riding too many hours



RAB2

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Oct 13, 2004
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Is it possible to cause damage to your heart or any other organ by doing a very long ride? Are there any dangerous health risks associated with this? I am talking rides of over 100 miles or over 6 or 8 hours at a high pace. Could you get irregular heart beats or anything? I have never had any problems but I am thinking about doing a double century or something like that. I can do 100 miles without feeling too beat up afterwards.
 

RapDaddyo

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May 17, 2005
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RAB2 said:
Is it possible to cause damage to your heart or any other organ by doing a very long ride? Are there any dangerous health risks associated with this? I am talking rides of over 100 miles or over 6 or 8 hours at a high pace. Could you get irregular heart beats or anything? I have never had any problems but I am thinking about doing a double century or something like that. I can do 100 miles without feeling too beat up afterwards.
I'm not a physician but I think your heart could work at max. HR forever. Your leg muscles will stop working long before your heart. Apart from saddle sores and muscle soreness, I think about the only serious damage you can do is if you don't tend to your body's nutrition and hydration requirements. Personally, I'd have to get lost to ride further than 100 miles, but I've been in road races up to 120 miles at 25mph pace. I was dog tired but my heart never missed a beat.
 

mises

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May 27, 2005
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RAB2 said:
Is it possible to cause damage to your heart or any other organ by doing a very long ride? Are there any dangerous health risks associated with this? I am talking rides of over 100 miles or over 6 or 8 hours at a high pace. Could you get irregular heart beats or anything? I have never had any problems but I am thinking about doing a double century or something like that. I can do 100 miles without feeling too beat up afterwards.
Unless you have some underlying heart problem there should be no problem.

Some research has indicated higher beat to beat variability is associated with increased fitness so a lot of exercise could in fact make your heart beat less regularly, though not irregular.
 

jbieryjr

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Apr 15, 2004
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RAB2 said:
Is it possible to cause damage to your heart or any other organ by doing a very long ride? Are there any dangerous health risks associated with this? I am talking rides of over 100 miles or over 6 or 8 hours at a high pace. Could you get irregular heart beats or anything? I have never had any problems but I am thinking about doing a double century or something like that. I can do 100 miles without feeling too beat up afterwards.

First: Aerobic or Cardiovascular work over 6-8 hours is not considered long. Keep in mind that pro riders are on the bike 6-10 hours a day for 9 months of the year. With proper training and workout schedule, including proper stretching program you should be fine. Injuries usually arise during times of over work or improper preparation.

Second: As for the heart. It is very capable of taking the pressure of long rides. Keep in mind that when talking about heart rate, we usually describe it by rate and rhythm. During times of extreme stress the heart can produce an irregular rhythm. Usually an extra beat or multiple beats. This is what a stress test can identify in people with underline cardiac problems. The stress test takes the body to the max heart rate possible the longest time possible.

If you are concerned about this, then the best thing to do is have you doctor run an EKG or stress test. Find a good work out program with a good aerobic base program.

Third: People due ultra rides and 24 hours rides all the time. RAAM (Ride across America) is going on right now. Usual riding is 100-150 miles a day for 2-3 weeks. Good luck
 

Smartt/RST

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Aug 9, 2004
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RAB2 said:
Is it possible to cause damage to your heart or any other organ by doing a very long ride? Are there any dangerous health risks associated with this? I am talking rides of over 100 miles or over 6 or 8 hours at a high pace. Could you get irregular heart beats or anything? I have never had any problems but I am thinking about doing a double century or something like that. I can do 100 miles without feeling too beat up afterwards.
Generally speaking, the comments already posted are correct. However, there *is* the potential to do some damage to the heart if the workout is long and fatiguing enough. Obviously, many people exercise for extended durations every day with no problem, but if you perform a Pub-Med search for "ironman, cardiac damage" and other similar terms, you'll find a strong argument for proper recovery following very demanding workout as relates to this post.
Exercise can be one of the most potent stresses we place on ourselves...never underestimate the need for proper recovery. You may feel it in the legs, but I guarantee there is a lot more going on.
 

spacefuzz

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Jun 11, 2004
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jbieryjr said:
Third: People due ultra rides and 24 hours rides all the time. RAAM (Ride across America) is going on right now. Usual riding is 100-150 miles a day for 2-3 weeks. Good luck

RAAM is 300-400 miles a day for 8-12 days.

i just did a 24 hour race and when i ride that long my goal heart rate is around or less than 130 bpm. if your going for a double century youll want to keep your heart rate lower so you can burn fat and go longer. so you shouldnt have to worry about stressing your heart out, a crit would probobly be harder on it.

if you could do a double century with a 180 bpm heart rate, damn...
 

dhk

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Sep 1, 2003
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spacefuzz said:
RAAM is 300-400 miles a day for 8-12 days.

i just did a 24 hour race and when i ride that long my goal heart rate is around or less than 130 bpm. if your going for a double century youll want to keep your heart rate lower so you can burn fat and go longer. so you shouldnt have to worry about stressing your heart out, a crit would probobly be harder on it.

if you could do a double century with a 180 bpm heart rate, damn...
Good point. Long non-stop rides are typically done at low HR and power levels. The time limit for 1200 km randonneur rides (744 miles) like PBP and Boston-Montreal-Boston is around 90 hours. Believe speeds of 12-14 mph on the road are the norm.
 

jbieryjr

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Apr 15, 2004
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spacefuzz said:
RAAM is 300-400 miles a day for 8-12 days.

i just did a 24 hour race and when i ride that long my goal heart rate is around or less than 130 bpm. if your going for a double century youll want to keep your heart rate lower so you can burn fat and go longer. so you shouldnt have to worry about stressing your heart out, a crit would probobly be harder on it.

if you could do a double century with a 180 bpm heart rate, damn...

Many endurance rides across the nation. Just used RAAM as an example due to common awarness of the ride. The not intend to imply that elite riders cannot do more.