Dear bikers, if you have these next strange sensations during a ride, two things are certain: you are not suffering from a major illness and you are not going insane also! Many of them are generally signs that you've worked your body hard and however strange they seem do not represent any risk to the health. So, don’t panic! But, let’s see what are the strangest sensations we can experience during a ride!
Blood taste in your mouth
If it has happened to you that you feel the taste of blood in your mouth at a time of great physical effort, you should know that it is an effect caused by the explosion of blood cells. When you push yourself past threshold, your red blood cells are being taxed and release some heme, or iron, which is why it tastes like metal. Red blood cells can also leak into your air sacs during really hard efforts. If it's temporary, it's nothing to worry about. However, if you notice that this persists, even when you are not training, it is advisable to consult with a doctor.
Exercise-induced Rhinitis (i.e. runny nose during exercise) is a common complaint among cyclists, especially, of course, during times when allergens like pollen, dust, and dry air are high. By irritating the nostrils, mucus production is automatically increased, which has the function of protecting our respiratory tract from external agents. This should not worry you but can be really annoying and might interfere your training; you can apply some palliative medicine to control this effect.
It’s Bronchoconstriction: It's similar to what happens in people with asthma, but it can happen to anyone. After completing a cyclocross run you notice that you have an intense cough that is kept for several minutes. It happens when you exert yourself at an intense level than you're used to and the small muscles lining your lungs get a spasm. You see it more in the beginning or end of the year when people may not be in peak shape. In addition, some climatic conditions such as cold or drought can induce this effect. The best way to avoid it is by wearing a scarf and breathing through it.
Sudden urge to go to the bathroom
Don’t be embarrassed, you are not alone! This is a very common effect among runners. It happens by the stimulation that the exercise exerts on the intestine, besides the foods with high load of sugar, as well as the drinks with caffeine increases the intensity of this digestive effect. This is something that you can easily control by improving your diet, especially by taking care of what you eat right before you go running.
For some people, it's an actual allergic reaction known as exercise-induced urticaria, which can cause itching and flushing, as well as hives and—in extreme cases—breathing difficulty. But, for most of the cases the itch is caused by temperature; The heat helps the capillaries and arteries expand, which causes the nerves to stimulate and itch. The best way to avoid this is by applying moisturizer to protect the skin.
Heavy physical exertion can a cause certain level of confusion, to the point of forgetting where you left your keys, your car and even suffer orientation problems. This is normal because exercising quickly consumes the reservoir of glycogen, which is the fuel of brain cells. The best way to recover and return to a state of lucidity is by eating a healthy food and drink that will help us recharge energy as soon as possible.
Tingly fingers or sleepy hands
It can be disconcerting when your hands start tingling—or worse, when they go numb. The hands are necessary to control the handle of the bicycle, so this effect can get very nervous. This happens by the pressure that we put in the nerves that surround the wrists when taking the handlebars with force for long time. One way to avoid this uncomfortable effect is to wear gloves or try to move your hands while handling, as much as possible, to reduce pressure.