Monday, July 6, 2015

Heat and Leg Cramps

Last Wednesday (July 1st), I rode 58.5 miles with my frequent riding buddy Tom. We rode out to (and around) Hauser Lake, just inside the border of Idaho, which was a beautiful area. Even though we started riding at 9:45am, it was hot. About 40 miles into the ride, I started feeling my left calf spasming, like it was getting ready to cramp. I ate a gel every hour or so and drank both water and Powerade, but the heat was starting to do a number on me. We stopped briefly just 3 or 4 miles from the end of the ride, where I dismounted and stretched. We decided to just spin easily to the end. It was working until a mere half mile from the finish. At that point, going up a slight uphill, both of my quads violently cramped, causing me to jump out of my saddle. I couldn't bend my knees and was in a good deal of pain. I managed to lean over and get off the bike, roll to the side of the trail and lay down. Tom gave me a couple of electrolyte/sodium capsules. They seemed to kick in fairly quickly, allowing me to hop back on the bike and finish the ride. It was close to 100°f at that point. Once home, I took a 15 minute ice bath.

It was a challenging, but enjoyable, ride. It's becoming obvious that my body doesn't deal well with heat. Whenever I've had cramping issues, it's been on hot days. I just purchased some S-Caps, which I'll be taking during hot rides from now on.

Train hard, but train smart!

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