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Old 07-05-11, 08:24 AM   #1
DogBoy
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Training explosion..help me figure this out

Yesterday I did a 75 mile training ride. The goal of the ride was just to keep the HR in my aerobic building zone (for me that's 140-160.) Temps started around 80 and went up to the upper 80s, light wind.

Fuel: Gatorade sips every 5 min, on the 10 min mark, I also had some sips of water. At 25 miles, I had some granola bars.

Everything was going great for the first 45 miles or so, then my HR spiked and would not drop below 165 no matter what I did. I slowed way down, took on more water (slowly) then took a good long rest at 50 miles. After a brief walk and a little while sitting in the shade my HR finally dropped below 130. I took on more water and gatorade and had some more granola bars. I started for the last 25 miles with a HR of 125, the lowest it would go. I have never gone so slow in my life, but my HR averaged 161 for the last 25 miles. I'm not sure what happened.

I'm guessing a combination of general fitness (this has been my longest ride to date, but 60 miles was not a problem last week); perhaps dehydration and maybe something else. I was well rested prior to starting the ride and well hydrated.

I'd like to not do this again, so if based on this I can get any advice on what to change, please help.

Thanks
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Old 07-05-11, 09:49 AM   #2
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Heat will cause an increase in heart rate which can be significant on really hot days. If temp's got into the high 80's it will spike your heart rate.
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Old 07-05-11, 11:06 AM   #3
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Did you feel bad too, or was it just a high HR?
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Old 07-05-11, 11:28 AM   #4
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I have never gone so slow in my life, but my HR averaged 161 for the last 25 miles. I'm not sure what happened.
If your HR is that high when not performing at intensity then you are either "out of shape" or dehydrated.

I guess there could be other reasons - but I don't know about them.
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Old 07-05-11, 11:44 AM   #5
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If your HR is that high when not performing at intensity then you are either "out of shape" or dehydrated.

I guess there could be other reasons - but I don't know about them.
I'm guessing its the out of shape + dehydrated. I broke my ankle last fall and was totally off any exercise until March and I'm just now building back. It has been very slow, but when I did the 60 miles last week and felt good all week I figured 75 would be okay, especially since its a pretty flat route. dehydrated has me flummoxed though...I was well hydrated before I started, and I was drinking consistently. I went through 3 20 oz waterbottles over 3 hours. I guess I'll have to increase my intake and see if that helps.


I didn't really feel bad, just noticed my HR and didn't want to take any trips to emergency care so I went very slowly. Today I feel normal and I'm planning a ride tonight. I guess I'll see how that works for me.
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Old 07-05-11, 02:26 PM   #6
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Sound to me like it was just that your a little out of shape for the longer efforts. I don't think dehydration was a big factor unless you were dehydrated before the ride. Was your urine dark or light? If you were dehydrated you should expect more colourful pee than normal.
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Old 07-05-11, 02:48 PM   #7
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Not for sure, possibly a condition called heat exhaustion with some dehydration, caused by prolonged exercise in hot weather. To treat that, you want to cool down so it doesn't worsen to heat stroke. There's nothing wrong with asking for an EKG to be safe. I would. Besides getting a medical checkup, ride when it's not so hot and go shorter distance with gradual increases in distance and gradual acclimation to the heat. Be safe.
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Old 07-05-11, 11:44 PM   #8
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When that's happened to me, it was always dehydration. Watch your forearms. You want to always see a sheen of sweat on them. If they get dry, you have a problem. You might have needed twice that much water. I once went through two 2-liter Camelbaks in one 20 mile pass climb, after being dehydrated at the bottom. The 5-minute rule is a good one. You just needed to drink more each time.

You did the right thing. Sit in the shade and drink as much as you can until your HR goes below 125. Then proceed slowly and wetly. This is serious business. Quite frightening and it should be.

The dehydration was partly a result of a lack of recent heat training. The more you do, the better your body conserves water.
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Old 07-06-11, 07:57 AM   #9
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The ride last night was a normal ride. RPE and HR were spot on with what I expected and I recovered from my intervals (I call them hills) fairly quickly. I cut it short just in case so I only did 15 miles. I doubled my 5 min rule to 2 sips per 5 min, but it was cool/rainy last night and I only did 1 hour so I won't know if that helps until I do a longer ride this friday. I do appreciate the advice from everyone. Thanks.
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Old 07-06-11, 11:33 AM   #10
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RPE and HR were spot on with what I expected and I recovered from my intervals (I call them hills) fairly quickly.
My experience suggests that an athlete needs to have a recorded "history" of Heart rate along with a training log comments to get a handle on exercise stress.

And then - environmental factors like heat can still screw that up.
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Old 07-08-11, 11:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DogBoy View Post
Yesterday I did a 75 mile training ride. The goal of the ride was just to keep the HR in my aerobic building zone (for me that's 140-160.) Temps started around 80 and went up to the upper 80s, light wind.

Fuel: Gatorade sips every 5 min, on the 10 min mark, I also had some sips of water. At 25 miles, I had some granola bars.

Everything was going great for the first 45 miles or so, then my HR spiked and would not drop below 165 no matter what I did. I slowed way down, took on more water (slowly) then took a good long rest at 50 miles. After a brief walk and a little while sitting in the shade my HR finally dropped below 130. I took on more water and gatorade and had some more granola bars. I started for the last 25 miles with a HR of 125, the lowest it would go. I have never gone so slow in my life, but my HR averaged 161 for the last 25 miles. I'm not sure what happened.

I'm guessing a combination of general fitness (this has been my longest ride to date, but 60 miles was not a problem last week); perhaps dehydration and maybe something else. I was well rested prior to starting the ride and well hydrated.

I'd like to not do this again, so if based on this I can get any advice on what to change, please help.

Thanks
Sounds like you were pushing too far too fast in the hotter conditions. Or it was the high fructose corn syrup in the Gatorade. This stuff is very, very bad for you. Much worse even than pure table sugar. My guess is that it is a combination of the two. Note, you can get dehydrated if you drink mostly Gatorade and not enough water. Your body cannot use the Gatorade in the same way as pure water. Try electrolyte drops in your water instead of the Gatorade and take some dried fruit or bananas to eat instead. You should be drinking at least 80 percent water. Think of Gatorade as something for energy replacement rather than something to hydrate with. Also, usually you can only increase your mileage distances in about 10 percent increments. But it sounds like you had that covered. After doing 60 miles you should be able to do 75 if you are fully recovered. But don't underestimate that extra 15 miles when 60 may have been close to your present fitness capacity.

Many people will find that when they start riding longer distances that the body will stop working properly if they put junk food into it. And yes Gatorade is junk food. The younger you are the better you can get away with this. For some people. Others are more sensitive to this. You seem to have the right idea about staying hydrated on the bike but now you need to put the right thing into your system.

Last edited by Hezz; 07-08-11 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 07-08-11, 01:51 PM   #12
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It sounds as though you experienced a physical phenonenon known as "cardiac drift" or "cardiovascular drift". What that means is that during prolonged exercise, your heart rate tends to drift upward.

CD has two main causes:
  • Increase in body core temperature
  • Dehydration

Sounds like you probably experienced both. I find that the heat absolutely KILLS my ability to go fast or far. Any weather above about 90F puts me into survival mode, and as a year round commuter I'm used to the heat.

Living down here in the humid South, I see people all the time who go out in the July heat and wonder why they can't go as fast as they do in October when it's 50F outside.

Oh yeah... ditch the Gatorade. Hezz is right... Gatorade is junk food. And it can actually impair your body's uptake of water. Find something better for keeping you upright in the heat. I use HEED and have had good results, but there are a lot of really good products out there.
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