Repeated hard efforts bad for health?
Last Post 11/17/2017 10:05 AM by Frederick Jones. 14 Replies.
Author Messages
6ix

Posts:207

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11/10/2017 05:20 PM
I'm only a few months past 40 now but feel like I'm nearly in the same condition I was 10 years ago when I was racing hard.  I don't have the snap or brute strength any longer but I can get my heart screaming when climbing, etc. 

At what point is this dangerous to your health?  Did a WBR race on Zwift yesterday and my HR averaged 155 with a high of 176 (that's pretty normal for me in a race effort).  Power was solid.  But will doing this 1-2 times a week eventually make my heart explode? 

Serious question.
longslowdistance

Posts:1486

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11/10/2017 09:42 PM
Great question, and I like your attitude!
I, too wonder about this.
Here's perspective from someone older than 6ix. Feel free to jump to the last paragraph.

Moderation in all things is good advice in terms of health. Road racing is not moderation!
In my younger days, hammering relentlessly as a Cat 2 and often seeing stars, I had in the back of my mind that a side benefit of all this suffering was better long term health.
I'm much older now, and educated in the medical profession, and I'm not at all sure what I thought when I was young is in fact true. I wonder if those repeated extreme efforts in my younger days were in fact not healthy, either short term or long term, at least for most people, excluding the genetic mutants who rise higher up the cycling food chain than I ever could.

Don't get me wrong: I would not trade those fully lived younger days for a better or longer last stage of life. One can measure quality of life in many ways, and I value depth and width more than length. In a decade I might change my mind, and YMMV.

Back to the OP: One should respect a vibe from their body that "this is just not right". Youngsters can look up Jim Fixx. What you can get away with in your 20s might kill you with an arrhythmia in your 40s or 50s. If you have decent insurance, and you have high cholesterol and/or a family history of coronary artery disease, or something just feels wrong, consider finding a cardiologist who "gets it" regarding high level aerobic exercise. Could be well worth your time, if nothing else for peace of mind, or possibly God forbid for much more. We live in a golden age of heart care, if you find the right doc.
Dale

Posts:938

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11/11/2017 07:07 PM
There was a bunch of discussion on the topic a couple years ago on Tilford's blog. IIRR it's not the max exertion that's the issue it's the hours upon hours of hard effort-- running marathons repeatedly, double centuries multiple times a year. What happened next is the heart goes tachycardia and just starts racing way above normal.

Jeremy Powers dropped out of Derby Cup a week ago when his HR started going way high. His normal race range is 177 +/- but in that race it went 200+ for a couple minutes so he bailed.

Leonard Zinn also has the same condition after decades of racing and has since quit racing due per his doc's recommendation.

I doubt an hour or two a week of hard effort is a hazard unless there are underlying issues.

*Disclaimer: I'm a manufacturers rep, not a doc and frequently give and follow bad advice.
longslowdistance

Posts:1486

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11/11/2017 08:55 PM
Thanks for the post. This is one conceivable outcome of extreme exertion.
On a simpler level, does not "wear and tear" apply to the heart? I do wonder.
That said, it's absolutely clear that moderate, regular exercise is good for the heart and brain.
Orange Crush

Posts:2004

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11/12/2017 06:46 PM
The only quantitative input I have is that any stress associated with worrying about this is probably worse for your health than the activity.
Dale

Posts:938

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11/13/2017 07:01 AM
Couple of links to articles on the topic. Read and report back here to discuss

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295078.php

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267305.php

http://stevetilford.com/2014/07/20/extreme-exercise-and-the-heart/

http://stevetilford.com/2012/12/04/are-we-jacking-our-hearts/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424127887323330604578145462264024472

https://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/extreme-exercise-and-the-heart







Dale

Posts:938

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11/13/2017 08:08 AM
One more... we're increasing our risk for Type 2 as well

https://www.outsideonline.com/2201466/are-endurance-athletes-more-susceptible-getting-diabetes?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebookpost

We're all gonna die from being fit! Hurry, run for the couch, grab the TV remote and a bag of chips!
6ix

Posts:207

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11/13/2017 08:15 AM
Thanks for all the articles! I'll read Tilford's first since he was always a voice of wisdom (may he rest in peace.)

Seems like the short answer so far is not reinforcing what I wanted to hear! Better change the parameters so I can get the results I want.
huckleberry

Posts:499

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11/14/2017 10:29 AM
Thanks, Dale.

We're all idiots. Just read the comments sections to witness the resistance against what we hold near and dear - the bike.

Been dealing with health issues for the last 5 years that have made me asses training, exertion, intensity, etc. Feel like I am finally coming out the bright end of a a long and dark tunnel.

But, yes, I too am an idiot. I do train much smarter now and am always looking for good science to make me even more balanced in my health, but it will be hard to hold myself back from doing stupid things when I am feeling strong.

My issues have been in the realm of hormones, but have had a few arrhythmia issues in the past. Trying to make sure my training time is on the low end and keep up the weight training and continue with my two weekly interval sessions.

I believe a lot more will come out in the next decade about the ill effects of over-exercising, luckily most of us will be dead by then... (joke). ; )
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2162

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11/14/2017 11:02 AM
Posted By Dale Dale on 11/13/2017 08:08 AM
One more... we're increasing our risk for Type 2 as well

https://www.outsideonline.com/2201466/are-endurance-athletes-more-susceptible-getting-diabetes?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebookpost

We're all gonna die from being fit! Hurry, run for the couch, grab the TV remote and a bag of chips!


Here is the first problem with that "study"....
Instead of bonk-inducing blood sugar lows, the more common problem in her subjects, who typically averaged at least six hours of training a week, was high blood sugar throughout the day—an outcome that pointed to an elevated risk of Type 2 diabetes in these seemingly super-fit athletes.
If you are training 6 hours per week (assuming the hours are spread throughout the week), there is ZERO NEED to consume supplemental calories through sports drinks, gels or bars. NONE.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Dale

Posts:938

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11/15/2017 06:35 PM
Posted By Cosmic Kid on 11/14/2017 11:02 AM
Posted By Dale Dale on 11/13/2017 08:08 AM
One more... we're increasing our risk for Type 2 as well

https://www.outsideonline.com/2201466/are-endurance-athletes-more-susceptible-getting-diabetes?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebookpost

We're all gonna die from being fit! Hurry, run for the couch, grab the TV remote and a bag of chips!


Here is the first problem with that "study"....
Instead of bonk-inducing blood sugar lows, the more common problem in her subjects, who typically averaged at least six hours of training a week, was high blood sugar throughout the day—an outcome that pointed to an elevated risk of Type 2 diabetes in these seemingly super-fit athletes.
If you are training 6 hours per week (assuming the hours are spread throughout the week), there is ZERO NEED to consume supplemental calories through sports drinks, gels or bars. NONE.


No kidding... I see guys load up with 5 gels, two bottles of syrup in their cages for a 60 minute ride... WTH? Same deal at cross races. 40 minute race, 50* temp, and you have a bottle? Seriously?
79pmooney

Posts:1743

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11/15/2017 09:38 PM
Dale, sugar addicts. Without that fix they are racing in withdrawal mode; not fast. Some of those guys might just be uninformed. But go to any supermarket and look at the checkout lines. A high percentage of those folks would have to be on the routine you described just to finish the race. (I saw a family of 5 leave Costco yesterday with a 50 pound bag of sugar.)

Ben
longslowdistance

Posts:1486

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11/16/2017 07:05 AM
Off to make some moonshine?
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2162

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11/16/2017 09:47 AM
Posted By Dale Dale on 11/15/2017 06:35 PM
No kidding... I see guys load up with 5 gels, two bottles of syrup in their cages for a 60 minute ride... WTH? Same deal at cross races. 40 minute race, 50* temp, and you have a bottle? Seriously?


I'll do an Olympic distance tri (1500m swim, 40K bike, 10K run....roughly 2'20" race) at a VERY high intensity (basically pegged the whole race) and only take a few swigs of water on the bike. Occasionally, I MAY slam down a gel on the bike just to be sure I don't blow up on the run. Schitt....look at guys on the World Tour who will take a waterbottle with them on prologues or short TT's. (and to make it worse, they are ROUND bottles....crime against aerodynamics)
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:1486

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11/17/2017 10:05 AM
1. Staying hydrated for tomorrow
2. Round bottles are better for throwing at offending riders and cars.


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