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Old 03-24-10, 08:32 AM   #1
DanRH
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Not feeling so great lately on the bike

I'm 56 and I ride 3-5 double's a year, somewhere around 7-8,000 miles a year. Last year I did five double (four of them being quite hard). I ride the AIDS ride every year from SF to LA for the last 14 years. I never really take off during the winter since I'm in a great riding area (SF Bay Area). Since the beginning of the year, there are times when I feel like I'm bonking. No power to the legs and for a while a racing heart. I had it checked out and even had a 24 hour Holter heart rate monitor. The doctors findings were "clinically unremarkable". I made sure I hit some steep hills (which I try not to avoid...ever). Oh, my preferred type of riding is road, almost 90% of the time on my fixie. I don't do doubles on the fixie (except Solvang). I ride 100-150 miles a week on average spread out over 3-4 rides.

So, what I've noticed is that on longer rides, after I've had lunch, I feel 100% better. Is it that simple? When I start out in the morning, I eat the typical oatmeal, hard boiled egg and banana. I have a good diet regimen but admittedly I'm a little overweight at 190 (I'm 5'9").

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 03-24-10, 11:01 AM   #2
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1. Lose weight. (Increase bodyweight-Power ratio).
2. You don't need all that food in the morning. (Affects bodyweight-Power ratio).
3."Healthy" foods can actually drain energy. Since the beginning of the year, there are times when I feel like I'm bonking. No power to the legs and for a while a racing heart. Personally, I would look at your diet. The milk in oatmeal would give me a racing heart, I know that for a fact. The more food in, the more the body has to work, HR goes higher.
4. You say you feel 100% better after lunch?. Crap after breakfast?. You need to put 2&2 together. Diet or Rest issue.
5. Sleep well. Rest well.
6. Listen to your body.
7. Don't overtrain.

San Francisco. I envy you.

Is the ridin' good in San Francisco? or are you riding mainly outside of the city???...
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Old 03-24-10, 12:31 PM   #3
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Hi Dan - I saw you over at Tandems, but thought it better to reply over here.

Firstly, the primary riding symptom of both overtraining and bonking is a depressed heart rate, never a racing one. So I don't think either of those is your problem.

Did you get the racing heart feeling while on the Holter? Do you use a HRM? If not, order one today. The HRM is a wonderful aid, no matter what the problem is.

You're getting to the age when people start presenting with atrial fibrillation. Google a-fib or atrial fibrillation.

My riding buddies who have gotten a-fib find that bringing it on usually involves several hard hills in a row at a high effort level. Wearing an HRM, you'd notice that the weakness in the legs was accompanied by a very odd high heart rate, usually steady-ish, and about 20 beats above the HR you've usually been seeing at that level of effort. About 20 minutes of rest usually returns the HR to the normal range, but then it can be set off again more easily the second time. My buddies have always been able to return home, just at a reduced effort level. They all still ride, just not the A group rides they used to do.

You might try eliminating caffeine. It seems to make one more susceptible to a-fib.

It's also possible that diet has something to do with it. If you're weaker from low blood sugar, I think that would have an effect on a-fib. Of course it also has an effect on your performance, a-fib or not. So you could be feeling better after lunch just from eating, or it could just be the result of the rest period resetting your heart.

You don't say what your normal eating regimen is during a ride. Since you are riding hard doubles, I assume that you've got the eating 250 cal./hr on the bike thing down. Your history is that you maintain your energy levels during a double, though of course you get tired? You're not going to ride a double on a bowl of oatmeal and an egg . . .

Another thought: a racing heart is a symptom of dehydration. You could try drinking more and taking Endurolytes to help you drink more. That's never a bad idea. I find it easy to get dehydrated in cool weather, just because I don't think about it.
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Old 03-24-10, 04:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
Hi Dan - I saw you over at Tandems, but thought it better to reply over here.

Firstly, the primary riding symptom of both overtraining and bonking is a depressed heart rate, never a racing one. So I don't think either of those is your problem.

Did you get the racing heart feeling while on the Holter? Do you use a HRM? If not, order one today. The HRM is a wonderful aid, no matter what the problem is.

You're getting to the age when people start presenting with atrial fibrillation. Google a-fib or atrial fibrillation.

My riding buddies who have gotten a-fib find that bringing it on usually involves several hard hills in a row at a high effort level. Wearing an HRM, you'd notice that the weakness in the legs was accompanied by a very odd high heart rate, usually steady-ish, and about 20 beats above the HR you've usually been seeing at that level of effort. About 20 minutes of rest usually returns the HR to the normal range, but then it can be set off again more easily the second time. My buddies have always been able to return home, just at a reduced effort level. They all still ride, just not the A group rides they used to do.

You might try eliminating caffeine. It seems to make one more susceptible to a-fib.

It's also possible that diet has something to do with it. If you're weaker from low blood sugar, I think that would have an effect on a-fib. Of course it also has an effect on your performance, a-fib or not. So you could be feeling better after lunch just from eating, or it could just be the result of the rest period resetting your heart.

You don't say what your normal eating regimen is during a ride. Since you are riding hard doubles, I assume that you've got the eating 250 cal./hr on the bike thing down. Your history is that you maintain your energy levels during a double, though of course you get tired? You're not going to ride a double on a bowl of oatmeal and an egg . . .

Another thought: a racing heart is a symptom of dehydration. You could try drinking more and taking Endurolytes to help you drink more. That's never a bad idea. I find it easy to get dehydrated in cool weather, just because I don't think about it.
Thanks. Actually, the Holter indicated my heart rate never got over 110, which really surprised me because it sure felt like it was racing. I will eat more on the double this Saturday, before and during the ride. I'll post back when I return
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Old 03-24-10, 07:42 PM   #5
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Thanks. Actually, the Holter indicated my heart rate never got over 110, which really surprised me because it sure felt like it was racing. I will eat more on the double this Saturday, before and during the ride. I'll post back when I return
Well, that's different! Like I said, the first thing is to purchase a HRM. If you don't know your HR during a ride, you have no way of assessing your performance or what's wrong if you have a problem.

If your HR never got over 110 on hard climbs, then you are certainly overtrained. That is not "racing." For you, "racing" would be 170. Your observations from the double won't be worth much without knowing your HR.
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Old 03-28-10, 09:02 PM   #6
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if you're 56 and experiencing issues with your heart then it is a REALLY GOOD TIME to lose that extra weight

don't kid yourself - 190 lbs at 5'9" is not a little overweight. that's a lot overweight unless you're a bodybuilder.

don't be childish. you have to put your heart health above short term cycling performance. if going on a diet will make you temporarily feel a little weaker then it's still what you have to do.
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