Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Cardio distress walking up Lake District hills but...

I had Covid last year and since then I've struggled to get my fitness back. I reckon I was about 15-20% down all last summer even though out on the bike quite a bit. I'm a bit on the unfit side at the moment as I've been off the bike with various minor injuries and weather conspiring against me.

But I was away in the Lakes last week (avid fell walker and reasonably experienced) and had the weirdest experience. I really, really struggled on the steep bits; it got to the point where I couldn't take more than 10 steps at a time before I was gasping for breath and feeling a bit sick and dizzy.

I was wearing a Garmin watch with a HRM, and basically, if I got over 130 I'd be struggling, and at 135 I just had to stop, panting away like an old man. I'm 58, and although I'm not at my fittest, I've been unfit on the hills before and not struggled anything like this - just had to walk a bit slower.

The weird thing is, now I'm back, I've been out on the bike - I could maintain a HR of 135 easily, and I did some intervals and although I was working and breathing hard with lactate building, I wasn't distressed like on the hills, even up at 153 bpm which was max achieved.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Should I just get a comfy chair and slippers? Or get myself to a cardiologist?
Is the gorilla tired yet?

Posts

  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,866
    edited June 2021
    I've had a fair few days over the last ~15 months since getting Covid, including after both jabs, where my legs had "spontaneously" lost significant amounts of power below my normal FTP and made z2 efforts feel more like z4. Couldn't spin at my usual ~95+ cadence, struggling at ~80. All while my heart was comfortably around z2/3.

    What generally worked for me was to stick to z2 rides for about a week and then gradually see what my legs felt about the old z4+.

    But what worked for me without medical input may not apply to you at all.
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • webboowebboo Posts: 4,262
    So if I’ve got this right you haven’t done much aerobic activity of late due to injuries and the weather. You the struggled walking up some steep hills and now on the bike things are easier. I would say that you had lost most of your fitness due to one thing or another and now you have got some of it back with the fell walking.
    The only thing that concerns me is when I push my self when unfit my heart rate goes high very quickly before I need to stop. I have never known it not to get near my max except when I’m fatigued from previous training.
    I would keep an eye on things and if happens again seek medical advice.
  • chrisaonabikechrisaonabike Posts: 1,914
    webboo said:

    So if I’ve got this right you haven’t done much aerobic activity of late due to injuries and the weather. You the struggled walking up some steep hills and now on the bike things are easier. I would say that you had lost most of your fitness due to one thing or another and now you have got some of it back with the fell walking.

    Yes, not a bad summary. Although I never struggled this much, even when I was more unfit than now.
    webboo said:


    The only thing that concerns me is when I push my self when unfit my heart rate goes high very quickly before I need to stop. I have never known it not to get near my max except when I’m fatigued from previous training.
    I would keep an eye on things and if happens again seek medical advice.

    Yes, exactly. This was the odd thing. On the hills I couldn't get beyond 135 before feeling terrible. Then on the bike a few days later, 135 was comfortable and even 150 was ok for short periods.

    Is the gorilla tired yet?
  • hdowhdow Posts: 172
    Chris, I had something like you report during a triathlon two years ago. Particularly the sick & dizzy. If it happens again I suggest checking your pulse for an irregular rhythm. The carotid is generally easy to find and monitor. Mine pulse went from very weak and fast to slow and deep and back again. Don't rely on your HRM
    My GPs receptionist took down the symptoms and within half an hour I was talking to my GP and another 90 minutes later I was having an ECG, blood tests and a full consultation
    I was having an episode of Atrial Fibrillation. Quite common apparently. There is an increased risk of having a stroke. Mine is episodic and is easily treatable with drugs. Others may have it continuously and may be prescribed blood thinners. The episodic variety is supposed to get worse over time but mine hasn't. There are permanent treatments available but the cardiologist advised waiting until until the AF started to impact on my lifestyle knowing how active I am. I know people who have had the treatment (ablation) and are fully cured
    I still ride during episodes without any problems apart from a reduction in top end power and it often goes during. It is generally an annoyance and hasn't affected my training or racing. My GPs advice was to take care on corners when having an episode as my balance may be affected
  • womackwomack Posts: 566
    I am in the same boat, lost 2mph over the last year on the bike.

    Previously could garden or woodwork all day now after an hour I am done.

    Hills that I used to zip up are now a big effort.

    I don't think we know enough of the lasting problems caused by covid.

    Was out jogging the other day and came across a lad I know, who previously would leave me for dead, he was slumped up against a wall and could hardly run a 100 yards. He too had had covid.

    I don't know the answer, I just know I don't appear to have the energy I had prior to it.
Sign In or Register to comment.