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Age and Physical Efforts while Cycling
 LeoH member offline
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posted 3/12/2020
at 12:28:29 PM
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I'm curious about others' experience with aging and cycling effort and comparing with what I'm feeling. I know! We all are different, but I'm noticing physical changes I haven't experienced in the past and am curious how others have felt, cycling through the years.
I'm 62 this year, otherwise healthy, and bicycle commute several days a week, but, though *I* feel I'm fit and otherwise healthy, I'm noticing breathing efforts while I ride my typical commute and afterwards that I haven't in the past and am just wondering how much of that is aging, and how much may be due to consequences of having had pneumonia last year. Or even, maybe effects from mainly urban/suburban commuting over 12 years? I dunno, but I'm noting enough of a difference in effort afterwards that it's not just my imagination. >shrug<

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posted 3/12/2020
at 1:18:36 PM
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Please make an appointment with a doctor for a full complete physical with a complete blood work-up. Tell the doctor what you are saying here especially the part about increased breathing effort.

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posted 3/12/2020
at 3:23:02 PM
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What GWM said. If you haven't had a full physical, and an honest conversation with your GP, do it. Additionally if you haven't had a stress test ask for one. If nothing else for piece of mind and a baseline for the future.

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posted 3/12/2020
at 4:53:34 PM
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Echo the above sentiments. After that, then maybe some things will become more clear.

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posted 3/12/2020
at 6:53:56 PM
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Cold or flu would have additional symptoms. Sounds like it might be the start of asthma. Once you have a breathing test, try avoiding wheat to see if it gets better.

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posted 3/13/2020
at 4:36:10 AM
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I'm going to be 62 years old in July. I've been cycling 5K to 6K every year since I was 45. I can say that the older I get the slower I go. I've read that our lung capacity decreases as we age but definitely have your Doctor check out your lungs since you've had pneumonia.

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posted 3/13/2020
at 11:56:53 AM
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Also get allergy tested and keep an eye on pollen/air-quality forecasts every day, just as you would keep an eye on weather forecasts.

After getting the medical workups done, on the cycling side, if you don't already have them, get a heart rate monitor and maybe a power meter so you can quantify differences in effort with how you feel.

 LeoH member offline
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posted 3/13/2020
at 1:21:20 PM
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Thanks for the comments. I already have my physical scheduled in May, so I'll just discuss things with him. We just had to switch doctors last fall, and we like this physician, so this'll be an exercise in learning more about him and his approaches. On top of that, he is a geriatrician, so, he only sees patients over 60 as a rule.

It's challenging, balancing perception, symptoms, external attitudes (regular praise and acknowledgement I'm a regular cycling commuter), and my internal expectations of how I "should" feel. Oh? Throw in the mix, lately for several weeks, having to ride a safety bicycle instead of my 6 year routine of riding a recumbent. I have ridden the mtb enough now that I feel I'm relatively close to adjusted to the differences in physical effort betwen the 2 platforms, but I understand that difference in effort has to be factored in to my exercise responses.

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posted 3/13/2020
at 5:26:19 PM
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Lots of external influences there. Those will need to be ferreted out. The prior pneumonia may have the major impact. As others stated, you need to get professional diagnosis and you have stated that will happen.

I didn't start riding for fitness until age 55. So my experience is somewhat biased toward advancement during training over aging. From my records, I then peaked at age 67 at which point my cardiac artery blockage (unknown to me) progressed to the point where my stamina declined and I could not average the speeds I had been averaging on 2.5-3 hour rides. For two years, I worked with my doctor to understand why my stamina was declining. And in April, 2018, I underwent a double cardiac bypass graft surgery to bypass the primary blockage. A secondary blockage not as severe was also bypassed.

I have not regained my previous fitness level.


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posted 3/15/2020
at 7:25:42 AM
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I started to ride at age 50, when I realized how out of shape I had gotten over the years. A compulsive logger of information, I have kept a spreadsheet of the 56,000 miles ridden since starting as an adult. My average pace has declined in 16 years from 15.2 mph to 13.9 mph. Would I consider quitting over a 1.3 mph decline. Ahh, no. The biggest part of that is my pace up hills. I do wear a HR monitor now and work to stay under 150 bpm.I feel exhausted if it goes much above that and it takes a rest to recover. Under or at that ax and I am fine for the next hill. I've been leading (sometimes sweeping) our C group rides for years. Pace avg is 13 - 15 so I'm within the advertised range. On yesterday's rolling hilly ride, I kept 14.2. Pretty consistent. I did get my check up and I do follow my doctor's guidelines. Ride on.

 LeoH member offline
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posted 3/17/2020
at 10:07:43 AM
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Thank you all for your inputs and comments. Some of these concerns I have are partly symptomatic, and some of this is my self sorting as to what I "should" be feeling.
I feel that, because of your thoughts, it is something I should pay attention to, and just adjust to how my body feels and not try to second guess what I "should" be feeling.
As part of that adjustment, I'll try to remember to follow up here, after my upcoming physical, but my memory failings I've noticed in the past year may prevent that.
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