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· Resident Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been a life-long cyclist. I started riding competitively when I was in my late teens. Safe to say I'm pretty experienced and know myself well. Nothing has changed e.g. nutrition, weight, overall health in the in the last couple of years, but I've noticed a definite decrease in stamina. My Md. says I'm doing great. I have a very thorough physical once per year.

Sat. was a perfect example of what I'm feeling. went on a 50 miler with the club. I felt fine. We had a good sized group including most of the fast guys. I started out with them, and as usual, the pack got fractured into 3 groups. I stayed with the 1st group with virtually no trouble at first. I had plenty of power for hills and a couple of sprints, as well as taking pulls into the wind. I definitely don't think I over did it. Then at the 30 mile mark, it felt like the bottom of my feet had 2 big corks in them, and suddenly somebody removed the corks and all the energy just drained out of my body. It wasn't bonk. I know very well what that feels like. I stopped for a rest & a drink at a gas station (it's the only thing I can afford there lately), and when the last (slowest) group came by I hopped on with them. It was all I could do just to keep in contact until we got back.

Well, I'm 65 now - will be 66 in Dec. I suppose I should be happy that I'm doing what I'm doing, but once you've competed at fairly high levels (cat 2) that sounds kind of defeatist. It's only been just this year and last year that I've noticed this. Besides age, anybody got any ideas of 1.) What might be the problem? or 2.) What can I do to fix it?
 

· Registered
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Well first of all, mad mad MAD props to doing what you are doing right now. And I don't mean to sound patronizing or defeatist, but frankly, speaking as an 18 year old who is new to cycling and loving racing (hoping to move up to collegiate A/B's by next spring!) I think it is honestly my goal to be able to ride like you obviously can when I'm older.

That being said; I'm obviously sort of inexperienced, most of my knowledge is what I've garnered from limited experience and mostly reading online and off.

I'd say that since you know yourself so well, this is hardly the product of anything you have control over; i.e. diet, exercise, etc.

This loss of stamina, has it been gradual or a sudden loss in power and endurance?

If it was sudden I would be concerned. If not, keep doing what you are doing, push yourself to whatever level is safe, and ride on.
 

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Not sure where you live, but last Sat was brutally hot on the east coast. I was suffering on our 50 miler, and I'm 20 years younger than you.

Is it possible you were suffering from hyperthermia?
 

· Banned forever.....or not
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It depends on how many miles you get in a week and how many "hard" miles you get in. The older you get, the less "bullets" you have in your gun.
 

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I hope I can keep up with you when I am 65 (now 59). Did a 30 miler solo on Saturday morning (96 F out there, humidity must have been 99%), made it home, had to use the handle on the garage door to get off the bike, wobbled into the house, took a shower, weighed in (lost 3 pounds), hit the couch, slept for 3 hours, then had a cold brewski!
 

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Iron levels

Mr. Versatile said:
My Md. says I'm doing great. I have a very thorough physical once per year.
Docs are famous for thinking that if, at your age, you don't have any debilitating diseases then it's all good. When you talk to them about physical performance, many of them just can't relate. Others have asked good questions about getting rest, possible overtraining, nutrition, hydration, etc.

I had an experience a few years ago where, from one season to the next, my 10 mile TT times dropped by a full minute (roughly 1 mph slower, and a 12% loss in power). I looked into a number of things in my physical profile, and after talking to some folks decided to start iron supplements. That was the problem. My TT times went back up and my Hct went up 4 points. Not saying this would be your issue, but you should look at your Hct, Hb, and serum iron numbers. The "normal" range for serum iron is 20-300, and if you're at 20, they'll tell you that you're normal, where in fact your athletic performance could be significantly affected at that level.
 

· Anti-Hero
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Kerry Irons said:
Docs are famous for thinking that if, at your age, you don't have any debilitating diseases then it's all good. When you talk to them about physical performance, many of them just can't relate. Others have asked good questions about getting rest, possible overtraining, nutrition, hydration, etc.

I had an experience a few years ago where, from one season to the next, my 10 mile TT times dropped by a full minute (roughly 1 mph slower, and a 12% loss in power). I looked into a number of things in my physical profile, and after talking to some folks decided to start iron supplements. That was the problem. My TT times went back up and my Hct went up 4 points. Not saying this would be your issue, but you should look at your Hct, Hb, and serum iron numbers. The "normal" range for serum iron is 20-300, and if you're at 20, they'll tell you that you're normal, where in fact your athletic performance could be significantly affected at that level.
I second this. Your typical MD got about 3 credit hours of exercise physiology in the med school classes he took and forgot however many years ago... If you can, have a visit with a doc that is knowledgeable in Sports Medicine.
 

· Resident Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I had some lab work done & everything was well within specs except vitamin B12, which was way low. Don't know exactly what that does/means/impllies, but I'm going to see what I can find out.
 

· Bacon!
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B12 is a hugely needed for energy maintenance. Without it you're going to feel some serious energy defiencies. My levels were low also due to a very heavy regime of weight lifting and biking both (contradictory to each other I know, but oh well). Anyway, started taking supplements and all the strength and energy losses I was facing came back with time. Also started to eat red meat a little more often for the iron.
 
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