It's all about the legs . . .So I need to find ways to increase my endurance. My legs have been an issue for as long as I can remember. When I was just out of high school, I did a 70 mile ride with some friends. At about 60 miles, my legs cramped, locked up and I fell over. Climbing mount Rainier in 2002, it took 3 attempts for me to make it to Camp Muir. Each of the two failed attempts, my legs gave out to severe cramping. On my summit bid in July of that year, my legs bore me to Camp Muir well enough on day 1. Getting up for the summit attempt the next morning, my legs were OK for a bit, but I had to tap out at Ingraham flats knowing that if I went further, coming down would be an issue. Now on the DAM2DAM this weekend, at mile 31 my legs started to cramp and eventually locked up. They're sore as hell today.
I know it's not a hydration issue . . . the day before our ride this weekend, I had about 8 bottles of water. The day of the ride, I had: 2 bottles of water on the way to the ride. A bottle of powerade when we arrived. Through the first 25 miles, I drank both of my water bottles (24 oz each) and at each rest stop (2) I had another bottle of water. For the return trip, I drank about 1.5 of my watter bottles full of Powerade. So the day of the ride, I had about 160 ounces of water or sports drink. I was peeing at every stop and it was clear. So I KNOW it's not hydration. I also had plenty to eat that day.
On my climbs, I was well hydrated and tried everything including salt tablets, potassium, etc. Nothing seemed to work. I just get to a point in a workout and my legs are just done. Many times before this weekend, my mind was done long before my legs. Not this weekend though. I wanted to finish that ride more than anything. So I don't think it's mental either.
I was reading a blurb in Bicycling magazine this weekend that suggests it's an endurance issue. So their suggestion is to do intervals. Start out by doing 2 sets of 10 minutes (during a 2 hour ride) at 80 - 85% of max heart rate. Gradually work up to 3X15 and 4X20. Makes sense. I think I'll be spending a lot of time in spin class this winter. Suggestions anyone?