- Posted by Mike Hawkins
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Woe is me! Having done my ramp test at the Porsche Human Power Centre and discovered I was not half as good as I'd hoped I headed out for a weekend of training in preparation for the Rad am Ring 24-hour relay race - and made myself ill but still it provided a chance to do some much needed prep.
Despite having a monster cold I was still keen not to waste my downtime even if I was physically exhausted so started some research into the race and the route itself. Having put together a 50 minute loop with 475 metres of climbing, I thought we really had taken on a massive beast of a ride.
As it turns out the 500 metres of climbing is somewhat of an exaggeration but the actual climbing is hard to find out precisely as the official website lists the difference from top to bottom as 300m resulting in something close to 370m gained per lap. 370m is plenty but it's far better than the 500m gain per lap that we'd been told.
Whilst recovering on the sofa I broke out the Excel spreadsheet to try and do some night lap planning and see just what we might be able to achieve in terms of rest. You can download the Excel spreadsheets to have a look - whatever way I tried to cut it, it was going to be tough.
A week of taking it easy saw the back of the cold and meant I could get back to riding. Rather than try to get the miles in I thought it best to acclimatise myself to the hills so have been hitting the steepest I could find.
Then I got another call from the Porsche Human Performance Centre to say I was welcome to have a 'sweat test'. Not nearly as bad as the name suggests, it's a couple of electrodes on your arm plus a chemical that starts a small patch of your skin sweating, this sample is then tested for sodium content.
The test shows that under high loads I lose up to 900mg of sodium per litre sweated and the previous electrolyte drink I was using only replaced 300mg, so it's little wonder I struggled with headaches and cramp when working hard for a long time.
It'll come as no surprise that H2Pro offer electrolyte tabs with varying levels of sodium so I've got a few samples to try out and so far they are very palatable, which means that another excuse for under performance out of the window.