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Author Topic: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?  (Read 5681 times)

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Offline Alan

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Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« on: March 15, 2009, 05:04:10 PM »
So this year at Squiggy I had a great first couple of laps.  The first lap was went well and I decided to go into my second lap without taking a breather and pulled off an even faster second lap.  Throughout each lap I am consuming approximately 3/4 of a large sports bottle worth of Heed. 
 
After the second lap I'm feeling a litte bit tired and felt like I needed a bit of food.  I pulled over, had a small bit of homemade granola bar, washed it down with some Heed, and headed out.  My third lap starts out just as strong as my second...only 1/3 of the way I start feeling like I'm going to puke.  Drinking more Heed makes the feeling worse.  "Not a big deal, I'm sick of drinking something sweet I'll just switch to water when I finish off the third lap" I think to myself. 
 
Half way into my third lap exhaustion sets in out of nowhere.  I feel like I'm pedaling through quicksand.  I have to take a short break before entering Gator, Indian, and Heartbreak just to make sure I have enough gas to get through without a hitch.  Middle of the way through Heartbreak my legs literally stop working.  My left quad cramps up but is still mobile.  The right quad cramps and completely locks up on me...I couldn't even bend my leg.  I have to take about 15-minutes to get back to a state where I can get back on the bike and finish my lap.  This pretty much killed me (mostly mental at that point) and I called it a day. 
 
Not sure where to start.  I thought conditioning might have been an issue, but my performance didn't taper and I didn't have any warning signs whatsoever...I was doing great until this problem hits me out of nowhere.  Any ideas on what may have gone wrong here? 

Offline chisel

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 05:18:41 PM »
do you think you may have gone out much harder than you are use to? I know when racing i try to keep myself from getting froggy, but it is hard to do with the race buzz in the air.

Offline Gregg

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 05:24:10 PM »
Bare in mind that it was pretty warm yesterday. I very rarely get cramps and my left leg was pissed at me.....It has been an unusually long cool season for us. I suspect that your body just hadn't adjusted yet.

Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 08:20:30 PM »
Alan,
How much (and what type) of carbo load did you do pre-race and day before?
How much heed are you putting on that bottle?
How many oz are on that bottle?
How much faster were you doing those laps then your normal "fast" pace?

Offline $irWattZZZZ

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 08:46:26 PM »
The heat was rough Alan, and I'm sure played a huge role in your day. Sandpine seems to have a handle on the endurance nutrition gig, I would heed(no pun intended)some input from him :)

Offline Gregg

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2009, 09:15:41 PM »
Alan,
How much (and what type) of carbo load did you do pre-race and day before?
How much heed are you putting on that bottle?
How many oz are on that bottle?
How much faster were you doing those laps then your normal "fast" pace?

I personally don't 'overplan', but I eat a very balanced diet most of the time, so I mostly just eat more breads for a few days prior to any event. I also eat a few more sweets.
 
On race day, I try and eat light, but with a bunch of calories in the morning. I had a buttered bagel and banana. In between laps, I had a gel, and a powerbar. I also took two electrolite pills in between laps, and drank lots of water.
 
I personally don't usually use anything but water while riding. I would rather get my calories with soft foods. PB and J etc.... Water is the best thing....IMPO.
 
It is hard to say how much harder I rode this race, but I can say that I was not letting up, even when it hurt...
 
 
Maybe I am not the model, and I rode a totally different race than you. 3 or 4 sprint laps is very different than just pedalling for 6 hours......Personally I would send Marcel a p.m. He learned this stuff through trail and error, but he has got it down as far as endurance races go.

Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2009, 10:06:44 AM »
The heat was rough Alan, and I'm sure played a huge role in your day. Sandpine seems to have a handle on the endurance nutrition gig, I would heed(no pun intended)some input from him :)
Thanks... I had a decent handle on my nutrition until the 6th lap.  But I suffered just like everyone else out there.  I was just able to deal with the pain a bit longer and cranked another lap.  ;D   Thanks to a tree at the entrance of techno pig which I used to adjust my back at least three times during the day.   :D

Offline Rockhopper

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2009, 04:52:49 PM »
Gin and tonics. It worked for the British.

Offline jimn213

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2009, 06:15:42 PM »
Jolly good show! 
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Offline tricked919

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2009, 07:43:55 PM »
I promise I'm not plugging this stuff - but I swear by it.

E-Load.

Tony at Flying Fish got me hooked on it last year and I rode the Surgarloaf road race with it the day after I bought it. ZERO cramps since then and I used to cramp like nobody's business. This is my 4th year doing Squiggy and I have always suffered serious cramping from lap 4-6 but I had never used E-load. This past year I rode my mt.bike less than 50 miles total (I'm a roadie) and I did Squiggy in 20 minutes less time than my personal best and I never once cramped. Not cramping was seriously the difference. I figure each year in the past, cramping cost me close to a half hour.

I mix it in a really thick concentration (4 scoops + 3 scoops of Hammer Perpetuem). I'll do this in 2 bottles and I'll carry one of those and bottle of straight water on every lap. I try to kill a bottle of the concentrate after 2+ hours. I also make sure I down a bottle of water on every lap, then hit a bit extra at transition with food. Along with keeping the protien intake high, I swear the E-Load made the difference this year. I never even trained for this ride and I did 6 laps in 5:37. Nothing stellar, but I should not have done that well - ESPECIALLY w/o cramping one bit.

Go get a tub of E-Load.

Offline Alan

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2009, 12:41:47 PM »
Alan,
How much (and what type) of carbo load did you do pre-race and day before?
How much heed are you putting on that bottle?
How many oz are on that bottle?
How much faster were you doing those laps then your normal "fast" pace?

I don't go crazy with the carbo loading the day before.  This year I started increasing my carbohydrate intake on Sunday (6-days before the race).  Throughout the week I incorporated 2-3 more servings of simple carbohydrates (i.e. white pasta, white rice) into my regular daily diet.  The night before Squiggy I had extra servings of pasta on top of what I had already consumed that day.  All that week I was also mindful of my water intake.  I did cheat and had a pint of beer on Friday night.  It wasn't enough to get me anywhere close to tipsy, but it was a rough week at work and I needed the mental refreshment of a nice cold brew.
 
Heed is one scoop per bottle as directed on the container.  I think the bottle is about 30oz.  This is typically what I consume on a normal ride.
 
The first two laps were at my usual pace that I ride every weekend.  I tried to treat this as if this were any other weekend ride, only with more people on the trails.  Mentally this worked well. 
 
 
I'm thinking nutrition has to be the key here.  According to my Garmin, I burned approx 3400 calories over the span of those three laps (it was basing this off of the time, distance, speed, weight etc b/c I wasn't wearing my heartrate monitor...so it was probably more in the high 2k range).  I only took in about 100 cal per lap with that Heed.  Perhaps on my second lap I should have had something with more calories? 
 
Another part of the equation is my lack of endurance conditioning.  Even so, usually my performance starts to taper before I crash....this time around my performance pretty much dropped off a cliff without any noticable warning whatsoever.
 
 

Offline Marcel Aguirre

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2009, 12:58:59 PM »
Alan,
The most important thing you will find out here is that what works for some, may not work for you.  So be careful.   Looks like you started packing way too early.  I only pack the day/night before but try to keep it within 2-3 extra servings of what I am having that night.  Usually of whole grain pasta.  I do a bit in that morning but not to heavy depending on start time.
 
Heed is good for 1-2 hrs of riding.  Even Heed itself tells you to switch over to Perpetum when you going to go longer.  Heed may be assuming a 16oz bottle.  Not the 24 or 30 larger one.  Heed also has very little Sodium and almost no Potassium or Magnesium in comparision to other sport drinks.  Three of the key electrolytes your body needs.  I would recommend you double the Heed but add endurolyte pills.  You will need a bit more food too but have to keep it to soft easy to diguest things.  Your body spends all its energy in keeping you going and very little in diguesting food.  Stay within 200-300/hr calorie intake when you are riding 3+ hrs.  If you don't, your body will not have any fuel quickly available to start burning from your stores.  Looks like water and the one scope of heed you took were not enough to help your body use what you packed during the week.  Good luck.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2009, 01:52:09 PM »
Sandpine is the man. I was reading over this and was wondering why sodium hadn't come up. Low electrolytes is definately gonna lead to inexplicable cramping.
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents" H.P. Lovecraft

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2009, 02:41:13 PM »
Sandpine is the man. I was reading over this and was wondering why sodium hadn't come up. Low electrolytes is definately gonna lead to inexplicable cramping.

That is what conventional wisdom says.

Makes perfect sense.

But, I dont take any special electrolytes and ride with guys that do and notice that we still all cramp or feel twinges of a possible cramp at about the same time.

I think no matter what, if your going "HARD" enough, cramps are gonna come for one and all.

At least thats what Im starting to think...

What motivated me to start thinking that.  A blog post about Jeff Kerkove's last race at the Ouachita challenge.  I read all the stuff he ate and consumed over 60 miles, compared it to what I consumed Saturday over 65 miles and I dont know what to believe anymore.  I never fully cramped on Saturday, i came close, my right calf muscle started twinging and it got stuck for a little, but I was riding pretty hard that day.  ANd what did I do for electrolytes? Not a damn thing... Makes me wonder is all...

Just thinking, feel free to tell me how wrong I am..LOL

Offline Daniel

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Re: Cramps & Exhaustion out of nowhere, WTF?
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2009, 02:47:53 PM »
Sandpine is the man. I was reading over this and was wondering why sodium hadn't come up. Low electrolytes is definately gonna lead to inexplicable cramping.

That is what conventional wisdom says.

Makes perfect sense.

But, I dont take any special electrolytes and ride with guys that do and notice that we still all cramp or feel twinges of a possible cramp at about the same time.

I think no matter what, if your going "HARD" enough, cramps are gonna come for one and all.

At least thats what Im starting to think...

What motivated me to start thinking that.  A blog post about Jeff Kerkove's last race at the Ouachita challenge.  I read all the stuff he ate and consumed over 60 miles, compared it to what I consumed Saturday over 65 miles and I dont know what to believe anymore.  I never fully cramped on Saturday, i came close, my right calf muscle started twinging and it got stuck for a little, but I was riding pretty hard that day.  ANd what did I do for electrolytes? Not a damn thing... Makes me wonder is all...

Just thinking, feel free to tell me how wrong I am..LOL

Is it cramps or soreness?  It sounds like you are powering through which is probably just unavoidable soreness lactic acid build up or whatever. As early as he got it, it's got to be something chemical. Electolytes are one that does spring to mind, but I know there are others...just can't remember what I had read about it sometime back. I don't know Alan, but he sounds experienced enough that I assume he's unlikely to be out of shape....like me :(
"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents" H.P. Lovecraft

 

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