Yesterday morning I met up with Harv Carpenter for our first meeting and ride together–a little over a metric century (100 kilometers) in the heat and humidity. If you missed Wednesday’s blog, go give it a quick gander–towards the end I talked about how Strava made this ride practically inevitable.
Mike Simmons was supposed to come, but unfortunately he got blindsided with some work and had to bail. 🙁
We rolled out at 7:30 AM sharp. Even though the temperature was fairly cool at that point, the humidity was so high that I was sweating just standing around. Harv rode his bike from his house to where we met up, and he was sweating pretty heavily even after just a few miles.
It was going to be a long, hot ride.
We started chatting as we rode along, and a little past the five mile mark I realized that I’d forgot to turn on my Garmin Edge 500. Oops.
Once we got past downtown Apopka, we backed off on the chatter and picked up the pace a bit. Harv’s a very experienced rider, and has been cycling and racing Cat 2 on and off for the past 20 years or so. I quickly felt very comfortable when I was closely drafting him: he rode with control and used good verbal and hand signals.
We stopped to fill our water bottles where the West Orange trail connects to the South Lake trail near Clermont, about 22 miles into the ride. The South Lake trail is about 9 miles each way, and there’s also a cool 2.4 mile extension that goes out to the National Training Center. There are some pretty good climbs on the NTC extension.
The heat was getting pretty serious, and so Harv and I were both consuming lots of fluids, electrolytes and energy gels. Harv is a very heavy sweater, and I could tell that he was losing a lot of fluids. When I was riding behind him I could see that sweat was actually streaming from the weep holes in the bottom of his shoes!
I was trying a product called Saltstick Caps for the first time on yesterday’s ride (see this past Saturday’s blog for more information). The recommended dose is one capsule every 30-60 minutes of activity, and I consumed a total of six capsules on the 64 mile ride.
When we got to the halfway point Harv was hurting, and I think it was because he had lost so much fluid and electrolytes. Thankfully I’d brought lots of extra Saltstick caps, and so I gave him a handful. He took a couple capsules, ate a energy gel and drank some fluids. After that rest stop Harv felt great for the rest of the ride!
Even though I was hot, I felt solid the entire way (aside from my usual lower back pain). No cramps, no bonks, no fatigue and no problems. My legs felt strong the whole distance.
I really do think the Saltstick Caps played a significant roll in my ability to perform well yesterday. I also think they were instrumental in helping Harv replenish the electrolytes lost during the first half of the ride. I’m going to continue to use them from now on. At 20 bucks for 100 capsules (and a serving size of just one capsule), they are about the cheapest (and lightest) source of electrolytes money can by. Each capsule contains 215 mg sodium, 63 mg potassium, 11 mg magnesium, 22 mg calcium and 100IU Vitamin D.
Here’s the entire ride on Strava–well, the entire ride minus the first 5 miles that were not recorded.
When I got home I weighed myself. I could not believe that I was down four pounds from my pre-ride weight! Despite all the fluids (I estimate I drank a little over a gallon of water), a half-dozen Saltstick Caps, several GU energy gels, a Clif bar and a bag of GU Chomps I’d still lost 4 pounds of fluid. Next time I ride in this kind of heat I’m going to try taking the maximum recommended dosage of 1 Saltstick cap every 30 minutes.
Here’s the temperature graph for the ride (click to enlarge). The heat was only part of the story, the humidity was oppressive.
Great to finally ride with you, Harv! Let’s do it again soon. In the meantime, I know neither of us will be backing off on Strava. 😉