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Old 07-04-2015, 04:26 PM   #21
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I know T-Al doesn't want to hear this, but I'll also throw in the whole issue of bicycle safety.
-ERD50
I agree, that's a big issue. It's 5-6 hours of being exposed to cars, trucks, and other crash dangers.

Part of it is that I use these long rides as a metric to see if I'm still in shape. When I don't want to go for a ride, I'll think, "Well, are you tough old guy or aren't you?"

Another thing is that the long rides take a lot of time. 5-6 hours of not getting other things done, but also 5-6 hours of not sitting in a chair.

But the question of "will I be better off if I do one long ride every week?" is still unresolved for me.
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:31 PM   #22
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No, overdoing it seems to just lead to injury, whether acute or repetitive stress. I don't feel there is anything worthwhile to be gained from regularly overdoing it.

I find that regular exercise, sometimes pushing a bit, but usually within my limits works best. I feel better, mentally and physically, when I just keep to a moderate intensity routine.
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:34 PM   #23
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I have been lifting weights for four decades. Exercise is probably the sole factor why I cannot relate to most my age. I look younger, feel younger, have the energy I did in my 30's, and as noted above, experienced improved mental functioning after my 40's (which has increased).

I highly recommend exercise as a means to healthy aging. If done correctly, exercise should not cause injury. Like most fields, sports physiology has made major advancements in understanding of optimal exercise. I changed my workout for the first time in decades a couple years ago and the difference in my physique has amazed me. What's more I significantly reduced time spent in the gym with much better, well-rounded results.

See this to get an idea:

10 Minute Workout: Short, Intense Workout To Get Fit

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/1...inute-workout/

Of note:

Quote:
In the time it took to read this column, you could be done with your workout.
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Old 07-04-2015, 04:53 PM   #24
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These exercise threads are an inspiration. Be careful and pay attention to your body, though. One of my mentors was felled by a heart attack while in his annual New Year's Day run in 1985.

Moderate exercise and pushing it a bit seems to be the ticket. My weightlifting today involves pulling invasive grass with roots 12 inches deep!


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Old 07-04-2015, 05:35 PM   #25
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Strenuous exercise makes me feel younger. But there is a point where it becomes counter productive. Training for marathons made me feel great, but I didn't feel as well for days following a marathon. Same thing for bike rides. I feel a lot better after 25-50 miles than I did on those days biking 100.
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:36 PM   #26
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I normally do one or two 16-ounce lifts daily.
But occasionally, I manage three or four of them in the course of a day. When I do, I sleep like a baby.

More seriously, I think your threshold of catabolism is lowered as you age.
I used to run marathons, but now I only do half-marathons. The toll on my body for that extra distance just became so onerous that it was no longer worth it.

My advice would be to dial back your "long ride" distance to 40 miles (hey, there's nothing magic about the number 50) and keep doing what you like.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:11 PM   #27
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Well, I did not know how out of shape I was.... I started going back about a month ago... and it is making me feel old...

This last week I did about 40 minutes on elliptical and then did the row of weight machines for all muscles on Monday... on Wed I did 30 minutes of elliptical, the weight machines and 30 on treadmill.... on Thurs I felt like crap... had to take medicine for the delayed muscle pains... took them Friday and today... starting to finally get back to normal...

Will cut back a bit this next week so I can go at least 3 times a week... funny thing is that when I was young I could jump on a bike and do 50 or even 100 miles without much trouble... even 15 years ago I could do 30 to 50... but stopped riding and went downhill from there... hard to get it back...

But, I do not like riding on the street... I rarely ride anymore, but if I do I go with the family to a park or trail.... on the street as little as possible...
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:18 PM   #28
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I think it is time to go see a cardiologist and get a stress test.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:30 PM   #29
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One interesting thing: I've felt that my strength/fitness has been slowly deteriorating over the last few years. I normally do Bowflex instead of body weight exercises, but today I did pushups and chin-ups and I was surprised to find that I can do just as many as I was able to in 2008.

That's remarkable: no significant decrease in arm strength from age 55 to 61.
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Old 07-04-2015, 07:57 PM   #30
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That's remarkable: no significant decrease in arm strength from age 55 to 61.
When I think back to when I was 61, (I'll be 73 in two months), that feels like the good old days....before the slide.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:20 PM   #31
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It seems like recovery would take longer when older, and I'm loath to risk injury, so I stay active, but I don't push it.

I had several 10 mile walking days during this recent Europe trip. That's about the extent of "extreme exercise" for me.
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:27 PM   #32
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I agree, that's a big issue. It's 5-6 hours of being exposed to cars, trucks, and other crash dangers.

Part of it is that I use these long rides as a metric to see if I'm still in shape. When I don't want to go for a ride, I'll think, "Well, are you tough old guy or aren't you?"

Another thing is that the long rides take a lot of time. 5-6 hours of not getting other things done, but also 5-6 hours of not sitting in a chair.

But the question of "will I be better off if I do one long ride every week?" is still unresolved for me.
Well, I'm glad you took that in the spirit it was given. Now, let me prod just a bit further...

The bolded part - 'but also 5-6 hours of not sitting in a chair' - is something I've noticed from you from time to time. Think about it, the alternative to one thing is not simply the extreme opposite. There are alternatives to bike riding that are not 'sitting on the couch'. You could find a safer alternative activity - it isn't all or nothing.

-ERD50
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Old 07-04-2015, 08:42 PM   #33
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Part of it is that I use these long rides as a metric to see if I'm still in shape. When I don't want to go for a ride, I'll think, "Well, are you tough old guy or aren't you?"

Another thing is that the long rides take a lot of time. 5-6 hours of not getting other things done, but also 5-6 hours of not sitting in a chair.

But the question of "will I be better off if I do one long ride every week?" is still unresolved for me.
If I were you, Al, I'd skip the 50-mile bike rides (which probably falls into the chronic cardio category, which recent studies show is not all that healthy), and substitute a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine one day each week, something like what Mark Sisson recommends here:

HIIT

High intensity day should be extremely exhausting. This is the day you’re going to dread, but luckily it’s only once a week! Make it count. If you find yourself looking forward to it, you’re either a sick individual or you’re going way too easy on yourself. The key here is metabolic conditioning – subjecting yourself to a steady barrage of multi-joint, compound exercises performed rapidly and with little rest to build muscular and anaerobic endurance. HIIT (high intensity interval training) day could be anything from a simple workout of ten sets of five pull-ups, ten push-ups, and fifteen squats, to the aforementioned Tabata intervals (sprints, burpees, squats, pull-ups, etc). For the most part, HIIT day workouts can be performed with little to no equipment (as in the Endorphin Mainline, the Prison Workout, or the 15 Minute Workout), but you can also put together an extremely solid metabolic conditioning routine using equipment, like the sledgehammer, the mace, or the sandbag. Just do it hard, fast, and don’t let up for a second.
By the time you’re tired of (as opposed to “from”) those workouts, you should be able to come up with some interesting alternatives to keep you busy. Also, stay tuned for more updates from me – I plan on introducing new routines on a regular basis to avoid stagnation (nothing worse than getting bored with a workout).
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This is a fairly intense routine, but you're done with it in 15-30 minutes, so it doesn't take long. For the rest of the week, he recommends something like this:


Monday – Sprint
Tuesday – Lift Heavy Things
Wednesday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Thursday – HIIT
Friday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest
Saturday – Lift Heavy Things
Sunday – Move Slowly, Play or Rest


So, there are two days of lifting heavy things, and one day of sprinting (you could substitute a quick intense bike ride for the sprinting, if you want) but those routines can be accomplished in a small amount of time also. And then the other days are days where you move or play, but don't do any real heavy exertion exercises.


If you don't like Sisson's routine, there are many other similar ones online. I think the key is to incorporate at least a day of HIIT each week, a day or two of heavy lifting (which could be bodyweight exercises rather than lifting weights), and a day of sprinting or something similar. Skip the long bike rides, which are probably doing you more harm than good, in the long run (my opinion).



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Old 07-04-2015, 08:44 PM   #34
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One interesting thing: I've felt that my strength/fitness has been slowly deteriorating over the last few years. I normally do Bowflex instead of body weight exercises, but today I did pushups and chin-ups and I was surprised to find that I can do just as many as I was able to in 2008.

That's remarkable: no significant decrease in arm strength from age 55 to 61.
You are an inspiration for all mankind.

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Old 07-05-2015, 07:26 AM   #35
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From everything I have read, a handful,of intermittent sprints is all you need for cardio fitness and a brief stint of intense weight lifts for muscle tone. That is now my focus. I still take regular 30 mile bike rides but they are for fun and I don't focus on going as fast as I can for the whole ride. The 50 mile rambles are few and far between - usually on a bike trip and are spaced with lunch and some pleasant rests part way through.

On the other hand, there are quite a few people who flourish on long rides or runs. I suspect most of the benefits of those activities are emotional rather than physical. But that doesn't make the benefits any less real.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:05 AM   #36
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That's remarkable: no significant decrease in arm strength from age 55 to 61.
When I was 61, I was better than I was at 55, and now that I'm 66, I'm not as good as I was at 61. Hope you fare better, Al.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:07 AM   #37
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I think it's good to push yourself once in a while, as long as you don't overdo it to the point of injuring yourself. And I think it's best to still enjoy the act of exercising, and not push yourself to the point of being miserable during that exercise.

When I do an especially hard bike ride or hike, it feels good psychologically to know that I can still do it, that I'm in almost as good a shape as I was 20 years ago. (That I'm in better shape than most of my friends makes me kind of sad though). I even enjoy feeling sore the next couple of days because then I know I really pushed myself - I mean the good kind of muscle soreness, not any pain of injury.

I wouldn't say it makes me feel younger, but it makes me feel good knowing that I'm doing a decent job caring for this ageing body.
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Old 07-05-2015, 08:07 AM   #38
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T-Al, it looks like you only rode 57 miles during the entire month preceding your recent 50 miler, whereas last year, you rode over 300 miles during June. If you didn't feel discomfort during the final miles of your long rides a year ago, I suspect your recent discomfort was more a matter of simply being in worse cycling shape this year when you went for a 50 mile ride.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:01 AM   #39
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I've just passed 1,750 biking miles for 2015. I ride in a hilly area, so I get bursts of cardio followed by periods of 'rest' over 1 to 2 hours per ride. I normally do 2 rides per day. A morning and an evening ride.

I do a few organized rides, but know my limits. Nothing over 75 miles in a single ride during summer. Distance rides also require a different dietary preparation for that day.

Does all this make me feel younger? Not really. But I feel better and more fit.
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Old 07-05-2015, 10:01 AM   #40
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T-Al, it looks like you only rode 57 miles during the entire month preceding your recent 50 miler, whereas last year, you rode over 300 miles during June. If you didn't feel discomfort during the final miles of your long rides a year ago, I suspect your recent discomfort was more a matter of simply being in worse cycling shape this year when you went for a 50 mile ride.
This. At my current training level I can run 10 miles, which takes me 2 hours, once a week and not suffer from any recovery issues. But, if I want to go on a longer run, I know that I need to gradually work my way up to it. I think you can build up your training volume to the point where a 50 miler doesn't result in any ill effects, but it takes time. I don't think that you should use your recent experience as some indicator that you're not in shape or that riding long distances are bad for you.

To ERD50's point, I don't feel safe riding my bike on public roads anymore. We have a nice trail system in my town, but it's not long enough to allow for any real distance training, so I'll stick to running for the time being.
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