How To Prevent Heat Exhaustion/Hitting the Wall?

Smokin Joe

Sponsoring Member
Apr 21, 2000
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First off, I now I need to be in better shape. After a backslide from regular running I'm now back on track. But even last summer when I was running 10 to 20 miles a week at an 8 min per mile pace I would still have this same problem. Basically I'm fine riding at a pretty good clip but after about 20 minutes into a ride I will get nauseated and throw up when I really need to exert myself such as trying to save it when hitting bumps wrong or picking up the bike after dumping it etc. I just feel it coming on and it seems that no matter whether I just stop or keep going it just builds until I throw up a few times and then I'm able to continue. I know that this is really not a unique issue as I remeber in track that guys would throw up at the end of the 800 or mile. The other thing that I know is related is that I sweat profusly and loose a lot of fluid. However I use a backpack style drinking device (brand unmentioned to keep from promoting the guilty)as I ride so I think that heat builup is also involved. Finally to my question, what is the best and most efficient way to train to prevent or postpone hitting the wall while woods riding?

Should I concentrate less on running long distance (over 2.5 miles)and more on running interval sprints or hill repeats? Or is there some other method?

Thanks,

Joe

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Joe Hammond
Meridian, MS
'97 KTM 250 EXC, '85 XL-600
AMA, Blue Ribbon Coalition, NETRA, SERA (soon)
 

MikeT

~SPONSOR~
Jan 17, 2001
4,110
11
I'd make sure you drink a lot of water before riding as well as while you are riding. It takes a while for the fluid to get into your system. Start drinking a lot the day before. Sorry if you already know this.

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dirt bike dave

Sponsoring Member
May 3, 2000
5,349
3
Lord knows I'm no expert on staying in shape, and it sounds like you are doing a lot of the right things already. But I wanted to say that maybe you are riding 'tense' and expending a lot more engergy than you need to. Concentrate on riding relaxed (loose grip on the bars, etc...), letting the bike do the work, and save your energy bursts for the times you really need it.

Good luck tracking down the problem. You might want to talk to a medical professional for some ideas.

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1999 Honda CRE 250
 
S

Saratoga

I believe strength combined with running is the best program. Weights with light weight/ high repititions combined with cardio every other day works great.
The exhaustion may be coming on from a lack of strength. Cardio is very important but strength training is also. You need to train both.

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So much dirt, so little time.
 

vetwfo'er

Member
Dec 18, 2000
124
0
Smoke,

Without knowing more about your, age, weight, height, amount of water drank per day, nutritional information, etc., etc...It would be hard to provide specific information.

As stated, you need to keep hydrated. A good rule of thumb, would be to drink .6ozs of water per day, everyday. Once you start to sweating you need to drink 4-6ozs every fifteen minutes.

Also try to "carb up" the day before you race. Consume mass quantities of pasta and breads.

You might also want to get your blood sugar tested. You could be experiencing a blood sugar crash, causing the nausea.

Good Luck
vetwfo'er

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99 WR400f, White Bros E-Series silencer and tapered head pipe. YZ seat and tank. Thumper rad guards, works frame guards, scots steering damper. Soon to be MX-Tech suspension. SETRA, AMA, Happy Ramblers MC.

97KDX220, FMF Rev pipe and silencer, renthals.

Courage is not the absense of fear. It is the judgement that something is more important, than fear.
 

roostinbe

Member
Mar 22, 2001
142
0
It definately sounds to me like you are riding really tight! are you riding on tracks, or trails? just stay loose. one other tip, that might help you out. ride more run less. you could be a world-class runner, but if you got on the track and tried to ride fast, you would probably pump up really fast! try some curls these will help get your arms in shape, which will make you ride looser. I know that feeling of nausia though, i used to get it when i would work out really hard. im not sure what it is from, but i have started just being more careful what i eat on days when i ride. eat light and healthy foods, but lots.

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Brandon YZ 250
 

adamwn

Member
Apr 13, 2001
7
0
If it is bothering you than i would have to say talk to a doctor and/or a fitness expert.
And if it is really hot than slash 100 or so 1 inch cuts in a junk jersey, and get flow riding pants from thor, that might help on the hot days. And i agree with the others that said to lift weights.

If all else fails you may have to start riding butt naked......that would sure give the nature hiker/greenie a scare seeing some naked man flying threw the woods on a dirtbike.hehe

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Adam from SoCal
01 XR650R
01 400EX
00 RM-250
01 Recon
 

Smokin Joe

Sponsoring Member
Apr 21, 2000
72
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Thanks for all the tips!!!

I kinda like the riding naked part but doubt its practicality for protection! :eek:

I did see my doctor and he is setting me up with a physical trainer. :cool:

I'm going to implement more interval type running by pushing myself on the 2 uphills on my circuit. The advice on staying hydrated is another thing I will concentrate on. Also, I'm wearing sweats and a solid ball cap when I run to help acclimate to the added heat generation of riding gear and helmet. :o :o Lastly, I am incorporating a strength training regimen using multiple sets and 8 to 15 reps to build core strength and endurance.

I rode the RidgeRunners Enduro in Meridian MS this past weekend and did get a good bit farther than I expected to. My goal was to finish but realisticaly I was hoping to at least finsh the first of the two 25 mile loops. I did consciously relax my grip and posture whenever I could and it definitely helped. Unfortunately, the second trip through the sandpit did me in like it did many others (if you rode this race you know exactly what I'm talking about!)
How'd ya'll do at Ridge Runners?

I did keep going to the next check but it was pure survival mode!

Again, thanks for the advice! ;)

Joe
 

TexKDX

~SPONSOR~
Aug 8, 1999
747
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Having raced bicycles for many years, everything from track sprints to 80 mile road races to 3 hour mountain bike races, I may have a few tips that might help, Joe.

The one thing that helped me perform on the day of an event is that one must hydrate and feed the day BEFORE the event. This particularly applies to endurance events. The day before, basically walk around with a gallon jug of water in your hand. Also make sure you feed well, starting with a good 40/40/20 breakfast and continue all 3 meals that day as healthy, balanced, and plentiful.

The day of the event food-wise you will supply your body with "catalyst" calories to help burn your energy stores. If you wait to feed until the day of, particularly with an 8am key time, you will be in trouble. Day of the enduro, breakfast is a must. So is feeding some at 1 hour minimum, 2 hour maximum intervals. I carry Clif bars and may eat a half or a whole one depending on where we are in the ride. Again, this is catalyst food to keep your body working correctly to burn its energy stores.

The second comment I'll add has to do with the duration of the training. The only way I was able to be competitive in the closing minutes of an endurance event was to have trained LONGER than the duration of the competition. With today's busy work schedules this is a toughy. Unfortunately, if you don't have at least one really long workout that exceeds the duration of your competition, you will hit a wall about 15-20% past the duration of your average workout. Your overall fitness level may allow you to work past this wall, but it will be there.

Keeping in mind we do this for fun, if you can't get in the long workouts here is a tip that may help you get thru the events. It sounds simple, but pace yourself. That is, if you bump up against your max heart rate early on in the event, back off!! You will be able to operate during a 3 hour event in the 80-85% no problem, but once you get over 90% you have a finite time you can operate PERIOD. Stay out of the 90% range early on and save it for the end. Otherwise, you will having nothing left for the end.

This last tip is particularly true if you don't train much over 90%. If you don't do intervals in your training, then doing them in the event will fry you quickly. If you have a decent fitness base and are active in your job, then adding intervals to your training will make a HUGE difference in your ability to go hard early in spurts and still have some left at the end.

Lastly, with the heat coming, if you are a desk jocky then try to get out some in the heat of the day if possible during the week and one training session on the weekend. Heat can be quite a shock and basically knock you out.

Good luck in your next one and take care.
 

Max Factor

Sponsoring Member
Oct 18, 2000
155
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Originally posted by TexKDX
Also make sure you feed well, starting with a good 40/40/20 breakfast and continue all 3 meals that day as healthy, balanced, and plentiful.

Great post Tex.
Question. What is a good 40/40/20 breakfast reffering to?
Also, on race day are you suggesting that the 'catalsyt' foods be low volume (ie: not a full palte of eggs / bacon / hash brown / donuts!) and high carb?
 

jobe

Member
Mar 21, 2001
3
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It's been a while since my exercise science classes (I'm a Phys Ed teacher), but here's my 2 cents......

I think the key is a combination of training....duration and quality are the keys....

Running to a set goal of "mileage" is not as beneficial as a goal set in "total time"...instead of going out and running a goal of 2.5 miles in 20-25 minutes, set out and go for a 45 minute run, with no concern of how far of a distance you travel....riding is a combination of both aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) acitivity. There is an endurance element in long moto's or enduro races, but also sudden bursts of energy required ( like running a 10 yard sprint or a football player making a violent tackle....big burst of power, followed by a break in movement or energy) I would suggest to continue to work towards an improvement in endurance, but also a strength training program that improves power.

Sounds a little strange to me as far as the throwing up goes, even if you are in fair shape. Heat and humidity is definetly a factor where you ride. As a previous post touched on, acclimating yourself to the heat would be a big plus, meaning include training in the hot conditions you ride in the most. If you do seem to generate lots of sweat, you are not hydrating yourself enough....

Sounds like your on the right track, just don't over do it and be patient with training.
 

woody51

Member
Apr 2, 2001
57
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There is definitely some good information here. Max, the 40/40/20 that Tex is referring to has to do with the percentages of carbs/ protein/ fat, I think. If I am wrong correct me.

Having a proper ratio allow the body to get all the energy and fuel it needs to do what it can at an optimal level. Think of eating like this as putting race fuel in your properly jetted bike, you know it will make it run better. I hope this is some help and that if I am wrong someone will correct me.
 

mgorman

Member
May 8, 2000
258
0
I had the same problem a while back. I traced it to being married. Not in a bad way, it was just that my eating habits changed from being a sparce breakfast eater to having my new love feeding me like a king. I tried everything under the sun including seeking medical advice. I stopped taking allergy meds, energy bars, started using plain water, nothing worked. One day I decided not to eat a big breakfast and just snack on granola bars. I made the whoole 2 hours with out a hic-up. Fortunately for me she understood and I haven't gotten sick since then. I also found out that you shouldn't eat a lot becuse your body uses a lot of energy to digest food. Energy that you could be using to race. Now I fuel up well before the race and imediately afterwards.
 

Smokin Joe

Sponsoring Member
Apr 21, 2000
72
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Thanks for all of your inputs! That is some great info. Yes I am a desk jockey for the most part and that definitely does not help. :think:

The last time I went running, I periodicaly checked my pulse. First of all, it certainly reinforced my realization of being out of shape in that I did not see much of a drop in heart rate between my pulse at the top of the hill and compared to my pulse after coming downhill and then along the flat.

The suprising thing to me tho is that I am pretty near being in the anerobic zone during the whole run once I have pushed up the first hill. I am 42 and using the standard, easy method of finding max heart rate puts it at 220 - 42 = 178. Well, at the top of the hill I measured about 170 to 175 bpm and the minimum I ever counted was 160 bpm. I remember in my younger days that I would be at 200 bpm after coming up this hill in my woods run that was at least 1/3 of a mile long.

Does running at that high of heart rate defeat the purpose of jogging to gain aerobic fitness? Anyhow, I'm now going to concentrate on weight training at an interval pace to keep my heart rate in the "golden zone" of 75% max heart rate. Then when I run (I really should say jog! :confused: ) I'll keep the intensity down.

BTW, I still haven't heard from the trainer so I'm sorta winging it. Again I appreciate your comments, suggestions and support! :cool:

Joe
 

jobe

Member
Mar 21, 2001
3
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During aerobic exercise, you want to concentrate on TARGET heart rate. As you work out, your heart rate should be about 50 to 80% of your maximal rate. To gain aerobic benefit, a work out generally needs to be at least 30 minutes or more, and you certainly don't want to max your heart rate out for a long period of time. So for a 30 minute workout, think of starting slow, then gradually increasing intensity(15 minutes), then peaking at max (maybe 5 minutes or less), following by a cool down period (10 minutes).


Your maximal heart rate:

220 minus your age. (For a 40 year old: 220-40=180)

Target heart rate for aerobic exercise:

Maximal rate x .5 to .8. (For a 40 year old: 180 x .5=90; 180 x .8= 144. Range is 90 to 144.)

A simpler way to make sure you aren't over doing it is to use the "talk test".....during exercise, you should be able to speak within a reason of comfort. (Of course during a moto, forget it, you won't hear yourself anyway) :)
 

TexKDX

~SPONSOR~
Aug 8, 1999
747
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Originally posted by jobe
During aerobic exercise, you want to concentrate on TARGET heart rate. As you work out, your heart rate should be about 50 to 80% of your maximal rate.

This is not what I was taught by my coaches. You need to train above 80% in order to increase your level of fitness. 50 to 80 may keep you "fit", but won't increase your fitness level/output/endurance. Greg LeMond in his book goes as far as saying that if you are not training above 80% then you might as well not be training.

Also keep in mind that as your fitness level increases that your level of output must increase. Lower lap or mile times, more intervals, increase the frequency and duration of intervals, etc. to continue to increase your performance level.

The easy way to know you are at 80% or more is if the level of activity requires breathing thru the mouth. If not, then you are below 80%. To tell when you are above 90, lactic acid will start being produced and create a burning sensation in your big muscles (legs). The closer you get to your max then the shorter the time you can go before the pain becomes unbearable, you get dizzy, and have to stop.

Breathing thru your mouth at an activity level you can maintain without severe burn in the muscles is where you want to train for endurance. The more time you can spend above 90 then the more you will be able to tolerate hard efforts on a motorcycle, plain and simple. 80+ will get you thru the day, 90+ is what lets you go balls out multiple times over the course of a 3-5 hour event and still have something left for the last test.
 

Smokin Joe

Sponsoring Member
Apr 21, 2000
72
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Thanks Tex & Jobe for your insight.

Tex, I find your reply extremely informative. It kind of fits with what my experience has been. I just wanted to make sure that by training at that level I wasn't defeating the purpose. I'll take Greg LeMond's advice anyday. He has been there and done that. Anyone that could recover from a near fatal gunshot wound and be able to ride at and win at the international level. I can't remeber if he went on to win the Tour de France after the recovery but I'm sure you know Tex. I find it also says alot about American athletes that Lance Armstrong also recovered from a life threatening situation (cancer) to re-win the Tour.
 

TexKDX

~SPONSOR~
Aug 8, 1999
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Thanks, Joe. Yea, he went on to win in '89 after recovering from the gunshot wound. That year he rode a little-known brand of bike called a Bottechia, had a relatively weak team, and introduced geek bars to the cycling world. He beat race leader Laurent Fignon on the last time trial stage thru Paris. He went into the last stage like 20 seconds down, and ended up winning by 8 seconds trouncing everyone in the last stage and beating Fignon by 28 seconds.

It was said by some experts that Fignon's pony tail cost him the tour win. Had he been more aerodynamic just with his head, say with an aero helmet and no tail in the wind versus a naked head and the big tail, he would have been 9-10 seconds faster in the final stage and won the tour.
 

dozer

Member
Dec 18, 2000
31
0
Have you ever checked your heart rate when you "hit the wall"? I have a similar problem that occurs when racing HS. I don't get sick to my stomach but my energy level is cut in half and i have to slow down considerably. I discovered my heart rate was jumping up to 220+ almost as if a switch had been turned on. I checked with a cardiologist at the cleveland clinic and he diagnosed me with supraventricular tachycardia (svt). It's a congenital heart defect that is triggered by physical stress and adrenilan. Sometimes it happens other times it does not. I have found however that it is less likely to occur if i really try to stay in shape. I try to hit the pool at least three times a week. This is great cardio exercise that works the upper body too. I work out with free weights too when i'm done in the pool with a focus on the upper legs and arms. I don't have have a very big build but i've found that doing this routine does tend to help. Other than that I have just learned to live with it. Remember we're out to have fun so just slow down a little bit, stay out the faster riders way and enjoy the time on the track. Also when i have to slow down i look at it as an chance to learn something from some of the faster riders in the race. Watch the lines they take and how they handle some of the obstacles. Good luck.
 

mgorman

Member
May 8, 2000
258
0
Dozer,

I had the same problem with my heart in the mid to late 80's. I had one attack during a hernia operation and the doctor freeked out because I forgot to tell him about it. He was just about getting a needle in my heart when it suddenly just went back to normal. I have not had any problems with it in about 10 years. My heart actualy even started a regular rythm and quit skipping like the old ford I drive. Doc said I just grew out of it or something.

My highest heart beat that I could actualy count was over 250 during an attack and my monitor showed 204 during a mtb race
 

jobe

Member
Mar 21, 2001
3
0
The main point I was trying to focus upon was to take it easy and be patient when starting a training program....it's very easy to over do it working to obtain a fitness goal, and injury can result. Tex is absolutely right as far as heart rate and improving fitness level, but for alot of folks just starting a program, reaching that max rate and maintaining it for a long period of time is something that must be obtained in a reasonable manner.

mgorman- 250?? Wow! Glad your doing well....
 

dozer

Member
Dec 18, 2000
31
0
mgorman,

sounds like the same thing. comes on and off just like turning a light switch.

i came back from a run one time and my wife jumped out from behind a tree to scare me for the fun of it. i had my monitor on and it was able to pick up the event. maybe i should lower my life insurance policy:D.
 

mgorman

Member
May 8, 2000
258
0
Dozer and I were at a race today and things didn't go as well for him. I saw him sitting on the side in the woods taking a break and checking his monitor. he did finish but had a few problems with his heart rate. We all hope that he does get it worked out. He is going to be a DADDY very soon!!!!

I tried the lemon water/potasium trick as mentioned in one of the post. Unfortunately for the first time in a long time I got severe arm pump but was able to keep the pace. After I got rid of the pump I was able to charge a little harder and make ground only to lose it by crashing alot. In the end I still had a little left. That little is a lot more than usual. My main thing was that I didn't get the nausia or the dizziness that I usualy get when I am fatigued.

I hope tha this will keep working for me.

Dozer, I hope you had a good dinner.
 

dozer

Member
Dec 18, 2000
31
0
Thanks for the concern. After I took a break I was able to get back into a pace. Not enough time to get back into the race though. My wife said the baby enjoyed the race. Lots of kicking. Did you get another trophy today?
 

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