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  1. #1
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    ibuprofen during races?

    Hi Guys,
    I'm thinking that pain in my shoulders will be my undoing in my upcoming 24 hour solo attempt, not my legs. It's a dull ache that comes on after about 3 or 4 hours on the bike...my cockpit is set up fine and I've been working my shoulders and back all winter so I'm going to have to just deal with it. So I'm wondering if you guys dose up on the ibuprofen during races? If so how many and how often?
    thanks,
    Zach

  2. #2
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    Seems like a really, really bad idea. Despite your best efforts in a race like that your hydration is going to be weird. Seems like popping the Masters Candy throughout would be asking a lot of your kidneys given all the other physiological stresses.
    "Bikes aren't fast--people are fast. Bikes are overpriced. It's an important distinction."---BikeSnob NYC

  3. #3
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    I've been known to pop 2-4 of the OTC sized offerings roughly every 4 hours as a pean to the rock gods when I ride Enduros. Grant B's physiologically valid point aside, if you're committed to performing with minimal pain NSAIDs are an option, and you wouldn't be the first, nor last to use, nor likely to die from judicious use.

  4. #4
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    When I did the Shenandoah Mountain 100 last year, I took a BC headache powder every checkpoint. I honestly think it worked to keep any pain to include pain in my legs to a minimum. I didnt suffer any ill effects from it.

  5. #5
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    The first 24 Solo I ever did someone suggested that NSAID's were a requirement to be competitive. I listened to that racer and it was a mistake. 24hrs after the race finished I ended up in the Emerg with internal bleeding due to the corrosive nature of NSAID's, (Google NSAID and gastrointestinal ulceration).

    Eighteen 24hr Solo races later and I've learned a thing or two, in my opinion you should skip the Ibuprofen.

  6. #6
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    I'll take a couple of buffered aspirin about 4 hours into a long race. I've never had any issues.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrea138 View Post
    I'll take a couple of buffered aspirin about 4 hours into a long race. I've never had any issues.
    Same for me, at about the 5 or 6 hour point. Don't know exactly why, but I've always favored the buffered aspirin option.
    The drive towards achievement and success is the motive power of civilization.

  8. #8
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    Ibuprofen + dehydration = kidney failure.
    Google ibuprofen and endurance racing or marathon training.

  9. #9
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    another no vote

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach75 View Post
    Hi Guys,
    I'm thinking that pain in my shoulders will be my undoing in my upcoming 24 hour solo attempt, not my legs. It's a dull ache that comes on after about 3 or 4 hours on the bike...my cockpit is set up fine and I've been working my shoulders and back all winter so I'm going to have to just deal with it. So I'm wondering if you guys dose up on the ibuprofen during races? If so how many and how often?
    thanks,
    Zach
    I do not take anything to dull pain when I'm racing, and I don't start hitting that bottle until I have peed twice during my recovery.

    Honestly, I have gotten to where I rarely take NSAIDs unless I need them, racing or otherwise. A real benefit of that is that when I really need it, the effectiveness is enhanced by the fact that my body isn't accustomed to them.

    I know lots of endurance racers who take what I consider to be a ton of ibuprofren while they are riding. I have known of a couple really bad outcomes. One friend used it on a huge effort and not only felt like he needed to go to the ER because of dizziness and nausea, but also hurt his back during that effort and spent 4-6 months getting over it. Might he have not hurt his back if he had felt the pain that was an effect of the damage he was inflicting? Maybe so.

    Nobody likes pain, but I'd just as soon feel what's going on so I don't do serious damage to my body. I find that it's a part of the experience. I will say to myself, "this is uncomfortable"; acknowledge it, and then just be with it. If I ever get pain that I can't tolerate, that will be my sign that I either need to stop and rest, try to resolve what's hurting, or just walk away from the effort. Intolerable pain is a sign that you are damaging yourself in a way that could be long term.

    My $.02

    EDIT: You say your cockpit is set up fine, how do you know? Lots of racer types are convinced that their bars have to be really low to be fast. From my own experience, that dogma is among the richest and most aromatic BS in all of cycling. Comfortable is fast. I can sit my bike almost indefinitely. That's faster than being forced to stop even when your legs have more to give because your back or shoulders hurt.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  10. #10
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    NSAIDs also negate the training effect of exercise. Inflammation coming from exercise induced tissue damage is the basis of the training effect (increased vascularization and strengthened muscle fibers) and attenuating that response with NSAIDS just negated your efforts. Like TomP said -- judicious use of NSAIDs is the way to go, and that means NOT while you're racing or training (if at all possible) for both performance and safety reasons.

  11. #11
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    Hey Guys,
    Thanks for all the well thought out and detailed replies. Being super inflexible I've long since gotten rid of the racy bar/seat height set ups, and now run nearly level on both my road and MTB's...much comfier!

    And, I have now totally re-thought my use of pain relief during the race!
    thanks,
    Zach

  12. #12
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    higher is comfier

    Quote Originally Posted by Zach75 View Post
    Hey Guys,
    Thanks for all the well thought out and detailed replies. Being super inflexible I've long since gotten rid of the racy bar/seat height set ups, and now run nearly level on both my road and MTB's...much comfier! ...
    I go about 1-2" higher handlebar grips than saddle. MUCH comfier.

    My current endurance rig:

    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  13. #13
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    A while back my Sports Medicine Doc told me to never take any NSAID during an event, becasue "you may not know you are doing harm, and the NSAID may mask the pain that is telling you something is wrong..."


    I save mine till after the event.


    .
    .




    .

  14. #14
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    I have had good results with taking a couple of Tylonel (acetaminophen)

    at the half way point in a few races that were back beaters. As far as I know, it doesn't affect the kidneys.
    B

  15. #15
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    Again, everything in moderation. Too much liquid uptake during a race could kill you also, soooooo!

  16. #16
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    Won't comment on the risks but I took one Ibuprofen half way through a six hour race last year when my back was aching pretty badly and it helped massively.

  17. #17
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    Does that make it a performance enhancing drug? I think weed would safer option.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtboz View Post
    Does that make it a performance enhancing drug? I think weed would safer option.
    I can only imagine that toking up 16 hours into a 24 hour race would result in a person sitting down "just for a minute", eating half a pizza, and passing out in said lawn chair for the remainder of the race. Even if they did manage to get back on the bike I reckon their cognitive level wouldn't be at its highest due to both the fatigue and the haze.

    btw, I'm not anti-bud in any way, but there are some situations where it just doesn't seem appropriate.

  19. #19
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    Just to keep the knees and back and everything happy, I've popped one aleve before a 6-8 hour race and then one after. No issues here. Don't go crazy on it, and 1 aleve won't "stop pain", it will just help ease any inflammation.

    -Tom

  20. #20
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    I take 3 anvil pills 2hrs into any endurance race....that's about it. I may take another 2 six hrs later if I have pain, but usually not

  21. #21
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    Let me just echo something that's already been said. DO NOT take NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen, etc...) in an event where prolonged dehydration is likely. Lots of pharmacology involved here, but suffice it to say that the combination leads to significantly decreased blood flow to the nephrons of the kidney right at a time when they are at peak demand. To those who say they've done it in the past and have done just fine, the trick is the damage is incremental and builds over time. The kidney is one of those organs that will take a joke for a little while before it calls it quits. So you probably won't know the amount of damage your doing until you either have problems or you get a random blood test, by which time its too late, the process is irreversible. I'm a physician and over the past 15 years I've taken care of 3 former endurance athletes (all trigeeks-knuckleheads) who were undergoing either a procedure preparing them for hemodialysis or getting a kidney transplant. Common factor to all of them was, you guessed it, avid NSAID use during competition.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by roscar View Post
    Let me just echo something that's already been said. DO NOT take NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, aspirin, ketoprofen, etc...) in an event where prolonged dehydration is likely. Lots of pharmacology involved here, but suffice it to say that the combination leads to significantly decreased blood flow to the nephrons of the kidney right at a time when they are at peak demand. To those who say they've done it in the past and have done just fine, the trick is the damage is incremental and builds over time. The kidney is one of those organs that will take a joke for a little while before it calls it quits. So you probably won't know the amount of damage your doing until you either have problems or you get a random blood test, by which time its too late, the process is irreversible. I'm a physician and over the past 15 years I've taken care of 3 former endurance athletes (all trigeeks-knuckleheads) who were undergoing either a procedure preparing them for hemodialysis or getting a kidney transplant. Common factor to all of them was, you guessed it, avid NSAID use during competition.
    Your comment falls in line with my research on this subject over the last few years. It also aligns with the conversations I've had with several physicians who work with higher level/endurance athletes.

  23. #23
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    I start every endurance race with a pair of ibuprofen and a caffeine pill. I have a nagging pain that develops in my right trapezius after about 5-6 hours into a race. Yes, I have my bike set up properly but have a AC separation on that side which I suspect is the cause. This pain is my #1 limiter in my race performance. I do strength training specifically target this area, which helps but does not completely eliminate. I have found that a pair of Advil every few hours and some occasional sports rub in the area helps keep the pain under control.

    Long story short, I don't think a pair of Advil every few hours is excessive. I have had no ill effects with this approach. YMMV of course, so always try something in training before trying it in competition.

  24. #24
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    I have done some long multiday bike packing trips lately and have been taking hammer joint and tissue rejuvinator capsules along with fish oil and coconut cream pie laura bars for inflamation control. The laura bar has extra virgin coconut oil which is good fuel and keeps your joints lubed. I'm no doctor I just try different things during long rides to see what works for me. Taking those supplements when your not riding helps also.

  25. #25
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    You can donate a kidney. You only need 1. Donating a kidney to someone in need is perhaps noble but to give both away to chronic sub clinical nephron loss is stupid.

    But if you're taking NSAIDs and racing endurance events, you really need to rethink the conclusion that there are no ill effects from taking NSAIDs while dehydrated because I feel fine today.

    The inernet is like a bathroom wall and everyone has a marker... for serious issues do a little research on medical sites.

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