Managing heat while biking and racing.

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by David Henderson, May 30, 2012.

  1. David Henderson

    David Henderson New Member

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    Not too hot today here in Columbia, Missouri, but soon it'll get hot this summer. Here's a little article I wrote on heat management for bicycling in high temperatures. I hope that someone finds value in my article. Stay hydrated my friends!
    Regards,
    David Henderson
     
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  2. tylerwal

    tylerwal New Member

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    Actually, very nice and informative, I'm impressed, thanks
     
  3. David Henderson

    David Henderson New Member

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    Thanks Tyler, I appreciate the feedback!

    Regards,
    David Henderson
     
  4. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Good, common sense info for those who have no choice to ride hard during the hottest parts of the day.

    Liquid intake, however, is personal. I sweat profusely even in cooler temps. I don't think your reccomendations are enough for me. When the temps near triple digits, I have a devil of a time absorbing liquid as fast as I excrete it. I can easily sweat off 10 or more pounds of water weight in an hour. I would like to know if there is a trick to replacing liquids faster other than having to slow down.

    If you are not racing, good logistics will go a long way in managing heat. Ride early in the morning or later in the evening. Choose a course with plenty of shade and water stops. Beach showers are great for cooling off. Protect your skin; wear sunscreen and/or keep it covered with light colored wiking clothing. Sunburn sucks and it drains your energy. I made the mistake of riding shirtless for a group ride on a very hot evening. My mates were not pleased as I rained sweat on them from the front.

    I am also experimenting with using cycling sandals on hot days to keep my feet cooler.

    On the worst days, I resort to riding with a ice filled camelback in addition to my usual oversized bottles. The ice melts pretty fast, but it does help cool for a while.
     
  5. David Henderson

    David Henderson New Member

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    Maydog, yeah, with high temperatures it's very hard to consume as much as you lose through perspiration and in some cases it may not be possible (and electrolytes can be an issue). High humidity makes the problem even worse.

    My best advice would be to try to pre-cool just before starting and keeping the clothing wet (this should facilitate cooling and reduce some sweating volume). Your other points are right on: ride earlier, ride in shady areas, beach showers, light colored wiking clothing, and sunscreen and keep moving helps tremendously due to air cooling.

    Cheers,
    David Henderson
     
  6. tylerwal

    tylerwal New Member

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    I like to wear a full-zip jersey and keep it unzipped fulled to get more airflow when it's really hot. I know it's a common practice while ascending but when it's 90+, it just feels good.
     
  7. David Henderson

    David Henderson New Member

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    Thanks everybody for your comments. From this forum and several others I have adopted many of your comments and added them to the article resulting in an estimated 21.23% improvement. I appreciate your comments. Stay cool everybody!

    Cheers,
    Dave
     
  8. David Henderson

    David Henderson New Member

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    Some key helpful points (I added a few minor elements and improved points... I hope)
    1. allow yourself some exposure to exercising in the heat (with common sense limitations) and allow time (see post for specifics) for adaptive response to occur (primarily plasma volume increases)
    2. Hydrate properly and add electrolytes appropriately. Drinking large amounts of straight/standard water can make you very sick from electrolyte imbalances (Water intoxication is caused when sodium levels drop below 135 mmol/L when athletes consume large amounts of fluid.).
    3. keep your clothing wet (in particular your hair on your head (if bald, a dew rag can hold water), jersey and front panels of shorts. Water conducts (transfers) heat 25 times more than air; evaporation removes the heat that has been captured in the water. This is a really big deal for cooling. As an illustration: Tests done with canteens covered with water soaked fabric covering versus canteens with dry fabric covers produced a 42 Fahrenheit degree difference of interior water temperature (23.4 degrees Celsius difference). evaporative cooling effects on water containers. .
    4. Cooling yourself by pre-wetting clothing and dumping water on your body during strenuous exercise helps slow dehydration and loss of electrolytes, because you will sweat a lesser amount.
    5. Ice slurries can temporarily lower a person's core temperature and increase stay time in heat stress environment.
    6. something, something, I forget what number six was.

    Stay wet my friends,
    Regards,
    David Henderson
     
  9. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to let you know that your ice slurry tip helped save a ride of mine. A few weeks back I was near exhaustion at the end of a long, hot, windy ride. The ride was 75 miles into a 20 to 40 mile headwind - I pulled the whole distance. I made it to the end and turned around to go 15 miles with the wind back home. Even with the wind I was bonking and slipping further into heat exhaustion. I nearly had to stop can make the dreaded "come get me" call to the wife.

    Nearly out of gas, I stopped at a gas station and ordered up the largest slushie they had. To the surprise of the cashier, I took off the lid and chugged half of it down right there. It was miraculous, I could feel my insides being chilled - if I wasn't so hot it would have been uncomfortable, but at that moment it was heaven. Within a few minutes I was ready to go again.

    It gave me just enough recovery to make it the final 8 miles where I immediately took a garden hose shower.
     
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