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  1. #1
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    Allergic to Heat (Training for heat)

    Sorry this is going to be long, but I need to get all the information out so I can figure this out. Does anyone else find themself severly affected by heat and humidity?

    I race the sport classes in the East. Our races are generally 15 miles long. I train for these races riding the road about 12 hours a week. My rides are generally 3 hours in length and very in intensity depending on the day (hills, sprints, recovery, etc.). I ride off-road once a week for 2 hours at most - unless there's a race.

    My problem is the heat and humidity kill me in the races. Sure it slows everyone down, but it nearly stops me in my tracks. I hydrate well before, during and after the race. I don't drink so much that I have to use the bathroom during the race. I drink enough during that after the race it's clear or close enough.

    My road rides don't start before 4pm (job). My off-road rides start about 6:30pm. Neither of which are during the worst of the day. The races start between 10 and 11am. I can hang with the guys i train off-road with at night, but not during the races.

    My first thought is not using a camelback for the races. It holds in too much heat on my back. On the road I rarely get that hot. I use water bottles and the breeze riding creates keeps me cool enough. Off-road in the woods there's hardly a breeze and I'm not going fast enough to make my own.

    I'm 6ft at 160lbs., so it's not like I'm overweight. I am fair skinned and usually try to avoid the sun. I don't have air conditioning at home, so it's not so much an adjustment thing. I've always been "warm blooded." I break a sweat at the slightest exertion - even in shape.

    My second thought is to try some kind of heat training. Maybe wearing long sleeve jerseys on my road rides - maybe even wearing my cammelback Tights, etc. Just something to conidition my body to the heat/humidity. In the races I would then wear the normal jersey/short combo and not use the cammelback.

    I've lived here my whole life, so the heat/humidity is nothing new to me, though I've only been racing mt. bikes for 2 years.

    That's it. Any suggestions or similar experiences?

  2. #2
    The Riddler
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    Try a google search for the badwater ultramarathon. Its a 135 mile running race held in the desert. They have a manual that describes, among other things, how to train for intense heat. Check it out.

  3. #3
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    What happens?

    The heat causes you a problem but you don't specify just what the symptoms are. Do you get a pounding headache? Do you stop sweating? Skin clammy and chills? Cramping? Or are you just hot and uncomfortable?

    I raced today in heat and humidity at French Creek, PA. I used a camel back because I knew it was going to be imperative to keep the liquid going in DURING the race. I loaded the camel back at home with accelerade and ice and kept it in a cooler unitl I went to the starting line. Constantly sucking in a cold beverage helped me stay comfortable. I rode a complete lap of the course for warm-up and drank a 26oz. bottle in the process. Just five minutes prior to the start I drank most of another 22oz bottle of accelerade. Note that I'm drinking lots of sports drink; in the hot weather it replenishes the salt and helps me to avoid cramping. Be careful with drinking too much plain water without replenishing salt. If you're anything like me you end up crusted in salt after a hot race, your body needs that salt.

    Racing is always about a measured effort. How hard can I go and still make it to the end? Recognize that the heat and humidity is a tremendous stress. Don't go out as fast in hot weather, control your pace.

  4. #4
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    I did French Creek too

    On the second lap I had to sit down twice because of dizziness and feeling faint on the climbs (before the second road crossing). I did not cramp (legs or stomach) and I was sweating the whole time. After the long downhill of each lap I would finally feel refreshed. When the climbing started it was gone within a matter of seconds. I did notice later in the lap the dizziness would come on when I got off to walk a hill. The quicker I got back on the bike, the sooner the dizziness would go away. I don't know if it was the slight breeze of riding that made it suddenly better or that getting back on the bike after walking a hill usually meant I was going downhill. After the race I was tired - drained of energy, but my legs did not feel taxed. Even today climbing the stairs to my office my legs feel a lot better than then do after a hard road ride.

    I specifically did not start out hard. I use a heart rate monitor and kept it within my racing zone (about 84%). That put me about 4 or 5 places from the last guy. I had a 100oz. cammelback full of cytomax, though storing it in a cooler on ice sounds like a good idea. You also started out with a lot more drinking before the race then I did. In the past I've had to stop and go to the bathroom too much when I do that. Maybe in the heat that won't be the case.

    This happened to me last year too. When it gets hot I die. My endurance is drained. What I can normally climb in cooler weather with my heart rate at 92%, I have to get off and walk at 82% in the heat.

    Overall, I did not find the French Creek course to be that difficult (certainly not as difficult as it could have been). Under cooler circumstances, I think could have done very well (same goes for everyone I'm sure).

    The past two years I train late winter and early spring, do well the first couple of races, then die in the heat. i can't ever imagine racing expert since they race later in the day and longer in the heat.

  5. #5
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    something other things I do..........

    Quote Originally Posted by SurlyBob
    On the second lap I had to sit down twice because of dizziness and feeling faint on the climbs (before the second road crossing). I did not cramp (legs or stomach) and I was sweating the whole time. After the long downhill of each lap I would finally feel refreshed. When the climbing started it was gone within a matter of seconds. I did notice later in the lap the dizziness would come on when I got off to walk a hill. The quicker I got back on the bike, the sooner the dizziness would go away. I don't know if it was the slight breeze of riding that made it suddenly better or that getting back on the bike after walking a hill usually meant I was going downhill. After the race I was tired - drained of energy, but my legs did not feel taxed. Even today climbing the stairs to my office my legs feel a lot better than then do after a hard road ride.

    I specifically did not start out hard. I use a heart rate monitor and kept it within my racing zone (about 84%). That put me about 4 or 5 places from the last guy. I had a 100oz. cammelback full of cytomax, though storing it in a cooler on ice sounds like a good idea. You also started out with a lot more drinking before the race then I did. In the past I've had to stop and go to the bathroom too much when I do that. Maybe in the heat that won't be the case.

    This happened to me last year too. When it gets hot I die. My endurance is drained. What I can normally climb in cooler weather with my heart rate at 92%, I have to get off and walk at 82% in the heat.

    Overall, I did not find the French Creek course to be that difficult (certainly not as difficult as it could have been). Under cooler circumstances, I think could have done very well (same goes for everyone I'm sure).

    The past two years I train late winter and early spring, do well the first couple of races, then die in the heat. i can't ever imagine racing expert since they race later in the day and longer in the heat.
    If the heat and exertion combine to cause you to feel dizzy and faint it might be worth discussing it with a physician. Not suggesting there's anything physically wrong with you but a doctor might have some insight to the particular functioning or your body that is causing you this problem.

    I often do a full lap warm-up of the race course which results in being damp, if not soaked with sweat, prior to the race start. I take a second set of riding clothes and change into clean dry socks, shorts, jersey and gloves before the start. I've also started wearing a sleeveless jersey this year and it seems to help keep me cooler.

    The French Creek course was a lot of fun. A nice balance of climbing, descending and snaking single track. It certainly could have been much tougher given some of the trails available. I race Expert class but they took pity on the old guys and only made us do two laps, but that meant the race turned into more of a sprint which was pretty brutal in the heat.

    How much of that 100oz. camel back did you actually consume during the race? Remembering to eat and drink adequately while racing is something I actually practice on my training rides with the idea that when you're stressed you fall back to the habits that you've trained yourself to perform.

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