How to survive the Hotter than Hell 100 bicycle race and live to tell about it – Part 1

Part 1:  How not to die of dehydration

Written by Brad our team Doctor (Okay, so he happens to be a Doctor that rides with us… details, details… he still knows what he is talking about!)

There are a lot of prevailing theories on how best to hydrate for an event such as the HHH so let’s break it down into its simplest terms:

1. It’s all about the day before:  hydrate your brains out 24 hours before the ride.  Use water or electrolyte solution.  If you are not drinking, then your not allowing the individual cells to retain the fluids that it will desperately need.
2. Avoid all caffeine for 24-48 hours prior to the ride.  Remember that caffeine is a mild diuretic (makes you urinate more) and obviously this is the opposite of what we need to be doing.
3. Take a multivitamin the day before and the day of the race.  If you cramp often, consider adding an OTC potassium tablet (8-10 meq should do) the day before and the day of your race.
4. Complex carbs the day before the ride to eat (pasta, rice, pizza).
5. Hydrate during the race.  I have observed that most riders under hydrate.  I plan on stopping at mile 25-30, 50, 70, and 90 miles.  Bring 3 bottles with you and make sure they are gone before you get to the rest stop.  The desire to drink decreases as your cardiac output increases so you have to remember to drink.  What’s the best solution?  There is great debate on this one but water vs electrolytes is probably a wash.  During extreme conditions (of which this will be) electrolytes show a 3-4% improvement in performance in elite athletes only (and we ain’t that except for Ron – Cat Racer extrodinaire).  I start out with 2 waters and one Gatorade and after the first stop I switch to 1 water and 2 gatorades.  Why?  Electrolyte solution doesn’t quench your thirst like water does and therefore your more likely to drink.  Also,  you’ll need the calories during a long event like this.
6. Are you urinating?  If the answer is no, then significantly increase the volume.  I want everyone screaming to pee at that first rest stop.
7. Pickle juice?  A trendy pick and has some merit but I wouldn’t try it for the first time on ride day.  It may upset your stomach and that is NOT where you want to be.  Also, it tends to turn off the desire to drink more.
8. Kick some ass…

So Chris our team test subject, tried this method during the Goatneck race and reported, that he had finished the race feeling better and faster then ever before.

Rumor has it, that he set up a shrine of worship with Brad’s picture on it.  Kind of strange…

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

August 24, 2010 Post Under Guides - Read More

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