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Old 04-27-10, 09:07 PM   #1
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LT Exceedance or Glycogen Depletion?

Earlier in Sunday's 100K on our tandem we encountered a long (45 min.) fairly steep climb (8-12+%). I'm pretty max'ed out on these sorts of climbs on the tandem with my HR in the 145-155 bpm range. I'm 64 and while I haven't measured max HR I'd be surprised if it were over 170. I felt reasonable at the top, drank water/Nuun during the ride and ate reasonably at the two rest stops. I couldn't really drink during the climb as balancing/steering the tandem at lower speeds takes both hands.

There were some other small rollers after the big climb and I felt reasonable up to the last rest stop at 42 miles, but had nothing left after that. I felt crampy, but didn't cramp. When I put my foot down at the finish my right quad cramped.

Ate well after the ride and felt fine save for a bit crampy. Had no trouble on the 4 hour drive home. I experienced no muscle soreness.

My guess based on limited knowledge:
1. While I may have been bumping up against LT I would guess that I would have experienced greater muscle soreness ride and post-ride if this were the cause of my late ride crash.
2. Electrolytes - Maybe something better than Nuun out there. Might eat a salty snack at the rest stops or enroute?
3. Glycogen Depletion - seems the most likely cause and the one most easily dealt with. I carried a bottle of Gatorade but preferentially drank the water/Nuun (for no particular reason). I have no problem eating at rest stops, but frankly didn't find much appetizing. I can be much more scientific next ride about dealing with this aspect of the problem.

Many out there have actually knowledge in this area and I'd welcome any and all observations and comments.
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Old 04-28-10, 01:46 AM   #2
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I think you've hit it right - races make you push an effort you are not used to, which can result in cramping and also faster than normal glycogen depletion. I often get this at early season races, though not this year (probably due to a bigger winter base). Best thing to do is to race more and your body will adapt As for eating - i'm not one for eating solids during a ride/race that I will experience intensities at or above my LT. Better off with liquids/gels for more intense efforts.
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Old 04-28-10, 09:16 AM   #3
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On mountain rides I can't eat on the climbs much either, but I can drink. Stoker hands you the bottle? Or try a Camelbak. Or stop about every 1/2 hour. You gotta drink. When I go over the top is when I feed. I'll usually eat a couple hundred calories of liquid food right then, all at once, because the digestion starts on the descent. Meaning that I don't eat rest stop food much, if at all. I carry stuff I find edible with me, because I know what it is.

I take 1-2 Endurolytes an hour, religiously. I keep them in a plastic change purse up my shorts leg, or on the tandem a jersey pocket is fine because of Stoker. She fuels just like I do.

You probably cramped a little out of dehydration and lack of electrolytes, but mostly from the effort on the tandem. I find 1 mile on the tandem = 1.5 of those other kind of miles. Your feeling of exhaustion was probably just glycogen depletion, which you could have postponed by feeding more.

If I experience glycogen depletion, I can always tell because my HR drops off, like down into the lower 140s when climbing hard. If I'm not exhausted and my HR goes up, like into that same range on the flat, I'm dehydrated. If I start to notice either symptom, I get after it immediately. If dehydrated, I take 4 swallows of water every 5 minutes and increase my Endurolytes. If it's glycogen, I hit the liquid food harder and more frequently. I always have a water bottle with liquid food concentrated to 750 cal./bottle. One bottle should last me 3 hours, so I make sure it's gone at the end of that time. I drink enough so that I have to pee every 2 hours. If I don't, I know I'm dehydrated.

I have little awareness routines: for instance, I stand every 10 minutes and eat and drink every 15 minutes (normally). Keeping track of these times give my mind something to do and is an early warning. If I can't figure it out or remember, something's wrong with my fueling.

BTW, I'm a year older than you, and my HR is about the same. I figure 154 is LT, but 148 is a better LD climbing HR, though Stoker and I will frequently go to 155 on short climbs on a metric century length ride.

Last edited by Carbonfiberboy; 04-28-10 at 09:21 AM.
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