I did a long trip on my scooter on Saturday and didn’t feel like putting in a big effort on the mountain bike yesterday. Today the weather has been good, with plenty of sunshine, so I thought it was an ideal opportunity to use my pedal powered boat. It gives me a useful training session and I enjoy being out on the water. I decided to do what has become my usual trip which is around 2 miles in length. Going further than the 2 end points of this journey often seems tempting but in either direction the views from the canal are not as appealing. In addition, if I pedal hard, the distance is enough to leave me feeling the effort.
I’ve had increasing problems over the years with leg cramps during and particularly after exercise but during my last boat trip and 2 subsequent bike rides I’ve been supplementing my electrolytes. This seems to have worked so today I added some himalayan pink salt to water before I set off. It apparently contains just the right kind of electrolytes but I have no real idea how much I should consume. I would now describe my working status as “retired” so obviously I have no time for such trivialities as buying electrolyte supplements like a full time worker would find time to do!
I pulled the boat down to the canal and put it on the water. As soon as I set off in a northerly direction a shower started so I stopped briefly under an overhanging tree. It only lasted for seconds so I continued. I had no plans for how quickly I’d go but there would be little point in cruising gently so I found myself working quite hard. I turned at the Cowling slipway to return past my start point and do a longer 2 way leg to an ice cream parlour. As I made this final turn someone shouted from a hired narrow boat, enquiring whether I’d like to swap boats. I laughed as I replied with a simple “no”. It’s true that I’d much rather be pedalling along in a home built dinghy than riding in a diesel powered boat. I do fancy hiring a narrow boat at some time for a more sociable experience, cooking, eating and drinking on board.
I completed my 2 miles at an average of 2.6 mph which was considerably slower than the 2.9 mph I recorded last time. I could feel a slight cramping in my right calf in the later stages and particularly with the big effort needed to pull the boat onto dry land. Maybe I hadn’t had enough electrolyte supplement but I think, since I was slightly thirsty, I was lacking water. You need both your hydration and electrolyte level to be right to avoid cramps, though today it was not a big problem. I really need to get hold of some supplement with a measured level of the correct ions but until I finally get round to it I’ll continue to use my DIY option because it works fairly well.