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  1. #1
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    Hitting a 6-hour wall

    Tried all sorts of food, drink, and training combinations but still find myself going into survival mode after about 6 hours. Iíve successively completed a 12-hour fun/torture ride in extreme heat but took plenty of long breaks along the way. Now, for the 1st time, Iím trying to prepare a 12-hour solo race. The problem surfaces when pushing for a good pace and time. Iím training like crazy and eating super healthy. Is anyone else dealing with this issue? At 46 Iím an old dude for sure but Iím in pretty good health, no weight issues or any other known probs. Anyone had to deal with this issue? If so, please share the fix with me.

    And while I'm at it... What the heck is the difference in Endurance XC Racing vs. XC Racing and Training? Seems like pretty much the same thing to me?

  2. #2
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    Hope

    Firstly I think you would get more responses in the XC rac/training section.

    What does your training week look like, you don't have to train for 6 - 12hrs to race for 6 -12hrs. Many who do these events struggle to get at least 1 good ~4hr or longer ride in each week but are training everyday and sometimes 2wice a day to get the volume in.
    2 things that got me to break the 6hr barrier was better/slower pacing which also allowed me to consume more calories, I would striggle to get in 250 cal/hr now it's 300-400cal/hr depending on the food and ratio of glucose/fructose.
    Arriving at the 6hr mark in a fed and untrashed state makes things sooo much easier.
    I now smash out 2 or 3 6hr+ rides each month and at the end of them I will rip off 10 minutes at threshold as per the next level workout by Hunter Allen followed by a couple anarobic intervals and some 900 - 1200w 10 -30's sprints until I'm about to puke or pass out, their always fun!

    Think how easy a 6hr ride would be if you put your bike in your granny ring and easiest gear and rode for 6hrs..... apart from the sheer bordom how easy would that be? So it's not the time or the distance that is wrecking you it's the PACING and very likely you've run out of glycogen and are relying on what little calories you are consuming to continue,
    Running out of glycogen has a snowball effect that you CAN NOT come back from no matter how slow you go or how much you eat, best not to get to that point at least not until your about to cross the line.

    So to summarise there are only 2 reasons to hit the wall at 6hrs,

    Fatigue: you've gone out too hard at the start despite it "feeling' easy and over done it relative to your current fintness.

    Fuel: burnt through glycogen too early and not being conscious about constanly fueling to reduce the rate of glycogen depletion, if you get it right you will run out but will be close to the finish of your event.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy

    And while I'm at it... What the heck is the difference in Endurance XC Racing vs. XC Racing and Training? Seems like pretty much the same thing to me?
    It's the difference between training for the 5K and the marathon. Most XC races are relatively short intense efforts. The recent World Championships was 1.5 hr race and that was considered a long event. In terms of training, you absolutely have to figure out your nutrition and hydration for Endurance Racing. For an XC race you really only need to figure out hydration at best.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    Tried all sorts of food, drink, and training combinations but still find myself going into survival mode after about 6 hours.



    Sounds like typical 12/24 hour racing. Try longer training days once or twice a week and get the nutrition and hydration dialed in.

  5. #5
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    Well, I apologize. Obviously it seems that I went for the wrong section with this post. On the bright side, I got some great info. I wasnít sure where to post because I didnít understand the difference between Endurance XC Racing vs. XC Racing and Training. Bbence sort of cleared that up for me. I had no idea that a XC race would only be 1.5 hours. I still donít understand why this section has ďenduranceĒ in the title if the sport is focused on shorter (1.5hr) runs. Anyways, I do appreciate the clarification.

    Aussiebullett, excellent info! I spent a little time reading about this Hunter Allen fellow and may actually pick up one of his books. That was a fine example with regard to the granny gear analogy. Youíre probably right. Itís the pacing. You asked about my training week. Mostly single track, 3 times per week, 3 hrs per session. I also complete a longer ride about 3 times per month. Longer is normally a 6-7 hour ride. I throw in an occasional road ride just to mix it up a bit. Iíve honestly never even considered glycogen related problems. When running hard I take Hammer Endurolytes and energy drinks. I try to eat every hour. I have a pretty tough stomach. Almond butter sandwiches, grilled chicken breast sandwiches, and cliff bars seem to do the trick.

    BTW, I finished my 12-hour race and actually fared pretty well. I didnít seem to hit much of a 6-hour wall. This time it was a 10-hour wall. I seriously thought I was going to have to quit the race. I was completely out of energy. My legs were fine but my arms have never hurt so badly. Anyways, my buddy talked me into having a hamburger of all things and giving it all we got on the last 10mi lap. The last lap was actually pretty darn good. I even came home with a little prize money!

    Thanks fellows.

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    To me, that seems like some pretty heavy food you're fueling with. I've been told that how quickly you can absorb your fuel is at least as important as the type and quantity of fuel and that makes sense to me. A grilled chicken breast is not going to be absorbed very quickly and will take a lot of energy for your body to digest. So if you are taking in 300cal/hr of very slow digesting fuel, you may not actually realize those calories for 2-3hrs. Add another 300cal the next hour and you've absorbed maybe 150cal and have your stomach working overtime trying to process the remaining 450cal. I think you would be much better off switching the bulk of your calorie intake to something that is absorbed much more quickly.

  7. #7
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    I think you would be much better off switching the bulk of your calorie intake to something that is absorbed much more quickly
    .

    Thanks!! Youíre probably right. I was thinking that a bland chicken breast would digest rather easily if chewed well. Please give me some examples of what you would recommend instead. Meanwhile Iíll start researching the subject.

  8. #8
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    You say that you use Hammer. Have you tried Hammer Perpeteum? Works really well for me - very decent mix of carbs and some electrolytes. Also, I find it an hell of a lot easier to consumer than solids, meaning I use it more.

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    Have you tried Hammer Perpeteum?
    I havenít. Hammer makes great products; Iíll be sure to look into it. Are you really able to go 12hrs on that drink alone? Surly you have to add some solids in for a long haul right? Thanks!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    I havenít. Hammer makes great products; Iíll be sure to look into it. Are you really able to go 12hrs on that drink alone? Surly you have to add some solids in for a long haul right? Thanks!
    Pretty much did the whole 12 hours on perpetuem. I think I had some gummy bears at some point, but mainly for a change. Drinking constantly gets boring. Something to chew, however difficult, is sometimes nice!

  11. #11
    DLd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    Well, I apologize. Obviously it seems that I went for the wrong section with this post. On the bright side, I got some great info. I wasnít sure where to post because I didnít understand the difference between Endurance XC Racing vs. XC Racing and Training. Bbence sort of cleared that up for me. I had no idea that a XC race would only be 1.5 hours. I still donít understand why this section has ďenduranceĒ in the title if the sport is focused on shorter (1.5hr) runs. Anyways, I do appreciate the clarification.

    Aussiebullett, excellent info! I spent a little time reading about this Hunter Allen fellow and may actually pick up one of his books. That was a fine example with regard to the granny gear analogy. Youíre probably right. Itís the pacing. You asked about my training week. Mostly single track, 3 times per week, 3 hrs per session. I also complete a longer ride about 3 times per month. Longer is normally a 6-7 hour ride. I throw in an occasional road ride just to mix it up a bit. Iíve honestly never even considered glycogen related problems. When running hard I take Hammer Endurolytes and energy drinks. I try to eat every hour. I have a pretty tough stomach. Almond butter sandwiches, grilled chicken breast sandwiches, and cliff bars seem to do the trick.

    BTW, I finished my 12-hour race and actually fared pretty well. I didnít seem to hit much of a 6-hour wall. This time it was a 10-hour wall. I seriously thought I was going to have to quit the race. I was completely out of energy. My legs were fine but my arms have never hurt so badly. Anyways, my buddy talked me into having a hamburger of all things and giving it all we got on the last 10mi lap. The last lap was actually pretty darn good. I even came home with a little prize money!

    Thanks fellows.
    BTW, you are posting in the correct forum. The Endurance XC racing forum is for the longer races, generally about 3 hours and up. So 45 milers or so and more. The XC racing and training forum is for the shorter <2 hours usually races. Good job in your race.
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  12. #12
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    Sorry i dont have a solution but i can share my experiences.

    During every one and i mean all 8 of my 12-24hr solo races ive had crazy strong quad cramps in both legs when pedalling while seated. They always start between 4-5hr into the race and last for about 5-6hrs so during those 5-6hrs i just stand out of the saddle to do all my pedalling. Its wierd because my legs have all kinds of strength left in them but they cramp like I haven't had a drink of water in a week. Ive tried several different drink mixes and electrolite pill combos but regardless of what i use the cramps come and go like clockwork.

    Around the 10hr mark my legs start to fell a bit fatigued and loosen up then i can sit back in the saddle and start snipping away again. Once I get past that first block of cramping I never have to worry about them coming back so I'm able to push let as hard as I like. The cramps could just be the result of sever under training but whatever the reason i decided to go build a single speed since it seems i end up standing for half the race anyways.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    I havenít. Hammer makes great products; Iíll be sure to look into it. Are you really able to go 12hrs on that drink alone? Surly you have to add some solids in for a long haul right? Thanks!
    Ive used perpetum in the past for ultra runs but the taste always got to me and after 8 hrs i couldn't bring myself to drink anymore so i swapped to what the aid stations had to the remainder of the race. What i use now is accelerade and i works(for me at least) just as good as the perpetum but tastes great through the whole race if you change up the flavors once in awhile. Ive run 3 100 mile trail ultras and ridden 3 24hr solo mtb races on accelerade with a shot of coca cola every few hours during the night with no need for any solid fuel at all.

    Everyone is defferent in the what can their stomach hand for 24hr department and from the many people ive spoken to over the years I'm a bit of the oddity for 1. Being able to stomach accelerade for 24hr with not IG problems and 2. For not getting hungry and at least eating a few ritz crackers here and there.

    Just remember soda is bad for your and you shouldn't drink it unless your biking of running for more then 8 hrs. Then it magically becomes Pepto Bismol with caffeine and can solves nearly all stomach and drowsiness problems.

  14. #14
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    Hitting a 6-hour wall

    I agree with whoever said pacing is the problem. Assuming you are trained for event, 5-6 hours is where you should passing people like crazy that went out too fast. Let them go at the start and smile knowing you'll see them again in a few hours.


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    Great info fellows! Glad I posted here. I'll be giving perpetum a try soon. Thanks for the schooling!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trophy View Post
    .

    Thanks!! Youíre probably right. I was thinking that a bland chicken breast would digest rather easily if chewed well. Please give me some examples of what you would recommend instead. Meanwhile Iíll start researching the subject.
    I use TailWind at about 250cal/24oz. This served me well for the Hampshire 100k. I finished in under 7hrs on a single speed with a rather spinney 32/21 gear and very little training. I felt pretty good for the majority of the ride, though I did crave something crunchy around 5hrs in. Aside from the TailWind, I only consumed 2 Gu packs, so 90% of my calories came from the bottles.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by solo-x View Post
    I use TailWind at about 250cal/24oz. This served me well for the Hampshire 100k. I finished in under 7hrs on a single speed with a rather spinney 32/21 gear and very little training. I felt pretty good for the majority of the ride, though I did crave something crunchy around 5hrs in. Aside from the TailWind, I only consumed 2 Gu packs, so 90% of my calories came from the bottles.
    I used Tailwind all this year, starting with a 24 solo at Old Pueblo. I did several quite long efforts on nothing but Tailwind, most notably a Vapor Trail 125 ITT. I brought Tailwind powder and a Steripen. Sterilized creekwater and tailwind kept me strong for that 23 hour effort.

    Nothing's going to work for everybody. You gotta try your own things until you find what works. But for me, Tailwind satisfies all my nutrition needs. I don't crave any solid food, and I don't get hungry or hit a wall as long as I maintain steady calorie and hydration supply.

    I have long been a fan of Hammer Products, and HEED + Gels used to be my thing. Except I had to supplement with salt, and there was a limit to how long I could go without something else. I never could tolerate Perpetuum or Sustained Energy. I tried it, my body hated it.

    But like I say, you gotta find your thing. Nothing works for everybody.
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  18. #18
    DLd
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    I also just used Tailwind for a 6 hour. Worked great. I felt like doing another lap.

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