For the past few weeks, I have had no trouble doing 10 miles off-road.
Today, the temperature was 5-10 degrees higher at 80 F.
I went out and was overheated within 1 1/2 miles of easy trail.
Moreover, I tried hopping, and riding very rough terrain, and was reduced to taking 10-15 minute breaks.
At one point, I almost blacked out (and I don’t do that).
After the 6 mile ride, I came home and felt pretty sick. I just laid out on the bed and made sure I didn’t throw up.
It was dramatic and unexpected. The good thing from this ride was that I finally broke 1000 miles on my odometer.
What I’ve tried:
. I drank a lot of water before the ride and during the breaks.
. I tried relaxing as much as I could while riding to conserve energy and reduce heat.
. I tried taking long breaks.
None of that helped, however, I was able to feel “normal” while playing around under the shade of a bridge.
[After feeling bad for hours, and drinking more water. I eventually recovered by drinking a rum & coke and taking some advil with it. I felt better almost immediately. Not sure which substance helped. Later I drank and additional beer and felt completely normal again. I understand that the drinking is not the ideal solution - especially since it won’t help on the ride. ]
I’m hoping that someone (perhaps Gizmoduck or Aspenmike) here has tips on how to reduce or eliminate this problem.
It sounds like your low on electrolites. For every bottle of water you drink you should drink a bottle of gatorade (powdered is cheap!) or some other energy drink. It doesn’t matter how much water you drink if you are low on electrolites. That’ll cause a headache, nausea, overheating no problem.
btw, alcohol dehydrates you. You felt better because of the electrolytes in the coke and beer.
It could be that you were low on electrolytes that day and that you had sweated out a lot of salt.
When I get low on electrolytes it can feel like I’m getting the bonk or hitting the wall. No energy. No recovery. No stamina. Feel a little woozy. Start to UPD a lot on easy terrain. I’ve never gotten a headache though or nausea, but different people get different symptoms.
I now take a couple of Lava Salts capsules with me for electrolyte replacement. If I’m sweating normally I’ll take about one capsule per hour, which seems to work for me. If it’s hot out I’ll take more.
I don’t like putting Gatorade or other sports drinks in my hydration pack because they get the bladder all gunky. Instead I take the salt in pill form. Works well for me. I find the Lava Salts to be very convenient.
Different people need different amounts of salt. Some people sweat out a lot of salt while others don’t sweat out much salt at all. I’m one of the people that sweats out a lot of salt. After a ride my face can be caked with salt and my armor gets salt marks too like they were soaking in The Great Salt Lake. The trick is to find out how much salt it is that you need and to learn to recognize the symptoms that your body is getting low on electrolytes. Then consume enough electrolytes during the ride to keep things in balance.
Of course it could be due to something other than low electrolytes too. You could have actually hit the bonk but that’s unlikely that early into the ride unless you were fasting before the ride. The bonk is when your body runs out of glycogen for energy and switches over to burning fat and protein for energy. It’s different than running low on electrolytes but the symptoms can be similar.
If you finish a ride, chug a Gatorade and find that the Gatorade tastes really really good then it’s likely that your body was craving the salt in the Gatorade. That’s a sign that you should have consumed more electrolytes during the ride. If you suspect you ran low on electrolytes then try the Lava Salts and keep a couple of extra Lava Salts capsules in your riding kit for emergencies just in case.
sounds like you bonked pretty good. seager and john are right. more electrolytes, or more food would have helped you out a bunch. i’m with john on the water only in the camel back. so i drink a coke or some gatorade or something before a long ride, and if it gonna be really long i take some food. usually some candy or something like peanuts.
I would say that you are just plain out of shape. I am not talking ‘couch potatoe’ out of shape. Of course, that does not apply to you, but everything is relative.
My advise (if you are not doing this already): Get off the uni 3-4 times a week and go for a jog, lift some weights, etc. The uni is good exercise, but it is not the best way to get in great physical shape.
To add what to what John said, make sure whatever electrolyte replacement you use is also high in potassium. Your brain works of Na/K pumps, and if you get low on either one it kind of stops functioning. Potassium is just an important as sodium. It also helps with cramping - muscles need it.
He’s right about no gatorade in a hydration pack. I guess the distance biker in me forgot there are no bottles on unicycles :). Try prehydrating with gatorade (high in potasium and salt), water along the way, gatorade when you get back? Also, bananas will give you a fair amount.
. I think newtouni’s answer is wrong. I have been riding a lot. I may not be in super stellar shape, however, I was doing an activity that I have been doing every day in greater amounts. In other words, if I ride 10 miles a day on rougher terrian, why would I be “too out of shape” to ride 1/10 the distance on easy trail?
. I also forgot to mention that my dog got “bonked out” also. I take him with me on almost all of my rides. Typically, he can do 11 miles take a 30 minute break and bust out for more. He’s a large Weimaraner (big grey hunting dog from Germany). Well, even though he had water (and could lay down in a creek to cool off) he seemed to overheat also. He hid in the shade of some trees and struggled to put his chest in a tiny puddle to cool off. At that point, we’d only done about 2-3 miles. I notice he’s a lot better off in 40-60 degree temperatures. In the past, he’s overheated enough not to want to keep up, but I think that is at 90+ degrees (not 80).
. John_childs answer was amazingly accurate!!!
I am also one to sweat a lot of salt.
I didn’t have any electrolytes in my system because
I had been fasting
It was all good until it all caught up with me. I respect the answers and will do the things mentioned to correct the problem (using electrolytes/salt/). Thanks!
Still part of me feels like I should also learn to deal with the heat. Heat seemed to play a significant role (for the dog and I) although the Duke has been on a diet lately.
For now, I consider this problem solved.
However, if anyone has tips on dealing with heat specifically (besides what has been mentioned) I am eager to hear it.
Well, you will probably think I am wrong about the following as well, but I know of what I speak. I have done many +150 mile endurance foot races. These are self supported races were you have to carry your own food, water etc. in a pack. Some of those included crossing the Sahara (+125F heat) and Amazon Jungle (+100F with super high humidity). These things are pretty hard. So, I have some creditals.
For anything less than a hour or so, you shouldn’t have to worry much as long as you are not starved or thirsty at the start. Most food has enough salts, etc to get you by regardless of how much you sweat, etc for that amount of time.
Longer than a hour: the best (and cheapest) thing I have found to use is rock salt. You can buy a few ‘pounds’ for almost nothing at the local market. Carry a few rocks with you and suck on one or two every hour or so. Don’t overdo the salt (and you will know if you overdo it because you will fell sick). The salt will taste almost like candy going in when your body needs it. The salt will help you retain fluid, etc.
Next is food: I like Gu gel, but mostly use Payday candy bars. Yep, Payday. A ton of calories and some salt to boot. They have sugar for quick engery and protein (nuts) for the long haul. I also like them because you can get them anywhere (unlike the fancy high priced bars). Take in one every hour or so.
Next is to just get used to the heat by being in it. But… don’t hurt yourself.
The other advise is obvious: drink drink drink, water or Gatoraide or whatever works for you, wear a hat. Stuff that you probably already know and do anyway.
No. I didn’t know or do any of that (anymore). Thank you!
From your experience in the desert, is there anything that I can do besides ingesting?
(For example when I used to cycle for miles in 100 degree heat, I would soak my cotton t-shirt in water before starting and that seemed to help a bunch.) Are you suggesting to simply ride more in the heat to build up tolerance? Any other tips?
I probably already have all of the answers I need to get started, but I’m fishing for the magical answer to keep the heart from spiking in the first .4 miles again.
aclimate! that’s the best advice i can give. wear common sense type loose fitting clothes. or cycling gear that’s all breathable and wicking and stuff like that. other than that just get used to the heat. it takes about 6 weeks for you body to full adjust.
Yesterday was our hottest day yet and my wife and I hiked around for only an hour or so and one of our two dogs (who runs the whole time chasing anything and nothing), was really overheated afterwards. She panted heavily and was very uncomfortable for at least an hour afterwards. It wasn’t really that hot or humid, but she just wasn’t used to it yet. If I had ridden yesterday I would probably have been the same way, I go through that every spring.
On the same walk, we both wore jersey type shirts made of wicking material. I would never ride in anything but a jersey on a hot day, but I have always overlooked the obvious for other outdoor activities. We were both very comfortable, much more so than we would have been in cotton tee shirts.
Pre-hydrating with Gatorade makes a big difference for me. There have been other threads about it. I down a full quart right before the ride. If I don’t, it doesn’t seem to matter how much water I drink during the ride, I stay thirsty and get weak.
I think different people have different needs for electrolytes. I may try the Lava Salts product JC uses. My uncle was having blackouts and his doctor prescribed salt tablets, so I may beneifit from it.
Thanks for those tips Newtouni. By the way, will you always be new to uni?
I know that it is way off-topic and such, but I (for one) am deeply interested in hearing more about these events. At least point me to some websites or forums, etc. please.
I admit that running isn’t my thing (my flat feet, asthma, and short legs, lack of running talent have always played a role) but, much of the information you learned with these events could help us (the unicycle community) be more hard core.
I heard the heat index here was something like 94 degrees - and if that is correct, it partly explains why I malfunctioned.
If I tried the same things in plain 94 degree temps, I would have had the same results.
Next time I step out in 80 degree weather I will be better prepared for failures.
Thanks everyone for your tips and help!
I have definately changed my anti-ingestion opinion.
I’ve been dabbling with the eload hydration system. Done 200 miles this week on a roadbike and ran a 10 k and 5 k on my “days off”. I’m overtraining on purpose to challenge this hydration system because our shop is thinking of carrying it.
I’ve not had one sore or even heavy legged day this week. Which included riding 3 times in one day for commuting purposes. It’s a bit pricey but check it out. I’m becoming a believer. eload.net
You’ll see that the site suggests that you feel cooler. This part I’m not sure of because I’m used to heat and it hasn’t gotten hot (for what I consider hot) here yet.