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  1. #1
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    How fast does your heart accelerate?

    I don't feel the same this year. I have been steady with good efforts on the spin bike and lot's of physical work but my legs feel like they are starving. After a ride I am more tired than usual. I use a heart rate monitor and even modest efforts seem to drain me quickly. I raced a lot of BMX all through the years and have maxed my heart out thousands of times but I don't feel comfortable doing that any more. My legs still bulk up so they are feeling the effort.

    Say for example, I am rolling along (20 mins in) on the spin bike at a cadence of 80 and a HR of 145 seated. I really feel like I should be able to stand with same resistance drop the cadence to 40 or so and it should take around one min. to get up to 160 BPM. It's now only 15 seconds or so. I am 53

    I took my blood pressure a few times this week when I was already tired at the end of the day. 112/60 average. I guess my blood feels too thick for lack of a better description though I am sure that is not the case.

    My wife asked me if I would do a stress test when I brought this up. I said "yes, and Ill crush it".

    Wrong answer.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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  2. #2
    tsl
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    The usual warnings about soliciting medical advice from strangers on teh interwebs applies. Make and keep an appointment with your cardiologist.

    I felt similarly a couple of years ago after having H1N1. Took me nearly a year afterwards before I felt like myself again. Since then, whenever I get sick, I feel that way for a while afterwards. I'm fighting a little cold right now and feeling quite sluggish, although my actual performance on the bike (seasonally adjusted) is about where it should be. In other words, I only feel sluggish. I can only wear my HR strap over about 40°F, so I don't know how that's been for the past few days.

    I've never tracked how quickly my HR ramps up, because I was told that how quickly it recovers is the better indicator of cardiac health. Whether this is true or not, I haven't the foggiest, but it's easier for me to pay attention to.

    That said, at 55, mine ramps up pretty quickly, and recovers impressively quickly.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    I don't feel the same this year. I have been steady with good efforts on the spin bike and lot's of physical work but my legs feel like they are starving. After a ride I am more tired than usual. I use a heart rate monitor and even modest efforts seem to drain me quickly. I raced a lot of BMX all through the years and have maxed my heart out thousands of times but I don't feel comfortable doing that any more. My legs still bulk up so they are feeling the effort.

    .....
    Yes, that can be a heart problem -- but it is equally likely (maybe more so) to be something else such as a hypoactive thyroid, anemia, rhabdo..., etc...

    I would suggest, if you have not already done so, check with an internist (or somebody similar) for a complete workup. (CMP, CBC, TSH, etc...) If you felt fine and strong and now you feel tired and weak, it is an indication that something is not quite right inside -- but the possible causes of that can be myriad.

    An internist, endocrinologist or a (good) general practitioner can run the tests to find the problem.
    --------------------------------------
    bikes: 1992 Cannondale R500, 2012 Trek DS 8.5, 2008 LeMond Poprad

  4. #4
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Yes, you really should see your doctor if you're concerned. It is probably something simple, but ya never know.

  5. #5
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeBMac View Post
    ... it is equally likely (maybe more so) to be something else such as a hypoactive thyroid ...
    Have you checked your basal temperature lately? (I consistently run between about 35C = 95F and 36C = 97F, down a bit from my lifelong subnormal history, which I inherited from my mother.) Iodine deficiency is common in the US population, and a little more kelp, fish, etc. in the diet might help.
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  6. #6
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    To answer your question ----- some days, way too fast. Others, not fast enuf.......... we are all getting older.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    My heart rate accelerates instantaneously when some nitwit right hooks me.

    Seriously, get it checked out. Talk to your primary care person first, and he/she may refer you to a cardiologist for further testing.

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    How fast does my heart accelerate? I don't know, but it accelerates faster than my bike does. (Mostly by default: nothing accelerates any slower than my bike.)

    Good luck sorting out the issue. With a little luck, you just need some Geritol.

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    Mine accelerates 9.8 m/sec^2 straight down pretty much all the time.

  10. #10
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    Fatigue after a ride, heart rate rises quickly...

    Maybe, just maybe, these are signs of over training. Or anemia.

    No way of knowing over the inter web. Check it out with an MD. Blood workup would be a good starting point.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  11. #11
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    I don't feel the same this year. I have been steady with good efforts on the spin bike and lot's of physical work but my legs feel like they are starving. After a ride I am more tired than usual. I use a heart rate monitor and even modest efforts seem to drain me quickly. I raced a lot of BMX all through the years and have maxed my heart out thousands of times but I don't feel comfortable doing that any more. My legs still bulk up so they are feeling the effort.

    Say for example, I am rolling along (20 mins in) on the spin bike at a cadence of 80 and a HR of 145 seated. I really feel like I should be able to stand with same resistance drop the cadence to 40 or so and it should take around one min. to get up to 160 BPM. It's now only 15 seconds or so. I am 53

    I took my blood pressure a few times this week when I was already tired at the end of the day. 112/60 average. I guess my blood feels too thick for lack of a better description though I am sure that is not the case.

    My wife asked me if I would do a stress test when I brought this up. I said "yes, and Ill crush it".

    Wrong answer.
    I think I will like your wife when I meet her...

    I was just checking my resting heart rate (thinking it was a little fast) and for a guy who has been forced to be much more sedentary than usual, lives with near constant pain, and is only now getting back on the bike and riding any significant distances I come in with an above average rating... 66 bpm for anyone that is wondering and for me this does feel faster than I am used to.

    The last stress test I took before my accident put me in the elite category and I did this when I was suffering from a nasty cold... when I first saw my new doctor he thought I had a heart condition because my resting pulse was abnormally low (high 40's) and this was after I rode my bike to the appointment.

    I still tested very well after the accident although I could really only pedal properly with one leg... they had to keep dialing up the resistance on the bike and kept telling me I wasn't supposed to be spinning at 100 rpm but that was the only way I could get my heart rate into their target zone.

    It would probably be a good time to get a full physical to make sure there is not anything seriously wrong... every year the spring riding gets harder and harder although once you get to putting down some steady miles things should get better quite quickly.

    For me I found that making some big changes to my diet really helped with my energy levels and stamina, for me adopting a low carb diet with no wheat, processed foods, or added sugars made a huge difference and people have been stunned that a guy who does not load up on pasta and other carbs can ride so well.

    I am nowhere close to the shape I used to be in but I am not riding 10,000 plus km a year at ludicrous speed... do hope that with increased activity and more cycling my heart rate will move into the excellent resting rate of 58-63 and maybe I can get it down to that 50-57 if I can keep up the miles.

    Your bp seems excellent for an old geezer... I would really get a full checkup (it is worth repeating) and take a look at your diet to see if there are any deficiencies or excesses that might be causing this fatigue.

    Maybe you just need to eat more bananas... the only time I feel that kind of fatigue and sapping of strength is when I am banana (potassium) deficient. My cardio will be great but the legs just won't have any get up and go and cherries are also a good natural supplement for this.

    For me caffeine is something I am trying to cut back on and usually do over the summer as I tend to drink a lot more juices and water... I know that it is probably most responsible for jacking up my heart rate.

    The most important thing is how fast your heart rate comes down after intensive efforts...
    Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 04-05-13 at 03:33 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    I agree with 65'r - it is likely that the fatigue is due to an imbalance of some sort (like potassium from lack of bananas as ONE possible example). It could also be reaction to a medication. But most of those types of problems would be identified by a few simple, cheap and easy blood tests... I would start there and then, if they show everything is normal to seek a consult with a cardiologist (and have copies of the blood tests to show him so that he doesn't have to needlessly repeat them).
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  13. #13
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    ftwelder- your body is telling you something is not right. Don't delay; see your doc. Too many men ignore warning signs and regret it. It may be nothing to worry about, but you won't know until you've been checked out.
    p.s. on re-reading your original post, the symptoms you describe are similar to those experienced by a 74 year old guy in our group. He didn't see his doc and suffered sudden cardiac arrest a couple weeks later. He survived thanks to his companions being ther to help and the EMT arriving in about 5 minutes.
    We should all learn CPR!!
    Last edited by Artmo; 04-06-13 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Afterthought

  14. #14
    Senior Member rydabent's Avatar
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    The acceleraton of my heart is directly related to the hotness of the young lady.

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
    The acceleraton of my heart is directly related to the hotness of the young lady.
    My wife keeps my heart in very good condition.


  16. #16
    Spin Meister icyclist's Avatar
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    "even modest efforts seem to drain me quickly."

    See a doctor! Soon.
    This post is a natural product. Slight variations in spelling and grammar enhance its individual character and beauty and are in no way to be considered flaws or defects.

    Icyclist, the blog considered too areodite for bikeforums

  17. #17
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies! I made an appointment with a regular doctor and they will send me for testing. I don't eat any type of convenience foods, commercial dressings or any stuff like that. No white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Just maple syrup or fruit for sweets, tons of veggies, local kill and heirloom grains. I think the minerals are a good call. My home water has .5 micron filtration and I try not to drink tap water. I may be a bit dehydrated.

    I have a friend/co-worker who is a coach/trainer and he had the same advice as you as well as

    "Stop with the expectations"
    "spinning isn't riding"
    "some days are slow days"
    "It's cold and windy"

    I fee better and had a nice relaxing ride yesterday. Ill keep you posted on the stress test, between you and me I am hoping for a podium at least.

    Did sixtyfiver get beaned by a car?
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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    The typical initernet medical advice cautions apply, but I experience the same/similar syndrome each year as I begin to ramp up intensity after a long winter on the computrainer doing zone 1-2 time. At first the base intensity is so easy after riding outside all summer, then as the miles pile on I get to the point that the legs feel heavy, leg speed drops and small hills or a sprint will send HR sky high and power levels are much lower than what I would expect given RPE. I often wonder how I could have possibly produced my FTP last summer as now I can get there but holding it for more than a few minutes is close to a near death experience.


    Then as I start to introduce more intensity, such as intervals or I follow Friel and he has you do tempo time trials 3 miles at 10 beats below LTHR or about low zone 4 HR so intense but something that is typically done easily during summer quite often. These are done 3 weeks apart and the first one feels like I am going to explode by the end. Second, I hit same power and HR levels but the effort came much easier and HR does not jump up as quickly.


    The past month I graduated over/under threshold intervals, supposed to do 4-5 @6-8 minutes. I could only do 3 before my legs and lungs on fire and HR was thru the roof. Next one was much better, able to complete set and felt like I wanted more and HR slightly lower levels but did not ramp up as fast.


    In short, your body detrains a bit during all ofthe low intensity work during the winter, it does not handle lactate efficiently because it has not seen it for a long time. As it gets used to lactate, your HR should not ramp up quite as quickly and RPE should also decrease for same effort. I also find that handling changes in pace are much more difficult after spending months doing steady state training for he same reason.
    Last edited by Carverbiker; 04-11-13 at 09:10 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
    I may be a bit dehydrated.
    That could be it. It certainly fits is with the description provided
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  20. #20
    BF Avatar Zombie Hunter Jseis's Avatar
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    I'm 58. I cruise at 137-145 bpm and reaching 155 takes but say 10-15 seconds approaching max effort. 165-170 takes 20 seconds more up a hill at max effort or a bit longer on the flats on high gear. The caveat. I used to ride 6 days a week and killed it each ride (an hour to 90 minutes). But I realized that I was not recovering so I switched to 3-4 days a week with a day of rest between rides and moderate ride pace alternate days. That day or two days of rest is everything. I also limit interval training to one day a week. My doc (former NASA doc) says to watch the high heart rate (165-170+) peak to it but not stay or hang there for long (a few seconds) there. My max is supposed to be 162 Karvonen). So that's caused me to understand how to peak on a hill and not charge it too early. Illness messes things up and I'm really attuned to that though I rarely get colds/flu. I have to watch hydration like a hawk. Dehydration can mess with me, heart rate and blood pressure, and more than once I've found myself not drinking enough. I strive for a quart an hour in our area (55 F and 80%+ humidity). All my marathon fotos of the Seattle-Portland have me glistening like an 18 year old cherub and a quart an hour was barely enough. I ride with two 28 oz bottles with a 30% fruit juice 70% water mix, pinch of salt.
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  21. #21
    Cycling Apparel RoadHolland's Avatar
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    I'm going to keep watching this thread... looks like a lot of good information to keep monitoring. I too and peaking out HR wise, but I've been blaming it on that granny gear and the need to put some muscle back into the legs for the hills.

  22. #22
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    Just my $0.02. People with primarily veg diets can have lower than optimal levels of essential metal micronutrients - I suffered from this recently. Started taking Zinc supplement and my healing problem went away. Magnesium and zinc are really vital for many diverse functions, and are a harmless supplement. Can't hurt... and I hope you get your competitive edge back Frank! Keep us posted!

  23. #23
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Update! The first thing I did was get an appointment with an GP. The second thing was look at my daily habits and see what may have gone unnoticed.

    I realized that I drink very little water and what I do drink has been run through a filter. The water here in town is pretty bad so I have been drinking nothing at work and what is used in my food have been filtered with a system of carbon filters I installed under the sink. Besides coffee in the morning and a couple of beers at home (both diuretic?). Having to walk 150 yards to the can does not help. I thought my back was hurting in the mornings. I wonder if it was my kidneys?

    So I have a couple gallons of good well water now at work and drank regularly last week. I started in with a liquid mag/calcium liquid supplement that mixes with water or juice. I didn't notice much difference right away.

    I went to my appointment with a doctor in Brattleboro. She is a homeopath and regular MD. I had a very lengthy interview (2.5 hours) had all the basic tests done. I gave her my complaints and she requested the insurance company cover some blood tests.

    I have what she described as "pretty severe" varicose veins and assured me they may be intimidating they certainly were not to be seen as "oversize fuel lines". My busted ones are the return lines which isn't as bad but that needed to be addressed ASAP. She said it's fine to keep riding but she issued some warnings. If I felt any odd, severe, large ares of pain, call an ambulance.

    I talked about my heart rate and how I didn't feel quite right. This was about the time she got to the part in my application where I filled in the amount of exercise I get. My wife changed the number to a much greater one.

    My wife makes us amazing food and lots of it but it's pretty low fat. The doctor suggested I may need more fat. I told her what I knew about carbs and sugar and she asked if I used gells and "powerbars" for food. I use gell for the last hour and almond butter/jam and cream cheese finger sandwich in a constant gradual feed. During the winter (like now still) I have been spinning pretty hard for an hour without drinking any water throughout the day.

    I know to properly hydrate "on paper" but I grew up in the southwest and am sure I had become conditioned to do without at certain times and when required use a lot.

    After the appointment, within a day or so, I think my mineral inventory was better stocked and I could bend my foot without a cramp. Now, several days later I feel quite normal. It will be sometime next week for the test results.

    I asked about getting a stress test also. The doctor assured me that insurance would not cover that sort of test unless I had a history of heart trouble and there was risk of a heart attack.

    I am still not riding outdoors but I got a really solid indoor session last night. The puddle under the bike didn't feel as oily as usual and I felt like I was making some power.

    I am going to stick with two of these mineral pills a day and see how it goes. They are going to test my fluids for minerals and sugars etc so we will know soon.

    Ill keep you posted. Thanks for the comments.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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  24. #24
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Frank, thanks for the update!
    Just to momentarily indulge my pedantic engineer side, are you asking about how high the heartrate becomes, or how fast it increases? Acceleration would pertain to the latter.

  25. #25
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Frank, thanks for the update!
    Just to momentarily indulge my pedantic engineer side, are you asking about how high the heartrate becomes, or how fast it increases? Acceleration would pertain to the latter.
    My question was written about acceleration as in the rate that the BMP increases compared to time.

    When I wrote the post I was slightly panicked and didn't understand what was going on and why I was uncomfortable.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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