6 Tips for Riding and Exercising in the Heat

As the temperatures rise and the workouts get tougher I wanted to take a quick moment to remind everyone about training in the heat.  Here are some quick action items:

  1. ALL HEAT ADAPTATIONS ARE DEPENDENT ON YOUR ABILITY TO SWEAT MORE. This means that you need MORE fluids on your rides vs riding in primo weather.  Athletes will sweat between 1.5- 2 L of sweat per hour.  That's +50oz of sweat per hour.  Your two water bottles are probably 24 oz each at best so add a third bottle or a hydration pack.  Plan on stopping to refill.
  2. Hydration in the summer is a constant battle. You're never "caught up" for longer than your next bathroom trip.  It can become a job to stay hydrated.
  3. You become heat adapted by being in the heat longer.  Heat adaptations are gained in a similar way to altitude so you don't need to be training in the heat to be more adapted.  Simply lying in a shaded hammock reading a book for a few hours every day will get the job done.  Yard work counts too.
  4. Heat and humidity will degrade performances.  Change your training times to allow you to perform.  I've had to remind a bunch of elite athletes this week that they can't do big powers very long when the heat index is at 110F. If you can get out early (7am) you'll have until about 10am before it gets hot enough to degrade your performance on an absolute scale.  If that's not possible consider going inside for the structured efforts then heading outside for the balance of the ride.
  5. We've done a Racing and Training in the Heat webinar.  Watch it.  Remember all those little things because you need to do them all.
  6. AGAIN, ALL HEAT ADAPTATIONS ARE DEPENDENT ON YOUR ABILITY TO SWEAT MORE. This means that you need MORE fluids on your rides than during primo weather. Nearly all athletes decline in ability as it gets too hot or too cold.  Here's a PD Curve we've built that is looking at a long time athlete's power profile with respect to temperature.
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Dive deeper into this topic with Adam Mills' webinar on Racing and Training in the Heat.

P.S. If you aren't a current SE athlete, it's a perfect time to become one!


About the Author: Adam Mills has raced at the elite level since 2002 and graduated with a Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kansas in 2005. His true talent comes with his ability to combine his vast experience with his knowledge of sport. He is indeed a student of science, sport, athletic performance, strategy, and tactics. He continuously educates himself by keeping up to date with current research trends and methods in sport and his clients have reaped the benefits from this work with over 17 national championships in 11 disciplines on two continents. Adam is able to incorporate these attributes on a daily basis to help his clients reach and exceed their goals whether they are a beginner or a seasoned professional. Learn more about Adam and Source Endurance here