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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a recent race on the finishing climb i wasn't able to get my HR up to the usual level. Usually on long climbs like this (e.g. 30 minutes) I can sustain my HR in the high 170s the whole way but this time my legs were burning and I was dropped after 10-15 minutes with my HR at 162. on a similar climb an hour earlier in the race i was close to my usual, around 174-175 bpm.

is glycogen depletion the most likely cause? the race was about 3.5 hours, about an hour longer than i typically race. it wasn't mental fatigue, i was on the limit and was shattered at the end. i wasn't hungry at the finish, but i did get really hungry near the end of the 10 miles I had to ride after the finish to get home.

Since I almost never do rides of 3 hours or more I was wondering if it could be some non-glycogen factor related to handling the longer duration.
 

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fiddlers25 said:
In a recent race on the finishing climb i wasn't able to get my HR up to the usual level. Usually on long climbs like this (e.g. 30 minutes) I can sustain my HR in the high 170s the whole way but this time my legs were burning and I was dropped after 10-15 minutes with my HR at 162. on a similar climb an hour earlier in the race i was close to my usual, around 174-175 bpm.

is glycogen depletion the most likely cause? the race was about 3.5 hours, about an hour longer than i typically race. it wasn't mental fatigue, i was on the limit and was shattered at the end. i wasn't hungry at the finish, but i did get really hungry near the end of the 10 miles I had to ride after the finish to get home.

Since I almost never do rides of 3 hours or more I was wondering if it could be some non-glycogen factor related to handling the longer duration.
It sure sounds like you ran out of fuel, but since you don't mention what you took in during the race or how you fed yourself leading up to the event, it's hard to say. It's also possible that you just were not trained for an event of that duration at that intensity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Kerry Irons said:
It sure sounds like you ran out of fuel, but since you don't mention what you took in during the race or how you fed yourself leading up to the event, it's hard to say. It's also possible that you just were not trained for an event of that duration at that intensity.
i had 2 GUs and 40 oz of gatorade, plus some water. similar to what i've consumed per hour in other races this year. i haven't noticed the big drop in HR in other races, but those races were 2-2.5 hours.

temperature was in the mid 60s.
 

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You need to know what your caloric needs are per hour. You can figure that out on a number of websites. Your body can usually store enough for about 1.5 hrs without anything and then after that you need fuel. In a race, you are burning more than you can absorb (approx 500 calories per hr}. So, you have to do the best you can to minimize the shortage. I have no idea what you consumed going into this race, but it is fair to think that just doing the same hourly caloric intake as you do in shorter rides, that you could come up short. Meaning you burned up stored surplus calories and what you consumed. It sounds like you were kind of on the fence but it doesn't sound like a huge shortage. I'd figure it out roughly in advance for future rides. My guess is you aren't use to rides of that length, so a drop off is normal. Ride more.
 

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i wouldn't say glycogen depletion was your problem, but instead just whole body being tired. Your heart can burn any lactate that your muscles produce as fuel so unless you completely drained your body of fuel your heart can keep going. As for your legs it is possible that you ran out of fuel for them. You said you were at your limit during the race, so your body is going to have trouble using fat as fuel, so it's going to drain whatever sugars are available.

How did you feel at the point when your typical races end? sometimes the jump in length that your body isn't used to will cause issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
MarshallH1987 said:
i wouldn't say glycogen depletion was your problem, but instead just whole body being tired. Your heart can burn any lactate that your muscles produce as fuel so unless you completely drained your body of fuel your heart can keep going. As for your legs it is possible that you ran out of fuel for them. You said you were at your limit during the race, so your body is going to have trouble using fat as fuel, so it's going to drain whatever sugars are available.

How did you feel at the point when your typical races end? sometimes the jump in length that your body isn't used to will cause issues.
i was more tired than usual at the end of the race, but does 'tired' have anything to do with not reaching normal LT HR? i'm trying to understand the physiology of it, why my legs seemed to go acidic at a much lower than usual HR.
 
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