High Blood pressure and intensive cycle training in older age

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Anyone out there discussed race training for cycling but with high blood pressure,

Just now my BP is showing high readings and I was curious if anyone knew of discussions/reports or research done on training at age 75 with moderately high BP?

Bike racing/Time Trialling is a hard sport and demands a lot of hard work in training - but will it be counter productive?

Comments please

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey @mike10046, first kudos just for the effort!

    I used to cycle a lot, but gave it up well short of your age.

    I'd mention two things. First, depending how high your BP is (with medication), I might think it's not the best idea. As usual - discuss with doctor.

    Second is, if you are on BP meds, at least for me that dramatically affects how the body reacts to effort, makes it harder to judge what's going on.

    And of course the exercise itself will raise your BP while it is going on, even if it may help lower it when you are again at rest. Don't even try to measure it for medical purposes until at least an hour, or even a day, after anything like a century ride!

    I've never heard it said that BP meds mean you shouldn't exercise, even vigorously, but I've never heard that you should, either. As usual, try it out carefully and watch for any effects, good or bad, is probably the best path forward, no matter what you read or hear.

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  • Posted

    what's a "high reading "" 230 x150 ??

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the response - in answer to Lois my current pre medication BP averaged over a week is about 152/92 - just into the high blood pressure level but my doc wants me to have a 24 hour measurement. Earlier this year my BP had always been around 137/75

    Given that the 24hour test may confirm the  higher  readings I was looking to have some info ahead from anyone who might have been in a similar situation and perhaps had some 'professional' or well informed medical advice.

    If I do start training again ( as last year) it will be a high level of intensity and will include for example with say 10 sessions of 2-3 minute intervals when my heart will be at 170bpm or more. ( resting pule is abour 56bpm)

    Thanks again for the interest,


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  • Posted

    Hi Mike,

    You're almost a carbon copy of me. I'm 76, intending to ride the weekly club 10 mile TTs in the coming year. I overwinter in Tenerife where I keep a bike and although I don't claim it to be intensive training, all my rides, due to the terrain, are hilly and dificult. My toughest was a ride of 48 miles with a total climb of 5300 feet, which I hope, if my old bones will allow, to replicate this winter.

    I do wear a heart monitor and my HR only seems to get to the high 150's but that's from a resting HR of 45. My legs, rather than my heart and lungs, seem to control my efforts and keep me within reasonable limits. I used to have very high BP and a few days after I got back home one year I went to the doctor and he sent me immediately to the nearby hospital... to be admitted. "Walk there" he said," leave your car and walk". I'm now on medication and all is under control but I've just started on statins so I'm watching everthing closely.

    Don't let your BP worry you too much as that can cause it's own problems. Push yourself a little if you feel OK. I do short sprints up several of the hills on my rides where my HR may top out but I doubt if any of them last longer than thirty seconds. Listen to your body, it'll tell you when to take it easier but as with exercise at any age, there's always the chance of serious consequences.


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    • Posted

      Yep, sounds just like me -and Statins are supposed to reduce blood pressure.

      My HR and maximums replicate yours very closely.

      I'm going onto a 24 hour BP measurment test - in fact over two separate days.

      But, I think the issue that should be pursued is - what is causing the HP? After all having all those days when it is normal.

      I hope, if medication is recommended, to first enquire why the high readings rather than how many pills a day to take.

      So,lets see how the BP monitoring goes.

      ( and lucky you wintering in Majorca! 😉 )



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    • Posted

      @mike10046, I am not familiar with the idea that statins are supposed to reduce BP.

      They prevent damage to the arteries by being antiinflammatory and possibly by reducing cholestorol, so might prevent BP from rising over years, but don't reduce it immediately.

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    • Posted

      Yep what you say is correct, there are sites that suggest that they also help with BP.

      My main issue though is not the treatment but the cause of the high BP in the first place after so many years when it has been well within accepted parameters.

      Anyway I'm going onto a 24 hour check later this month and we'll see how that goes.

      Best wishes,

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