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extremely pale face after long cycle

goldmercurygoldmercury Posts: 2
edited August 2015 in Training, fitness and health
Hi all,

just got back from my first really long cycle, 45 miles which is a lot for me.

I looked in the mirror and my face was very pale, almost like the blood had been drained from me.

The last time i did a long cycle I had upper body cramps when I finished really bad. I'm wondering if I've got a circulation problem or am I missing something from intake when on the bike. I drank around 4 pints of water during the cycle.

Any comments would be appriciated as I'm training for a 110 mile cycle in 4 weeks time and going by the colour on my face I am no where near ready.

For info on my health:

I'm 5 foot 10, 186lbs and 36 years of age just for reference, average about 13.5/mph and usually do around 20-30 miles. No know health issues.

Posts

  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    What did you eat before your ride? Anything during the ride? Apart from your pale appearance, did you feel OK?
  • CYCLESPORT1CYCLESPORT1 Posts: 471
    You are not overweight so it's not that, eat well before and a bit during your 45 mile rides, you are drinking enough so just keep at it, you will get fitter.
  • rafletcherrafletcher Posts: 1,155
    You just need to practice and get fitter I think. I'm the same height and weight, and am 58. Saturday morning (after a bowl of musesli and fresh fruit) I rode 43 miles at just over 15mph average (which is good for me). No ill effects whatsoever, no sore censored , no aches or pains. I drank 1.5l of "electrolyte" drink - Nuun tablets in water, 2 x 750ml bottles. I ate nothing on the ride (though I carried a gel and an energy bar just in case, 'cos I "bonked" badly in the spring and crawled home!)

    I had had a decent nights sleep and only a couple of cans of beer the night before.

    I'd say you ARE overweight (as am I - 186lb is just over 13st, and I reckon 11st 7lb / 161lbs would be a good weight) but not grossly so.

    Stick at it :D
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    Your long ride is probably going to hurt you, as I read, your fitness is someway off to say the least.
    there are no shortcuts to good base aerobic fitness and stamina to last multiple hours in the saddle but the best you can do and hope for is
    'stick at it'.
  • tedmaultedmaul Posts: 31
    Do you by any chance live in Scotland?

    If so, it's a common effect caused by what we call 'summer' up here.
  • You just need to practice and get fitter I think. I'm the same height and weight, and am 58. Saturday morning (after a bowl of musesli and fresh fruit) I rode 43 miles at just over 15mph average (which is good for me). No ill effects whatsoever, no sore ars*, no aches or pains. I drank 1.5l of "electrolyte" drink - Nuun tablets in water, 2 x 750ml bottles. I ate nothing on the ride (though I carried a gel and an energy bar just in case, 'cos I "bonked" badly in the spring and crawled home!)

    I had had a decent nights sleep and only a couple of cans of beer the night before.

    I'd say you ARE overweight (as am I - 186lb is just over 13st, and I reckon 11st 7lb / 161lbs would be a good weight) but not grossly so.

    Stick at it :D

    Yeah, I dont want to depress you further, but I would agree that you are a little overweight. I'm half an inch taller than you and am currently weighing in at 84kg - which is not ideal! I was 77kg last Summer and felt like a different rider, but work load, staying in hotels with work and low will power have all contributed to putting a stone on.

    I agree with the others comments and would aim to shred about 6kg (which should come naturally if you continue to cycle and eat sensibly) and make smart food choices around your rides - i.e. low GI foods such as oats, etc to keep you going. I find protein is a good food type to fill me up and keep me going.

    Now, I need to take a bit of that medicine myself! ;)
    Never mistake motion for action
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  • RutlandGavRutlandGav Posts: 144
    I really wouldn't give too much thought to what your face looks like after a ride.

    Adrenaline causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels in nonessential tissues (digestive system, reproductive organs, skin) to make more available for the heart, brain and muscles. You might just have an endocrine system that likes to dump a lot of adrenaline and noradrenaline in response to exercise.

    OTOH in hotter conditions you might get the opposite effect, vasodilation, to help you shed heat and sweat more, in which case you will be red.

    Was there any particular shade you were after BTW? Street drinker red? Council house orange? Or something with a few flecks of purple?

    BTW, if your blood sugar levels are dropping towards the end of the ride (getting close to bonking) your body releases adrenaline and glucagon , which is why some fasting people feel like they're getting a "high" from it, and why they suddenly crash out when they finally eat , as the adrenaline supply is shut off.

    An ex of mine used to complain that I came back from winter bike rides looking "scary" and like a "crackhead". This year I have noticed there might have been some truth to her ravings. Saw myself in the hallway mirror and not only was i pale and clammy, my pupils were massively dilated, felt a bit squiffy as well tbh. Ate a couple tins of pineapple slices with low fat rice pud, went back to the mirror, pupils were tiny pinpricks again, colour back to normal, and that giddy, off my head feeling was replaced by sleepy contentedness, and yep i fell into bed soon after. Wish i could have got some pix.
  • RutlandGavRutlandGav Posts: 144
    Sorry I just remembered the bit you said about cramps.

    They can be caused by your body being unused to exercise (it will take time to adapt, be patient) but i think the main trigger is electrolyte imbalance isn't it? I noticed you posted in July and mentioned drinking lots of water, so it's vaguely possible they'd get depleted.

    I'm kind of lucky to have never really suffered. However, last year i'd sometimes swim a few lengths in the pool after either

    1) spending three hours on a crosstrainer at the gym, watching a feature film, sweating and drinking plain tap water

    or

    2) after a 12 hour shift at work, having drunk many many litres of diuretic Pepsi Max and energy drinks, in a desperate effort to stay alert

    In both cases I lost a lot of fluid (in the first by sweating, in the second by urinating) and had replenished the H20, but wasn't replenishing the electrolytes that were also being lost. I'd finish a length in the pool, turn, kick off from the wall, and both calves would go into a really painful spasm ! That didn't happen if i was swimming after a normal day.

    Also, I have some recollections of binge drinking in my student days. I'd always wake up the next morning with my calves cramping and really sore for the rest of the day, so i guess that's just a thing.

    Perhaps if you stick to isotonic sports drinks (which replenish the electrolytes , apparently) the cramps will go away?
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    45 miles is not a long cycle.

    Especially if you are training for 110m in a months time.

    How many 45 milers have you done ? What is your training looking like for the next few weeks ?
    What distance do you normally ride ?

    I'd not worry about a pale face - I look awful in all of my race pics. Just sounds to me like you might be rushing the training a bit ?
  • TjgoodhewTjgoodhew Posts: 628
    It is likely to be purely fitness. The first time i rode around 40 miles i got home and had to lay on the floor for 10 minutes as i was so tired and drained.

    I look back at this and laugh now as i see 40 miles as a short ride and have zero after effects.

    You seem to be drinking enough so maybe try eating something during the ride but my advice would be to ride as much as you can.
    Cannondale Caad8
    Canyon Aeroad 8.0

    http://www.strava.com/athletes/goodhewt
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