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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-27-09, 12:57 AM   #1
Glenn1234
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Cramping (or lessons from my last ride)

I mentioned my last ride once before (an accomplishment), and finally got to the point of thinking on it and trying to get some lessons out of it for the next time(and got a couple of new goals, too).

Positive Lessons
1) I learned I can ride 43 miles (new distance record), with 853ft worth of climbing, 4 hrs total clock time, about 3:30 or so actual seat time. Met a goal, too, so I'm pleased.

2) I learned to quiet my mind some so I wouldn't go nuts for lack of patience. So much really is mental compared to the physical. So a lesson is don't let what you're thinking constrain you from doing something you can do. I did a much better job on this one than the last ride I took which was my old distance record.

However:
3) As has been said, I do need to do some better management on nutritionals. I did some food and liquids about 1/2 way in, and some liquids about 3/4 of the way in. About 32oz total. I'm not sure that's enough, though.

4) I need to manage my cadence a lot better so it's more even and consistent.

5) The biggest one is the one I'm really needing advice on. The one thing about watching the mental is making sure the physical is still in line with what you aim to accomplish. That being said, I started getting leg cramps about 30 miles in that lasted most of the rest of the day. I don't really know what caused it exactly, given the situation. I was fine riding on the *mostly* flats, but on the hills my legs would start in with the cramping. I'm not sure what caused it, either. It started in on a particularly steep hill, so I don't know if it was from overexertion, or from insufficient fluid intake. I'll try again with riding tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be fine.

A new goal, though (that comes from one of my standing ones): I'll definitely try to see in practice whether I just was gassed by the time I got to that hill or whether it just plain kicked my ass.

Happy ridin' folks!
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Old 08-27-09, 05:47 AM   #2
Neil_B
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43 fast miles on 32 oz of fluid?!? And you wonder why you have cramps. I'd drink at least three times as much, particularly in the hot weather. Also consume a banana for the potasium.
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Old 08-27-09, 06:23 AM   #3
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The Historian has it bang on for your need for hydration and electrolytes, regardless of whether they were "fast or "slow" miles. If you're sweating for 4 hours, you need to replenish water and electrolytes.

You didn't indicate what you were drinking as "fluids", but as an example, on a recent (hot) MS150 ride, I went through 4 large bottles of "gatorade"(generic) in the first 75 miles over 4.5 hours or so. I cramped badly for the last 20 miles. The next day, I went through 8 bottles over 84 miles in about 5 hours, and had no cramps despite longer time, distance and the damage done by the previous day's cramping.
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Old 08-27-09, 06:29 AM   #4
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The Historian has it bang on for your need for hydration and electrolytes, regardless of whether they were "fast or "slow" miles. If you're sweating for 4 hours, you need to replenish water and electrolytes.

You didn't indicate what you were drinking as "fluids", but as an example, on a recent (hot) MS150 ride, I went through 4 large bottles of "gatorade"(generic) in the first 75 miles over 4.5 hours or so. I cramped badly for the last 20 miles. The next day, I went through 8 bottles over 84 miles in about 5 hours, and had no cramps despite longer time, distance and the damage done by the previous day's cramping.
By "fast" miles I meat that he was clearly hammering. I didn't mean to imply hydration was less important at lower speeds. I should have been more careful.
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Old 08-27-09, 09:22 AM   #5
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<SNIP>
However:
3) As has been said, I do need to do some better management on nutritionals. I did some food and liquids about 1/2 way in, and some liquids about 3/4 of the way in. About 32oz total. I'm not sure that's enough, though.
<SNIP>
I did a Metric Century two weeks ago and it was hot and very humid. I went through 7 24oz bottles of liquids and only bare needed to pee once near the end. You definitely have to keep up with your body. I've drank less on longer rides, but the temperatures were lower and the humidity was much lower as well.

Most of the "expert" advice I've read indicate that it is important to drink often, but in small amounts. I keep an eye on my ride time when I am and going longer distance and make sure I take a good swig of liquid every 10 minutes. I personally like having one bottle with sports drink and one bottle with plain water. At times you just want something cool and refreshing in your mouth and plain water can do that very well. Also eat a small snack every hour. As others pointed out, you don't need any special fancy bars. A banana will do quite nicely.

Congrats on your new personal best long distance, hopefully next time it will be with less physical discomfort.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 08-27-09, 05:40 PM   #6
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Like others said, I average about a 24 oz water bottle an hour and have never had to stop for nature. Haven't felt a need for anything other than water so far but that's probably a question of distance. I imagine anything over a couple hours and the electrolytes would come in handy.
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Old 08-27-09, 06:26 PM   #7
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its amazing you didn't pass out! 43 miles in 4 hours with only 32 oz of water is crazy.

I drink 32 oz of water after a 7 mile commute.

If I am planning on riding any great distance I usually carry a 100 oz camelbak and at least one 24 oz bottle in my cage and I usually polish all of that off by 3 hours, especially in the hot summer
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Old 08-27-09, 06:53 PM   #8
Glenn1234
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
43 fast miles on 32 oz of fluid?!? And you wonder why you have cramps. I'd drink at least three times as much, particularly in the hot weather. Also consume a banana for the potasium.
What exactly does "fast miles" mean? What I really was getting at with my #4 comment was that I really wasn't going as well as I could have been going. I'm basing that on the fact that I got my first taste of real "flats" since I got on the bike. It just seemed for some reason that I couldn't keep up a good cadence without stopping. Something mental, maybe, since I'm more used to small steep hills along with the descents on the other side, and consequently just pedaling as long as the hills go. I did the stretch with the flat area (8 miles) in 45 minutes, so I don't know where I would stand there, when it comes to pace.

(I did 15 miles today, and felt stronger in doing it, so no lasting damage.)

If saying I did "43 fast miles" means that I made good time, then thanks. Hopefully my pace can only increase with time.

As far as the liquids go, how do you all manage to carry so much water? Or do you have more opportunities to "refill up" than the one (1) that I had on this ride? I'm trying to imagine how I would be able to solve getting more water if I were to repeat this particular ride (which I probably will once I change some things). Of course, solving this might mean finding a route that doesn't last 22 miles before the refill opportunity happens.

Last edited by Glenn1234; 08-27-09 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 08-28-09, 06:20 PM   #9
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20-24 oz of fluid per hour is about the standard you should take in. I got massive cramping for over hydrating once, so more is not better. If your in high heat and humidity, fill one of your bottles with some electrolyte mix and it will help, I personally like the Hammer Heed unflavored. I like to mix it with Crystal Lite Peach teach.
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