Is Slow (and short) training better than No training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by jpwkeeper, May 16, 2014.

  1. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    OK, so here is the deal: I've apparently suddenly developed what appear to be resting PVCs (Premature Ventricular Contractions) after what for me was a very vigorous week of cycling (you guys would consider it recovery, but hey). It feels like a skipped heartbeat, which is only sort of true, and it only happens when I'm at rest.

    So my doctor won't clear me to ride until I've had more extensive tests and a consult with my cardiologist, fearing that if she does clear me and I have a sudden cardiac episode, I (or heaven forbid my widow) would sue her. She said "If I was your friend I would say go for it, but I'm not your friend, I'm your Doctor, so I can't say that."

    She did imply that if I do ride I shouldn't ride alone until we sort this out, which sounds like good advice honestly. And that's the rub.

    You see, I'm in this really peculiar hole right now where I'm stuck halfway between the slow riders I know and the fast riders I know. I'm about 3 MPH faster then the slow guys and 1-4Mph slower than the fast guys. So I always ride alone.

    I obviously can't just decide to be faster, and I suspect the fast guys won't curtail their own training to ride with me, so that leaves me trying to convince some slower guys to ride during lunch with me.

    So is riding slow, and I mean it would likely be mouth-closed recovery pace slow, be more beneficial than not riding at all? Especially since we're time-boxed and can't really ride for more than 45-50 minutes?
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Absolutely riding some is better than not at all.Any type of activity will benefit you on some level. It may not get you to the level where you wish to be but it will certainly keep you from getting into form where you don't want to be.
     
  3. Colnago62

    Colnago62 New Member

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    Follow your doctor's advice. Fitness can always regained, unless your dead. I have you thought about riding an indoor trainer?
     
  4. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Riding slow is better than not riding at all, just as walking around the neighborhood is better than sitting on the couch. If you do decide to ride, an HR monitor may be helpful in keeping you honest, i.e. in a zone that would be nothing more the equivalent of a brisk walk, something always under 65% of your maxHR. If you do decide to ride, make sure to at least follow the advice of not riding alone. Ride with the slow guys, enjoy the conversation.
     
  5. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    Welcome to my life. Group rides with the fast guys are like all-out race efforts for me that I more or less just survive and group rides with the slow guys I'm breathing gently through my nose and checking out the scenery. For the second half of last season, I had no issues getting faster while doing 75-80% slow rides - as long as the slow rides are of decent length. Maybe Felt will come in here and talk about his training strategy that involves lower intensity work.
     
  6. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Not sure I have anything to offer. My view is the same as you suggest where I base my intensity on duration. When I do lower intensity work it is either because of injury/illness, scheduled time off (like this past week) or because I have 4 plus hours available to sit in a steady endurance level pace.

    It appears that the OP has up to 50 minutes available and that is not very much. However, I do believe something is better than nothing because sitting on the couch just promotes more of a lethargic feeling and when there is hopefully a medical clearance it is just going to be that much harder to get back in the groove mentally and physically.

    In a sense this is what I did this past week rather than just taking the week off. After many weeks of increasing training load I used our vacation period to dial it back a little. Below the image reflects about 50 TSS per day in a 60 minute time frame. I did this mainly because I did not want my fitness to fall that deep by taking it completely off and yet let my body refresh and rest just a little. Toward the end of the week my legs were feeling a bit better and yet I feel like I did not lose too much and have hope to jump right back into the structure next week.

    [​IMG]

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    As to the OP, and I am not trying to scare anyone, even if I had good coaching knowledge I would be hesitant to give advice in this case. In 2011 I had a very talented cycling friend go out for his daily training ride. From what the investigators and medical examiner recorded that Terry returned from his ride, laid down for a nap and died in his sleep. Unknown to Terry he had a heart condition that he never knew about (his kids and x wife had no knowledge) and had a heart attack. This guys was without a doubt one of the best cyclist in our group. It was a shock to us.

    So I sure hope the OP will take it easy (not suggesting to stop activity) until he gets medical clearance. What is a few weeks or a couple of months when talking in terms of future years?

    Best wishes to the OP and I hope you get good reports soon
     
  7. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    I appreciate all the well-wishes guys. Trust me when I tell you that no matter how frustrated I am, I'm not going out until I'm cleared.

    Assuming I can get my hands on a Holter monitor first thing Monday morning, I have a follow-up with my cardiologist on Wednesday morning (if I can't get the Holter that quick I'll have to move it). Till I talk to him, I'm grounded.

    That only puts me off the bike for a bit over a week. With the winter we just had, that's small potatoes. But if he wants to run more tests and wants me to take it easier and not bike alone, I'm just trying to lay out the groundwork. I'm a software engineer; over-planning is kind of an occupational hazard.

    I actually spread 64 bags of mulch yesterday, and felt pretty damn good doing it (my doctor did say that was OK; go figure). Judging by my experiences this week and what I've read about PVCs, I suspect he's going to tell me that I just need to learn to live with them. The only thing they can do to fix it is ablation, but that's only in extreme circumstances. But I'm going to wait until he tells me that.

    @Felt: Sorry to hear about your friend. It's scary to think that we could all just eat it at any moment without any warning even when we do all the right things. One of the cycling gods I know has felt the same thing I'm feeling now and chalked it up to dehydration. He even implied that he would keep riding. It's a bit scary.
     
  8. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    Just an update: My Cardio Doctor confirmed that they are PVCs, but based on all of my other test from this year and last (EKGs from last week, Echo and Stress Test from 1 year ago) on top of my blood-work numbers, he gave an unequivocal green light to ride. I just finished up my 24 hour Holter monitor, but that's more a formality at this point than anything. Took my first ride today since getting the news and felt great.

    He admitted freely that nobody really knows what causes PVCs, but that if everything else is normal they are benign and they'll only give Beta Blockers or...damn, the procedure where they cathederize your heart, it's on the tip of my tongue..in cases where the PVCs happen very frequently.

    This is great news, especially since I looked at my bloodwork numbers and every single number is better than it was 2 months ago, so this cycling thing is obviously working for me.

    Once again, thanks for the info and wisdom.
     
  9. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    The term you are looking for is ablation. I have watched a few of these procedures performed in a EP lab. One I watched was for left atrial fibrillation. Several doctors and 6 hours later the patient was no better. Sometimes it can be the magic bullet however. If you go that route, get an experienced electrophysiologist and a facility with state of the art mapping capabilities. Otherwize stay away from those stimulants and keep your electrolytes balanced.
     
  10. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    Thanks Dog, that is exactly the term I was searching for. Cardio Dr. called me today and left a message (I love this guy: He called me himself, rather than have his nurses or staff call me) to let me know that my Holter results looked good. I suspected as much since I barely felt the problem while wearing the monitor. I'm more or less down to a few random pings during the day if I'm relaxed, with a bit more when I'm falling asleep at night.

    I generally am fairly cognizant of keeping my Electrolytes balanced. I'm taking Magnesium and eating Yogurt as per my GPs recommendation. Not sure if it helps, but I know from the past that the Mag keeps me from cramping quite so much after hard rides, and the Yogurt tastes good.

    Stimulants...that's going to be harder. My internal organs (starting with my brain) start to shut down if I go more than 48 hours without Coffee. But I don't over-do it.

    Weather and Wife permitting (Weather looks good, Wife could be trickier), I'm going on a 21 mile moderate pace group ride tomorrow (averaging around 15Mph and not many hills, so no big deal even for a slug like me). Very Excited!
     
  11. RonSwanson

    RonSwanson New Member

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    Like a poster said, riding some is better than none. Maybe add in some supplements? I take Actigin, it has helped me when it comes to riding.
     
  12. SolarEnergy

    SolarEnergy New Member

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    I miss these quite a lot. I too need to get a few things checked.

    At some point, a few years back, everything was fine. Economy appeared to be stable, performance improvement (or regression) would follow a predictible path. I would get these PVC, learned to live with them (You only feel them when you go to bed). Was training much harder than today. That was then.

    Now I don't get these at all. My heart is beating very regularly. However, my performances are all over the place, economy (hr response) is all over the place, I can not watt as much as I used to.

    Anyway, I'll follow this thread with interest.
     
  13. jpwkeeper

    jpwkeeper Member

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    Follow up with my Cardiologist and we went over my Holter monitor results. I'm having both PVCs and PACs (upper and lower manifestation of the same issue).

    He basically told met that he'd treat them if they bothered me Psychologically (exactly how he phrased it; I love this guy).

    I told him that if they weren't dangerous that I did NOT want them treated. The last thing I need is to take a harmless issue and introduce drug side-effects that could actually be harmful.

    So he recommended Relaxation, Meditation, or Prayer if applicable. The irony of that, which we laughed about, is that relaxation is that causes them to happen in the first place.

    Honestly, though, they're background noise at this point. I kinda know when they are going to happen (going to sleep, relaxing watching TV, or working at my desk) and just tune them out.

    On a side note, when was the last time you left work to go the Doctor's office and returned back to the office in 22 minutes?
     
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