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Starting over-again

Old 03-08-24, 06:31 PM
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“Starting over” is something I do pretty regularly. The seasons here in Japan pretty pronounced, with hot summers and cold winters. Last week I began started cycling again, having gotten my bike tuned up, and did a couple longish but easy rides. By May I should have enough base fitness to push myself harder, and get myself over the mountains. By summer I should be more or less in peak shape.

Come December, I’ll hang up the bike again, taken down my skis, and start getting in shape for hitting the slopes. My last skiing of the year was a couple weeks ago. When my cycling season ends, I greatly look forward to skiing again.

One thing I am looking into this year is buying a house in the mountains not far from one of the better ski resorts. These homes can be found cheap in Japan, I can stay there in the ski season, and cycle there in the summer.
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Old 03-08-24, 08:39 PM
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Something I just thought about. I am on meds for borderline high blood pressure. When I workout and get hot my bp drops. Nothing drastic but I can feel when it happens. Today at the gym I was about 15 minutes into a stationary ride and started feeling slightly lightheaded and felt like a too small cap was pulled down on my head.
Can that have an effect on my strength and/or stamina?
There is something that I am overlooking. Some days riding is almost effortless and some days I feel like I am dragging an anchor.
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Old 03-08-24, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
Are you hydrating well? Taking in enough electrolytes? Getting enough potassium? A deficiency in any of those can lead to leg cramps.
So can a deficiency in Magnesium and that is easier to be deficient in that Potassium. A good quality multi-vitamin, multi-mineral should be on everyone's breakfast table.
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Old 03-09-24, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
So can a deficiency in Magnesium and that is easier to be deficient in that Potassium. A good quality multi-vitamin, multi-mineral should be on everyone's breakfast table.
I take a Centrum Silver Men 50+ daily.
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Old 03-09-24, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
I take a Centrum Silver Men 50+ daily.
Good. Now go get a Calcium-Magnesium 500mg from wherever you got the Centrum. NOW foods, Nature's Way, Solgar, anything really. Cramps will be a thing of the past.
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Old 03-09-24, 06:50 AM
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IDK. This time last year I couldnít really walk and had my first meal of 2023 that didnít enter my body through a tube. I managed 44 miles over two rides in October. I have already done two 10 mile rides despite mostly crappy weather. And yesterday I did my first shopping run via a bike in I donít know how long. Hoping to take a 5-day tour in late April.

Donít take things for granted and consider how lucky you have it compared to others.

And based on some of your other posts, I suggest seeing at least a nutritionist. You make it sound like you need counseling.

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Old 03-09-24, 06:44 PM
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I’m not intending to start a fuss, but, since you are starting over, investigate a plant based diet. My brother got off his meds and only occasionally BBQs because, well, TEXAS. (And it tastes good.)
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Old 03-10-24, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Something I just thought about. I am on meds for borderline high blood pressure. When I workout and get hot my bp drops. Nothing drastic but I can feel when it happens. Today at the gym I was about 15 minutes into a stationary ride and started feeling slightly lightheaded and felt like a too small cap was pulled down on my head.
Can that have an effect on my strength and/or stamina?
A qualified yes. Some of the hypertension meds have a negative effect on athletic performance. Specifically:

"[D]iuretics and beta-blockers are not recommended for first-line treatment in patients engaged in competitive or high-intensity endurance exercise. Diuretics impair exercise performance and capacity in the first weeks of treatment through a reduction in plasma volume, but exercise tolerance appears to be restored during longer-term treatment; nevertheless diuretics may cause electrolyte and fluid disturbances, which are not desirable in the endurance athlete. Beta-blockers reduce maximal aerobic power by on average 7% as a result of the reduction in maximal heart rate, which is not fully compensated by increases of maximal stroke volume, peripheral oxygen extraction, or both. Furthermore, the time that submaximal exercise can be sustained is reduced by ~ 20% by cardioselective beta-blockers and by ~ 40% by non-selective beta-blockers, most likely as a result of impaired lipolysis."

"Calcium channel blockers and blockers of the renin-angiotensin system are currently the drugs of choice for the hypertensive endurance athlete and may be combined in case of insufficient blood pressure control."

-- Fagard et al, ESC Study Group of Sports Cardiology Recommendations for participation in leisure-time physical activities and competitive sports for patients with hypertension, European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation 2005

Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Good. Now go get a Calcium-Magnesium 500mg from wherever you got the Centrum. NOW foods, Nature's Way, Solgar, anything really. Cramps will be a thing of the past.
If only it were that easy. The reality is that cramps are complex and are not caused by a single mineral deficiency.
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Old 03-10-24, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by pepperbelly
Something I just thought about. I am on meds for borderline high blood pressure. When I workout and get hot my bp drops. Nothing drastic but I can feel when it happens. Today at the gym I was about 15 minutes into a stationary ride and started feeling slightly lightheaded and felt like a too small cap was pulled down on my head.
Can that have an effect on my strength and/or stamina?
There is something that I am overlooking. Some days riding is almost effortless and some days I feel like I am dragging an anchor.
beta blocker? Not medical advice, but beta blockers are designed to keep a lid on your bp, kinda like a rev limiter on a motor. So when you try to push it, it will feel odd. I was on them for a bit, but really didnít like them for exercise.
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Old 03-10-24, 11:45 AM
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Iíve got to rebuild some fitness now myself. I had big plans to maintain over the winter but was sick a few times over January and February. My fancy new road bike canít hide my loss of fitnessómy average speeds are down a bit. 😀

No matter where you are at, the best plan for gaining fitness is the same. Proper dosage of workouts and proper recover. Overreaching on every workout will not give good results, inadequate recovery will not get you there faster.

Being as consistent as possible is the name of the game, and everyone has setbacks.
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Old 03-10-24, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by McFlyRides
beta blocker? Not medical advice, but beta blockers are designed to keep a lid on your bp, kinda like a rev limiter on a motor. So when you try to push it, it will feel odd. I was on them for a bit, but really didnít like them for exercise.
Not beta blockers-amlodipine 10mg and losartan100mg.
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Old 03-10-24, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm
Good. Now go get a Calcium-Magnesium 500mg from wherever you got the Centrum. NOW foods, Nature's Way, Solgar, anything really. Cramps will be a thing of the past.
That's also what I use. I've sometimes taken it at the end of a ride, others just in the evening.

However, cramps are almost always due to overuse, not any deficiency. That's what blood draws say. The only thing which works reliably against cramps during the ride is pickle juice. We buy it from Amazon, by the case, really, 8 oz bottles though it does come in smaller bottles too. We decant ours into Hammer Nutrition 6 oz. squeeze bottles and put one in a jersey pocket. We always carry it, on hikes, too. Our dose is three small swallows. The electrolyte contents don't matter, it's only the taste that's effective.

I'm starting over again at 78, right now. I just managed my first 1 hour ride on my resistance rollers, holding the top of my zone 2. I know I'm in Z2 if my breathing is deep and regular and I can speak in complete sentences, recite the alphabet, etc.. If my breathing speeds up, I'm out of zone. My program is to gradually increase my ride time in Z2 to 2 hours and increase frequency until I can do 5 of those a week. That should take me a couple months or so.

If you're going by miles, try to increase your weekly mileage by 10% a week. That should get away from you fairly quickly so that you'll need to cut down to 5%/week.
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Old 03-11-24, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
I've started over so many times in the past 2 years, I've lost count. I get going and something happens. Supposedly that's all over. All the docs say I'm good to go, so I'm at it again and I've been at it for one whole week already! Good for me! My first problem is leg strength and recovery. I go to the gym twice a week and I'm on a new-to-me program where I do one set of each lift until I can't do another rep, shooting for 30-40 reps. I ignore the aerobic part, take a brief rest at the end of each rep if I need to to keep going. It's just about strength/endurance. If I can't do 30, I drop the weight next time. If I can do 40, I raise it 5 lbs., etc.

I'm trying to do something, bike or gym, 6 days/week, doesn't really matter how much because I'm doing my cycling indoors, so I quit when my legs hurt too much. I'm shooting for an hour on the bike in Z2 each day. Maybe in a couple weeks I'll be able to do that. I'd like to work up to 1.5-2 hours on non-gym days. Then I'll go outside and start doing some harder work, hills or little intervals. That's the plan. I've done this before, but not at this age. I'll see how it goes.


Cycling is all about hills. Hills are the point. Can't do them right off, but you'll get there. One learns to love hills because that's where it all happens. I think one should be able to ride about 30 miles, mostly flat, before working on hills.
Gotta agree with all this.

To really get in shape, particularly at an older age, I think consistency is the most important thing. In my case, I lose conditioning much faster and have to work harder to get it back. Then, there is the weight. Always an issue, it gets harder and harder to lose the older I get.

And what happens? You start clawing your way back. Then some health issue arises, and you have to beg off. The health issue gets resolved, and off you go, trying to claw your way back in shape again. And just when you think you are making progress, some other health issue arises and you are back to square one.

Right now, I am at the "making progress" phase of that cycle. I'm starting to enjoy climbing hills again and the distances are creeping up. Not coincidentally, I am eating better and losing weight.

It all snowballs in both directions. When you're making progress, you're riding well. It is more pleasant, so you ride harder and more often. And for me at least, my appetite drops a bit (probably because I eat more out of boredom than anything else). And when you are not making progress, it's harder to ride and easier to eat more.

FWIW, so long as you are at it and plugging away, you'll get better and look forward to those hills again. Do what old people like us do best ... be stubborn!
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