Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Pre Ride Enduro Prep for the body

Recommended Posts

I'm not an expert, but as I have understand it, cramping is mostly a result of potassium, then cal and mag deficiency, dehydration, or overexertion due to lack of saddletime.

The week leading up to an event I suppliment with multivitamin/multiminerals, eat healthy hydrating stuff like vegtables and drink lots of water, and as was said don't drink alcohol. You should drink water until your pee is clear leading up to the day of the event.

The morning of the event I like to eat a PB&J sandwich with bananna slices for breakfast, no coffee. I put pedialyte 1/2 strength in my camelback water and if it is a two loop event, in between loops, I will have some gatorade, but watch how it effects your stomach.

During the event pace yourself, remember it will be a long day. If it is your first event then I assume time keeping is not as important as finishing. Try to concentrate on how your body feels, rest it when the terrain allows.

During the event, if your legs are cramping or getting tired, sit for a short while as needed and let them rest when you can, for me it's usually my arms and right hand/wrist. When this happens I grip extra tight with my legs to give my arms a rest and shake them out when the terrain allows or when you are at a reset or when stopped prior to the next possible check.

If you are getting close to hitting the wall energy wise towards the end of the event, you can eat a GU (which you can get in a bicycle store) it will get your body some cellular glucose and other good things quickly (I tape them to my handlebar for quick access).

On non-race weekends I would advise building up to 50-60 miles or close to the length of the races you plan on doing. If you get through the first loop without houring out, you can take your time on the 2nd half if need be. If you are a C rider and you finish, you should trophy. Good luck man, attitude counts for a lot, you will finish! :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good advice GFM333. If gatorade upsets tummy just add 10% water. If it still upsets your tummy add 20%, by 30% nearly everyone will tolerate it fine. But this means you need to drink more to get the right CHO (glucose ) content.

There is no substitute for training. But some tips help stave off fatigue just a bit longer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was searching for this article I had recently read about Cramping & Electrolyte levels in distance runners (there was no measureable difference in levels after long distances therefore their theory was that the runners cramping wasn't caused by any imbalances) but couldn't find the darn thing. However, I did find this one web article that sums things up pretty nicely, check it out:

Cramp theories

The thing I love most about Sports Med/Training stuff is that there's never a "for sure" answer and, just when you think they've got the right answer, they'll change it. Playing the odds seems to be the best bet and do the easy things first (as was earlier mentioned) like the drink mixes and try not too overheat. Probably there are several things happenning at the same time to cause the cramping. I still think that training towards the same way your end result is to be (in this case enduro) is probably going to be the main thing that helps in the end simply because the body adapts to demands and increasing (gradually) the demand will allow for more comfortable effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good topic about fluid and sodium replacement. I decided to run some numbers on possible sodium replacement. Don’t take my word for this data, this information was easily found with several Google searches.

An estimate on sodium concentration in sweat: 2.25-3.4 grams/ liter of sweat.

I have personally documented weight losses of over 5 pounds during hot weather, 95 degree/ 90 % humidity conditions. I believe the water loss is actually larger because fluid was consumed during the enduro and this additional fluid intake was not counted or weighed. Weight loss is from a scale I carried in a motor home to races.

One liter weighs 2.2 pounds, or 5 lbs./ 2.2= 2.72 liters of sweat loss. Assuming 3.4 grams of sodium loss per liter of sweat suggests 9.2 grams of sodium lost with the 2.7 liter fluid loss.

So, how do we replace 9.2 grams of sodium loss?

From a Gatorade website: http://www.gssiweb.com/pdf/gatorade_bev_chart.pdf

8 oz Gatorade contain 110mg of sodium

8 oz Pedialyte contain 248 mg of sodium

To replace 9.2 grams or 9,200 mg of sodium with Gatorade? 9,200/ 110= 83.6 bottles of 8 oz Gatorade, or 699 oz, Enjoy.

For those unfamiliar with Pedialyte, it is a fluid given to infants, I believe available without prescription. I personally don’t like the taste but infants generally love the stuff.

9,200 mg/ 248 mg = 37 bottles of Pedialyte. This could get quite expensive.

Even if the numbers are incorrect by a factor of 2 or 3, these numbers still suggest a large volume of sports drinks will be necessary to replenish the lost sodium.

Everyone needs to crunch those numbers and assumptions for me, I frequently make mistakes!

Now for real world experiences. I became interested in fluid replacement about 15 years ago when I consistently experienced severe muscle cramping during summer enduros. I share the same riding environment as John CRF450, deep south, hot and high humidity. The muscle cramps I experienced were typically soon after resuming the race after the gas stop where I had consumed a large quantity of fluid, mainly plain water. Severe muscle cramps also occurred on the drive home, again after consuming a large volume of plain water. I tried Gatorade and other available sport drinks but found these fluids made me nauseous, I also did not like the clean up of the Camelback after filling it with dilute Gatorade. I knew something had to change during a drive home from a summer enduro with my wife and children. At a gas stop I fell out of the truck and hit the concrete with both legs fully cramped. I was lucky I was not arrested for being drunk!

That summer I spent many hours in the medical library at the hospital where I worked and also in a medical school library reading every journal article and text on the subject I could find. I also discussed the problem with several colleagues. A common theme about sodium replacement seemed to occur. The obvious need for fluid replacement is found everywhere. The concept of dilution of intravascular and extracellular sodium was new to me and not universally discussed or recommended. However it seemed to fit with my symptoms and seemed worth a try. I ran the idea through my personal physician and also my wife/ Internal Medicine doc and both thought it was worthwhile and safe. Without any change in my conditioning routine, the simple addition of a small quantity of salt in the fluids I consumed before and during a race completely alleviated the muscle cramping I experienced. I can honestly say I have not experienced a muscle cramp since I began this routine. I am 52 years young and enjoy the sport more than ever. Not infrequently I have watched riders less than half my age stop a race due to muscle cramps while I was without cramps. Multiple riders who share my salt replacement routine also have been free of muscle cramps that had plagued them.

As an aside, I will suggest that many physicians do not understand the physical requirements of off road motorcycling. Many with whom I have talked don’t understand the difference between a ride on a Harley and 4-6 hours of wrestling a hot dirt bike though woods at race speed, wearing a helmet and other protective gear in 90+ degree weather. While the effort may not be equal, I believe off road racers probably lose as much or more fluid as marathon runners.

The above should not be considered advice or a recommendation. There is a lot of good and bad advise on the Internet. It is up to the individual to sort through the information. As previously stated this is my personal research and experience and may not relate to others. Do your own research, and by all means if you feel the my routine is dangerous, don’t go near a saltshaker!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting read on your research. Having been atheletic all my life, I can relate to the "Replenishment" qualities of Gatorade. People will believe anything you tell them. Kinda like the BS we are seeing now with the bottled h20. "It's so much better for you." The only sad information here is the no beer. I just wish it wasn't true. Damn...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is some good advice, but like some have said you need to find what works for you. I have been riding enduros for 20 years, at first I was so underwieght that it would kill me to finish, leg cramps etc, but now that I'm in my late 30's I have found what works for me (and about 30bls). I start on Wednsday drinking lots of water until Sunday morning, when I ride my bicycle I replenish with Accelerade, and Endurox, this seems to work for me, DON'T OVER WORK THE WEEK BEFORE take it easy for 3 days before. Also, like I said this works for me, I eat a steak the night before a race, instead of carbs I load with protein, this sticks with me the next day better than the carbo loading, and I drink a bottle of Pedialite for desert. Try some kind of sports drink during the race, I prefer the Accelerade, Cytomax, drinks like this to gatorade. And most of all try sitting on the couch more, you guys working out all the time make it tough for me to take my shirt off after the race!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't want to carry so much liquid(Gatorade, water, etc.); try foods. Dried fruit or beef jerky packs well. And who doesn't love beef jerky? :thumbsup:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lil girl your recommendation is hard to beat. Train and the body will adapt.

John the assumotion is most people will replenish after exercse through diet. Your calculations are roughly corect depending on which books you read, however, isotonic drinks have significantly less sodium for several well researched and documented reasons.

These isotonic concentrations have heen proven time and time again to be most beneficial in terms of maintaining and restoring fluid and electrolytes. High sodium levels have also been tested and documented, causing stomach cramps, dioreaha, and osmotic movement of water from the blood to the stomach causing drops in Blood Pressure, elevated Heart Rates and reduced athletic performance. (Cedaro, Hineman & Hineman, Rushell & Pyke, Davies et al, and others )

Id also suggest that most people reading this who are in a similar position to CRF450 are possibly consuming too much dietary salt and not quiet doing enough training will naturally restore sodium levels to the required cells within hours of ceasation of exercise.

Dont forget where excess sodium lodges itself. In the arterial walls, causing hypertension, loss of blood pressure regulation, stroke and contributes toward some forms of heart disease.

Your choice but personally im sticking to the researched and documented reccomendations until they get proven wrong.

In conclusion cRF450 do more training on the moto, hydrate well, continually hydrate with a recommended isotonic drink of your choice throughout (100-150ml every 10-15 minutes) and may be learn to do some on bike stretching so when a cramp arises you can stretch to help alleviate it. Nothing will susbstitute training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

condog_aus, I agree most people will replinish lost sodium through diet after exercise. I thought the problem was replacement during continued exercise. The reliance on sports drinks has always been a problem for me when I look at their electrolyte concentrations. Orange juice and Sunny Delight seem a better sports drink than the "true" sports drinks.

I often wonder who is the real marketing target for these so called sports drinks. Sure the advertisements demonstrate pro or endurance atheletes sweating orange or green and we certainly must drink the same drink as Michael Jordon. But doesn't make you wonder when their own website reveals they are not that much different than orange juices? Let's say there are probably tens of millions of bottles of sports drinks in convience and grocery stores across America and Australia. Who is buying this stuff? Are there that many endurance atheletes on the verge of dehydration and cramping emptying the shelves of these stores every weekend? No, but probably a lot of soccer moms and weekend endurance golfers. My 80 yo parents have Gatorade in their refrig. Why, they like the taste and I am sure it refreshes them after a walk to the mailbox. The number one requirement for these sports drinks is to taste good so they move off the shelves. If 6 yo soccer players and nursing home residents won't ingest these drinks, they will not last on the market. Yes they have a dash of electrolytes, but they offer no significant potential for replacement if you are already cramping and there still 50 miles or 3 hours left in a race. I agree 100% that training and heat conditioning is extremely important. But when young, well conditioned A and AA riders cramp despite significant fluid replacement, something is clearly missing from the equation.

A quick attempt at finding the reference from Cedaro, Hineman & Hineman, Rushell & Pyke, Davies et al, and others was unsuccessful. Please supply the journal and vol. #, I am interested in reading the article.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't normally intake a lot of extra salt but Dr. John Wade a friend of mine convinced me recently that I should increase my salt intake the day before and during a race. Not salt tablets but I usually now pour salt into my Propel sports drink just till I start to taste it. I also put about a tea spoon full into my camel back. If you have cramps just after the race try Dill Pickle juice. It is nasty but it does very quickly stop cramps. I think from the brine.

I take high potency vitamins and minerals on a regular basis also. Running a mile or more 4 times a week is a great benefit. Or better yet just time yourself on cardiovascur excercise for 20 to 30 minutes 3-4 times a week.

I wear knee braces and I use the vented riding shorts to prevent too much heat being held in and getting heat rash on the posterior. ( Monkey Butt ). I also use liberal amounts of Boudreax's Butt Paste. Found at better Drug Stores and WalMart. http://www.buttpaste.com/

I also use women's dress nylon gloves with the fingers cut half off to protect my hands as glove liners. I have been doing this since my first ISDT in 1979. ( My Grandmother's idea ).

Jeff Fredette wears panty hose in long events to help prevent chaffing.

Cher'o,

Dwight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree 100% that training and heat conditioning is extremely important. But when young, well conditioned A and AA riders cramp despite significant fluid replacement, something is clearly missing from the equation.

is that really happening all that much? i personally only hear about it from overweight, out-of-shape riders. i would be concerned about an individual having an unusual body chemistry problem if bad muscle cramping were happening with someone fit. or possibly just really inefficient riding.

take a look at david pearson. not exactly the fittest guy you'll ever see on a bike. probably carrying 40-50-ish extra lbs. i saw him after the first day of the idaho qualifier, and he looked relaxed and happy and not particularly tired at all. perhaps he is wasting less energy than the rest of us.

i think too many people are looking for a magic bullet they can just buy to increase performance instead of training. i do enough 6-8 hr hard rides, that body performance in 6 hr hard race is not really a big concern.

mw

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for the really good input ! I have enjoyed the posts and will apply some of the info. I have rode the Sam Houston Caney Creek Enduro for years - it is brutal especially if the temp is in high double digits, if it is dusty it is 3x harder, the humidity is so thick here they use the temperature intext which makes 95 like 110...

I use the Dr. Weil formula which is about 1/5 straight orange juice and a 1/2 of teaspoon of salt (pre dissolved in water in the microwave) mixed with filtered water and No extra sugar. Ty Davis says "graze" on your camel back all day long and don't gulp - this works well in my view. Try to ride the event for fun, as it can be a hare and tortoise race. Take advantage of the water and banana's at the gas stop, and "cool down" on the pavement sections when we go to different trails...

MSTex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guy's

Try this site out, search E-CAPS, or for the product "HammerGel" It is popular with triathlets etc. Avoid simple sugars, the body cannot absorb them quickly enough. If you are exercising for a period over 2 hours you need to also have a small protien supply available in your fuel.. You won't "BONK" (hit the wall) with this stuff.

I found my riding suffers the most when I am so tired that my mind has exhausted first, you can train your muscles!

I had cronic leg/calf cramps and worked out diligently all year round. HammerGel is a sports fuel that you can take as a gel sachet or mix instead of Gatoraid.

I hydrate with gatoraid the night before and before the race (you can over hydrate though!) and mix Hammergel in my camelback.

NO CRAMPS SINCE!

Download a copy of there "Fueling Handbook"

I would post it if I could.

But remember, nothing can substitute for training, or saddle time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MsTex, I will be looking for you. Scratch that. Be looking for me. When I overheat & cramp, I usually throw my bike in the nearest bushes. My gear will be scattered as if I am having a yard sale. Bring some cash in your camelback. If I am feeling that bad, I will let it go cheap. Really would be nice if they got some rain up there next week. I rode near the Nat Forest last 2 weekends and it was really good 2 weeks ago, but drying out fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I finished! No trophys here, but I was the only one in my group (5 dudes) to do complete the 70 mile course. One smashed header pipe (tree) took out one, other was over the bars in the sandy nasty rooty whoops took out another. The other 2 wanted to make sure the whoops crash (broken arm) got back to the medics. 2 weeks before the race, I s-canned the weights and rode the mountain\road bike (with slicks). Three days in a row with one day off. 10-15-20-15-10 mile intervals. I got some Pedialite the week of the race. For someone who dosen't eat salt, this shyt was pretty salty. Chugged it anyway the day before the race. Raceday, big breakfast. Plenty of bannanas. Camelback 1/2 h20 and P-lite. I took 2 Powerbar gel packs & beef jerkey with me. I have no idea to which any of these things helped, but it worked. Thanks for all who replyed! I never felt ANY cramping in my legs till mile 50 or so. I must add I was pretty shot at this time, but I had to keep going. The Powerbar gel packs are loaded with caffeine, which is supposed to be bad, but I have no reason to not use them again. I could feel them kicking in. Best feeling I had today was showing up where we were parked. Utter disbelief that I finished. These are my coaches. Smashed header pipe was finished on mile 6. Crash crew was done on mile 50. Sometimes not saying anything is better than talking shyt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the pedialyte trick works for me. one half container night before and one half right before the race. i find that I am not that thirsty and dont even finish my camelback.

I also eat a bananna at breakfast to settle my stomach.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buggo,

You mention something I have a problem with. Not cramping but a generally tired, kind of lazy, feeling during the race.

Does this product help with that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×