Increased in H R for same power

I m 58yr old. 2mths back I had an accident during ride and fractured my spine, L1,L3. and was on bed rest for one and half months.Now Orthopedician has allowed me to ride on trainer. Before accident my FTP was 190 now on ramp it is 153. But I m more concerned about my heart rate. Before , I used to have resting HR of 48, now it is 60. Not only that, I used to produce around 190w at my LTHR of 170 ,or 170w at 152 hr. But now thing are different, my hr goes to 180 for 170w and around 190 for 180w ! Of course I m low on fitness.
My question is what is the primary cause of deterioration, is loss of cardiac power to pump the blood( decrease in stroke volume) or loss of aerobic capacity of cycling muscles in 2 moths? I think loss of cardiac hypertropphy,as there is increase in RHR. What do u think? And how to recover from this ? Should I go for threashold ,VO2 max training or endurance, tempo kind of training? Thank you. Aditya Ponkshe.

Aditya, sorry to hear about your accident. I’m impressed by your resolve to get back on the bike and even put yourself through a ramp test.

Unless you have been noticing symptoms of foot or ankle swelling, shortness of breath with minimal exertion with activities of daily living or chest pain I don’t think you should worry about your heart so much. What you describe is much more likely due to loss of aerobic fitness and muscular strength.

Of course, if you are at all concerned about your heart or if you have a known heart condition then you should seek care from your general physician prior to getting back on the bike.

Best of luck.

Why? Basically, “use it, or, lose it.” Unfortunately, aerobic fitness deteriorates quite noticeably after 6-8 weeks of inactivity…this includes your “elevated-normal-nonathlete” resting heart rate. But, if there are no other underlying issues, simply returning to your training routine will improve your cardio and muscular fitness to previous levels, just be patient in getting there. Give yourself a couple months, etc.

Sorry to hear about your accident, and good to hear you’re back on the bike.

However, stop overthinking it. If you’re worried about your heart see a doctor. If you’re not, just accept that what you describe is perfectly normal following a break from riding. I had to have 6 weeks off during the summer through injury and saw a similar pattern to what you describe. I saw my resting HR creep up, and when I got back on the bike, my HR was higher than it was for any given effort than previoulsy. I lost around 10 - 15% of my power right across the board.

It’ll take time to recover the losses, just be patient. Do what you would have done normally at this time of year, but accept that the power numbers will be a bit lower. It will all come back.

1 Like