RA and cycling performance

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Craig Brossman, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. There must be other enthusiasts with this (or similar) health issues here.
    I've been dealing with Rheumatoid Arthritis for over a year and am
    currently on Methotrexate and Enbrel. I am pleased that I can ride long
    and hard, but find that my performance gains are coming more slowly than
    I would hope. Of course it may be due to the disease, the drugs or old
    age (I'm 44), but it is probably as combination of at least these three.

    Since I don't know anyone else dealing with this disease or similar
    auto-immune diseases and trying to increase their performance, I am
    finding it difficult to determine what is reasonable to expect from my
    body.

    While there are certainly others in a similar situation, your average
    RA, MS, Lupus ... patient is not trying to ride 5 days a week or
    decrease their climbing time in the mountains of CO, just like your
    average American is not. My docs really can't give me specifics of the
    affects of the disease and treatments on performance and performance
    gains, it appears that they do not have other patients asking about it.

    Any similar stories out there that you are willing to relate?

    --
    Craig Brossman, Durango Colorado

    "Anyone who isn't confused really doesn't understand the situation."
    Edward R. Murrow
     
    Tags:


  2. On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 11:59:46 -0600, Craig Brossman wrote:

    > [...44-year-old with rhuematoid arthritis, taking strong meds for
    > it, enjoying cycling, fitness gains coming very slowly...]
    >
    > Since I don't know anyone else dealing with this disease or similar
    > auto-immune diseases and trying to increase their performance, I am
    > finding it difficult to determine what is reasonable to expect from my
    > body.
    >
    > While there are certainly others in a similar situation, your average
    > RA, MS, Lupus ... patient is not trying to ride 5 days a week or
    > decrease their climbing time in the mountains of CO, just like your
    > average American is not. My docs really can't give me specifics of the
    > affects of the disease and treatments on performance and performance
    > gains, it appears that they do not have other patients asking about it.
    >
    > Any similar stories out there that you are willing to relate?


    I have osteoarthritis in my left foot, bad enough to have undergone
    a triple arthrodesis five years ago. Not the same thing as you, to be
    sure. I'm also younger than you are (36), and my fitness gains come more
    quickly.

    Bear in mind that you live up where the air is thin. That you
    are leading an active lifestyle in and of itself instead of surrendering
    to your disease is itself a wonderful thing. Surely, keeping extra weight
    off and keeping those joints moving are all good. Improving fitness is a
    bonus.

    I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you. I'm just glad to read
    your story.

    Good luck,
    --
    Chris BeHanna
    '03 Specialized Allez Elite 27
    '04 Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc


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  3. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Chris BeHanna <[email protected]> writes:
    > On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 11:59:46 -0600, Craig Brossman wrote:
    >
    >> [...44-year-old with rhuematoid arthritis, taking strong meds for
    >> it, enjoying cycling, fitness gains coming very slowly...]
    >>
    >> Since I don't know anyone else dealing with this disease or similar
    >> auto-immune diseases and trying to increase their performance, I am
    >> finding it difficult to determine what is reasonable to expect from my
    >> body.
    >>
    >> While there are certainly others in a similar situation, your average
    >> RA, MS, Lupus ... patient is not trying to ride 5 days a week or
    >> decrease their climbing time in the mountains of CO, just like your
    >> average American is not. My docs really can't give me specifics of the
    >> affects of the disease and treatments on performance and performance
    >> gains, it appears that they do not have other patients asking about it.
    >>
    >> Any similar stories out there that you are willing to relate?

    >
    > I have osteoarthritis in my left foot, bad enough to have undergone
    > a triple arthrodesis five years ago. Not the same thing as you, to be
    > sure. I'm also younger than you are (36), and my fitness gains come more
    > quickly.
    >
    > Bear in mind that you live up where the air is thin. That you
    > are leading an active lifestyle in and of itself instead of surrendering
    > to your disease is itself a wonderful thing. Surely, keeping extra weight
    > off and keeping those joints moving are all good. Improving fitness is a
    > bonus.
    >
    > I'm sorry I don't have any answers for you. I'm just glad to read
    > your story.


    That was a very nice post, Chris. And to Craig, regarding how quickly
    the performance gains come, I'll just say: hang in there. They'll
    come. It's been my experience that performance gains don't come
    linearly. Rather, you work & work & work at the same performance
    level, and then all of a sudden you can take that "killer hill" in
    a higher gear, or what seemed like a far-away destination is
    suddenly a trivial milk run. And then you're at that new
    performance level for a while, and then you'll get another
    sudden improvement, and so on & so on. Like I say, performance
    gains aren't necessarily linear -- sometimes they come in
    plateaus like an ascending staircase.


    cheers,
    Tom

    --
    -- Nothing is safe from me.
    Above address is just a spam midden.
    I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca
     

  4. > On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 11:59:46 -0600, Craig Brossman wrote:
    >
    >
    >>[...44-year-old with rhuematoid arthritis, taking strong meds for
    >>it, enjoying cycling, fitness gains coming very slowly...]
    >>
    >>Since I don't know anyone else dealing with this disease or similar
    >>auto-immune diseases and trying to increase their performance, I am
    >>finding it difficult to determine what is reasonable to expect from my
    >>body.
    >>
    >>While there are certainly others in a similar situation, your average
    >>RA, MS, Lupus ... patient is not trying to ride 5 days a week or
    >>decrease their climbing time in the mountains of CO, just like your
    >>average American is not. My docs really can't give me specifics of the
    >>affects of the disease and treatments on performance and performance
    >>gains, it appears that they do not have other patients asking about it.
    >>
    >>Any similar stories out there that you are willing to relate?

    >


    I am a 34-year-old with rheumatoid arthritis, and I try to ride 4 or 5
    days a week in the warmer months. I started riding two years ago, and
    began from a fitness level of zero because I'd been too sick and too
    crippled up to exercise at all for the previous year and a half. I
    started out on a hybrid, and could barely make it a couple of miles. My
    fitness improved with regular riding, and last year I bought a road
    bike, which is a lot of fun.

    I can't really say how the disease has affected my abilities, because I
    wasn't a cyclist before the illness. I am also on methotrexate, and
    most of the time I feel good. I occasionally have flare-ups that keep
    me off the bike for a few days, which is frustrating. I also find that
    sometimes my feet ache all the time. Apparently feet are particularly
    susceptible to inflammation, like the hands. I haven't particularly
    discussed my riding with my rheumatologist, but I'm under the impression
    that regular exercise can help keep the disease at bay.

    Good luck to you,

    Gail O'Connor
     
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