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MSers in Training 2017

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  • MSers in Training 2017

    As we embark on staying fit in 2017, let's remind ourselves that we're not out to win the so-called race. No. We're out to keep racing. Do what you can, when you can. Be active, stay fit, and keep exploring!

    I already racked my first exercises of the New Year. 20 minutes of HIIT cardio training. 40 minutes of upper body strength. 20 minutes of stretching. Tomorrow I hope to get in my first ride of '17 on my arm trike.

    I'm excited to hear how everyone is staying fit circa 2017. Post your updates here!
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    That sounds awesome [post removed]! I think your plan to walk/hike a few times a week in your local park in a solid one. It will help increase your cardio endurance. I might suggest some strength training as well, especially if you will be walking with equipment. Getting used to walking with weight on you is a good idea as well.

    As for me, I am starting out the New Year all wrong on the exercise front. My ankle still hurts a fair bit and is in a brace for another 2 weeks so I have not been on the bike, walking, or strengthening anything. Excersice at this point consists of going up/down the stairs to my office several times a day and walking slowly around my house. I did go into the office for the first time since the accident yesterday and worked all day and attended a team dinner that night. That wiped me out so much I slept very well last night!

    I have however signed up for 2 rides so far. The 6 Pillars Century in May and BikeMS in June. So I have some things to look forward too. Now if my ankle can go ahead and heal so I can get onto training that would be fabulous


    • #3
      2016 -> 2017

      Hi folks and thanks for starting that thread, Dave.

      Last year's objective update:
      [bragging begins]
      • 10k run early april (done and set a personal best: 39:32)
      • 21k run end of april (done and set a personal best: 1:27:39)
      • Ottawa combo, end of may: cycle to Ottawa (200k) on Saturday. Half-marathon on Sunday (actually did a triple with a friend: sat. 200k cycling to Ottawa, sun. half marathon, mon. 200k cycling back to Montreal)
      • A couple of sprint triathlons this summer (NO)
      • A 5km open water swim in August (NO)
      • A 50km (or 100km) grand fondo in July (my first grand fondo) (NO)
      • A 125km trail run in September (this is actually an MS fundraiser) (done: 22h39m)
      • Rest ;-) (DONE, finally! ;-)

      • Plus a 50km ultra-trail race in july.

      [bragging ends]

      I'm very happy of this year. This summer (july-oct) was very hard because of stiffness in my legs that caused injury in my achiles tendons. Now it's more heavy legs, numbness and tingling. Exercise is the drug that works best for me. If I get myself to go out and run or cycle things usually get better after 5-10 minutes. The only problem is that I unfortunately have to stop at one point :-)

      This year, we'll see how my legs behave. I had two relapses last year: July and December both involving my legs and arms. Lesions found on my spinal cord. My neurologist wants me to switch DMT (I'm currently on Tecfidera).

      I'm registered for the run portion of an extreme Ironman. The marathon finishes in a trail run up a mountain. Total ascent 4000ft. And I might do the 125km trail again, if my legs permit of course. And maybe the Ottawa half-marathon combo again, same 10k and half marathon in the spring.

      I might do a 21km night trail run in the snow in a couple of weeks. I love it when it's cold, I hate it when it's hot because the symptoms come back. And thanks Dave for the advice on getting refreshed in the streams on the trail runs. It does help. The only thing to be careful about is to make sure the water you pour on your head doesn't drible down in your shoes as that would mean blisters.

      My biggest challenge so far is being back to work (in September). Sometimes it feels that every day is a marathon as weird as it might sound. Fatigue and cog fog are my biggest issues.


      • #4
        Yay, new year - new goals!

        Dave, thanks for starting thread. Keep us motivated. My goal is to just get back into exercise with my new normal. I also am just beginning working again, and while it is a little overwhelming physically, I'm hoping it will lead to becoming stronger.

        Dave- HITT definitely accommodates my poor endurance, but I haven't worked out a routine that on a machine or floor work that I can deal with now that I am weaker. What type of routine do you do for the HITT portion? What and how do you work the muscle groups and how long are your intervals and rest? What do recommend starting at?

        I hiked some of the rim pre-ms and it was a life memory. When I was there the trail was narrow at times and balance/coordination was important. So your work with the snow board is perfect training! If balance is a concern for you, you can do extra training on a wobble board. My PT has me use both sides.

        Ron, loved seeing your exercise agenda. Made me grimace because I don't have any. And I'm sure the best place for me to begin is to make one. So thank you for the spur of encouragement!

        Marina, ouch.. sorry to hear about your foot. But I'm impressed it hasn't sidelined your bike goals. My hubby signed up for the MS 150 again. In prior years, he was sidelined or bad weather prevented full course. So hopefully this year he can complete it. He trains by doing local events and I mused about accompanying him for a small section of ride. I will look into renting a trike as one of you previously suggested.
        Keep on! Suebee
        Last edited by Suebee; 01-08-2017, 01:46 PM. Reason: Forgot to add Marina


        • #5
          Suebee, my HIIT work varies--I'll even do sprints on my trike. And, I am sure much to Marina's chagrin, it can be done with just your upper body, so folks with lower-body injuries are not exempt.

          If I'm not on my trike, I'll go full blast on my stationary air/fan bike or flail my arms while seated. And by flail, I actually mean punch, double punch (both straight ahead and above my head), and a host of other movements (e.g., wood chop, shovel). The key is to go all out, as fast as you can. Yes, I do look funny.

          After a warmup, about 5 minutes, I'll go as hard as I can for 30 seconds, rest for a minute or so, and then repeat. I do at least 3 cycles, and average 5 or more. Research says just 3 cycles has the same benefit of doing 45 minutes of cardio at a moderate pace.

          FYI, when I am cranking my heart rate gets into the 130s or 140s, sometimes higher. It's hard.


          The weather was in the mid 60s Tuesday, so I put 10 miles on the trike. Today should be another great day. Sunday we may get snow, so I'll be out again in a few hours!
          Dave Bexfield


          • #6
            Hey Dave I will take whatever tips I can get - I am so antsy!

            I need to try this "flailing". Sound similar to my chair dancing


            • #7
              Hello everybody and happy New Year! My 2017 resolution is to finely come back to post on this great site. Why did I stop? I didn’t intended to, but I got busy with moving from TX to California in the Sierra foothills to rejoin my two daughters that had moved in the Bay area.

              Larry, sorry for what happen to you and I hope that you get better soon.
              Great also to see that everybody didn’t bail out like me which I am really not proud of. I even cannot blame it on MS!

              What‘s new? I am still riding my bike as much I can and did Waves to Wine last two years. Only 90 miles on two days, not the full 150 miles like in TX where it is sooo flat.

              My main handicap on the bike is to be able to clip and unclip, so few months ago I decided to get a Trike before I hurt myself, and man I love it. I feel so more secure! Not quite as a fan feeling to ride a bike but now I can stop anywhere with out to wary if I can start again. And because of the steep climb around my house I got an electric assist so I can ride even if I am not in great form. I hope in the spring when I am well train I will remove the extra 20 pounds and see if I can manage those 11% and 13% on my own power.
              I wish the best to everyone.



              • #8
                msers in training 2017

                I too have just started with a trike (hand cycle) . I got one in September and tried a few times before the cold weather came. We have lots of hills here and I found it very hard on the arms.
                So I just got another trike with the Bionx electric assist. For those days when I get too tired.
                I have one trike mounted on my trainer and try and do 1/2 hour a day with my arms and 25 minutes a day on a recumbent foot stationary bike.
                I'm also looking for a leg trike so I can alternate.
                We still have snow on the ground , so I haven't had a chance to try the new trike


                • #9
                  Yes I have also a trainer for my trike and it is much easier to train, no excuse because you just need your shoes. No more saddle sores! I try to ride every other day.
                  I have also the Bionx and it is great because you still have to pedal.


                  • #10
                    Hi all and happy 2017,

                    Wow, welcome back Alain. Nice to see you back and in training mode.

                    Marina, healing injuries takes time and patience. You will succeed and a good opportunity to incorporate other training. Dave's arm flailing is something I may adopt at my desk. (Good thing I work at home!)

                    Ron Runs, enviable accomplishments. An inspiration to us all.

                    Suebee, you are also an inspiration to keep on trucking.

                    Larry, thinking of you and know you will get over this obstacle. I have incorporated breathing exercises that has increased core strength. Thinking of your healing abdominal incision.

                    Dave, love the description of HITT.

                    Swim training continues well. Have added a new exercise where I stand on a step and raise up and down on each leg. Good strengthening is happening in the hip area.

                    I have started using an athletic balm I use it at night to soothe spasticity issues. I highly recommend it.

                    Take care all,

                    Teena Marie


                    • #11
                      workout tips

                      Dave, Awesome! Thanks for your tips. This seems doable or at least attempt-able for me. i will give a try and report back. It will make me accountable.....

                      By the way, I have tried the "failing arms" thing too on my stationary bike before. I used Julian Michaels DVD to demonstrate specific arm movements. I got 1 lb strap on hand weights (resist temptation to get 5 lb!) and I really liked it because the weight seemed to remind me to focus to move my arms in the correct direction. (If you have propioception issues like me, do yourself a favor and don't move hands near face ). I also printed out an article you posted awhile back about how to do
                      1 min sprints totaling 10 min and I keep it on my bike. That has been immensely helpful to me for motivation. What kinda active mser am I if can't do 1 min of exercise? Geez. But I sure do hope that the scientists got it right and that such work out is really equivalent to a longer reg paced ride.

                      Keep the workout tips coming!!!


                      • #12
                        Small steps for me this week as I finally feel up to some exercise.

                        Yesterday I went for a 1 miles walk and today I pedaled with light resistance on my bike for 25 minutes. Its not even close to where I want to be now but its something, and given the injury I guess I will take it.

                        I do have a rather big physical goal this weekend. It would not be a big deal if I were at my usual capacity but now is a challenge. I live outside of DC and plan to go to the Women's March this saturday. This will involve taking the metro there and back (and waiting standing up for a while as the trains will be full). Walking from the station to the rally point, standing for the rally, and then marching 1.5 miles to our end point, then I will need to walk back to a metro. Wish me luck, I hope I am going to be up for it!


                        • #13
                          Happy New Year all: I have been really enjoying reading everyone’s posts for the past two weeks. Nice bunch of motivated people, for sure.

                          Ron, very impressive achievements last year and goals for this year.. Actually had my jaw dropping as I read them.

                          Marina: so glad to hear you are MOVING again! WooHoo…and your weekend plans are admirable in many ways… be safe and don’t get arrested!! ( Although that would be an interesting post…)

                          Happy to read posts from Alain, as I remember you from when I first joined the forum. Also happy to read of more trikers here ( that goes for you, too, Cdnturbo…)

                          Teena Marie: your hip exercise shamed me into remembering to do a similar exercise but not in the water.

                          Suebee: I am impressed with your moxy. Sounds like you have a lot to deal with, but I like how you continue to tackle it optimistically and proactively. And getting back to work is a wonderful achievement all on its own… draining I am sure, but must also be somewhat exilarating to “get something back”… Good for you. Always appreciate your knowledge on medical subjects.

                          Larry: ( We know you are here…cloaked…..) Whether it is this week, next week, or next month, I am looking forward to your returning post….

                          Dave: loving that you get to ride outside so much.

                          And my deal right now: I am still organizing my new life here, and while the exercise room that I set up has greatly increased the duration and frequency of my exercising, I have realized that I am guilty of putting the most needed exercises on the back burner as I don’t see results very quickly and I get impatient/frustrated, so I stop doing them. Stupid, huh? Do I sound like a 5 year old?? And they all figure around my hips…well, mainly my right hip. Started back with the clam after so many of you suggested it. My PTs have worked with me concerning better posture as I am often guilty of swayback posture and pelvic tilt, (something that Suebee wrote of in a different thread). So in the past week, ( yeah, just starting this ..) I am putting these exercises that include core work to the front of my routine, and I hope I get this into a well established habit. For some hiit, when not on the trike, I have been using the hula hoop…really….. can’t flail my arms as you do, Dave, due to the shoulders that continually flare up, or have limited independent movement… I keep this in the living room, and have been getting in one good session most nights while watching TV. I quickly built up endurance to increase my time per session, and have gotten the heart rate up doing so. Need to get that heart rate monitor. Also figure that HAS to be doing something for my core…..and balance.

                          Concerning the cycling, I have the goal this week to finally get the inside training to twice weekly. No excuses, the trike is just sitting on the trainer, and I don’t have to move anything.

                          The two areas where I have been consistant since the move is in using the treadmill twice weekly, and doing all my upper body exercises 2-3 times weekly.

                          So thanks for the kick in the pants, everyone! Honestly know that I would not stay as motivated as I am, or do as much as I do, if I didn’t read, and post on this thread…..
                          Be thankful. Dream Big. Never Give Up.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Marinadca View Post
                            Small steps for me this week as I finally feel up to some exercise.
                            Marina, small steps and a bit of patience are what it takes at first. You're on the right track! Good luck with the march. Bring a friend if you can! There are buses organized to go to the march. You can find them on the website: .

                            I'm thinking too of going myself, but the local sister march in Montreal.


                            • #15
                              Hi everyone,

                              Last year I was just a lurker on this thread, but enjoyed reading about all great things everyone has been doing. This year, I decided to participate more.
                              At this time, I'm trying to train to do the MS ride in September. I'm also training to do some climbing in Joshua tree in the late summer. Luckily, my climbing friends are the ones who fully understand if I'm halfway up a wall and can't continue.

                              Thanks for all of the motivation that you all provide to keep on!