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Assorted Topics on Race Preparations.

Things that go wrong with your body and mind
Butt and Crotch General compression trauma, fatigue, and saddle sores (three types: general redness, treated by time away from the saddle, ointments, or wearing two pair of shorts to allow for less friction against the skin; pimple or boil, treated by building up a "donut" of Second Skin or other material around it so it attenuates the pressure; deep tenderness of muscle tissue, treated by using a gel saddle or saddle pad). General discomfort and inflamation of the area may be treated Tucks' or Preparation H Medicated Pads for soothing relief, cornstarch powder for protection, and/or Gyne-Lotrimin or Monistat for instant relief and long-lasting protection.
Feet Pain, numbness, "hot feet", blisters, corns and calluses are caused by constant pounding, pressure, poor circulation and frictional forces between your feet, socks, shoes, and external surfaces. Blood vessels and nerves get compressed from constant pressure and swelling. Blisters are the result of shearing forces on the skin that result in the accumulation of fluid. Runners can try lubrication, absorbent socks, changing into better fitting shoes, loosening and/or re-lacing them, adding insoles for padding, or even cutting toebox off. Cyclists can also try lubrication, adding insole for padding, loosen laces or straps (starting with nearest to the toe box), and/or change into larger pair of cycling shoes. Treatment of well-formed blisters: puncture it in several places with a sterile needle, release the fluid, then apply antibiotic ointment and a band-aid to let the roof of the blister act as a bandage until the skin heals and the root of the blister falls off. Once blister is formed and if time permits, try a milk compress: soak a washcloth in milk and hold for 15 minutes. Tea also works (chill a steeped tea bag and apply directly to the area). Another option is to smear an (unopened) blister with Preparation H and cover with a sterile gauze pad. The steroids in the medicine can significantly reduce it overnight. Calluses are also the response of the skin to shearing forces not intense enough to form a blister. If they are painful, it usually means there is a wart or corn at the base of the callus. To treat: use pumice stone to remove dead skin, following by salicylic acid plasters appplied at night, and pumice following by moisturizer (to reduce friction) in the morning.
Neck Mostly on the bike when the rider can no longer hold up his head to see forward. The solution is lighter helmets, neck exercises before the race, and if necessary, bungie cords from the helmet to the back of the cycling shorts to hold the head up. Massage and chiropractic adjustments can sometimes help.
Knees Sore, tender, and achey knees are caused by repetitive action of running and pedal strokes. The solution is better training, massage, and/or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Arms and
Upper Body
Fatigue common to swimming, paddling, and skiing. Train for it - you can't escape it.
Hands Primarily in cycling, caused by pressure from the handlebars on the palms of the hand, making fingers go numb. This can be treated by using gel gloves, padded handlebar tape, and frequent changes of hand positions. Use of aero bars take pressure away from the hands
General Fatigue Prepare before the event with proper training, and during the race with sound nutrition and rest.
GI Region Your stomach may decide not to co-operate. Liquid diets, small portions, and prior training will help.
Sleep Deprivation Hallucinations and severe sensory distortions may be caused by the prolong sleeplessness during the event. Prior training, good pre-event rest, legal stimulants, crew support, and rational mind may be a solution.
Emotions and
Mental Issues
Instability during the race is caused by extreme stress and sleep deprivation. The solution is prior mental preparation, rest, good nutrition, crew support and sleep. Classic example from ultra cycling race is Stuart Nibbelin. A successful veteran of Furnace Creek 508 (508 mile ultra), Stuart has the unusual distinction of having dropped out closest to the finish line in his 1998 race. Due to paranoid delusions coupled with some bizarre hallucinations, Stuart quit the race with a 12 miles to go! He just wouldn't continue to the finish, as he thought his support crew was out to get him by making him go in circles.


Things that causes your body and mind to fail
Beware of Lurking Hypos...

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
Hypokalemia (low body potassium levels)
Hyponatremia (low body sodium levels)
Hypothermia (low body temperature)
Hypoxia (low blood oxygen)

Additional treatments / solutions may be found in FAQ page and on the websites listed in Links page.




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