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  1. #1
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Oh man, this is harder than I thought

    Our story so far:
    I needed to do something. I had been a couch potato, putting on poundage for 20 years.
    I knew I wasn't gonna last long at that rate. Probably wouldn't even make 60.
    But, what? Aha! I used to love bikes. Have all my life.
    So, I got back in the saddle and joy now reigns throught the land. And yet... and yet...

    At first I could see improvement everytime out. Now, I know I trending better but it's hard to see where the improvements are.

    I wanted to lose some baggage. Sure, I've lost about 20 lbs or so since April but it's just not coming off as fast as I'd hoped.

    I wanted to bring my BP and cholesterol down and get off all the meds I take. Sure I've been able to cut my BP meds almost in half and maintain ~140/80 (after a ride it's more like 110/70 or lower. Sometimes scary lower) but it's still too high and stubborn. I'm going back to see him in a week and I know he's not gonna be happy.

    I wanted to improve my heart and lungs. OK, I have asthma and that puts a real damper on things. It might be getting better but I still gasp like a fish far too soon and my lung capacity doesn't seem to have improved much - and that's after using my inhaler. And, sure, I didn't have a heart monitor until a week ago so I don't know where I started but I still hit 160BPM far too fast (my MaxHR is ~167). I can't even do a 1/10 mile, 11% climb with hearing that damn alarm going off (while I'm gasping like said fish)

    How long does it take to throw off 20 years of a sedentary life?
    Am I asking too much?
    Am I at the end of how good I can expect to be?
    Is this it?
    Do I just need to chill?
    Help!

    PS) Regardless, I'm not about to give up the bike. I'm loving it way too much
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  2. #2
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like near miraculous improvements in nearly all phases that you are looking at. Near miraculous is pretty good. I've only been on the bike since May and have seen similar personal gains though in different areas (arthritis!! and all the bad things it brings with it) - but I still have a long way to go too. We both could have and should have done a better job over the years taking care of our bodies. But try to change what was and see where you get. Like you, I'm still trying to change what will be and wish it were faster and easier. But if it were wouldn't everybody be in great shape and look the part? I say chill bro, and hang in there and keep pushing yourself, the improvements will continue. I noticed after the last exchange we had you hit the bricks and met your annual goal, which made me feel very good for you. I ain't givin' up either, I like feeling better even if it's not perfect yet and probably never will be.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Thanks. Good points... And I don't want to discount what I've done to date; I'm pretty pleased really.
    But I guess I had no idea how much I had let myself slide. Well, OK, maybe I did. A little.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

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    Perhaps you need to track progress in a more definitive way.
    As I finish my ride I must ride up a pretty steep grade to get back to my home.
    When I began riding I would reach my home and be absolutely out of breath, gasping and coughing.
    Now I am rarely out of breath.
    I check this sort of behavior on many of the hills of my standard exercise ride. When I began in the spring of '05 there was one hill on my 6 mile ride that I used to stop at the top of and take a breather, have a sip of water and rest. Now I'm riding 15 miles on my normal ride, never stop and don't even take water along since it is such a short ride.
    I dropped about 15 pounds and have held there. During periods of intensive riding during the summer I'll drop another 4-5 pounds, but that's where my body seems to stay. It's alright with me because I don't look so much at the weight, (since muscle weighs alot) as much as I pay attention to how my clothes fit. Again, during intensive periods of summer the waist of all of my suits etc. is loose to the point of falling off, but I haven't lost tremendous amounts of weight.
    Just keep at it and enjoy the riding. As you continue building "base" miles and becoming more fit you will see differences in your body, breathing and fatigue levels.

  5. #5
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=SaiKaiTai]PS) Regardless, I'm not about to give up the bike. I'm loving it way too much[/QUOTE

    The asthma is, no doubt, a factor, but you've done well and I say the last line says it all. Well done!
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Now on that Heart Monitor----- SWITCH THE ALARM OFF. If you have a max of 167 and you can get to 160 you are fine. Well not when you get to 160 as you know you are working at that rate. If you can't get above 130 then you have a problem.

    Now if you want to lose weight- then stay at around 135 to 140 and this is the weight loss area. You won't lose much at a time- or even for a few months but it will be coming off. On a ride hydrate well- At least one bottle per hour or 2 if it is hot. This will help the Body feel better. Asthma will not help on the breathing but I bet you can go longer and harder now than when you first started. Now on the weight- You are not losing any? Bet you are losing fat and putting on muscle though. The body must be feeling better and Except for the 6 pack- will be improving everywhere. (Cycling does not help on stomach muscles unless you are Carrying the bike up the hills and you are not doing that)

    You are doing fine. It took me 2 years before I started to feel the Improvement, or at least after the initial fitness kick that came in, so you still have a year or so to go. It sounds as though you are trying too hard for your current fitness and expecting too much aswell. Slow down a bit- even up hills- keep the HR around 140 except for the final bit of a hill or sprint and start looking for the good points(Instead of the negative)

    I don't know how hard you are pushing yourself or whether you are going out for milage, but look to doing a variety of rides. Try for higher milage- then try for a higher speed between two points. And if the body can take it- try for an extra ride a week.

    You are doing fine. Cycling will get you fit, as you must have noticed, but not overnight.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  7. #7
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    If I might bring you down a little - I've noted improvements every single year since I returned to cycling 16 years ago. Sometimes the progress has been almost impossible to see and sometimes it's been meteoric but every year I get better.

    Some guy told me that it would take 2 years to grow enough capillaries in my legs so that they weren't tired all the time and would recover in a decently short period of time. That was close - it took me three years. But my ex-wife started riding and 4 months later did a century with energy to spare so there is a sharp amount of natural ability concerned as well.

    When you're a cyclist you have to learn to deal with pain. Either your muscles hurt because you're riding or they hurt because you aren't. Your joints all get sore and you think that you'll NEVER recover.

    But you do. And once you get passed all of the pain caused by not using your body in so long, you begin to enjoy yourself even more than those odd moments even from the first when the sun is just right, the road is just right, the temperature is just right, your butt isn't hurting and you're going a decent speed.

    There's something about bicycling that will lift the spirits of a depressed person more than anything else. I've known several people who've successfully treated mild clinical depression with cycling. Though if I can't catch up with that jackass ride leader it sure does make me depressed..........

  8. #8
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, all of you guys... I ride alone and don't know anyone else who rides so I had no way of guaging my progress. Sounds like I'm doing fine, so I'm happy.

    I should clarify that I only hit 160 when I'm on a hard climb. I thought it might hard, *prolonged* climbs but it turns out not as "prolonged" as I thought. Can't slow down too much more, though. I do about 60RPM in loooooow gears at about 5 or 6 mph. I kind of wobble all over. Much slower and I think I'll fall down! On relatively flat ground, I do maintain 130-140. Sometimes I just cruise around at, say, 120-130. And on long climbs, I will and do stop. I more or less have to, until the "pipes" relax a little and I can get air into my lungs again. I am definitely no masochist.

    And again, yes, yes, yes, I definitely *do* see improvements. They came really fast and were very noticable for the first 5 or 6 months but seem more incremental now. That's OK. If that's how things work, then so be it. I always forget about muscle vs. fat as far as weight goes. There's no question that my body is changing. My waist has gotten smaller by 2-3 inches and my shirts are looser. I'm wearing clothes, now, that I put away and forgot about because they got too small (OK, I got too large).

    One big positive is my climb home. It's a fairly short (1/10 mile) 6% climb which dips down a bit before starting a 400+ foot 11% climb. I used to have to stop after the first climb before finishing the second one (I used to used to stop after the 1st and once or twice on the 2nd). I don't anymore. That's a plus.

    I will just keep on keepin' on and take the changes as they come.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  9. #9
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    You started in April, I started down the same path in September. Come 6 months from now, I hope I am as far down it as you are now. I think you are doing very well. My house sits at the bottom of a small hill, with a new state bike trail being built about a half-mile on the other side of the hill. At first I was putting my bike into my car and driving over to the flat bike path. Now I'm riding up the hill without stopping and without going into my two lowest gears. You take what victories you can get.

  10. #10
    Senior Member howsteepisit's Avatar
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    Just hang in there. I am in the same boat, and I really had to realign my expectations of myself. As we get older, its even more important to be consistent. It took 20 years to get where you are, it will not take 20 to get back. When I think back to the years when I was cycling, it still took 2 to 3 years to really get fit. So I figure 5 to really get where I want to be now. Every month that I consistently ride I see real improvements. And After all, it is still about having fun! If its not fun you might as well find another form of exercise.
    Recycle, Reclaim, Reuse and Repair
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
    Our story so far:
    I needed to do something. I had been a couch potato, putting on poundage for 20 years.
    I knew I wasn't gonna last long at that rate. Probably wouldn't even make 60.
    But, what? Aha! I used to love bikes. Have all my life.
    So, I got back in the saddle and joy now reigns throught the land. And yet... and yet...

    At first I could see improvement everytime out. Now, I know I trending better but it's hard to see where the improvements are.

    I wanted to lose some baggage. Sure, I've lost about 20 lbs or so since April but it's just not coming off as fast as I'd hoped.

    I wanted to bring my BP and cholesterol down and get off all the meds I take. Sure I've been able to cut my BP meds almost in half and maintain ~140/80 (after a ride it's more like 110/70 or lower. Sometimes scary lower) but it's still too high and stubborn. I'm going back to see him in a week and I know he's not gonna be happy.

    I wanted to improve my heart and lungs. OK, I have asthma and that puts a real damper on things. It might be getting better but I still gasp like a fish far too soon and my lung capacity doesn't seem to have improved much - and that's after using my inhaler. And, sure, I didn't have a heart monitor until a week ago so I don't know where I started but I still hit 160BPM far too fast (my MaxHR is ~167). I can't even do a 1/10 mile, 11% climb with hearing that damn alarm going off (while I'm gasping like said fish)

    How long does it take to throw off 20 years of a sedentary life?
    Am I asking too much?
    Am I at the end of how good I can expect to be?
    Is this it?
    Do I just need to chill?
    Help!

    PS) Regardless, I'm not about to give up the bike. I'm loving it way too much

    Just wanted to share my own experience, as I had laid off cycling for 20 years, and was similarly frustrated with my lack of progress when I started again.

    A knowledgeable racer told me when I started up that it would take a year to build up aerobic capacity. I scoffed, but he was right. It really took a full year before I could ride a significant distance (say 20 miles) without stopping to catch my breath.

    And even then I had no strength. (If you look back in the archives of these forums you'll see my postings about lack of speed compared to the groups I was riding with.) So next phase (which I'm still on) was to develop strength.

    In all that time I lost almost no weight. In the first 6 months of riding I added 5 lbs. In the next 6 months I lost 10 lbs. So in the first 12 months I lost a net of 5 lbs. I got tired of people explaining it by saying "yeah, but muscle weighs more than fat".

    All of this is a long way of saying keep it up!! Progress is slow, but it is definitely progress. In the last 3 months I've increased my endurance and strength dramatically and people have remarked on it. But it took a full 15 months to get me to that point.

    Maybe someone has better training tips, but I kinda doubt it, I think the body has it's own timing and it's a lot slower than we sometimes wish.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Skipper's Avatar
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    As long as you are not regressing you should be pleased. Everyone reaches a plateau from time to time. Don't worry about it.
    Your max HR of 167 sounds an awful lot like a 53 year old using the 220 minus your age formula. You can safely forget that you ever heard that formula. Now that you have a monitor you may find that your max is actually higher than 167 bpm (mine is 184 bpm). If you search the forums for heart rate info, you will find a wealth of information to help you measure your improvements.

  13. #13
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    You're off to a good start. Just keep on riding. It's not about the flash of getting to a goal, it's the old boring lifestyle change that will put you on the road to better health and fitness. People are different, but for me, all the measurements would stop me in my tracks. I do better by just doing what I'm doing and letting my natural drive to do more keep me progressing. Adding new holes to belts and wearing clothes that had been outgrown are much better indications of progress than heart rates, weight or speed.
    I would suggest one measurement, however. Try stepping up from 60 RPM on the climbs to spinning at 90 RPM or so and you'll likely find those hills are easier to climb without so much stress.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  14. #14
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    ... Adding new holes to belts and wearing clothes that had been outgrown are much better indications of progress than heart rates, weight or speed.
    Yep, that is so, so true. And so, so satifying

    I would suggest one measurement, however. Try stepping up from 60 RPM on the climbs to spinning at 90 RPM or so and you'll likely find those hills are easier to climb without so much stress.
    Eventually, sure, I can buy that. Right now, spinning at 90 uphill is a dream. 60 in the lowest gear I have is about the best I can do on a long climb. But, I think I'll try spinning a lower gear on some of the lesser hills I encounter.

    As long as you are not regressing you should be pleased. Everyone reaches a plateau from time to time. Don't worry about it.
    You're right. I completely discounted plateaus. I've certainly dealt with them in my playing, why not my riding, too?
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  15. #15
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You might want to read this article to better understand the mythology of "Maximum Heart Rate." It may take a couple of tries to load.

    http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/Robergs.doc

    ABSTRACT

    THE SURPRISING HISTORY OF THE “HRmax=220-age” EQUATION. Robert A. Robergs, Roberto Landwehr. JEPonline. 2002;5(2):1-10. The estimation of maximal heart rate (HRmax) has been a feature of exercise physiology and related applied sciences since the late 1930’s. The estimation of HRmax has been largely based on the formula; HRmax=220-age. This equation is often presented in textbooks without explanation or citation to original research. In addition, the formula and related concepts are included in most certification exams within sports medicine, exercise physiology, and fitness. Despite the acceptance of this formula, research spanning more than two decades reveals the large error inherent in the estimation of HRmax (Sxy=7-11 b/min). Ironically, inquiry into the history of this formula reveals that it was not developed from original research, but resulted from observation based on data from approximately 11 references consisting of published research or unpublished scientific compilations. Consequently, the formula HRmax=220-age has no scientific merit for use in exercise physiology and related fields. A brief review of alternate HRmax prediction formula reveals that the majority of age-based univariate prediction equations also have large prediction errors (>10 b/min). Clearly, more research of HRmax needs to be done using a multivariate model, and equations may need to be developed that are population (fitness, health status, age, exercise mode) specific.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  16. #16
    Wheezing Geezer Bud Bent's Avatar
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    SaiKaiTai, I just wanted to reiterate what's already been said about reaching plateaus. There will be stretches where you see improvement, and stretches where you don't. Keep riding, and the improvement will happen.

    On the weight loss thing, just riding wasn't enough to get me close to where I wanted to be. I had to improve my eating a lot, too. Good luck and hang in there.
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    They told me it's ok to post mileage over in the commuting forum, so you'll probably find me there these days.

  17. #17
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Others have already said it but you'll see progress over time so just be patient. Some times the progress comes in small amounts and other times in big Step Changes. As far as weight loss-plan for a weight reduction in 1 lb increments per week. You might target a special period of 8 weeks and weigh yourself daily but just record your progress in weekly increments. Your weight will fluctuate up and down throughout the week but at the end of a week if you're reducing calories and continuing to exercise throughout the week you should see a slow, steady decline in overall weight.

    Reduced weight will have a huge impact on the hills. Combine that with continued improvement in overall fitness and over time and you will really see big changes. You've gotten off to a terrific start so just stay the course. These things don't happen overnight but after a while you'll look back and say, Wow........I can't believe I just zoomed up that hill that I used to have to stop on!!

  18. #18
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Thanks to you, DnvrFox, for that paper. I won't pretend to have read it yet in careful detail but there seems to be everything I would want to know about HRmax (including that it is HRmax, not MaxHR).
    Still, and all, in trying a few of the calculations (including the one that you should use if you have to use one), it seems I run in the 168+ to 171+ range. Hm. good to know, even if just ballpark. So, what happens when you hit (or exceed) your max? Is like what was once thought about breaking the sound barrier?


    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    ... Your weight will fluctuate up and down throughout the week but at the end of a week if you're reducing calories and continuing to exercise throughout the week you should see a slow, steady decline in overall weight.

    Reduced weight will have a huge impact on the hills. Combine that with continued improvement in overall fitness and over time and you will really see big changes ... after a while you'll look back and say, Wow........I can't believe I just zoomed up that hill that I used to have to stop on!!
    And, jppe, thanks to you as, well. And again, to all of you.
    I kind of figured that if you have less mass to push up a hill, that can't be a bad thing. That's what I want to believe, anyway. And, while, I don't think I zoom yet, I've ready seen that I can take hills now that I couldn't before. In fact, the hill I have to climb to get home was a goal of mine last year. Came straight up it tonight as a matter of fact.
    '13 Felt Z3 - '08 Jamis Aurora Elite - ('07 Giant OCR C2)

  19. #19
    sdr
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    Misanthropic Miscreant sdr's Avatar
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    allow me to point out the obvious.

    couch potatoes don't ride bikes. you claim that you were a couch potato and now you're riding a bike. from where i'm sitting i'd say that's a 100% improvement already.

    don't get greedy - enjoy the ride!
    “You must be the change that you wish to see in the world” Gandhi

  20. #20
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
    Thanks to you, DnvrFox, for that paper. I won't pretend to have read it yet in careful detail but there seems to be everything I would want to know about HRmax (including that it is HRmax, not MaxHR).
    Still, and all, in trying a few of the calculations (including the one that you should use if you have to use one), it seems I run in the 168+ to 171+ range. Hm. good to know, even if just ballpark. So, what happens when you hit (or exceed) your max? Is like what was once thought about breaking the sound barrier?
    ""Based on this review of research and application of HRmax prediction, the following recommendations can be made;

    1. Currently, there is no acceptable method to estimate HRmax.

    2. If HRmax needs to be estimated, then population specific formulae should be used. However, the most accurate general equation is that of Inbar (17) (Table 3); HRmax=205.8-0.685(age). Nevertheless, the error (Sxy=6.4 b/min) is still unacceptably large."
    "
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Most aerobic training nowadays is not heart rate max specific but relates instead to anaerobic (lactate) threshold, and VO2 max. Still, much of it does relate to HR max. So you do the best you can do, if you can't get a sports clinic to actually measure your HR max. Just keep in mind that 220-age is one of the poorer predictors of HR max. Also, HR max is sports specific, and, to some degree (with controversy), fitness specific. I thought, as you are getting into training, you might be interested in the further info below.

    http://www.cptips.com/exphys.htm

    "OXYGEN CONSUMPTION (VO2)

    VO2 is the amount (expressed as a volume or V) of oxygen used by the muscles during a specified interval (usually 1 minute) for cell metabolism and energy production. Maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) is the maximum volume of oxygen that can be used per minute, representing any individual’s upper limit of aerobic (or oxygen dependent) metabolism. It can be expressed as an absolute amout (again as a volume per minute) or as a % of each individual's personal maximum (%VO2max).

    VO2max. dpends on:
    lung capacity (getting oxygen from the air we breath into the blood which is passing through the lungs
    cardiac output (the amount of blood pumped through the lungs, and of course the muscles as well, per minute)
    and the ability of the muscle cells to extract oxygen from the blood passing through them (the arterio-venous or A-V O2 difference) Each of these factors improves with aerobic training and results in an increase in VO2max.

    The arterio-venous (A-V) O2 difference results from oxygen being delivered and extracted form the blood being delivered to an organ (usually muscle), the arterial concentration, and the blood leaving, the venous concentration. Oxygen extraction) and thus the A-V O2 difference, increases with exertion (almost doubling at maximal exercise versus at rest) as well as with training (increasing for any set level of exertion).

    At levels of exertion greater than the VO2 max., the energy needs of the cells outstrip the ability of the cardiovascular system to deliver the oxygen required for aerobic metabolism, and oxygen independent or anaerobic energy production begins. Anaerobic metabolism is not only less efficient (less ATP is formed per gram of muscle glycogen metabolized) resulting in more rapid depletion of muscle glycogen stores, but also results in a build up of lactic acid and other metabolites which impair muscle cell performance (even when adequate glycogen stores remain). The build up of excess lactic acid will be ultimately be eliminated when exercise levels decrease to an aerobic level and adequate oxygen is again available to the muscle cell. The build up of lactic acid (and amount of oxygen which will ultimately be needed to eliminate it) during anaerobic metabolism is responsible for oxygen debt (the period of time required to remove the excess lactic acid) and recovery phase that follows anaerobic exercise.

    MEASURES OF CARDIOVASCULAR FITNESS

    VO2 max. or maximum oxygen uptake, is considered the gold standard of cardiovascular, pulmonary, and muscule cell fitness. It is usually standardized per body weight and expressed in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute, and is the maximum amount of oxygen your body (basically your muscles) can utilize. The VO2 max for an elite cyclist can range from 70 to more than 80 ml/kg/minute. It is generally measured on a treadmill or bicycle ergometer at a sports medicine clinic with the appropriate equipment. Exertion at or beyond 100% VO2max can be sustained for a few minutes at most. With training, you will increase your VO2max. as well as the ability to ride for longer periods at any % of your VO2max.

    The following all indicate that an individual's VO2max has been reached:
    VO2 plateau - no further increase in oxygen use per minute even with an increase in work performed
    heart rate within 10 beats of the age predicted maximum heart rate -this is the basis for using your maximum heart rate as a surrogate for your VO2 max when designing your personal training program)
    plasma (blood) lactate levels > 7 mmol/liter For those of you interested in the mathematical expression of VO2max, it is the product of the arterio-venous oxygen difference (the oxygen content of blood leaving the heart minus that returning to the heart and thus the amount being extracted by the working skeletal muscles) and the maximal cardiac output (the maximal heart rate times the volume of blood pumped per beat). This is called the Fick equation.


    Ranges of VO2max by age/sex
    Calculating %VO2max based on your % of your MHR (Maximum Heart Rate).


    Anaerobic Threshold (AT; also known as lactate threshold)is the level of physical performance at which the muscles produce more lactic acid than can be removed (by the liver and muscle enzyme systems). It is expressed as a percentage of VO2 max - or as indicated above as a % of its surrogate or maximum heart rate. At levels of exertion appraoching VO2max, there is a rapid increase in blood lactate levels. Cr. Concimi, a physiologist, suggested that it can be identified as the pulse rate deflection point with increasing exrcise (see the Concini test below).

    Your AT limits your rate of maximal exertion (remember it can be exceeded for only a few minutes as you build up oxygen debt) and thus can be assumed to be reflected as the maximum physical effort you can maintain continuously for 30 to 60 minutes. The more you exceed your LT or AT, the more quickly lactic acid will accumulate and thus limit further increases in your performance. As most cyclists don’t have access to lab facilities, you can estimate your AT with a 30 minute (about 10 mile) time trial. The average heart rate you can maintain is a good approximation of your AT.

    An individual's AT will improve with training, and cyclists with a higher AT can work at a higher level of energy expenditure for longer periods, defeating opponents of equal (or even greater) physical strength but with lower ATs. This concept explains why interval training, which is generally anaerobic, will improve performance.

    Concini Test Another method of measuring your AT (and LT) is the Concini test. As a cyclist’s efforts increase, their heart rate generally increases in a direct relationship to the energy expended (a linear relationship). But at some point the heart rate begins to level off even as the speed (and energy expenditure) continues to increase. This is the anaerobic threshold, that point at which oxygen cannot reach the muscles fast enough, lactate accumulates, and performance suffers. After an appropriate warm up, using a single gear and a relatively high speed, the rider gradually increases his or her speed by 1 km per hour every 300 meters or so. Heart rate is graphed versus speed, and the break point on the graph is the AT.

    Lactate Threshhold Recent work has focused on the blood lactate threshold (LT) as a reflection of an individual's level of training. The lactate threshold is that % of VO2 max. at which the cardiovascular system can no longer provide adequate oxygen for all the exercising muscle cells and lactic acid starts to accumulate in those muscle cells (and subsequently in the blood as well). At high levels of activity (but below 100% VO@max), there are always a few muscle cells (not entire muscles, but a small number of cells within those muscles) that are relatively deficient in oxygen and thus producing lactic acid. But this lactic acid is quickly metabolized by other cells that are still operating on an aerobic level. At some point, however, the balance between production of lactic acid and its removal shifts towards accumulation. This point is the LT. It is usually slightly below 100% VO2 max., and will improve with training (move closer to 100% VO2max). Those with an increased LT not only experience less physical deterioration in muscle cell performance for any level of %VO2max, but also use less glycogen for ATP production at any level of performance. Thus an improvement in LT allows the individual to perform at maximal levels for a longer period of time before running out of adequate energy (glycogen) stores.

    Resting heart rate, your heart rate on awakening in the morning, is a simple but effective indicator of your level of training. It will fall as you train, but then begin to rise again with overtraining."
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 01-10-07 at 06:56 AM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  21. #21
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    I know this is a cycling forum, but cycling can't cure everything. As others have said, you've made some real progress. At this point, it may not be reasonable to think that cycling will be the sole thing to help you reach all of your health/fitness goals. No doubt it can serve as a foundation, and a resource that brings you joy. That alone is a real gift.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  22. #22
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    DnvrFox,
    That's some impressive stuff! Not that I understand it or want to understand it. Heck, I didn't even read it! But whatever it says or means, I'm impressed that you know, understand or care about such stuff.

    my formula is more along the lines of:
    the more I ride the better I feel.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  23. #23
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaiKaiTai
    One big positive is my climb home. It's a fairly short (1/10 mile) 6% climb which dips down a bit before starting a 400+ foot 11% climb. I used to have to stop after the first climb before finishing the second one (I used to used to stop after the 1st and once or twice on the 2nd). I don't anymore. That's a plus.
    The cool thing abou using the Garmin Edge 305 and sites such as MotionBased is that it lets you look at exactly what you've done and put it in perspective. There are some monster hills near here in the Jefferson Memorial Forest, that are dreaded by all the local roadies who use them for hill training. They typically have a climb of 300 feet or so at a 6-10% grade. I haven't been brave enough to try them yet.

    If you're making it up 400 feet at 11% grade at the end of your training ride, you might consider giving some of us lessons on how to do it. That's an awesome accomplishment.

  24. #24
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    DnvrFox,
    That's some impressive stuff! Not that I understand it or want to understand it. Heck, I didn't even read it! But whatever it says or means, I'm impressed that you know, understand or care about such stuff.

    my formula is more along the lines of:
    the more I ride the better I feel.
    OK, and that is generally exactly what I do. However, I do enjoy understanding a bit of the theory and principles behind what I do, how your body works aerobically, and perhaps some techniques that can make that improvement a bit faster. Not that I can do anything like jppe - I can't. He is awesome..
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  25. #25
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    As far as weight loss, it is a simple situation calories in vs calories out. You are probably burning more calories but are you eating more as well? Also initially you may be creating more muscle that may be balancing the loss in fat weight.

    Interestingly I was watching a show a few weeks ago where an exercise physiologist said that she thought that working out in the aerobic weight loss zone probably does not do as much for weight loss as people would like to think. Since you are working less intensly you are burning less calories so she said that working at a level that burns the most calories is best and not to wory about the small decrease in fat burning you get from anerobic workouts.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

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