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Easily Winded

Old 09-17-19, 06:36 AM
  #51  
jpdemers
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I had a similar problem, which got progressively worse until I could barely climb three floors without sucking wind. There were no symptoms whatsoever if I didn't exert myself, and I had no issues riding on level roads. Finally saw a doctor: a CT scan showed clots in my lungs, aka pulmonary embolisms. Basically, I was a walking time bomb - one more clot could have dropped me - and very lucky to have caught the problem.
I'd see a doctor about it, especially if you didn't have the problem when you first started riding. (I'm 66, was 58 at the time, pretty much where you are.)
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Old 09-17-19, 10:43 AM
  #52  
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This week my wife and I begin to climb the Swiss Alps on our way to Rome, started in Canterbury. It began with me riding 2 to 4 miles a couple of times a week and getting winded. This is a fairly flat ride. At the time, it was a knee surgery recovery. I was a bit younger than you are now and having difficulty. I found another who also was new and we just rode to coffee. After a while the routine became boring so, I set a goal to ride an “event ride”.
When you can ride 25 miles, and it does not take as long as you might think, you can ride anywhere in the world. I’m not making this up. You are already ahead of the game. You’ve started and you are asking questions. If you wish you may follow our journey on crazyguyonabike.com. Practice shifting. Practice breathing (two smaller inhales, one large, hard exhale in a rhythm. It has to do with CO2 build up). When you get around to it, a cadence counter for your your computer is valuable, it keeps you from lugging down. When you begin to climb steeper inclines, practice standing as you pedal. If you do not know how, it is simple. Shift or stay in the gear that makes it hard. Then, while pedaling, put your head over the front tire. You’ll stand. It helps me to rest while pedaling up hills. Have fun. You are on your way.
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Old 09-18-19, 06:41 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Bill Abbey View Post
...Practice breathing (two smaller inhales, one large, hard exhale in a rhythm. It has to do with CO2 build up)...
Breathing in some strange pattern doesn't do anything except if it forces you to breathe correctly once in a while. Most adults don't use the full capacity of their lungs by breathing from their diaphragm.
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Old 09-19-19, 06:47 AM
  #54  
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Well, I'm sure that CelticGirl got a bit more than she thought she would! I too, would like to see more objective data. Past and current medical history, current medications, BMI (body mass index) and even family medical history are all important considerations when trying to figure out "why can't I ...?" Another reply suggested equipment issues. What kind of bike? Proper fit, adequate gearing, appropriate tires all come to mind as additional tidbits that might help with this puzzle.
In general, I agree with the suggestion to "see your doctor". I'm compelled to qualify that by saying "seek out advice from a qualified health care professional with experience in sports medicine". An individual's PCP (primary care provider) is perhaps not the right person in this situation but may be able to refer to a specialist. Keep in mind that "a qualified health care professional" may NOT be a physician (i.e. MD or DO). This list might include Chiropractors, Nurse Practioners, Physician Assistants, Physical Therapists, Nutritionists, exercise physiologists, athletic trainers as well as others that have sport activities as a special interest.
Another thing to keep in mind is that what works for one individual may not work for another! Many of the suggestions by those replying to this post fall into this category. The suggestion to "push through the pain" or "dig deep and tough it out" could result in disastrous results.
I'm not a sports medicine specialist but I am a health care professional. I'm not a competive cyclist but I am an avid rider. I use my professional education and my cycling experience guide my riding activities.
Going back to the beginning of this reply, if I had a bit more information, I might be able to make some suggestions that could help the OP but without that information, I won't even take a guess.
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Old 09-21-19, 09:18 AM
  #55  
CyclingBK
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Originally Posted by Machka View Post
A) Go to your Dr.

B) Slow down when you climb. But go to your Dr first.
I would tend to agree.

As others have mentioned, it could be that you have not progressed because the distance is relatively short and you keep hitting the same “wall”

But it could be a medical issue. Not sure if you have already had a physical recently but Doc can at least run blood work and recommend tests from there.

You could feel more confident pushing yourself if you knew that it wasn’t dangerous to do so.
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Old 09-24-19, 08:09 AM
  #56  
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First concern it to verify that you're healthy. Otherwise you could set yourself up for a massive heart attack. I have a friend that thought he was healthy but went in for a stress test. He literally died on the treadmill and was only resuscitated because the doc & staff were there to catch him.

Second up after getting the OK is to understand that sweating is good. Improving means pushing yourself to the point of suffering. Thus the remarks about pushing through pain. The body gets stronger as a response to stress. If you stay in your comfort zone, don't expect much improvement.

Third, REST. The body's response to stress only happens when you're resting, so rest as hard as you work out.
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Old 09-24-19, 10:11 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
[snip]
… Improving means pushing yourself to the point of suffering. Thus the remarks about pushing through pain. [snip]
While I mostly agree, when giving advice to "push through pain" one needs to define, as precisely as possible, "pain." The reason is that anyone who needs that advice probably has no clue what you mean. People who have been athletic all their lives certainly know this, but people who haven't generally don't.

Unfortunately, "pain" is highly subjective. What I call pain, what you call pain, and what a novice calls pain are likely to be three different, possibly very different, sensations. You and I know what "good pain" feels like, we also know what the bad feels like from experience. Those definitions also change as we age. We have to try to give the novice, or even one who was athletic, fell off the wagon, and is now trying to get back on, the best description we can. That is not easy, IMHO. Just sitting here at the keyboard, having had a good workout yesterday, and being good with words, I find it difficult. To me, what I feel when pushing my limits is "normal"— that is what I'm supposed to feel, and it feels "good" because I know it means I'm getting stronger. Or maybe I'm just a masochist and don't know it …
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Old 09-24-19, 04:02 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by CyclingBK View Post
I would tend to agree.

As others have mentioned, it could be that you have not progressed because the distance is relatively short and you keep hitting the same “wall”

But it could be a medical issue. Not sure if you have already had a physical recently but Doc can at least run blood work and recommend tests from there.

You could feel more confident pushing yourself if you knew that it wasn’t dangerous to do so.
Knew a guy who took up jogging, around late 40s I think. He was slow but stuck at it until he realised he was making no progress. He ended up with a quadruple. THAT was why he was making no headway.
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Old 09-25-19, 06:42 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Celticgirl View Post
Hi Folks,
I'm 62 and this is my second year riding casually. I ride two miles each way to the store and back two to three times a week. I live in an area that is fairly hilly, so it's uphill most of the way to the store.
I find myself stopping several times to catch my breath while riding up the long slight grade.
I have been trying to eat healthy, getting protein and vitamins, but don't seem to be improving.
I would welcome any suggestions, diet, supplements, training etc. Thanks
Find a exercise bike and try for 30 minutes every day.You may have to build up to it,then the bicycle ride wont hurt as much.
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Old 09-26-19, 07:42 PM
  #60  
BlazingPedals
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Originally Posted by Lightning Pilot View Post
While I mostly agree, when giving advice to "push through pain" one needs to define, as precisely as possible, "pain." The reason is that anyone who needs that advice probably has no clue what you mean.
Under my definitions, a certain amount of discomfort is normal and good. Breathing hard, burning legs, sweating, etc. That's not pain. If you're really in pain, that's a sign of injury, and you should back off!

Although sometimes it's hard to be sure when normal burning quads starts to become something more serious. When in doubt, back off before trying again. There! you've just invented intervals!
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Old 09-26-19, 10:02 PM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Under my definitions, a certain amount of discomfort is normal and good. Breathing hard, burning legs, sweating, etc. That's not pain. If you're really in pain, that's a sign of injury, and you should back off!

Although sometimes it's hard to be sure when normal burning quads starts to become something more serious. When in doubt, back off before trying again. There! you've just invented intervals!
It is pain, actually. Although I get your point. But there's a difference between pain associated with exercise and one that has to do with an injury or ailment. Hopefully, anybody that's exercised at any time in their life would know the difference.

Even so, there are times and cases when it can be difficult to tell (especially in the case of lingering pain) which is which, and a more professional examination is necessary to distinguished between the two.
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Old 09-27-19, 08:30 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by KraneXL;21140168{snip} Hopefully, anybody that's exercised [u
at any time in their life[/u] would know the difference.

{snip}
(Emphasis mine—LP)

Yes, hopefully—but that can be a forlorn hope. As we age, that difference changes. Injuries, though long healed, leave a permanent change in the affected area—if nothing else, an increased tendency to osteoarthritis. As soft tissues age, they become less elastic. It is far easier for an older person (50+) to tear a muscle or tendon.

This is even more true for someone who was once very active and athletic, but let themselves go through even half of middle age. What they learned to recognize as "good" pain in their 20s is no longer good in their 50s or later; in some cases, even in their 40s. I learned the (unacceptable ) truth of this from multiple serious injuries and medical problems that prevented proper exercise for months, or in some cases years. Coming back is harder and takes longer the older you are.
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Old 09-28-19, 07:16 AM
  #63  
Clyde1820
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The brutally short answer is that riding 8-12 miles a week isn't going to radically improve cardiovascular fitness. If you want to become a stronger, more capable rider, you're going to have to do it more.
^ This. Pretty straightforward, actually. Just takes time, and the effort to focus on challenging and pushing your current cardio so that it begins to improve.


OP:

Back in the day, I ran a good amount of distance. Backed off for months, one year, and found that I'd lost much of my overall stamina. Got winded much more easily. Ramped up to my normal mileage over the course of 6-8wks or so, and gradually added back higher-intensity intervals into every ~third run. Took a couple months, but I was back to performing fairly well after that.

Point being, 5-10mi per week of running modestly wasn't doing anything for me, cardiovascularly. But weekly average mileage of ~40mi+ with between a quarter to a third of that harder intervals/hills ... well, that corrected the problem.

Cardio's something you need to work on. Assuming you're otherwise generally healthy and injury-free (ie, no serious limits on the lung or heart pumping ability), you ought to find a level of cardio-involved exercising that pushes you toward improvement. That means you'll need to push it on every few rides (runs, rows, whatever).

Myself, I generally could tolerate only a handful of miles at peak running pace, back when I was running hard. But I could go at moderate pace for many hours. The trick, for me, was to get a good enough "base miles" amount of training under my belt so that I had a good general level of cardiovascular fitness, but to augment that with two or three harder intervals/hills type sessions each week. Keeping the harder training to only a portion of my overall session, I found that my ability to withstand longer and longer stints gradually improved. In time, I could begin to really push harder in those stints. And it would translate to other activities that had high cardio demands, even though most of the training was via running.

I'd suggest finding a good rower, eliptical and bike at a local gym where you can boost your cardio sessions during the average week. Gradually you ought to find your overall fitness improving. Gradually, seek to add in tougher segments occasionally, for portions of your session. Say, on a rower, in time you should begin to see your 2000m distance time begin to drop, as your cardio gets stronger; on a bike, you should begin to see your ability to withstand ~10min stints of higher-effort "hills" on a ~1hr ride to improve. Takes time, but if you take your cardio "out for a spin" (so to speak), to the point you're pushing things beyond your current levels, you ought to find improvements.


Here is some information about using a popular type of rower for improved cardio:

Indoor Rower Training @ Concept Fitness.

Interval Training on Indoor Rower @ Concept Fitness.

Last edited by Clyde1820; 09-28-19 at 07:22 AM. Reason: added links
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