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Vague Problem

 
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:54 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Vague Problem Reply with quote

This is a somewhat vague problem. Here it goes. I do most of my training indoors on a Computrainer. The Computrainer keeps a log of each workout I do. Over the years, Iíve been able to track my progress. More specifically, Iím most interested in the ratio of my output of watts relative to my heart rate. Over the years, I have seen this ratio rise. I took that rise as an indication of my improving fitness.

About a month ago, I saw a significant decline in this ratio. During workouts, my heart rate would rise higher than normal, and stay elevated for longer during recover periods in my workouts. Iím still having this problem.

For some background, Iím 40 years old in good health. I have normal to low blood pressure. There is a history of hypertension and heart disease in my family.

Iíve tried reducing my training volume and intensity, but those strategies did not improve my problem. I havenít had any changes in medication or lifestyle that I can attribute the changes to. I expect fluctuations from day to day as my hydration, recover, and stress levels change. However, Iíve never experiences such a long period of high heart rates and lower wattages.

I had a period in December and January where I was continually on antibiotics for recurring sinus infections. The problems Iíve noticed with my higher than normal heart rate seemed to develop after I finished my last antibiotic. Iíve noticed more congestion in my left nostril, and wondered if I could still have a sinus infection. Is it possible to have a sinus infection in just one nostril (I would think not, since they are connected)?

I have bad allergies and wondered if the spring pollen might be the cause of my reduced performance. However, Iíve suffered with allergies for years of training and racing, and have never had such a prolonged period of reduced performance.

I realize this is probably a problem for my personal doctor. However, Iíve found that Family Medicine doctors have a very limited knowledge of the unique lifestyle, training habits and needs of endurance athletes such as cyclists.
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Charley
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Location: Baton Rouge

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:10 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Another interesting fact Reply with quote

I posted the question to the doc. I wasn't logged in at the time. I just looked at the results from Bar H. I finished about 6 minutes back from my usual results. Seems to confirm my high heart rate and low wattage problems I have found on the Computrainer. I didn't race Waco, and got a 5th place finish at Comfort five weeks ago.
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JustinLee
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 1:49 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

disclaimer: I'm no expert.

I have noticed that as I do this cycling stuff year after year, my heart rate is also on the rise. Last season 180 was a great racing heart rate for me - now that's loafing to me and I'm much stronger around 193. Isn't it possible that your body will eventually adapt to a higher requirement for oxygen in the form of a stronger heart that can pump faster?

If so (and I'm not claiming I'm right) if your max heart rate raises, but you continue to ride at the same heart rate, when you used to be riding at 90% max HR you are now riding at 80% max HR. Voila: lower output.

Ok, if you are following me up to this point you might be thinking that you are only supposed to ADD power as you increase your heart capacity. Maybe. I think that the power you add is not a 1:1 correlation to your heart rate, but a curved correlation. In fact it's a 4 dimensional puzzle with VO2 max, strength, and endurance that constantly shifts around as your fitness level changes.

I don't know for sure. I do know this: I'm 30. Last year I blew up if I went above 190 and this year I regularly see numbers over 205. I think you should start over with the trainer and measure your lactate threshold and recalculate all of your HR benchmarks. Or just put it away for awhile and trust your percieved exertion - take note of your heart rate along the way and see what it tells you.
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JustinLee
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 1:51 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

BUT I certainly agree that weaker outputs with a higher heart rate may be an indication that you are still sick.
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Tryin2B@home
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:01 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Has fellow sport racer maybe... Reply with quote

Hey Charlie,

I'm in your class maybe the rest of us are getting faster! Or maybe you peaked too soon.

Seriously, if you can't make the same amount of power, it could be a sign of overtraining. I personally don't look at HR as anything but another input because of the many influences that affect HR and training. Strictly power output i.e., am I making the same power for that drill as last time or more. If there is a noticable dropoff in power output when I begin a drill (stated as I suck and can't make the power) I spin down and rest.

If you had a virus and it was serious you should have a had noticable dropoff in performance all along.

Cool I really think your competition is just getting faster! Cool

Tryin2B

11th @ BarH
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The Bike Doc
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 5:28 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charley:

Your baseline elevated heart rate for a given wattage and recent sinus/respiratory infection certainly can be connected. Illness can be a cause of a rise in your heart rate and a fall in your wattage output. Additionally, overtraining and insufficient rest can also be factors. The amount of rest that is required for the body to recover can be increased by illness as well.

In regards to you persistent nasal congestion on the left, you may want to get re-evaluated by your doctor. It is possible you have a persistent sinus infection; you may have developed complications from the prior sinus infect such as a nasal polyp or a persistently obstructed drainage port to one of your sinuses. A sinsus Cat Scan may be in order to elucidate this information. Plain sinsus X-rays have a high false negative rate (there is something there that that they do not pick up).

Allergies can certainly be a contributing factor. The good news there are excellent allergy medications available that should not affect your performance. Topical nasal steroids such as Rhinocort, Flonase and Nasonex can help decrease your nasal swelling and improve your breathing. Non-sedating anti-histamines such as Clarinex, Allegra or Zyrtec can be helpful as well. I do recommend avoiding systemicly taken decongestants such as pseudophedrine (Sudaphed) as these will contrict the blood vessels not only to your nose but to your muscles and elsewhere in your body causing an increase in your blood pressure and your heart rate but decreasing you performance.

Do get a recheck with your doctor.

Thanks,
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Charley
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 8:37 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information and suggestions. Good luck at the races.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 8:06 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I do recommend avoiding systemicly taken decongestants such as pseudophedrine (Sudaphed) as these will contrict the blood vessels not only to your nose but to your muscles and elsewhere in your body causing an increase in your blood pressure and your heart rate but decreasing you performance.


If pseudophedrine decreases performance, why is it a banned drug? I thought it was banned because it is a stimulant.
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The Bike Doc
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 5:34 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Biker Chick:

Yes, pseudoephedrine is a banned substance. Yes, it can have stimulant activity in some individuals, however, the benefits of any stimulant activity are negated by the constriction of the blood vessels that occur and thus leading to decreased deliver of blood to the working muscles as well as other parts of the body. It can additionally impare the body's ability to cool. There is a case report of an athlete going into heat stroke and dieing from taking pseudoephedrine before a 3 mile run. It can constrict the blood vessels to the gut leading to cramping and worse still, ischemic colitis (critical reduction of blood flow to the colon causing injury and bleeding into the colon due to loss of oxygen to the tissue). Steer clear of it when you are performing.

Thanks,
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Charley
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 8:46 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a CT scan of my sinuses last week. The doctor says I have severe sinus infections in both sinuses. Friday I started 500mg of Cefzil twice a day. The doctor wants me to take the Cefzil for the next three weeks. I'm already feeling better. I had a really good training weekend. On my Computrainer last night, my heart rate relative to my wattage output returned to normal levels. I'm looking forward to racing Flat Creek.
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The Bike Doc
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 9:34 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charley,

Thanks for the follow up. I hope you have a speedy recovery and an even speedier race!

Thanks,
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 12:53 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cary,

Enjoy your moment of glory. It won't happen again.
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Charley
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 8:33 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm back! 2nd at Flat Creek. 14 seconds behind 1st place.
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The Bike Doc
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2004 11:13 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charley:

Another happy customer. Congratulations! I look forward to seeing you in Warda.

Thanks,
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