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  1. #1
    dwt
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    Old guy recovery

    I'm a baby boomer on the south side of 60. My riding group consists of 5 guys close in age. We ride road and off road together and are very fit and aggressive for our age.10 years ago 4 of us finished 1st in our age group at 24 Hours of Great Glen in New Hampshire.

    I spent most if this summer in hospitals and on my ass recovering from brain surgery. Fitness and strength fade fast in convalescence. Weight gains is another problem. Dr. advised against cycling until 2013, which I have not followed.

    The problem is that my recovery has been slow. No way I can keep up
    any more road or off road, which is of course to be expected near term.

    What I'm worried about is that strength and fitness losses from such a major set back at this age may never be recovered. I'm not giving up, but age catches up no matter how hard you train to resist it.

    So I need encouragement from other oldsters or knowledgeable trainers how well an old body can recover from and regain what it lost. A trip back to Moab and to Sedona, Fruita etc. are still on my bucket list but I want to be able to ride them aggressively and with dignity.

    TIA.
    Last edited by dwt; 10-21-2012 at 11:01 AM.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  2. #2
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    Fitness gain is the same as fitness loss....it comes and goes a little at a time. Main thing is to do anything you can fitness wise that will compound on itself as a gain....even if it is real gradual.

    Just curious why you are not supposed to ride a bike? Is it possible head trauma or heart rate / blood pressure elevation. If it's the former buy a trainer to keep those legs and heart strong. Get out and do tough hikes. I am amazed how hard riding a trainer is compared to mtn biking. I bought a 1UP trainer and it gives a great workout. Actually a real tough workout.

    I've been off the bike twice, once with shoulder surgery (non bike related) and once from a shoulder injury (bike related) in the last few years and did everything I could to maintain a fitness gain. I will be 50 this year but still feel in great shape except for a few aches and pains....

    If you start a routine and gradually start feeling better, your confidence in yourself to get stronger will grow and then it will turn around for you. You obviously have had good fitness in the past to start from.

    One thing I always tell myself is if I can't ride in the woods, I'll walk. And if I can't walk, I'll crawl. I bought trekking poles when I was only able to hike for an upper body work out too when hiking.
    Just get out there and remain active and push as hard you can everyday to the limits that your body will allow.

    Good luck to you.

  3. #3
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThumperGary View Post
    Just curious why you are not supposed to ride a bike? Is it possible head trauma or heart rate / blood pressure elevation. If it's the former buy a trainer to keep those legs and heart strong. Get out and do tough hikes.
    It is the former a - risk of head trauma. I have a trainer and I do hike. Don' t run due to bad hips. Cold wet weather coming where I live, so the trainer will be seeing more action.

    I will be 50 this year but still feel in great shape except for a few aches and pains...
    You will soon find out that 50 is much different than 60. You are still a "young'un".

    I would like to hear from 60+ riders to find out what to expect as far as recovery at that age.


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    You can't go on forever. What were you expecting, to be in top fitness till the day you die? It sucks with your current injury/recovery, but I'd go about resetting what you figure is your "new normal". Be happy you're alive. Figure every day you're breathing is a good day.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  5. #5
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    When I was in a similar situation I would get exhausted half way through my work out so I never really felt like I was working my body, I felt like I was just spinning my wheels. I switched to two work outs a day and I began to make gains again. This way I could do one in the Am and one in the PM and have time to recover between. I was very tired the first two weeks but then I began to feel my body get strong again.
    This is controversial but you may also look at TRT. Google it. It changed my life.

    Good luck!!

  6. #6
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    You can't go on forever. What were you expecting, to be in top fitness till the day you die? It sucks with your current injury/recovery, but I'd go about resetting what you figure is your "new normal". Be happy you're alive. Figure every day you're RIDING is a good day.
    Your first two sentences are good advice. I fixed the last for you. Just breathing is not good enough. Quality of life trumps longevity. Pushing a walker with dementia is not in my plans, I think there are way around it.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt View Post
    Your first two sentences are good advice. I fixed the last for you. Just breathing is not good enough. Quality of life trumps longevity. Pushing a walker with dementia is not in my plans, I think there are way around it.
    Well, there are more than three options in your future other than riding and happy, not riding and miserable or dementia pushing a walker.

    Like, I dunno, finally not being able to ride but not convincing yourself you're miserable. It's all how you look at it. Who knows, maybe the dementia option will be best because you'll probably be the happiest.
    Last edited by xcguy; 11-02-2012 at 11:55 AM.
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  8. #8
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    Well, there are more than three options in your future other than riding and happy, not riding and miserable or dementia pushing a walker.

    Like, I dunno, finally not being able to ride but not convincing yourself you're miserable. It's all how you look at. Who knows, maybe the dementia option will be best because you'll probably be the happiest.
    I will keep on adjusting to varying "new normals" as the body ages and new events present themselves. Being physically active in one way or another will always be a priority as it is in my nature. But a point may arrive where that is not possible; a harsh "new normal." Dementia is the least desirable outcome I think most would agree. But the older and wiser you get the more you understand that you don't have much choice over fate. Que sera sera...


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  9. #9
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    Discussion getting philosophical!

    dwt, since you are recovering from major medical, how about more gym-type workouts? Weightlifting, core workout, cardio on stationary (bike and otherwise) will help you to to return to as much of your previous condition as possible, and maybe exceed it.

    I am "only" 55, but I find that recovery time from exertion or injury is the main factor of my aging. I try to continually stretch, do core work, and lift weights, which seems to help me ride farther, longer, and with less chance of injury. I am probably stronger now, overall, than I was in my 30s (but not likely like I was in my 20s--strong and stupid). If life keeps going as it has in the past 10 years, I expect to be mountain biking my rough trails well into my 60s (70s?). Only recovery time will likely keep extending. I may be toning it down some in the future, but only because of the longer recovery time for injuries (maybe I won't take that multiple rock stair-step section anymore).

    Of course, it is a battle because I hate doing gym stuff, whether in the gym or at home. I would rather be out riding (or reading, watching TV, eating), but I know that the stretch, core, and muscle workouts will help me in the long run.

    To be honest, the main limit to my riding is the excess baggage I carry, but that is for another thread.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by clydecrash View Post
    Discussion getting philosophical!

    dwt, since you are recovering from major medical, how about more gym-type workouts? Weightlifting, core workout, cardio on stationary (bike and otherwise) will help you to to return to as much of your previous condition as possible, and maybe exceed it.

    I am "only" 55, but I find that recovery time from exertion or injury is the main factor of my aging. I try to continually stretch, do core work, and lift weights, which seems to help me ride farther, longer, and with less chance of injury. I am probably stronger now, overall, than I was in my 30s (but not likely like I was in my 20s--strong and stupid). If life keeps going as it has in the past 10 years, I expect to be mountain biking my rough trails well into my 60s (70s?). Only recovery time will likely keep extending. I may be toning it down some in the future, but only because of the longer recovery time for injuries (maybe I won't take that multiple rock stair-step section anymore).

    Of course, it is a battle because I hate doing gym stuff, whether in the gym or at home. I would rather be out riding (or reading, watching TV, eating), but I know that the stretch, core, and muscle workouts will help me in the long run.

    To be honest, the main limit to my riding is the excess baggage I carry, but that is for another thread.
    It's cool you recommend the OP to go the gym, but not so cool you confess that you "hate doing gym stuff". Me, I love doing "gym stuff". I've belonged to a gym since I was 18 and just love to lift weights etc. How anyone can "hate doing gym stuff" is beyond me.

    So my advice to the OP is: yes, start going to a gym like The Clyde Guy here says, but love it, not hate it.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

  11. #11
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by xcguy View Post
    So my advice to the OP is: yes, start going to a gym like The Clyde Guy here says, but love it, not hate it.
    I do love it, but these days I'd rather spend my money elsewhere than on gym membership. I'm an advocate of body weight suspension training . My home gym consists of TRX suspension trainer for strength and core; road bike on mag trainer; rollers; and an old Nordic Track I modified to better simulate classic XC ski technique. I ride the trainer watching 45
    and 60 minute Spinervals and Chris Carmichael DVD's. I ride rollers and ski the Nordic Track with various HIIT routines. I alternate between strength and aerobic days. When the snow falls, will be outside doing real XC skiing, classic and skate. Nothing better for aerobic fitness (except maybe swimming which is not a skill I have or care to learn at this point.)




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  12. #12
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    Keep pushing and do as much as you can within your safety limits. Have you tried swimming also?

    53yrs here and all broken up from my moto-cross days.
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  13. #13
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    I'm 55. Three years ago I had a major medical episode that required surgery and about a year off the bike. During convalescence I started doing very long hikes over varied terrain. This was great for the legs and stamina. I started swimming and got very good at it. I went back to good old fashioned calisthenics between walking and swimming. The year passed very quickly. I kept the weight off and the strength on. When I started riding again I took it slow. I had "forgotten" a lot of my technical skills. Taking it slow helped me get my biking legs back without over doing it. My balance returned and pretty soon riding a bike was just like riding a bike had always been. I'm as fast now as I ever was. The underlying lesson for me was not stressing about recovering and taking my physical therapist's very good advice to not take things too quickly made all the difference.
    Last edited by Moonshine Willie; 11-09-2012 at 08:19 AM.

  14. #14
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    Rotator Cuff

    I'm starting month 5 of rehab for rotator cuff/shoulder reconstruction! LOL
    I just started my circuit training w/very light weights. Age 58

    I have always done inversion, helps w/everything that old guys need.
    Stretching is a no brainer.
    Weekly Chiro visits, I still do martial arts.
    Massage for muscle problems, accupuncture for tendons/connective tissue.

    While doing shoulder rehab w/weights, it occured to me that my other shoulder
    "which is not real strong" needed some work too!
    I started using plyo-ball and doing both shoulders for balance, works great.
    I'm getting serious about core work for the first time. So far, a little back pain.

    Watch the gut, it throws everything else off.

    R

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