Bill- just wanted to say your advice on this one helped get me going today. I decided to go out despite my sore shoulder and to try to get as much workout as I could into as little time as I could. (I've got a teenager that I'm supposed to be helping study for a Physical Science test, so not a lot of time today). Anyway. I like the concept that getting better is really just basics- do it and then do it again. Today I got better at riding in the heat (its not that warm compared to a lot of you guys- mid 80's) and I got faster. I took the trip that I have been doing at right around 13 mph and did it today at 15 mph. I know it's not a huge difference and its not as fast as a lot of people, but I am proud of those extra two miles nonetheless. In short, thanks Bill- you got me moving this evening.
Agree with Bill. Ride in the heat! Allow the body to adapt.
I've worked in very hot environments for very long hours, suffered heat stroke a few times and learned how to deal with those high temps. Warning, you spend enough time in 110 to 120 temps and at 80 degree you will look for a coat.
The opposite it true, a guy from Northern Manitoba got out of a truck at -40 below zero with only a flannel shirt on, he said it was warm out today, yesterday is was -80 and he needed a coat. Put him in 90 degrees and he would think he is on fire, he would adapt in time.
Great advice....I would add, to go along with the famous Belgian Cyclist, Eddie Merx, if you want to climb better, climb hills often; if you want to go faster, practice going faster. So, if you want to cycle better in the heat, cycle more in the heat. I live in South Texas. To get used to the heat, I do a long ride weekly. In the summer (which starts in March/April), I try to increase the mileage so that by August I'm doing 80-90 miles on my long ride. That gets me ready for the Hotter than Hell 100. It feels so good to pass those young studs at the 80-mile point. HOOAAA!!
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Riding in the heat is part of the game. Last time I rode the Hotter 'n Hell Hundred it was 108F and I fared a lot better than riders who were obviously much fitter than me. Things to keep in mind. The most water almost anyone can absorb is slightly less than 1 liter/hour. If you drink more than 1 liter/hour it will sit in your stomach; often very uncomfortably. You can loose far more than 1 liter/hour in water through sweat and respiration. Unless you can hang an IV pole on your handlebars you are going to get dehydrated if you exercise hard in arid heat. Your body can not physically absorb enough water to keep up. In these conditions your body's ability to rehydrate and cool itself becomes the limiting factor for how much work you can do instead of aerobics. You have to slow down; if you don't than your body will shut down before letting you dehydrate and overheat to dangerous levels. You will have a much better ride if you take it easy in the heat instead of pushing your body until it balks. Things you can do to have a better ride. You can prehydrate. The trick here is to avoid getting dehyrated in the days before your event by drinking extra then half an hour before the start of your event drink 16 ounces. Stay wet! You may not be able to absorb more than 1L/hour but you can soak yourself with water to get some extra evaporative cooling. Your head and the back of your neck can radiate a lot of heat so gushing water into your helmet can really help. If you stop don't just fill your water bottles but take the opportunity to get soaked as well.
I live in South Florida, so it gets HOT here in the summer. By summer I mean April through mid-December (it's gonna be near 90 today near my house and mid-80s near the coast). Anyway I find that every summer I need to slowly get used to working out in the heat. I do this by doing everything that you're doing, but I also take those first few weeks much slower - I work out by FEEL not by pace, and I will cut back on miles. I also take electrolyte tablets (not Gatorade) because I feel that I get more bang for my buck, and I'll take 1 or 2 tablets about 15-30 minutes before outdoor exercise and one every 30 to 45 minutes during exercise.
Another option would be to plan shady routes, or places along the way that offer shade like shopping centers (I realize you may not live in an area with shade trees).
Good luck with finding a way to enjoy your rides yet not suffer too much.
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Wow...sounds like you're already doing all that you can. Being from upstate New York I can't say that I've ever had to deal with such conditions for cycling. The only other thing I can think of from a longer term perspective would be pounds. Any extra weight you can drop would help lower your "insulation."
I kid around with DW who would like to move to warmer climates by saying: Why move South when it seems to be moving up to US?!? :-)
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It's still cold here. We had a warm March but since it's been cold.
For heat and cold is really learning how to let the body acclimate to the climate. One day I went out for a ride and it was 83 degrees, the next day 38 when I left and 28 degrees when I got back.
I think you have a good idea of what you need to do. For me it's a Heart Rate monitor. In the heat or if you dehydrate your HR will not come down, it happened to me once in 108 degrees and very high humidity. I was riding hard and my core temp would not come down. Found a hose and that did it. I drenched myself and make it 8 miles home. I was working 2nd shift at the time and always rode in the heat of the day.
Sadly but truly, it's already hot here in Tucson, and although it *is* a dry heat, it's still not so much fun to be out in. It'll be a couple of weeks until our family schedule permits really early bike rides, so until then I'm stuck with the heat. I don't want to *not* ride for the rest of the month, but I also don't want to make myself sick and miserable in the process.
So, any tips for hot-weather riding? I've already figured out the "extra water" bit, and have added some half-strength calorie-free sports drink to replace the electrolytes as well. Got my sunscreen, got my lightest-weight gear.
Anything else I can be doing?
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