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  1. #1
    Brevet Rider BlueJay66's Avatar
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    Na Na Na Na, Na Na Na Na, hey hey hey, Sodium

    Did I over hydrate after dehydrating?

    I just finished my first 200K brevet with the Great Lakes Randoneurs on Saturday. Beautiful day , Wind in the face on the return . I had 3 liters of water with me in two bottles and a camelback. I did not finish that water by the midway point. I had started cramping at 40 miles and slowed down at that point. The excitement of being with such an awesome group of people, and keeping up with them at speeds over 30 mph with the wind had me going on adrenalin. I did not even buy any food or liquid at the first control! I had 2 clif bars and 3 gu I really don't feel like I bonked. Did I? I thought I was drinking enough, but I can't believe I was. We made the first stop at 31 miles in 1 hour 25 minutes. After the midway point I got two more liters of water and a liter of gatorade. I had a peanut butter and chocolate wafer bar, a ham and cheese sandwich, an ounce of Fritos, and an ounce of salted cashews. I had more gu and cliff bars in there somewhere too. Going back was into the wind but I felt pretty good after resting. I finished my water before getting to the last control at 97 miles and bought 3 more liters of water and a liter and a half of gatorade. I also got a package of sunflower kernals. I had not gone to the bathroom since starting the ride. I had to stop to pee with about 12 miles left to go. I finished all my water that I had. I was not cramping if I took it easy, but going over 15 was too much. Into the wind it had to be 10 or 11 mph. After finishing in 9h 25m and talking to a few people I was driving home and was a little light headed. I considered pulling over, but did not really need to. I went to bed fairly early. I was up through the night going to the bathroom every 2 hours. I did not have any cramps in bed during the night.

    Any insights for me? One other clue might be that my Garmin Edge 305 HRM stopped working at about 75 miles. I still don't know if it was a battery, or if it could not get a read. The rest of the data kept recording.

    I have learned that I will drink more frequently, I will eat 250 to 300 Cal per hour, I don't think I need to carry as much water as I did, just use what I have more intellegently.

    Thanks for any replies.

    BlueJay66
    2005 Jamis Eclipse

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    In answer to your second question: "I really don't feel like I bonked. Did I?" --- believe me, you would know it if you did, you would not be asking that question, you might instead be asking why you felt so horrible. But from quantity of food you list, I'd say there was no way you bonked!

    As for the cramping, you should have been drinking more early on in the ride. As soon as I feel the first hints of cramping, I start drinking. It is my body's way to remind me that I haven't been drinking enough. It does sound like you were a bit dehydrated in the beginning, but you weren't badly overhydrated at the end ... you'd know if you were - that's a horrible feeling too!!

    As for the lightheaded feeling after the ride ... I get that sometimes after I get off my bicycle after a long ride, and especially if I've been riding into wind. I also get that when I get off a treadmill. I'm not sure what that's all about -- inner ear disturbance of some sort.

    If you haven't heard this before, these are some general guidelines for food consumption on long distance rides:

    250 calories per hour (or a bit more if you're working hard)
    One 750 ml bottle of water and/or sports drink every 1 to 1.5 hours (or a bit more if it is hot or windy)


    It actually sounds like you had a successful and relatively comfortable ride! Congratulations!!

  3. #3
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    It actually sounds like you had a successful and relatively comfortable ride! Congratulations!!
    Yeah, welcome to the Dark Side. Though I've done double centuries before, this is my first year of rando riding. This attitude was a surprise to me, too: if you finished, and you're not like severely injured, and you live through the night, yep, "successful ride." "Relatively comfortable" is in comparison to having your shoulder dislocated, your rotator cuff stuff all torn apart, and bruises all over your body.

    Reading through past years' newsletters put out by our local rando club it looks like discomfort is the norm, and survival = success. It's all about how you deal with it. It's just life in a microcosmic pressure cooker.

    I've found that on "short" rides like that, a lot depends on eating and hydrating in the first three hours. You do that correctly and you'll probably have a good ride. So work on that. I know exactly what you're talking about. One gets carried away by the excitement. You have to stand back a bit and evaluate if you're following your game plan or not. OTOH, if the game plan isn't working, you need to come up with a new plan. Peeing about every two hours is one of my goals. If I do that, I know I'm at least doing one thing right.

    No, you didn't bonk, you just got tired, partly because you were light on calories. The lightheadedness might have been low blood sugar. I use about a 300 calorie carb and protein recovery drink immediately after the ride, and then keep eating small amounts of carbo, like bits of bagel or PB&J or bars, ideally about every 15 minutes, for the next couple of hours or until I can have a real meal.

    Peeing every two hours in the night just means you drank a little too much too late. Getting up a couple of times is normal.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy
    Yeah, welcome to the Dark Side. Though I've done double centuries before, this is my first year of rando riding. This attitude was a surprise to me, too: if you finished, and you're not like severely injured, and you live through the night, yep, "successful ride." "Relatively comfortable" is in comparison to having your shoulder dislocated, your rotator cuff stuff all torn apart, and bruises all over your body.

    Reading through past years' newsletters put out by our local rando club it looks like discomfort is the norm, and survival = success. It's all about how you deal with it. It's just life in a microcosmic pressure cooker.


    All very true!! Especially the part of how we deal with it. Have you had a look through my collection of Brevet Stories. Some rides were successful and relatively comfortable ... others weren't. That's all part of the randonneuring life.

    And ...... I still consider my 200K a couple weeks ago to be "successful" ... I did get up, get back on the bicycle, and finished the ride. But I do have to say it wasn't very comfortable ... cycling still isn't very comfortable yet.

  5. #5
    sch
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    BlueJay: From your description you drank the best part of 10.5liters in under 10hrs, plus
    whatever you drank after the end. There is a limit to how much your gut can process
    which is why end loading the hydration process as you did means that a lot of it simply
    ended up stored in your stomach sloshing around, and was slowly absorbed over the next
    6-8hrs and pissed off. This is one way that people get hyponatremic, but most people
    will not drop their blood sodium level enough to get into trouble. The ones that do likely
    have some defect in their renal water and sodium handling.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueJay66
    Did I over hydrate after dehydrating?

    I just finished my first 200K brevet with the Great Lakes Randoneurs on Saturday. Beautiful day , Wind in the face on the return . I had 3 liters of water with me in two bottles and a camelback. I did not finish that water by the midway point. I had started cramping at 40 miles and slowed down at that point. The excitement of being with such an awesome group of people, and keeping up with them at speeds over 30 mph with the wind had me going on adrenalin. I did not even buy any food or liquid at the first control! I had 2 clif bars and 3 gu I really don't feel like I bonked. Did I? I thought I was drinking enough, but I can't believe I was. We made the first stop at 31 miles in 1 hour 25 minutes. After the midway point I got two more liters of water and a liter of gatorade. I had a peanut butter and chocolate wafer bar, a ham and cheese sandwich, an ounce of Fritos, and an ounce of salted cashews. I had more gu and cliff bars in there somewhere too. Going back was into the wind but I felt pretty good after resting. I finished my water before getting to the last control at 97 miles and bought 3 more liters of water and a liter and a half of gatorade. I also got a package of sunflower kernals. I had not gone to the bathroom since starting the ride. I had to stop to pee with about 12 miles left to go. I finished all my water that I had. I was not cramping if I took it easy, but going over 15 was too much. Into the wind it had to be 10 or 11 mph. After finishing in 9h 25m and talking to a few people I was driving home and was a little light headed. I considered pulling over, but did not really need to. I went to bed fairly early. I was up through the night going to the bathroom every 2 hours. I did not have any cramps in bed during the night.

    Any insights for me? One other clue might be that my Garmin Edge 305 HRM stopped working at about 75 miles. I still don't know if it was a battery, or if it could not get a read. The rest of the data kept recording.

    I have learned that I will drink more frequently, I will eat 250 to 300 Cal per hour, I don't think I need to carry as much water as I did, just use what I have more intellegently.

    Thanks for any replies.

    BlueJay66
    2005 Jamis Eclipse
    I agree with Machka that you didn't bonk.

    You don't mention what kind of cramping you had. If it was leg cramping, it's likely you were just riding too hard. If it was intestinal, it could be either too much food or too much water.

    Note that you can rehydrate much better with a good hydration drink than water. I used to get that "sloshy" feeling when I drank a lot of water, but I don't get it with my hydration drink. Gatorade isn't a very good one - the premixed stuff is sweetened with fructose, which some people don't tolerate it well. It also is a bit light on the calories. I think you may have over-hydrated after the ride, and that sometimes happens with water as well (you drink but you still feel thirsty...)

    On the subject of food, you may have eaten too much.

    The real test to check your hydration is to use a scale. Weigh yourself when you leave, and when you get home.
    Eric

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  7. #7
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    After having a bad time on a 300K brevet, I have applied what I tell my patients to my riding: drink a small amount (a swallow) every 5 minutes (the stomach absorbs small amounts, and frequent drinking will compensate for what you lose in sweat and in your breath). On the brevet in question, I was drinking every 15 minutes but at 1/2 way my heart was racing and I felt washed out. I increased the frequency of drinking to every 5 minutes (I was drinking Accelerade) and within a half hour I felt back to normal.

    Last year (my first randonneuring) I used Gatorade, but I find Accelerade less tiresome and more satisfying. I am finding that Tomato or V8 juice at controles is helpful. I rode my first 400k this weekend and relied more on sandwiches at the checkpoints than on the Clif Bars I brought along. They are much too sweet for a steady diet.

    A question to seasoned randonneurs: do you find it easier to tolerate solid food when you are not on the move?
    Fastest lawn chair in the county.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafael
    Last year (my first randonneuring) I used Gatorade, but I find Accelerade less tiresome and more satisfying. I am finding that Tomato or V8 juice at controles is helpful. I rode my first 400k this weekend and relied more on sandwiches at the checkpoints than on the Clif Bars I brought along. They are much too sweet for a steady diet.

    A question to seasoned randonneurs: do you find it easier to tolerate solid food when you are not on the move?
    Yes ... in fact that brings me to another point I should have made in either this discussion or the discussion in Carbonfiberboy's 300K thread. On rides where I know I will be taking a longer break ... such as when I'm napping on a 600K, I will make a point of eating as much as I can (and mostly protein) before I go to sleep. Often "as much as I can" is a can of ensure and some salted almonds, but if I can eat a sandwich or a slice of pizza that works too. My body then had 2-3 hours to digest the food and I can get up and go feeling quite good.

    Now, I may be alone in this, but after a lot of trial and error, I've discovered that getting up from a nap on a 600K+ ride and trying to eat something before heading out on the bicycle again does NOT work for me. I have to eat when I get in, nap, and then just ride. An hour or two later I'll be hungry for breakfast, and breakfast could very easily be something like eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and toast topped off with orange juice and coffee. But I just can't eat right after I wake up ... it's like my stomach has to wake up first. Forcing it, like I did the first few years, just caused me to throw up in the ditch. Now I know not to worry about it ... to just ride till I feel hungry and then to dig into a big breakfast. And then I take off like a rocket!!

    So ... sometimes you've got to experiment with the foods and timing to find out what works for you.

  9. #9
    34x25 FTW! oboeguy's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Machka
    So ... sometimes you've got to experiment with the foods and timing to find out what works for you.[/QUOTE]

    Yes! I was surprised at how well I rode after a bunch of McDonald's food at the turn-around of my last 200k. Didn't have to eat again for 40+ miles to the next control and pulled my ride-mate the entire way. For the record, I haven't eaten at MickeyD's since and can't remember the last time I had before that day.

    I'm one of those people, Machka, though, that can eat right away after waking-up. OTOH, I've never ridden a 600k...
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  10. #10
    etz
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    I did a 250km solo ride recently. My tactics were - a mouthful of sportsdrink every 15 minutes and a sportsbar and energy gel to the value of about 300 calories every hour with a mouthful of water to wash it all down. I stopped at the 160km mark for a pie ( I am after all Australian) and a coke and to replenish my waterbottles/camelbak. I finished the ride feeling really strong in 9.5 hrs and if it had not been for fading light I could have gone for the double century.
    I think the most important things I did were,
    1/ Ate a good breakfast
    2/ Ate and drank at a constant rate without waiting to feel hungry or thirsty.
    3/ On completition had about a litre and a half of chocolate milk.

  11. #11
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    Late reply, but I've bonked before, and that definitely doesn't sound like a bonk. Man, I felt like I was gonna die when I bonked. I don't ever wanna bonk again

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