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MTB race this weekend

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MTB race this weekend

Postby MEhockey » Mon Oct 31, 2011 4:04 pm

Hello all,
I have been prepping for the Iceman MTB race this weekend and had an electrolyte/cramping question. The race is just shy of 30 miles, fast, flat start all the hills at the end.

I am not an experienced racer but in the handfull of events I have raced I typically use 1) a small camelback with water 2) a 22 oz bottle with HEED and3) a gel flask. I also usually take a couple endurance aminos 2 hours pre-race (and maybe grab an extra cup of HEED from the friendly race volunteers!)

My last couple of training rides had put my at the brink of cramping. I am looking for strategies that will give me a bit of insurance without radically changing this close to the event.

My thought would be to include a few doses of Endurolyte fizz. If I go this route would it be better to add the fizz to the camelback or in with the HEED. Additionally, are there benefits to consuming additional Fizz in the morning pre-race and /or the day before?

TIA
John
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Re: MTB race this weekend

Postby SquidBuzz » Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:29 am

John,

I have done this race and I have found that even though the beginning appears flat, it isn't. =)

I have a tendency to cramp really hard at about the 90 minute mark. I cured that by doing some Endurolytes while on the bike. Hopefully you have been doing some training with them and have found what your body needs for intake. I am one of the odd ones that need a lot of them per hour to prevent cramping. Anywhere from 4 to 6 tablets an hour, even with using HEED.

So, you might want to pop a couple at the start. Making sure to get fluid in you also so that they don't bother your stomach.

Then depending upon how hard you are working, maybe a few more at the 1 hour mark.

Good luck and hopefully it won't snow or be icy.
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Re: MTB race this weekend

Postby MEhockey » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:31 am

Squidbuzz - thanks for the info. This will be my third year doing the iceman. First year, I had no clue what I was doing and cramped badly. 2nd year (last year - cold and some snow in the woods) I had a good ride . I'm hoping I can shave a bit more off my time this year.

I was leaning towards Fizz simply due to not wanting to have to take capsules during the race. I tried them out over the weekend but I was not riding real hard. I was also wondering if there was benefit to getting a little bit over the whole race rather than a single dose in the middle. I would still like to know if there is benefit to having a fizz with pre-race hydration.

John
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Re: MTB race this weekend

Postby steve-born » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:03 pm

Hello John -

You can certainly use Endurolytes Fizz instead of Endurolytes capsules during the race. Just remember that if you put the Fizz in your water bottle and are using HEED or another drink in another bottle, the total volume of fluid from both bottles counts in terms of fluid intake. The reason I mention this is so that you don't over-hydrate by consuming a bottle of Fizz + a bottle of a sports drink.

Replenishing electrolytes frequently over the course of an hour versus an all-at-one-time dose is always going to be better because your body is getting a consistent supply more frequently. The downside, of course (and I'm speaking of the capsules here), is that you're always popping pills. I know a lot of triathletes who set their timers so that they can take a dose of Endurolytes every 15-20 minutes. Is that ideal? I think so. Is it practical? I don't think so. I also think it takes up more time to do that and it takes away from the enjoyment of the ride (I don't want to pop pills 3-4 times an hour; I'd rather be focusing on the ride).

So if you want to replenish electrolytes more consistently over the course of the race, Endurolytes Fizz is probably the ideal way to go. Just remember the caveat I mention in the first paragraph and bring a few extra Endurolytes capsules, just in case what you put in your bottle Fizz-wise is proving to be inadequate.

Lastly, I think that taking Endurolytes - be it via capsules + water or Endurolyte Fizz mixed in water - prior to an event is always a good idea... I consider this to be a "pre-emptive strike" dose, meaning that I'm taking care of some of my fluid needs and electrolyte needs prior to when my body truly needs them.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: MTB race this weekend

Postby MEhockey » Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:29 pm

I thought I would post some info post race to further the discussion - hopefully it will be helpful. I know I still have more questions.

The good:
race day was a perfect fall day in Northern Michigan. Sunny, 30 degrees at the start.
I shed 20 minutes off my previous years time (course was a few tenths of a mile longer but firmer/faster)
The not so good:
As in training rides this year, I was fighting calf cramps with 8-7 miles remaining. Later, on some of the climbs, the quads started complaining. Ultimately, I had one episode of mild cramping on the course and then....I tried to give one last kick at the finish and could not do it. Just across the line both quads cramped and I limped around for a few minutes til the cramps subsided.

during the drive to the start line, I had 16oz water w/ 1 Fizz tab and 2 endurance aminos.
During the race, I had a 50-60 oz. camelback with 1 Fizz, 1 22oz bottle with 1.5 scoops Heed+1 Fizz (same bottle) and a flask with gel. I finished the bottle at approx. 2-3 miles remaining and the camelback with less than a mile remaining.

Overall, I am quite happy with the ride but would have rather skipped the cramping at the end and the almost cramping on the course. I used more electrolytes than I have in the past as cramped worse. I am left suspecting the causes could be (in no particular order):
1)I neglected stretching in the weeks leading up to the race (I was fairly diligent but more is always possible)
2)previous cramping in training resulted in a mild "injury" or other pre-disposition to cramping
3)I needed even more H20 and electrolytes
4)I rode to limit of my ability/training, cramping was inevitable
5) some combo of 1 - 4.

Any follow-up info would be appreciated
John
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Re: MTB race this weekend

Postby steve-born » Mon Nov 07, 2011 3:39 pm

Hello John - Congratulations on taking 20 minutes off you're previous year's time. Faster course or not, that's a significant improvement.

Let's look at your fueling:

1) You wrote: During the drive to the start line, I had 16oz water w/ 1 Fizz tab and 2 endurance aminos.

COMMENT: That's fine but you if you tend to cramp more than most, and assuming it's an electrolyte issue, you might want to add another Endurolytes tablet into your pre-race water. Although cramping tends to occur more during the hot summer months, it can happen at any time (ask anyone who Nordic skis). The fact that it wasn't hot may, for many people, allow them to decrease their Endurolytes dose. However, for many who are either predisposed to cramping (as it sounds like you may be) and/or are involved in high intensity efforts (such as doing Iceman Cometh Challenge), a higher dose may be warranted.

2) You wrote: During the race, I had a 50-60 oz. camelback with 1 Fizz, 1 22oz bottle with 1.5 scoops Heed+1 Fizz (same bottle) and a flask with gel."

COMMENT: 50-60 oz of water from your Camelback + 22 oz from your water bottle = 72 - 82 oz of fluid. It took you a bit less than 3 hours to finish the race so your hourly fluid intake averaged 24 - 27 ounces. I don't know how much you weigh but while that's normally a perfectly acceptable amount, it may have been slightly higher than you needed. I'm not suggesting that you overdid it ( as you know, too much fluid will cause cramping) but it's possible that you could have fulfilled your fluid needs with less than that hourly amount.

3) Electrolyte intake - With the 1 Endurolytes Fizz tablet consumed prior to the race, you had the equivalent of 2 Endurolytes capsules. In your bottle of HEED you had the equivalent of 1.5 capsules of Endurolytes, and with your tablet of Fizz in there you had another 2 capsules worth of Endurolytes.

Total intake = 5.5 capsules worth of Endurolytes over the course of 3 hours (not including the time prior to the race). That's less than 2 capsules per hour. That might be fine under cool weather conditions (though oftentimes you need more), and that may be fine if you have a tendency to cramp (as it sounds like you might be). However, I think that your intake is not quite high enough... I'd bump it up so that you're taking in the equivalent of 3 capsules an hour (the same as 1.5 tablets of Endurolytes Fizz).

Other factors, such as your not stretching in the weeks leading up to the race may have played a role, as well as the "too much" line of thought, which can be translated as, "I'm on a tough, hard section of the course and every muscle fiber in my being is actively involved trying to get over this climb. Unfortunately, I'm not quite up to the task." Put another way, if I go out and try to do too much volume or terrain that's too difficult for my current level of fitness is ready for, all the Endurolytes in the world may not help stop the cramping. I'm not saying that this is what happened to you but it cannot be left out of the realm of possibilities.

All this said, given all of the information I have available, I'm thinking you were just slightly low on electrolytes.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely -

Steve
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Re: MTB race this weekend

Postby SquidBuzz » Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:48 am

Congrats on the finish. It's not as easy as it sounds or looks. :D

One thing that I would ask, what did you wear in that temperature? I have found in the past, if I am not cold standing at the line, I'm over dressed.

And, like Steve stated, the Endurolytes intake looks a little light.
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