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Cycling Season Goals

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Cycling Season Goals

Post by Viking on Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:33 pm

In 2013 I focused on my recovery from quadruple bypass in late 2012. I was also diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at the time of surgery so managing my blood sugar with oral medication, diet and exercise started the day after my hospitalization for bypass. I left cardiac rehab at about 10 weeks to resume my own exercise program which, in this neck of the woods means snowshoeing and indoor stationary cycling. As Spring rolled around I started road bike riding again for the first time in many years. I had been hiking/snowshoeing year-round for over 20 years - about 3 to 4 hours/week and added the cycling to that routine.

I rode from May (we had 5 major snowstorms in April!) to early November and put on about a 1,000 miles. My weekly "long" ride topped out at about 35 miles and as the summer went by I added some interval training and serious hill work. Northeastern Minnesota around Lake Superior is really quite hilly. I made significant gains in speed, endurance and pushed my lactate threshold up significantly. During the season I suffered no injury or illness whatsoever, so was riding well within my capability. However, when the high temps dropped below about 40 degrees I found outdoor cycling too uncomfortable - particularly in the hands and feet. So I spent the winter hiking/snowshoeing and indoor training.

I dropped over 50 pounds since surgery and my diabetes is under excellent control although, to be clear, I have had to figure out how much food to take on board on rides over 2 hours. Diabetes in extremely complex and individual. For example, a 30 minute intense cycling session starting with a slightly low blood sugar will cause a dramatic increase by the end of the ride. I't called a "liver dump." Just one example of what might seem counterintuitive but that's how diabetes is.

Recently I started working with a personal trainer and doing some strength work. I lost so much strength in the upper body particularly after surgery and notice a lack of core strength during my longer rides last year.

This year I'm starting with a good level of baseline fitness. I'll need to start putting in some miles as soon as possible. After the coldest winter in 30 years, 30 degrees now feels positively tropical! My goals this year are to increase my long rides and training volume to ride a 70 mile event in early August. If that goes well, I am hoping to do a Century at another event in late September.

I don't think I can do that without following a fairly systematic training plan, so I've mapped that out with the help of Joel Friel and other training information for distance cycling. We'll see how it goes and I hope to report back during the summer to update. This is my stake in the ground.

Thanks for reading!
Gary
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65 y/o
167 lbs

Viking

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Age : 68

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Re: Cycling Season Goals

Post by RoadKillBill on Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:04 am

Wow! Over 50 lb weight loss in one season is amazing. Are you now off the oral antidiabetic meds? That is quite a success story. Congrats! Keep us posted on your cycling adventures this season.

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Re: Cycling Season Goals

Post by Viking on Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:38 am

Thanks Bill! The weight loss was surprisingly easy and I think the medication (metformin) had something to do with it. Even when my exercise volume was reduced during this record-breaking winter I actually lost a few more pounds. My A1c is 5.8, which is in the "normal" range, but I really don't see any point in discontinuing the medication since I have no side effects. Also, metformin does not work through insulin regulation and therefore does not cause hypoglycemia.

My current weight is exactly what it was when I was racing 40 years ago, although with the loss of muscle mass (due to age) and heart damage from a heart attack at age 43 I know my power to weight ratio is quite a bit different.

Frankly, even though my heart ejection fraction is fairly low (41%) I was able to see performance gains over the last season that were quite surprising.

Here's a ditty I composed whilst cycling last year:

The hills seem flatter
Than when I was fatter,
But the wind blows just the same.
I won't win no races,
Or turn the girl's faces
But glad to be riding again.

Viking

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Age : 68

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Re: Cycling Season Goals

Post by Guest on Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:56 am

Great attitude Viking, love the ditty!

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Re: Cycling Season Goals

Post by Marc Thayer on Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:00 pm

Picked up Friel's book for Tri training...I'm in for the running portion only at this point in time... seem's like a good resource.

Oh yes...excellent post.

Train hard, have fun.

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Re: Cycling Season Goals

Post by DonSoule on Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:40 pm

Hi Viking,  I've been wondering if your name indicated that you were from MN too,  Now I know - I live in Rosemount MN, just south of Saint Paul (outer suburb).  I'm a marathon runner and will be in Duluth for Grandma's - where do you live??  I've also been working on weight loss but no metformin help - My wife was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes too - at first she was on insulin but then got it under control and switched to metformin - she also lost a significant amount of weight when she started taking metformin,

Maybe we can get together sometime, occasionally we take trips up to the North Shore - sometimes to the Lutsen area,  Sounds like you might be north of Duluth.   We've had a fun winter so far, just hoping the snow melts in time for Grandma's Smile

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DonSoule

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Re: Cycling Season Goals

Post by DonSoule on Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:52 pm

Just saw your other post where you say you are from Duluth so maybe we could meet up during Grandma's weekend? I usually make it a quick trip, just stay at a friends overnight for the race and leave after I finish, I've done the past 7 Grandma's in a row and 3 in the early 80's (83,84 & 86).

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Don

Pacemaker, January 16, 2009
Boston Scientific, Altrua 60 S602
Fairview Southdale Hospital
Minneapolis, MN
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Re: Cycling Season Goals

Post by Viking on Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:31 pm

Don: the snow might be gone by Grandma's weekend, but there might be a few ice cubes floating around. The Coast Guard cutter was out of the harbor in the big lake yesterday and said the ice was between 3 and 5 feet thick!

We usually leave town on Grandma's weekend, but lets keep in touch. Grandma's is on the Solstice this year I notice.

Gary

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Re: Cycling Season Goals

Post by trishb on Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:53 pm

Just read your post, Gary.
You have had quite a super recovery since your surgery!

You're quite an inspiration!!  cheers 

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