTW -- don't discount the idea of using something like an organized century as a motivator to get you going either.

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Old 07-16-09, 12:23 PM   #13
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i
but just trying will increase your quality of life by more than you could imagine, no matter how far you get.

+1,000,000
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Old 07-16-09, 01:14 PM   #14
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It will be pretty friggin hard, but doable if you really work at it.

Given you medical issues, if you can afford it, I would work with a coach who is in tune with your medical issues, and also with close consultation with your physician.

I think intermediate goals are a good idea, although finishing a century is not going to do a lot for developing the speed you need to hang with the pack in a crit.

We don't quite know where you current riding ability fits in. I would start with whatever group ride you can comfortably keep up with. I would do that for awhile, and gradually work up to faster groups. When you cna hang with the local race training ride, then you'll be ready to race.

Around here, the 55+ races start to be a bit smaller fields, so it might be easier to start out in Masters 55, than Cat 5, particularly if you get some pack riding experience in before hand on training rides.

Also, there are som competitive outlets riding a bike other than Crits. Doing time trials is an excellent way to start. It really doesn't matter how fast or slwo you are because you're racing against yourself essentially. You might try to find a local club with a TT series. Timed centuries, while not races can also give you a competitive goal to set a personal best time. And doing the bike leg of a triathlon, or duathlon on a team is another possibility.

So I say get on the bike start riding, work with your Doctor, a Coach, and a local team, and give it a go.
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Old 07-16-09, 01:34 PM   #15
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good luck Bruce. work with your Dr. 1st and foremost, but there's no reason to believe that if it's medically advisable (from a medical professional) that you can accomplish your goal. Fortunately, in the Wash, DC area, there are opportunities for you to race that are beginner friendly.

1 - in February there's the Tradezone Training series. There's a C race that's for never evers. It's a flat non-technical course

2 - greenbelt training series is every wednesday throughout may ->august. also has a C race for never evers or new racers. although it's got a hill, it's a good place to start racing.

lots of other events throughout the season, we're lucky in that respect in this part of the world. get an indoor trainer, and plan to spend a bunch of time on it this Oct. through March.

local calender is here: www.mabra.org
registration for most events is here: www.bikereg.com
another site with info: www.gamjams.net

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Old 07-16-09, 02:00 PM   #16
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I haven't been out to Greenbelt this year, but last year there was a pretty old guy (guessing at least mid 60's) who would ride in the C race. He would get dropped basically right off the bat, and then just ride around sort of bowlegged the rest of the race. Some folks would get pissed off at him, but he did a good job of staying out of the way, IMO. I think his son races for Artemis.
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Old 07-16-09, 02:16 PM   #17
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NoVA teams
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Old 07-16-09, 04:58 PM   #18
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good luck Bruce. work with your Dr. 1st and foremost, but there's no reason to believe that if it's medically advisable (from a medical professional) that you can accomplish your goal. Fortunately, in the Wash, DC area, there are opportunities for you to race that are beginner friendly.

1 - in February there's the Tradezone Training series. There's a C race that's for never evers. It's a flat non-technical course

2 - greenbelt training series is every wednesday throughout may ->august. also has a C race for never evers or new racers. although it's got a hill, it's a good place to start racing.

lots of other events throughout the season, we're lucky in that respect in this part of the world. get an indoor trainer, and plan to spend a bunch of time on it this Oct. through March.

local calender is here: www.mabra.org
registration for most events is here: www.bikereg.com
another site with info: www.gamjams.net

Greenbelt was fun, very non-technical so it was one of the safer races I've done.
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Old 07-16-09, 05:04 PM   #19
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When your doc suggested riding, was he aware of what your intentions were/are?
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Old 07-16-09, 05:34 PM   #20
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I'm gonna chime in and second the previous suggestion to consider time trialing instead of crits as an entry to racing.

Masters racing is surprisingly fast, especially in major metro areas. Many, many of those Masters racers are people who used to race at a fairly high level in their past, and they tend to possess very good genetics. Racing against those people as a newbie could be pretty frustrating. Or maybe you live somewhere that has a "mellower" racing scene, and doing crits would be OK. But still, time trialing is infinitely safer than racing crits, and you'll always be able to compare how you're doing against a valid reference, namely yourself.

Sure, you could always just go out and ride by yourself against the clock, but having some actual events to train for can be a great motivator. I'm 44 now, and raced as a Cat 2/3 in the early 90s. Didn't ride too much between then and now, but I'm getting back into it, and the idea of racing again does intrigue me. However, I feel pretty good about having survived my racing "career" without ever going down in any kind of crash, and I have no desire to start now, so I've been thinking that perhaps time trials are a good way to go. And besides, that means I could start buying all sorts of fun, specialized, expensive equipment that I don't already have...
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Old 07-16-09, 07:36 PM   #21
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well if the answer is no, at least you died doing something you loved. I only hope to be as lucky.
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Old 07-16-09, 08:57 PM   #22
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Go for it. I turn 50 next year, started racing at 45, did my first NRC P/1 event a month ago and hung.
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Old 07-16-09, 09:40 PM   #23
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First off I'm not trolling or trying to start a flame war. I have a legit question which I'm hoping you can help answer due to your own experience or that of someone you know or have heard about.

I'll turn 60 in October.
Type 2 Diabetic with blood sugar under control via meds.
Triple bypass in 2004.
Stent put in my R Femoral artery last year.
Overweight but working on it.

Doctor suggested riding again (I used to about 20 years ago) as a way of weight control and increasing endurance. With enough work and effort on my part over the next year would i be able to keep up with the pack, even the back of the pack, in local 4/5 35+ crits, or am I out of my mind.


Bruce
Dude, of course you can do it!!
And with a brain on your shoulders (because you are giving yourself a year, very realistic) its even more possible.

The KEY:
Progression.
But i seem to be singing to the choir on that, seeing that you want to give yourself a year, you understand that slowly but surely does it.

Absolutely you can do it. But man, be careful of all health gizmos you are stuck with.
Progress, give your body time to adapt with each increae you do to it, and you can work your way up as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow.
You know, 10mile rides for 3 weeks a few times a week, few days easy, 20mile rides a few days a week for 3 weeks, couple of days rest, 30mile rides a few days a week for 3 weeks, rest a few, 40 miles rides a few days a week for 3 weeks then rest, then knock it down to 20mile rides a week with a group, to start including a bit of intensity, drop off the first few times to not over strain yourself. Then over a few weeks or months, slowly push harder to keep up longer with the group on the rides before letting them go.
Before you know it your doing it.

Im not a quack (doctor) so ill waver by saying check constantly with your doc.

Good luck brother.
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Old 07-17-09, 08:40 AM   #24
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Thanks All

Thanks for all the encouragement and advice. I know realize I left out some info in my first post. I've been overweight all my life, and as for my current bike fitness, well it's non-existent right now.

Last August I bought a Trek MTB and began riding it around the area including the Wakefield park trails. Not real far but getting better each week. Then on January 4th I crashed, broke 4 ribs and partially collapsed my left lung. I just got back on my mtb last week so I'm really starting from less than zero.

I think aiming at a TT first is a good idea, and from where I am right now 2 years is a better time frame. I'm looking into the group rides in the area (D then C level rides).

My doc has said it's OK to start a program to increase my riding speed faster, but as she pointed out one of my BP medications is a beta blocker which will limit just how fast my heart will beat, so we'll see.

On the club scene I do belong to a local club (one not mentioned in the club thread). I wanted to join one hoping it would help me push myself, and mine was one of the few that didn't have a requirement to join a team ride before joining.

Again thanks for all the advice and if you're riding the Giro de Coppi this weekend I might see you there.


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Old 07-17-09, 08:55 AM   #25
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I'd say lose the weight first, worry about everything else later.
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