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  1. #1
    How much further ???
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    Having some doubt about the PPP 50

    So I have been working toward riding in the Picket Post Punisher in early Nov which would be my first AES ride. Ive gotten 216 miles and 18000 vertical ft in the last 30 days but Im fearing this isnt enough. 3 young kids and a new job are making getting out much more difficult.

    So I went out to ride the southern loop of the 50 mile course today following Freeskiers GPX track. Ive also ridden the Whitford Canyon portion of the northern loop. Here are my observations.

    1) I've severely underestimated the forest roads/jeep trails. I though they would be easier and actually a much easier option over single track for the big climbing portions of the route. Not so for me. Telegraph Rd was brutal. Rideable but unrelenting, steep, and loose. I didn't plan on the double track portions taking so much effort and it really took much more out of me then I would have ever expected.

    2) The downhill sections provide no real advantage. I usually expect that the DH sections are almost free miles. Just use gravity and take a break. But Ive found this to just not be true on this route. The northern part of the AZT is so under ridden ( I swear more cows have used the trail then bikers or hikers combined) , over grown, loose, and at times non existent, that even if the elevation profile shows you are heading down it is still slow going. Navigating through the Whitford slot canyon was more of an exercise in "where is the cairn" than any sort of riding.

    3) I have horrible electrolyte management. The past 2 rides I have cramped about 1 1/2 to 2 hours in. It usually starts with little short lived cramps on each pedal stroke if Im pedaling in a high torque situation. Today I got 1 full out quad cramp which brought me to my knees. I have tried to really address this after the first time but failed again today. Im not sure what Im doing wrong. Here was my diet this morning.

    Pre ride breakfast:

    Breakfast burrito
    banana
    Clifbar
    Rockstar coffee energy drink
    GNC sports drink with electrolytes
    4 capsules of Hammer Anti Fatigue

    During:
    1 serving of hammer perpetuem per hour
    1 serving of hammer power shot
    3 capsules of Hammer endurolytes
    1 capsule Hammer Anti Fatigue
    1 serving of Clif shot blok
    small sips off of camel bak

    All this and 1 1/2 hours in and both my quads were cramping. WTF and I doing wrong? I felt great energy wise. Actually got a second wind 2 1/2 hours in but if I ever pushed it too hard I would feel my legs starting to cramp again.

    Im starting to think I may be in over my head.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  2. #2
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    I really don't have much to add about your cramps, other than I feel that replacing the energy drink with a dairy based protein shake may be better? Perhaps not enough protein pre ride?

    I used to get cramps on long rides, but regular leg weight training has helped me a ton.

    I don't want to hijack the thread, just mainly curious how parents find the time to ride. I have a 2 year old, work in day, wife works nights and Saturday mornings. Mainly ride solo as I don't want to be a burden and mess with others schedules. Just curious how some find the time really.

    Good luck with the training. I'm sure you'll do fine. You seem driven enough, that's for sure.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  3. #3
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    Douger-1 :
    I have nothing to offer you other than my admiration, and hope that you find a way to beat the cramps. Normally the mind gives up before the body.

    Quote Originally Posted by tysonnemb View Post
    I don't want to hijack the thread, just mainly curious how parents find the time to ride. I have a 2 year old, work in day, wife works nights and Saturday mornings. Mainly ride solo as I don't want to be a burden and mess with others schedules. Just curious how some find the time really.
    .
    Start a new thread dedicated to your question.
    I think I'm not as good as I thought.

  4. #4
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    I used to get some hardcore cramps, mostly on long road rides. I have had success with the product Sport Legs which my friend swears by. Give it a try its like 2 bucks for a sample pack some shops have em and give em for free just to try and get you to buy a $25 bottle of them. . . call around I just buy them online though

  5. #5
    livin' the dream......
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    Total speculation here:

    I don't think you have an electrolyte issue, you seem to have that covered. You have put a lot of effort in, are you recovering properly (rest vs. recoverite)? What was your riding volume like prior to the last 30 days? If you made a big jump 30 days ago, and have not rested up, this may be why you are having issues with the quads.

  6. #6
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    I probably went from 1 to 2, 10-15 mile rides per week to 2, 16 miles rides during the week and 1, 20-30 mile ride on the weekend. The thing is those two 16 mile rides are at Usery since I have to get the ride in before work. Its a nice way to get max miles for min time. I actually feel Im not getting enough riding in. I dunno.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  7. #7
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    Man, that seems like PLENTY of electrolytes to me. I typically use even less (I'm terrible about keeping my intake up) but I don't normally feel cramps unless the ride goes well over 3 hrs. I do prefer to use a mix of Endurolyte tablets and a bottle of either EFS or Endurolyte Fizz. I have had good results with Muscle Milk as well but only as a recovery drink (kinda thick for me during a ride).
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tysonnemb View Post
    I don't want to hijack the thread, just mainly curious how parents find the time to ride. I have a 2 year old, work in day, wife works nights and Saturday mornings. Mainly ride solo as I don't want to be a burden and mess with others schedules. Just curious how some find the time really.

    Good luck with the training. I'm sure you'll do fine. You seem driven enough, that's for sure.
    Up at 4:20 every day and done riding by 6:30 on weekdays.

    Op, what's your weight? Seems like u need more calories.

  9. #9
    DFL>DNF>DNS
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    Doug,
    Glad to see you're making a real effort to bump up the miles. I'll let the others chime in on the cramping issues, I'm afraid I wouldn't be of much help there. I'm like Kenbentit & don't really track my intake like I know I should.

    Not all dirt roads are created equal, huh? FR650 on the upper loop is pretty tame, just a bunch of climbing. FR4 will test your mettle at that point of the race.

    Now you know why we are planning a trail work day (or two) on that upper section of the course!! These routes are designed to put the 'E' in AES!! Part of the challenge with these events is the route finding, it's all part of the equation. These routes will not only test your physical ability but your mental stamina as well. Many a strong rider will DNF if they can't get over those mental hurdles during the course of an 8+ hour day. Personally, timing in these events is secondary, (mostly because I finish near or at the back of the pack!) I get my satisfaction from crossing the finish line knowing that I could endure whatever the course could dish out.

    Hopefully you'll get your cramping issue under control. Your mileage seems fine to me. I ride a similar amount. My last 30 days look like this: 10 rides, 160 miles, 18,300' climbing. (I'm typically in the 200-250 mile range) Just keep doing what you're doing and go for it.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  10. #10
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    Re: Having some doubt about the PPP 50

    I commute to work by bike to help me cram more miles in and do two things at once. Endurolytes have helped me with cramps in the past but ymmv. I agree with your assessment of the North section of az, the trail is buried in foliage for the first bit at the top and the catclaw is vicious. I didn't have an issue finding the cairns though coming down from the top of the mountain today. Endurance training and time with family is quite a juggling act.

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

  11. #11
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    Re: Having some doubt about the PPP 50

    Also, haven't done a lot of mtb endurance events but have done a lot of road events. The name of the game is keeping the heartrate out of the upper zones as much as possible and sometimes that means slowing down or even walking a spell on steep stuff. It's all about winning the war and not necessarily looking good in an individual battle/hill.

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 2

  12. #12
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    Douger- I would eliminate the Rockstar. Too much sugar. My cramping usually occurs from not enough potassium. Try eating a couple bananas the day before. Fueling for a ride over 20 miles in my opinion starts a few days prior to the actual pedal strokes. A potassium supplement may help too. Sport legs- used to use them and they did work, but I found with a better week long diet I could get by without the extra expense.

    Another big causal factor in cramping and soreness/pain on the bike is fitting. If you have never had a fit from a good shop, you may want to try it. Also if you have in the past, it sounds like you have raised your fitness quite a bit, fit again. Your body and its flexability change when you get stronger on the bike.

    Good luck. I just figured out after three weeks of left ankle suddenly stiffened up and locked on a couple rides that my cleat on the left side shifted slightly.
    Find a ride on FB> AZ MTB

    "Uppercase with a space"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    Douger- I would eliminate the Rockstar. Too much sugar. My cramping usually occurs from not enough potassium. Try eating a couple bananas the day before. Fueling for a ride over 20 miles in my opinion starts a few days prior to the actual pedal strokes. A potassium supplement may help too. Sport legs- used to use them and they did work, but I found with a better week long diet I could get by without the extra expense.

    Another big causal factor in cramping and soreness/pain on the bike is fitting. If you have never had a fit from a good shop, you may want to try it. Also if you have in the past, it sounds like you have raised your fitness quite a bit, fit again. Your body and its flexability change when you get stronger on the bike.

    Good luck. I just figured out after three weeks of left ankle suddenly stiffened up and locked on a couple rides that my cleat on the left side shifted slightly.
    CSTEM speaks wisdom about the bike fit issue. Knee's ankles, back and general endurance on the bike. Not to mention just an increased level of comfort on long days. I have had all my bikes to CYCLOLOGIC Our Mission | Cyclologic It is many levels above a Specialized BG fit.

    My watts are up, comfort up, knee's good. I cannot imaging NOT doing an advanced fit.

    Regards,

    Steve
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  14. #14
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    193 lbs. Ive been targeting 350-400ish calories per hour.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  15. #15
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    Its funny you say that because I started having some serious issues with tingling in my hands and some pretty bad left wrist and lower arm pain. I have the Ergon grips but I must have never ridden enough miles consistently to expose the issue. The pain got so bad in my left wrist/arm it would keep me up at night. A slight adjustment has all but eliminated the pain. No tingling or pain on my ride today at all.
    It sucks when it happens and its frustrating but I find it so interesting how these longer rides expose issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Even though it hurts and downright sucks at times Im really enjoying the learning process.

    Oh the Rockstar isnt a normal thing. I wanted to keep this going this morning and didn't feel like setting the coffee machine.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  16. #16
    Break it, Fix it, Ride it
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    I'd say larger sips off the camelback. I'm a water hog, and a paced rider, as in slow paced, and I rarely cramp. I enjoy being able to drink about as much water as I want. For some longer AES rides I've bee known to take 220oz. Maybe stop and take some pics to give the legs a breather. Don't sweat the ride. Do what you can, know your bailouts. You can easily surprise yourself. Your pre-riding sounds about par. I've been biking to work, doing about 60 miles a week and have recently gotten on the MTB again. I'm pushing up those miles and vert feet looking get in on the PPP as well. I think it'll be doable. Confidence and luck can get you pretty far.
    Today's the day I eat bikes.

  17. #17
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    It's been mentioned above a bit, but I've found that pushing way to hard will lead to cramps. If you're trying to ride every tough uphill obstacle, contracting your leg muscles very intensely, it will lead to cramping. Obviously if you don't have the hydration and nutrition stuff down, it will make it worse.
    I rarely cramp anymore in endurace events, but will jump off and HAB instead of burning those matches really early in a race.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
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  18. #18
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    Try using water bottles instead of a camelback, then fill bottles with water from camelback.
    It's probably just me, but I find it harder to get the amount of water I need sucking on hose from camelback, trying to breath and drink, while riding, then just using a water bottle. If I use water bottles I can get a larger quantity of water, and quicker than from a camelback?
    See if this helps out, and if you drink more on your rides?

  19. #19
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    Were you dehydrated?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    Its funny you say that because I started having some serious issues with tingling in my hands and some pretty bad left wrist and lower arm pain. I have the Ergon grips but I must have never ridden enough miles consistently to expose the issue. The pain got so bad in my left wrist/arm it would keep me up at night. A slight adjustment has all but eliminated the pain. No tingling or pain on my ride today at all.
    It sucks when it happens and its frustrating but I find it so interesting how these longer rides expose issues that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Even though it hurts and downright sucks at times Im really enjoying the learning process.

    Oh the Rockstar isnt a normal thing. I wanted to keep this going this morning and didn't feel like setting the coffee machine.
    I was amazed at the really small, seemingly insignificant adjustments that make a huge difference. On my road bike: My, on bike measured leg length, right leg is 3mm shorter. They shimmed my Speedplay cleat 3mm only on the right side. Not an issue on my MTB.

    They have a seat "pressure sensing pad" which shows your weight distribution on the bike. Most cyclist ride a too narrow saddle. Mine were, 143MM. all now 155MM. You naturally malrotate your hips to compensate for uneven seat pressure causing your effective leg length on the bike to change and be un-even side to side.

    I also have 2mm spacers under my shoe insoles just in the toe box to change the pedaling angle of your feet at the bottom of your pedal stroke.

    For riding 2-3 hours on the weekends these thing are probably un-important other than perhaps a minor discomfort towards the end of the day. 6-7 hours and more, every little thing is magnified by a factor of ?

    Just my .02

    Steve
    Drinkin the S-Works Kool-aid

  21. #21
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    I would say no but who knows. I felt great, otherwise. No post-ride bonk later in the day although my right quad is still soar today from the cramp.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  22. #22
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    I think you may be on to something. Traditionally Im the type of rider who's main objective was to never dab. I would always pride myself on being able to ride "Everything" regardless of the cost in energy. Now that's not to say I can clean everything but I sure as always heck try. I've realized I have to change my mindset for the endurance stuff but its hard to teach an old dog new tricks. There is a section on FR4 that is a steep slab of rock that I tried to ride up. I got about half way up but had to stop because I had nothing left. (Come to think of it I only started cramping after this point). I guess what Im hearing is that this is probably not a good decision. So when you guys come up to a steep section like this do you even attempt it or just hop off and walk it?
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  23. #23
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    Re: Having some doubt about the PPP 50

    I had to walk a few pitches going up the switchbacks on Montana mtn yesterday to keep my hr under wraps and it worked well as I still had energy at the end. I was surprised to find I wasn't the slowest on some of the strava segments either so I doubt I'm the only one. Some of the grades on that road are seriously steep. Glad it we won't be climbing it at the end of the day.

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  24. #24
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    On longer rides I have no problem walking stuff that I'd normally view as a cool challenge. The added effort just builds on itself and wears me out so I just let it go and focus on the long term goal. I even tend to walk some of the climbs that aren't all that difficult, anything to conserve energy.
    Desert Sunset Calls/Upward, Pain, Perseverance/Welcome Solitude

  25. #25
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    HAB is not a sin if it saves energy. You use different muscles when walking and that can save energy for your "riding" muscles and combat some fatigue. A good example is the Fire on the Rim race last week. The first climb was 3 miles long non stop and gained a little over 1500' with many pitches in excess of 15%. I had learned on the SS that if I am riding slower than 3 mph that I can walk just as fast. It brought down my HR some and saved some energy for the remaining climbs. With a loaded down bike, I am not sure how fast it can be pushed though, so take it with a grain of salt.
    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    I think you may be on to something. Traditionally Im the type of rider who's main objective was to never dab. I would always pride myself on being able to ride "Everything" regardless of the cost in energy. Now that's not to say I can clean everything but I sure as always heck try. I've realized I have to change my mindset for the endurance stuff but its hard to teach an old dog new tricks. There is a section on FR4 that is a steep slab of rock that I tried to ride up. I got about half way up but had to stop because I had nothing left. (Come to think of it I only started cramping after this point). I guess what Im hearing is that this is probably not a good decision. So when you guys come up to a steep section like this do you even attempt it or just hop off and walk it?
    Find a ride on FB> AZ MTB

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