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Slowing Down?

Old 03-29-22, 02:28 PM
  #1  
OldCoot
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Slowing Down?

I had registered for the California Eroica event ride back in 2020, which got cancelled ,but they kept my money. Now that the ride is back "on" this year, I was automatically registered for the ride. So I started training back in February. My progress has been abysmal. It's not for lack of effort. I ride 4 - 5 days a week, with one long ride on the weekends. Typically in the past I could increase my weekend ride by 10 miles each week in preparation for Century rides. This has not been the case this year. I am assuming because I am 61 years old, that my body isn't responding like it used to.... I did have covid in January, and it was fairly mild and short lived.... At a minimum covid had me starting the training at zero miles... Just curious if others have hit an "age wall" in their training around this age? If so, how did you adjust, both physically and emotionally (I will say it is mighty frustrating!).
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Old 03-29-22, 03:27 PM
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Have not hit that wall yet. Two years ago at 74 I did my best 1 mi. flat STRAVA segment at 25 mph. This year I'm focusing on more climbing oriented segments. But, it really doesn't matter. I enjoy what I'm doing and my body is the better for it. Recently I did one of those nuclear stress tests and was told that I did 50% better than a guy my age because "you're in shape." At this point that matters a lot.
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Old 03-29-22, 03:37 PM
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I am a little older than OP and I basically started from zero recently due to an accident in September. I would say it is a little harder to rebuild endurance fitness and it has to be age. My approach is building up more slowly than in the past. I used to be able to increase training load 15% per week for three weeks and then take an easy week. Repeat. After 2 months, I'd have my volume for long rides. I am shooting for 5-10% increase per week now. It seems like it is working but very slow progress.
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Old 03-29-22, 03:48 PM
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........

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Old 03-29-22, 03:53 PM
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How much riding did you do last year and did you slack off quite a bit during the winter? If you've been doing 4-5 days a week since February and you didn't have many miles during October, November and December, then you might actually be overtraining and just not giving yourself enough time to recover.

Though if 3 of those rides are very easy 45 - 60 minute rides then maybe riding 4 - 5 days is okay. While sometimes I do more, I'm usually just doing 2 - 3 rides a week since it warmed up. I just did my birthday ride last Saturday and put in 65.5 miles. 1.5 of it was extra for being a few days late. <grin>

Yes there might be a wall that I sometimes think I'm hitting. However for me I think it's just that I've gone from being very active in everything I do to semi-retired and doing nothing other than riding. And my body is getting weaker because I only use my legs regularly.
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Old 03-29-22, 04:02 PM
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Yup, long haul COVID sucks. I caught the Super Cooties in September despite the Moderna jabs. No lower respiratory problems, not severe enough for the ER or ICU (unlike some younger friends who declined the jabs and ended up in ICU, but fortunately survived). I've had an autoimmune disorder for more than 20 years, so I'm very cautious about my respiratory health.

But I had painful upper respiratory symptoms and inflammation for months, and my entire body still aches some days. I needed two course of oral Prednisone back in October and November to clear up the sinus and ear inflammation. I still had blood clots coming out of my nasal drainage until February this year. Not just bloody drainage -- actual blood clots.

The inflammation and congestion was so bad my balance was terrible. I haven't ridden my bike outdoors since October. Sometimes it's very obvious vertigo - I *feel* dizzy. Other days it's tricky. I don't even feel dizzy, but suddenly it feels like the ground or floor tilted and I'm stumbling sideways trying to regain my footing.

The worst part has been the steep decline in energy, conditioning and strength. I've used Strava and other apps to track my fitness for years. I'm at about 25% of my usual activities and fitness compared with the previous 7 years.

I still use the indoor trainer occasionally. Most of my outdoor exercise has been running, jogging or just walking. At first I was actually running (by my definition, anything faster than a 10 minute mile is "running" at my age, 64, considering I didn't resume running until late 2020). But after catching the Super Cooties my legs just wouldn't respond. So I was mostly jogging, around 11-14 minute/mile pace. Then by January I was getting weaker and just alternating between jogging and walking. The past month I can only manage running or jogging for maybe 100-400 yards. So I'm mostly walking and can usually manage a brisk walking pace of around 14 min/mile pace for 3-7 miles a few times a week.

But exercise used to energize me so I'd be more productive. Now I'm just exhausted and need a nap after even a walk, and can hardly do anything productive the rest of the day.

And my primary care doctor at the VA isn't interested. Won't even comment on the symptoms or authorize a referral to specialists. That's a 180 from my previous primary care doc with the VA, who retired in early 2020 just as the pandemic hit. She was very attentive and authorized any reasonable referrals and tests. The new guy is just an empty smock filling a chair. I've asked to be reassigned and to get referrals to ENT and rheumatology specialists. They're supposed to respond within 30 days, but it's going on six months without a response. So I'm switching to Medicare for my primary since I can call around to get my own specialist referrals.

On the plus side, the Prednisone boosted my energy temporarily for the first 3 days of a 10-14 day course. The downside is it screws up my cortisol level so I crashed hard by the end of the Prednisone courses.

Oddly, I felt a similar boost in energy, strength and running speed after getting the half-dose Moderna booster in December. It seemed to kickstart my immune system response. But that effect gradually faded and by January I was drooping again. Since the FDA authorized on-request boosters for folks over 50 I'm going to get another booster soon and see how it feels.

I've declined all invitations to group and event rides for the past year, and I don't see much hope of resuming them anytime soon. I'm not quite ready to sell my bikes, but I'm thinking about it.
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Old 03-29-22, 04:29 PM
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canklecat Prednisone and prednisolone are steroids. I had to take a regimen of that when I had COVID the first part of 2021. I also took a lot of antibiotics. While I can't say for certain, I think I've held onto an extra 10-15 pounds of weight because of them that I just now am starting to lose. And my bout with COVID was late December 2020 into the first weeks of January 2021.

I haven't really had a problem with energy levels since COVID. Though I do for other reasons take a B12 injection every two to three weeks. So maybe that keeps me going.
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Old 03-29-22, 05:39 PM
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There is no doubt age plays into recovery and training. But be careful not to let that get into your head and magnify the effect. Training a little more purposefully may be all that's necessary to get the results you expect.
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Old 03-29-22, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
I had registered for the California Eroica event ride back in 2020, which got cancelled ,but they kept my money. Now that the ride is back "on" this year, I was automatically registered for the ride. So I started training back in February. My progress has been abysmal. It's not for lack of effort. I ride 4 - 5 days a week, with one long ride on the weekends. Typically in the past I could increase my weekend ride by 10 miles each week in preparation for Century rides. This has not been the case this year. I am assuming because I am 61 years old, that my body isn't responding like it used to.... I did have covid in January, and it was fairly mild and short lived.... At a minimum covid had me starting the training at zero miles... Just curious if others have hit an "age wall" in their training around this age? If so, how did you adjust, both physically and emotionally (I will say it is mighty frustrating!).
Sometimes it's not just age. Before my "event" on 2/1, I was slowing down, and it was due to a cardiac condition. "Right bundle branch block." Yeah, the ticker wasn't working at full efficiency. Just one more thing that proves you're not getting better with age, I guess.
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Old 03-29-22, 07:14 PM
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OldCoot - there are various distances at these events. Go meet all the guys from the C&V forum attending. Dress for it. Soak it in. Drink a beer for a former Santa Cruz & Scotts Valley resident (from '85-'04).

Train all Summer.
Then go ride Cino Heroica in late Aug in Kalispell area, MT. 2 days, only ~100mi total, gravel roads. I was 65 that summer.

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Old 03-29-22, 07:47 PM
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I'm 71 and as far as I can tell, I haven't slowed down at all. But I have an advantage over many of you. I didn't start riding until I was 67. Apparently, any negative effects of aging have been offset by getting in better riding shape, as a relative newbie. I do foresee the possibility that slower days may lie ahead.
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Old 03-29-22, 09:43 PM
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I have found since about 65 the gains come slowly and patience is required more than years ago. Like Wildwood said, do whatever distance at the event you feel like you are ready for. It should be a blast.
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Old 03-29-22, 11:19 PM
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Canklecat: Sorry to hear about your trials with COVID and that worthless physician at the VA. I know you have had more than your fair share of challenges and this is just so unreasonable. Sending my best wishes that you will find some solutions and can return to outdoor cycling. Take care
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Old 03-30-22, 01:40 AM
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It takes longer to get back lost fitness the older I get, a natural process we just have to adapt to - and I'm younger than a lot of you it seems at 53.

I was peaking in September last year, felt great, then got a mild flu (not covid) that knocked the energy out of me for nearly a month. I didn't resume training after that since I only had one more race to do - managed 2nd place but not as fit as I was. I then cruised through to December and had a crash, needed a month off the bike. Since February I've been training again and fitness is definitely coming back but it is a lot of hard work and progress is slow.

I ride 6 times a week, circa 400-500km with a Coach.


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Old 03-30-22, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
I'm guessing you are the guy who passes me on Smith Grade and tells me one day I will improve.
Seeing how he is from CT... I doubt he's 'That Guy". But I do know that Smith Grade, especially on the west end is a proverbial PIA. Still a nice road through the woods. Hope to see you out there.... I am easy to spot, slow....
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Old 03-30-22, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
Have not hit that wall yet. Two years ago at 74 I did my best 1 mi. flat STRAVA segment at 25 mph. This year I'm focusing on more climbing oriented segments. But, it really doesn't matter. I enjoy what I'm doing and my body is the better for it. Recently I did one of those nuclear stress tests and was told that I did 50% better than a guy my age because "you're in shape." At this point that matters a lot.
We are definitely not having the same experience. I don't recall anytime in the last decade where I could manage that feat. Though I must say, I don't think I have a road a mile long that is flat and not interrupted by intersections w/ stop signs or lights. Well koodoos to you. Keep it up.
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Old 03-30-22, 10:10 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
OldCoot - there are various distances at these events. Go meet all the guys from the C&V forum attending. Dress for it. Soak it in. Drink a beer for a former Santa Cruz & Scotts Valley resident (from '85-'04).

Train all Summer.
Then go ride Cino Heroica in late Aug in Kalispell area, MT. 2 days, only ~100mi total, gravel roads. I was 65 that summer.
I have been hearing about that ride and it has peaked my interest. Though my summer is typically broken up by work travel and little to no access for training ( I go to sea on reasonably small ships/boats with out gyms). I get as creative as I can. Climb up and down steep ladders for 30-40 minutes when off watch. At best I come back with a just little loss of fitness. Anyway I will look in to the event.
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Old 03-30-22, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
There is no doubt age plays into recovery and training. But be careful not to let that get into your head and magnify the effect. Training a little more purposefully may be all that's necessary to get the results you expect.
Most helpful advice. Thanks!
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Old 03-30-22, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
We are definitely not having the same experience. I don't recall anytime in the last decade where I could manage that feat. Though I must say, I don't think I have a road a mile long that is flat and not interrupted by intersections w/ stop signs or lights. Well koodoos to you. Keep it up.
I live in northeast CT and it is a great place for cycling. My town in an agricultural town about 10 miles from UCONN. Where I ride is all farms and lots of open space. We have one traffic light.....a blinking light at the town hall. That's where that 1 mi. straight is.
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Old 03-30-22, 05:09 PM
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My 39 yr old buddy had a mild case of Covid in mid January.
According to his HRM and PM he is only just getting his MoJo back now.

I'm 58, my HRM and PM indicated that took me 6+ weeks to get past the Booster shot.

You can't rush the recovery. Just go easy and keep turning pedals.

All the best

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Old 03-30-22, 09:20 PM
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.....

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Old 03-31-22, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by OldCoot View Post
........................ (I will say it is mighty frustrating!).
Frustrating is living one's ENTIRE ADULT LIFE focusing on a HEART HEALTHY and CANCER PREVENTATIVE DIET with plenty of EXERCISE and being told at almost age 65 as one is riding the best ever that your prostate cancer is the VERY AGGRESSIVE ONE and treatment begins with Chemical Castration and because I dislike taking drugs I chose surgical removal instead. When the boys are gone there is minimal muscle building but maximal muscle loss.
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Old 03-31-22, 08:27 PM
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I've used this post 2 times already in this forum. It also seems to fit in this thread. FYI i was 64 when we rode across the U. S.. We averaged over 50 miles a day for 74 consecutive days.

I respect people's decisions, and my comments are meant to be general, not aimed at individuals. Also, interests change.

My perception of many of the posts on this forum (50+) is that a lot folks are talking themselves into being older than the are chronologically and physically. Several of my friends have quit riding due to "age".

I've cycled seriously most of my adult life: recreational riding, racing, and touring. I was also very lucky to marry a woman, a former triathlete, who is also an avid cyclist; so she rides with me rather than sitting home worrying about me. She still regularly hits 40+ mph on downhills. If I quit riding, it would affect her a lot. In the last 12 years, not counting Covid years, we have toured over 22,000 miles in 11 different countries. This included riding across the U.S. and most of Canada. We will finish Canada when the Covid situation allows.

Sometimes not listening to those little voices in our head may be the right thing to do. Me being 79 years old my hearing aids don't help much hearing those little voices well.

I'm a lucky guy!
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Old 03-31-22, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Frustrating is living one's ENTIRE ADULT LIFE focusing on a HEART HEALTHY and CANCER PREVENTATIVE DIET with plenty of EXERCISE and being told at almost age 65 as one is riding the best ever that your prostate cancer is the VERY AGGRESSIVE ONE and treatment begins with Chemical Castration and because I dislike taking drugs I chose surgical removal instead. When the boys are gone there is minimal muscle building but maximal muscle loss.
So sorry to hear of your diagnosis of prostate cancer. I of course have no knowledge of your particulars so can not comment on your situation, not to mention it would possibly come off as arrogant. I can say that I had prostate cancer nearly 10 years ago, and I am still alive and riding. Of course after surgery there was a period where I could not ride, but it was temporary. Most useful to me was having a close friend who had gone through this a few years ahead of me. He was most gracious listening to my thoughts, concerns and feelings, which helped me tremendously.

As the old saying goes, "Keep on trucking".
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Old 03-31-22, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
Frustrating is living one's ENTIRE ADULT LIFE focusing on a HEART HEALTHY and CANCER PREVENTATIVE DIET with plenty of EXERCISE and being told at almost age 65 as one is riding the best ever that your prostate cancer is the VERY AGGRESSIVE ONE and treatment begins with Chemical Castration and because I dislike taking drugs I chose surgical removal instead. When the boys are gone there is minimal muscle building but maximal muscle loss.
aging sucks
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