Coach's Corner - Beat The Heat
The coach get's this question all the time living in Southern California: Sometimes when I ride in the heat I can tolerate the temperature and other times I cannot, why? The coach knows that when you start your ride in the heat its much easier to ride in the heat. When going from riding in cool temperatures to the heat, that transition can be much harder. The coach would suggest that when you pedal from a cooler to a hotter temperature, do so slowly. Give your body more time to adapt to the change in the temperature. Some other tips to keep in mind are:
1. Plan and prepare: Think about the route you are going to take. If you are able to, pick out a route that has some shade and perhaps a spot to stop and rehydrate.
2. Use you brain! Get up before the sun is high in sky. The hottest parts of the day are typically between 11AM and 4PM - try riding before or after these times if it is going to be a scorcher. Always, always, always wear sunscreen.
3. Acclimate: If you are not used to riding in the heat, start with shorter routes until your body becomes used to riding in the heat. After your body gets used to it then start to increase your ride lengths.
4. Make sure you hydrate! Water is the best. But you should also replace electrolytes. Always carry plenty of fluids. Its better to have too much water/electrolyte replacements than to have too little.
5. Recover: Post ride recovery is even more important when riding in elevated temperatures. Carry a snack or have something waiting for you at the conclusion of your ride. Ideally replenish your energy stores with a 4:1 carb to protein ratio snack. Keep hydrating as well in the hours following the conclusion of your ride. This will help speed your recovery and allow you to face the heat again on your ride tomorrow!
Author: Coach Darryl MacKenzie