Ca State Cycling Champion Beating Heart Disease to Race (and win) Again.

I met Loren Stephens through this blog and my twitter. It happens that we only live a few miles away. I have only ridden once with Loren, on his recovery day, as I am rarely in good enough shape to even see his wheel. I am thoroughly motivated, and encouraged by what he has accomplished mentally and physically since his open heart surgery and heart attack. He is committed to not let his heart stop him from once again becoming a cycling champion. He wrote his account of hat happened to him below.

My Odyssey to return to the top level of masters bicycle racing after open heart surgery and subsequent heart attack

by Loren Stephens

I am an elite level masters cyclists in the USA. I have earned many podium finishes in masters time trial and criterium and am a past California State Masters Criterium Champion for 65+ men.

I was diagnosed with degenerative mitral valve disease (60% leakage) in April 2010. On July 1, 2010 at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center I had a 7.5 hour open heart surgery to repair my mitral valve and to do an atrium reduction. My heart was removed from my body in order to make the repairs. I spent 5 days in ICU and a total of 7 in the hospital.

After getting out of the hospital I struggled with some A Fib problems. I ended up having to be cardioverted out of it. I have been AF free since.

I was able to start training on the bike in September 2010. In late September I had a ventricular tachycardia event while riding and passed out cold. My Doc said I was lucky to be alive and took me off the bike and put me in cardio rehab.

After cardio rehab I was given the OK to start training on the bike again in preparation for the 2011 racing season. I was making great progress until February 15, 2011 when I had a heart attack on a training ride. After a stent and few days in the hospital I was out and found myself back in cardio rehab.

After completing rehab I was given the OK to start riding the bike again. I have been riding mainly to gain back my old levels of endurance.

In December 2011 I started working with my long time coach again and  started full on training in preparation for racing USA Cycling Masters Nationals in early September 2012. I have no restrictions other than the fact that I’m on Plavix which will limit my racing for the first half of the 2012 season. I have raced a couple of races just to test my fitness. In June I raced the California Senior Games and came in 2nd in the 40K road race which also qualifies me to race at the 2013 National Senior Games in Cleveland. My next races will be USA Cycling Masters Nationals in early September 2012 in Bend Oregon and the Huntsman World Senior Games in early October in St. George Utah.

Not bad for a guy who was told he would never race again. I proved them all wrong.

You can follow Loren’s twitter here and his blog and coaching website here.

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High-intensity Interval Training

For the last few years HIIT (high intensity interval training) like Little Method the Tabata Method have been big news. Tabata seems to be the most widely talked about, invented by Prof. Izumi Tabta. Since most of the world is trying to loose weight and lose it faster it easy to see why these workouts are now buzzwords – if you are trying to loos weight and /or have very little time to work out, my favorite excuse, these methods might be good for you. The claims are big aerobic, metabolic and cardiovascular benefits, see NY Times article.

Here are some good links I have found to this style of training related to cycling, but there are manny other HIIT workouts involving running, push ups, squats, kettle ball etc… around.

NY Times

Active.com

Shape.com

Indoorcyclinginstructors.com

About Prof. Izumi Tabata

As I have no medical training of course discuss any of what you read here with your doctor before you start these programs. Let me know if you find others or tell me how you like these methods.

More Exercise May Provide Greater Gains in Heart Disease

Taken from http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/news/Article.aspx?AID=626959&visitfrom=twitter

Overweight patients with heart disease saw better gains compared to standard cardiac rehab.

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) — A program featuring greater amounts of exercise and energy expenditure may be preferable to standard cardiac rehabilitation exercise in overweight patients with coronary heart disease, according to research published online May 11 in Circulation.

Philip A. Ades, M.D., of the University of Vermont College of Medicine in Burlington, and colleagues analyzed data from 74 overweight individuals — mean age of 64 years and mean body mass index of 32 — with coronary heart disease. Patients were randomized to high-calorie-expenditure exercise (3,000 to 3,500 calories weekly) or standard cardiac rehabilitation exercise (700 to 800 calories weekly).

At five months, the researchers found that those in the high-expenditure group had twice the weight loss (8.2 versus 3.7 kilograms) and fat mass loss (5.9 versus 2.8 kilograms). This group also had larger decreases in insulin resistance, total to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio, and elements of the metabolic syndrome. No exercise-related cardiac events were noted, and adherence to the interventions was good, the authors write.

“Considering the negative consequences and increasing prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome, high-calorie-expenditure exercise training, combined with a hypocaloric diet, should be considered the exercise approach of choice for overweight patients with coronary heart disease,” the authors conclude. “Some individuals with no exercise experience whatsoever may initially benefit from a standard cardiac rehabilitation exercise protocol and then gradually evolve to four to six sessions per week as they improve their fitness.”

Last Updated: May 14, 2009

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Riding Ave of The Oaks Century after Heart Attack

This Saturday is the Ave of the Oaks metric century ride. I choose this one because while riding 63 miles is not that hard for me at this point, doing it and 6000′ plus of climbing is. I’d say that’s a pretty decent climb for someone without a heart attack so it would be a good goal for me. I try just to be happy that I can ride at all but it’s hard not to compare myself with someone who has no heart problems and I love riding up hills, always have, even though I’m not good at it I’m just persistent that way. Below is the elevation chart.

Ave of the Oaks Century elevation chart.

Ave of the Oaks Century elevation chart.

I’ll be riding it with my PT from my old cardiac rehab program and one of my cardiologist. Which makes my wife extremely happy, even though she wishes I didn’t do it at all. I think I’m ready. While I haven’t ridden that distance in a while I have been riding lots of hills and doing 3,000′ climbs in 28-30 miles rides and some hill repeats so I feel ready and the best riding shape since my heart attack.

I’ll do my best to keep track of my ride and bring you a crank by crank report.

Eric

Please Tell Your Cardiac Story.

I’d (and I assume many others) would love to hear how you have dealt with, conquered or beaten heart disease. Do you still ride a bike, surf, mountain bike, bmx, skateboard, ski or snowboard since your heart attack or heart disease started? Any little story you have can go a long way in providing motivation for others who struggle with wanting to ride.

After you write your story here I’ll make a special page for it so other can communicate about it.

Thanks,

Eric

Prevention: Gains From Exercise After Heart Attack Are Lost if Exercise Stops

Published: March 20, 2009

Some important benefits of exercising after a heart attack can vanish in weeks if the exercise is stopped, a new study has found.

The researchers tested F.M.D. — flow-mediated dilation, a measure of the flexibility of an artery as blood flows through it — in 228 heart attack survivors. Their arteries averaged about 4.2 percent expansion, compared with the 10 percent considered normal in healthy people.

Then the scientists divided patients into four groups to undergo resistance training, aerobic exercise, both together, or no exercise program at all.

Finally, the exercisers “detrained,” remaining idle for four weeks.

The study, published in the March 16 issue of the journal Circulation, found that the dilation had increased to 5.3 percent in the people who had not exercised, but to an average of more than 10 percent in the training groups. After four weeks of detraining, dilation returned to almost exactly the initial levels in all three exercise groups.

“Cardiac rehabilitation is cheap,” said Dr. Margherita Vona, the lead author and director of cardiac rehabilitation at a clinic in Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland, “but the price of losing its benefits is high. It’s important to educate patients about exercise, and essential that they continue for the long term.”

Article Link


heartATTACKrider is now on twitter

But they limit the number of characters in your name so my twitter is heartattackride NOT heartattackrider…..oh well close enough and still kinda makes sense. Why twitter? I come across little things that I want to post and instead of having a zillion little bits and pieces here a thought it would be easier just to do it there and I can hopefully reach more people that way.