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Thread: New here!

  1. #1
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    New here!

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    Hi, I'm Kristine and my dh has been cycling the last 6 years and has a custom road bike. I've got a mountain bike right now that I just started riding a few miles yesterday (had it since college 20 years ago and rode off and on the last few years.) We did look at bikes at the LBS last week, but really can't afford anything yet and he doesn't want to spend the money until he knows I'll cycle. My biggest fear is that I had a SCAD (spontaneous coronary Artery dissection) heart atatck just under 3 years ago and have 2 stints in my left circumflex artery. Normal roads are fine, but when I do hills, I really get winded and know my heart is working a lot harder. When I had the SCAD, I was in the best shape of my life and had been doing heavy lifting, which was not "confirmed" as the reason it happened, but in my mind, I'm pretty sure it was." It's still a little scary to know what I can handle. A few of the bikes I looked at are Lexa, Lexa S C & Giant Avail. I did not test ride any of them yet. Honestly I am just getting used to switching gears on my Mountain Bike & really don't have a clue what I'm doing there. Anyway, I hope to learn a lot from you ladies.

    Kristine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Welcome to TE, Kristine!

    That' quite an introduction. The only thing I can say is to really work with a good bike shop to get the right gearing to make peddling as easy as possible, maybe get and use a heart rate monitor, and learn about peddling cadence, and the optimum rpms to keep you safe.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Why don't you go to your cardiologist and find out if there are any protocols you need to follow?
    For what it's worth, my DH has 2 stents, although he did not have a heart attack, just 2 80% blockages. He was riding up hills 10 days after his surgery. What you had is totally different, but, you need to find out answers from a cardiologist who knows something about athletes and sports medicine. Unless they do, physicians are going to tell you the most conservative advice they can. If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, you should be able to find someone who knows about cardiology and cycling.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    Why don't you go to your cardiologist and find out if there are any protocols you need to follow?
    For what it's worth, my DH has 2 stents, although he did not have a heart attack, just 2 80% blockages. He was riding up hills 10 days after his surgery. What you had is totally different, but, you need to find out answers from a cardiologist who knows something about athletes and sports medicine. Unless they do, physicians are going to tell you the most conservative advice they can. If you live in or near a major metropolitan area, you should be able to find someone who knows about cardiology and cycling.
    Thanks, my cardiologist said he saw no reason why I shouldn't ride, but it's still just the thoughts in my head that are a little scary.

  5. #5
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    OK, this sounds like the normal anxiety people have with a major illness (I'm a therapist and most of the work I do is around anxiety disorders). The thoughts in your head are what stop a lot of people from doing what they want to do. Our brains are naturally wired to go to the negative and then, we often ruminate on the negative, and the thoughts take on a life of their own and can become distorted. If you want, PM me, and I can give you some strategies to deal with those thoughts.... but I might still ask if you have any specific restrictions around your heart rate. Sometimes, when we say "ride" to a doctor, they think of a leisurely 8 mph cruise on flat ground.
    I'd say most new riders get winded when trying to conquer hills at first!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    OK, this sounds like the normal anxiety people have with a major illness (I'm a therapist and most of the work I do is around anxiety disorders). The thoughts in your head are what stop a lot of people from doing what they want to do. Our brains are naturally wired to go to the negative and then, we often ruminate on the negative, and the thoughts take on a life of their own and can become distorted. If you want, PM me, and I can give you some strategies to deal with those thoughts.... but I might still ask if you have any specific restrictions around your heart rate. Sometimes, when we say "ride" to a doctor, they think of a leisurely 8 mph cruise on flat ground.
    I'd say most new riders get winded when trying to conquer hills at first!

    Thanks, I have total peace over the fact of where I'm at physically, I've always been fit & a little athletic, I clearly explained to my cardiologist what I was hoping to do & he saw no reason that I shouldn't, it's probably more the charts they want you follow to as far as exertion levels in cardiac rehab, I was not their "typical" patient. I had no plaque or cholesterol and that wasn't "normal." I'm not terrified or anything, but it's just a concern. I don't have a road bike yet, so really anything I'm doing is probably a little "harder?" I don't know, I've never ridden a road bike to compare. I will continue to just start slowly & not exert myself too much. I have a hrm that doesn't always want to work for me. :/

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristinemomof3 View Post
    I have a hrm that doesn't always want to work for me. :/
    Hi Kristine,

    If it's important that you keep track of your heart rate, I might have some suggestions for better pickup (or where to find reviews if you're thinking about replacing it) ... what type of sensor are you using, and when it doesn't work, what happens (weird readings, dropping off, not picking up initially, etc)?

    I might recommend a cadence sensor too, if you're having trouble figuring out when to shift. Keeping your cadence in a range that works for you is one of the most direct ways to control your heart rate on the bike.

    Maybe talk to your exercise physiologist about how "winded" it's okay to feel, vs what kinds of sensations might be signals to back off?

    Welcome to TE!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  8. #8
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    Riding a road bike is not that different, except you will be going faster, a bit. I assume when you say you have a mountain bike, you mean you are riding it on the road, and not on the trails. That is how I started, very similar to you. I was fit and semi athletic from gym stuff and my DH and son were into riding. My first ride, 6 miles, on a mountain bike with slick tires, on the road, just about killed me. My DH had to put his hand on my back and push to get me up a short hill! I rode this bike for a year and a half and then I got an entry level road bike. While the shifters are in a different place, the actions are pretty much the same. Getting used to the skinnier tires did not take me that long, either. And, I have to add, that I am not super coordinated and my spatial skills kind of suck. So, if I were you, I'd get used to riding, i.e., shifting, cornering, climbing and descending on your mountain bike and then, when you are comfortable, you can transfer those skills to a road bike. I lead rides with a lot of beginners and I'd say that I am always surprised at how many people have no intuitive sense of how to use their gearing and think that it means they are "tough" if they don't shift down to easier gears while climbing.
    As far as HRM, I stopped using one years ago. It never worked, always got interference from other people's monitors, and it only told me what I already know, that my HR runs higher than it should. But, it's always consistent, and my RHR is low.
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  9. #9
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    A friend/riding buddy of mine always uses a HRM and cadence sensor. He's been cycling for 40+ years. He tries to keep his heart rate very steady throughout any ride. Guy has great form, etc., used to train with local Italian teams when he lived and worked in Italy. Point is: it's possible to keep your HR very steady and easy if you train for it.

    When I ride with just him, I tend to go faster more efficiently, and am less winded when I finish.

    I do have a HRM that came with my Garmin. I've never used it, though. I think it's a great tool for some people.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    This is really an interesting thread. I do think that perception of work can keep people from trying to exercise because any shortness of breath is perceived as a threat.

    I _would_ use a HRM. I have a Polar and a Garmin (using the Garmin the most on the bike) and both work pretty well. I would look at two pieces of knowledge.

    first there is the Rated Perceived Exertion:

    http://my.clevelandclinic.org/servic...cise/rpe-scale

    This article recommends that you work at the rate of 3 to 4.

    The concept of Target Heart Rate will help you to know if you are working too hard. Here is the link to the American Heart Association on that:

    http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Gettin...41_Article.jsp

    The goal with aerobic activity is to sustain a heart rate that is 50-85% of your maximum heart rate. I can ride with a heart rate of 125-135 "forever". When my HR gets up to 140 (climbing a hill), I start to "feel it". But all of those numbers I just described for myself--they were not that way when I first started. I worked to get to this part. ALso because I am pretty fit, my heart rate comes down fast with rest (faster recovery).

    So my point is this. Know your target heart rate zone. Strive to work with the lower to mid range of it. Notice how you feel, correlating heart rate to perceived exertion. Remind yourself that breathing faster, sweating, feeling your heart beat are all positive physiological responses to increased demand. They are not of themselves bad. However, dizziness, weakness, chest pain or shortness of breath that does not improve with 3-5 minutes rest are signs that your body is trying to tell you it needs help. Stay well hydrated and if you are riding for longer than an hour, consider taking a modest snack, but by far water is the most important.

    I agree with Crankin's remarks about anxiety. Have a plan (the common safety measures) and have a construct to measure whether your body is tolerating the work you are asking of it. And then just trust your body and your bike.

    And one last admonition. Make sure the old bike is tuned up and consider putting smooth tires on it unless you are doing dirt trails.

    Stay well hydrated. Take your cell phone with you. Make sure your DH knows when you leave, roughly what you plan to ride and when you expect to be back. These are common safety measures.
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5 WSD

    2011 Trek FX7.2--What can I say? It was on sale!

  11. #11
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    Just for the sake of clarity, someone in cardiac rehab will have different requirements from the general population. Controlling blood pressure -hard to measure on the fly - by controlling heart rate, which is directly correlated, is usually important. The OP should follow her exercise physiologist's or cardiologist's advice on what progression is safe...
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
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    And I should add that a mountain bike takes a lot more work to pedal than a road bike. It's really noticeable when going from the Krampus to the Pinarello in particular since they are set up exactly opposite from one another. (Krampus is a rigid single speed mountain bike made from steel with extra wide tires. The Pina is exactly opposite, but I get my heart-rate going higher on the Pina, as I can go much faster).

    But, keeping it in the low/easy gears will teach cadence control and develop cardio while keeping the HR down. Well, at least where I live, at sea-level. So that is a factor, too. It's not a bad idea to get a new bike sooner rather than later, it's likely you will ride a bike that is easier to pedal more frequently than that older mountain bike.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  13. #13
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    Jun 2010
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    Oakleaf my impression is that she is through with cardiac rehab and that her cardiologist said go do it--just pace yourself. That is what I read.
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5 WSD

    2011 Trek FX7.2--What can I say? It was on sale!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    4
    Yes, I am three years out.

 

 

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