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Body heat loss and effect on performance question(long)(9 posts)

Body heat loss and effect on performance question(long)spookyload
Sep 8, 2003 6:40 PM
I did the Enchanted Circle Century this weekend. It was a very nice 80 miles. Then a cold front blew in and the temp dropped to around 59F. Another five miles passed and the temp dropped another 5F and it started to drizzle. Well being the genius I normally am, I didn't have my rain jacket with me or arm warmers for that matter. So here I am in shorts and a short sleeve jersey in 55F temps in the drizzle. I noticed right away the next five miles my speed dropped from 18 to 15 mph over the same terrain. There was a rest stop at 10 miles to go, which was at the base of a 5 mile climb. I stopped, grabbed some oranges, took a big hit of hammer gel, drank two 8oz glasses of water and started back up again. I stopped for five minutes, most of which was in a porta potty so I could get out of the drizzle. The last ten miles was two miles of gentle climb followed by four miles of substantial climb, with a four mile descent to the finish.

My question is how much effect did the cold/wet take on the last ten miles of the ride? I could barely maintain 5mph up the climb. I was very couscious of hypothermia, though I could do nothing about it. My thoughts were to get a bunch of calories in to generate some energy. I felt great right up till the rain started. I mean I still felt real fresh. But the last 15 miles seemed to last forever. I won't tell you the agony the 40mph wet descent into the village was. At the bottom I couldn't even open my hand from the braking position right away.

On a side note, I noticed I didn't touch the water bottle for the last 20 miles when the cold front hit. Could the water deficit have taken the toll or was it the cold? My water intake was about 20oz an hour up to that point, and the temps were low 70's/high 60's all day. I have to say I have never been chilled to the bone like I was on Sunday. It was the most glorious ride up to that point, followed by the most savage 15 miles I have ever spent on a bike.
It's different for each personFred Fredricks
Sep 9, 2003 4:29 AM
I find I can really hammer (or at least feel like hammering) when it get cool and even drizzling. (50-60)

My speeds drop when it gets downright cold (< 40).

The drizzle may have caused your core temperature to drop so your body was reacting by spending it's energy producing heat vs. working the muscles. It could be you got somewhat dehydrated. When it is cold I tend not to drink as much even though my body is still using water. You can get dehydrated when it is cold. Did you weigh yourself after the ride?
I was there sufferin' too.theBreeze
Sep 9, 2003 5:48 AM
You are right, the first 80 miles were great, the last 20 miserable. I had arm warmers, a wind vest AND rain jacket, but it didn't seem to help much. No leg warmers tho. Those last 3-4 miles over the pass my legs felt like lead, but I didn't seem necessarily winded. It was more like my muscles were too cold to work efficiently, which is probably true. The descent into Red River was ugly, raining harder on that side when I came through. The combination of hypothermia, hypoxia (9K ft elev.) and hitting 3 miles of 8% grade 92 miles into a ride all played a part. Bobcat Pass is always hard at that point but the conditions addded another level of difficulty

Now you've got me really thinking. I am going to research through my textbooks and journals (I'm a fitness specialist and personal trainer) and maybe post on a couple trainer message boards for some references. If I get some good referenced info I'll pass it on.

So where did you come from for the ride? Local or a Texan like half the rest of the field? :)
I am from Albuquerquespookyload
Sep 9, 2003 5:56 AM
So the altitude wasn't an excuse I can use. I spend a lot of time going up Sandia Peak so I trapse into the high air a couple times a week. How about Red River? I thought they threw out the welcome mat like no other town I have seen for a cycling event.

Like you said, I wasn't winded at all for Bobcat, the legs just wouldn't work. What bike were you riding, you must have finished about the same time as me. The weather conditions sound exactly like I faced. On the positive note, I did manage to pass quite a few people on Bobcat, so I wasn't suffering as bad as some.
Riding a blue Gunnar Roadie, finished around 2:45PMtheBreeze
Sep 9, 2003 7:13 AM
Oh, and I'm a girl too.

I enjoyed the event over all. It's the first time I've made it up there for the Ench Circle. The rest stops could have been better marked, warning signs on the road or something. Sometimes it was hard to tell what was an official stop and what was a private sag. The folks at the Black Lake stop were GREAT.

If you really want to see a town put on a party for a cycling event go to Tucson for El Tour. It may not be quite the same scale as descriptions of Etape du Tour we've read here, but it still has lots of great friendly people and terrific organization.
I am already signed up!!spookyload
Sep 9, 2003 4:37 PM
I was riding the Ruby Weave Kestrel with a Ben and Jerry's jersey. I finished at about the same time. You are right about the course markings. I really had to watch the course description as not to miss the turns. I loved the watermellon at the Black Lake stop!
I'd be intersted in hearing what you come up with.lonebikeroftheapocalypse
Sep 9, 2003 7:13 AM
I've noticed over the years that I definitely slow down a little when the fall weather comes. It would be nice to have an excuse. ;-)
I'd be intersted in hearing what you come up with.lonebikeroftheapocalypse
Sep 9, 2003 7:13 AM
I've noticed over the years that I definitely slow down a little when the fall weather comes. It would be nice to have an excuse. ;-)
Just a coupla pointsBirddog
Sep 9, 2003 9:32 AM
I've done the EC 9 times and this was the worst weather of all, the wind in particular was very strong. In case you missed it, it was only 58 degrees in Angel Fire, so it was probably actually cooler than you thought. The climb from the East Moreno Ranch rest stop is 5 miles with the first 2.7 miles at about 4% and the last 2.3 miles at between 6% and 8%, it's no wonder you weren't able to go much over 5 mph. The wind was also in your face and fairly strong. After 90 miles, you and probably most of us were running on fumes with your body trying to figure out what to do: keep you warm or supply you with power.
I was more fortunate, and didn't get any rain until cresting the summit. It started as a light mist, and after 3/4 of a mile it turned into a stinging freezing rain. I was in a short sleeve jersey, no coat, etc, and after finishing, I felt that I had never been colder on a bike. I headed up to a bar, grabbed a beer (not the brightest thing to do I know) and waited on my friend. I shivvered and shuddered for almost an hour while inside and now I had on my arm warmers, knee warmers, and jacket. I would rate this EC, as the toughest one I've done, mostly because of the wind which was a factor for most of the last 40 miles.