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Reasons to give up chronic cardio and adopt full PB lifestyle

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  • Reasons to give up chronic cardio and adopt full PB lifestyle

    In the last 16 years I have competed in marathons, iron man triathlons and latterly long distance cycle events. I stumbled across this site about 1 year ago and I adopted the PB diet but continued with the chronic cardio training around 10 - 15 hours of cycle training per week mostly at and above 85% of MHR. The diet had quite an affect of my performance. At 43 I set PR's at various distances from 10 mile up to 100 miles with any reliance on grains. My weight dropped from 11st to 10st 2lb with no loss of sustainable power.

    Despite feeling better overall than in previous years, I still suffered from a sore rotator cuff from years of long distance swimming, a sore lower back and reoccurring knee problems. I also got many comments form people saying I look ill due to my low weight and paleness, which, to an extent, affected my self esteem and made me question why I did this sort of endurance training.

    This winter, during the off season, I adopted the full PB life style, I did 2 sprint sessions on the bike and 3 squatting sessions ( I cant do up body work due the rotor cuff issues)per week. After only 4 weeks, I gained about 5lb without any visible body fat gain. my knees no longer hurt at all, my stress levels have fallen as I am no longer trying to squeeze long bike rides into a busy work and family life and I do have more energy to run about and play with my children on weekends.

    Now at the first day of 2010, I have a decision to make. Do I continue with the PB life style in full or do I get on my bike and start my base training for another competitive season? Here are my pros and cons. Please feel free to add to the list to help me make my decision.


    Feel better

    Less stress

    More time for family

    More time for other activities outside of training

    Look better i.e improved body composition.

    More functional fitness to join in other sports with children and friends.

    Easy to do continue during business travel e.g walking, run sprints

    Road cycling is dangerous


    PB diet can be expensive

    Cycling to work 40 miles per day saves fuel

    Cycle racing in summer is fun

    PB heavy lifting may cause injuries and frustrating downtime.

    Upper body lifting restricted by shoulder problem

    Gym membership quite expensive.

    Decision, Decision, What shall I do?

  • #2

    There has to be a middle ground.

    You can still bike to work without having to be in training, right? You can quit the gym and use bodyweight exercises and/or inexpensive equipment you buy to use at home. Search the archives here for info. And the PB diet may be expensive, but that's an investment you are making in your health. It is worth it. Again, search the archives for tips on bringing down the grocery bill.

    Good luck!


    • #3

      I can relate to your post. The real question is are you ready to give up competitive cycling?

      Daily work cycle commute could stay in place, just drop it down to an easy to moderate pace.

      Bodyweight exercises can replace the gym, and you may find them easier to do with your shoulder problem. Throw in some yoga or plyometrics.

      Do what you feel is right for you and your family.


      • #4

        Ride to work as your only "cardio" workouts, but take 'em easy. Stick to the weights and sprints! Go fully Primal, just treat the bike commute as "moving slowly alot" if you can.

        Then do any of the cycling events you want to do with no other training. You'll do fine at them, without all the chronic cardio preparation.


        • #5

          Think of all the problems you have with your body right now at 43. What about 53, 63? Do you want to be a cripple or be able to play with Grandchildren?

          Are you winning at competitions? Placing top 10? If you are not what is the point beating yourself up to finish 11th and looking ill on top of that.

          Don't be a paleotard...


          • #6

            And heavy weight lifting doesn't cause injuries... chronic cardio, as you already know, does. Going fully PB is the best thing you can do for yourself!

            .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
            ><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>


            • #7

              Thank you for your responses.

              "Do you want to be a cripple or be able to play with Grandchildren?"

              I think this maybe a little extreme, most of the injuries come from overuse, if I taper back my weekly mileage my knees quickly recover. I see plenty of 50,60 and 70 year old racing competitively with no problems.

              "Are you winning at competitions? Placing top 10? If you are not what is the point beating yourself up to finish 11th and looking ill on top of that".

              Very valid point. I actually never win or place anywhere significant, I get no recognition from anyone for any cycling achievements, I only get satisfaction from reaching my own personal goals. However, I am now questioning why I get at 5.30am to ride 3 hours in the rain and cold. Is it really worth the effort? Someone once asked me how much I get paid to race and how much money I win. I could only tell them how much it costs me to enter and get to the races.

              If I am being honest, my main motivation to switch to PB is one of vanity. Having seen myself in photographs from various family functions this year, I realized how thin and almost frail I look. In my early twenties, I was a sprinter and power lifter before turning to endurance events in the belief that this training would be better for me. In those days, people commented how well I looked, now all I get now is negative comments. Even my wife commented that being so thin is not attractive, she preferred my bigger build when we first met. I am an all or nothing person so I go fully PB, I would need to commit to it fully and not compromise by still trying to race.


              • #8

                "And heavy weight lifting doesn&#39;t cause injuries"

                it can...if over done and done improperly.

                just like anything else.

                doesn&#39;t mean &#39;don&#39;t do it&#39;, though


                • #9

                  I would not lose the commute. Mark can correct me if I&#39;m wrong but say 60-70% of MHR would not need to be chronic cardio. You can get some solid base miles at 60 - 70 and then add some Intervals in and race pretty successfully.


                  • #10

                    This is obviously a very personal decision, but I know

                    your first pro "feel better" would be the clincher for me. Trying to achieve best possible health (and feeling that way) is what this PB lifestyle is all about to me. I want to live in optimal health for the longest possible time. So, I guess you have to decide how important that is for you vs. the enjoyment you get from competitive cycling. Is there some other activity that would give you a similar "buzz", but still allow you to "feel better"?


                    • #11

                      I agree completely with nina_70, plus the "less stress" and "more time with family." How about competitive chess?


                      • #12

                        I think you answered your own question there. You prefer how you looked when you were younger.

                        Next did you feel then? If the answer is good/strong, there you go..

                        I am PBing and using 70 MHR with some sprint training, in both cycle and run training. You could try a season of PB cycling and see.