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Can Intensity Kill You?
Last Post 02/06/2015 06:59 PM by Mike Shea. 13 Replies.
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02/04/2015 03:24 PM
Can continually pushing yourself extremely hard while training kill you? Is there a certain point where the heart will go into arrest, even if the rider is in fantastic cardio condition and is well-trained? This is assuming the rider doesn't have some underlying condition. I've been told to back off my training until I get this surgery wrapped up. I have popliteal artery entrapment syndrome so my calf muscle is strangling the artery near my knee. Causes numbness/weakness in my leg while cycling. Real bummer because I've got my power-to-weight ratio up to exactly 4 watts/kg. All that hard work and now I"m going to throw away the benefits. Of course, my leg could explode!
Yo Mike


02/04/2015 03:48 PM
Nietzsche said: That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

For what that is worth.

Can they put a stent into the blood vessel so you regain full use of the leg? Maybe you'll hit 4.2 with 2 good ones!


02/04/2015 05:34 PM
I think they are doing a by-pass as the artery has likely been damaged over time. I'm supposed to travel to UVA in Charlottesville for the procedure. Apparently no vascular surgeon in North Carolina wants to touch it!

I sure hope it doesn't take long to recover. I go crazy missing even one day of riding.


02/04/2015 06:52 PM
I had arterial surgery to my leg on the iliac artery. I was told no intense exercise for 6 weeks but the doctor let me ride after 4 weeks at low intensities. the danger is elevated pressure can rupture the surgery and I would bleed to death in a little time.
How that applies to an artery further from the heart and on a smaller branch would be different.


02/04/2015 06:55 PM
My understanding is there is some evidence that extreme training is not conducive to long term health, in contrast with less extreme aerobic training. Some of this - I don't know how much - is the sudden death Jim Fixx - drop dead from an arrhythmia that can be provoked by going anaerobic or max HR. But it's got to be better than being a couch potato or bored.

Forgive me for getting philosophical here:

It's not just how long one's life is, it's how wide and deep.
Orange Crush


02/04/2015 08:17 PM
One of the risks athletes face is increased heart chamber which can then become a home for blood clots.

Blood clot dislodges, ends up in brain. BOOM, time's up.

That was the story I was told last week. Had an echcardiogram done; looks like things are AOK.


02/04/2015 08:52 PM
I think I would listen to the doctors as much as possible, until I was healed. If quality of life includes hard exercise, then include it as soon as cleared, and enjoy it while it lasts. Of course that is easy to say, from my chair with a glass of wine in my hand.


02/04/2015 09:07 PM
Sounds like I'm taking risks then and pushing it. My luck will eventually run out. Heck, I've already had one DVT and multiple pulmonary embolisms. Combined with a blood-clotting disorder, I'm skating on some thin ice. I figure that genetic defect will lead to my ultimate demise, probably early. But until then, ride on!

Guess I'll swallow my pride and do some VERY light spins on the indoor trainer and maybe spend some time on the elliptical until after the surgery.


02/04/2015 09:38 PM
Don't check out yet, 6ix, we like having you around. Good luck with the surgery.


02/05/2015 08:57 AM
A basic article on the dangers of too much training for the heart...


02/05/2015 10:28 AM
I have cardiomyopathy. Back in '09 I began experiencing dizziness and shortness of breath while riding (at age 67). At times I thought I was going to faint. I saw my doctor and he immediately pulled me off my bike (words I did not want to hear). After a battery of tests (which happened very quickly) I was diagnosed with a heart condition. Luckily I did not require surgery. My condition is controlled by medication. I also have high blood pressure (I take beta blockers) and I can not get my heart rate up to the level I could before. I can't ride fast and hard as before. I was lucky as I had good doctors and I listened to their advice. I have been running/riding most of my adult life. I don't know if exercise caused my condition, but my physical condition helped me heal fast. I hope you have a good doctor and listen to him. Most often time is the healing factor. Heal well and you can ride again. Not riding sucks, but it beats the alternative.... think positive and (again) follow your doctors advice!


02/05/2015 08:55 PM
Hey Master50 - wasn't there a south african racer that had that process done and he got on a plane too early and died?

i've had two buddies have that surgery too. one with good results and another had to get it redone, but he's good now.
Cosmic Kid


02/06/2015 08:48 AM
All things in moderation.

Bummer about the surgery 6ix, but the fitness can be brought back later. Health trumps fitness.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!


02/06/2015 06:59 PM
Posted By jacques anquetil on 02/05/2015 08:55 PM
Hey Master50 - wasn't there a south african racer that had that process done and he got on a plane too early and died?

i've had two buddies have that surgery too. one with good results and another had to get it redone, but he's good now.

I try very hard not to think about other peoples bad choices but I have some vague recollection of this. In my case the blood flow was fixed. It was mostly manifest as a sleepy foot after an hour or so and frequent cramps. All good now but I still favour the left leg.
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