By Amber Mirza
The biggest error any cyclist can make is not being prepared for our incredibly hot weather.
1. Acclimate yourself to the weather, start out by riding at a shorter and lower intensity pace for 7-10 days. Start out with 20 minutes and progress to 90 mins over the course of 10-14 days. Allow your body to adapt to the hotter weather. Your body will learn how to regulate its core temperature and the result will be a better ride. (please note i am referring to hot weather and not scorching oven like conditions, for oven like conditions....train indoors or try riding early mornings or in the evenings).
2. Don't forget your sunscreen, sunburns are painful and will increase your body's fluid needs. If you already suffer dehydration issues this is bad news. Protect your skin! I use both sunscreen and arm skins. I wet the arm skins frequently when it is extremely hot.
3. Fluids! I like to pre-hydrate using electrolytes. I only keep water onboard during my ride. I use two bottles, One bottle is full of frozen water and the other is 75% frozen water topped off with drinkable water. That's my personal preference and that is what works for me. Ask your riding buddies If they have a hydration protocol. Experiment and see what works for you.
4. Weigh yourself before riding and afterwards to determine if you have hydrated correctly.
5. In my attempt to keep my core temperature down, I have invested in an Arctic Heat Ice Vest. It arrives in a week and when it does I will write a full review.
Here are some details about the Ice Vest
counter the harmful effects of heat stress.
- Reduces skin temperature by up to 30 degrees Fahrenheit while maintaining a
stable core temperature
- Delays the onset of dehydration by conserving fluid that would normally be
lost through sweating
Lowers cardiac output towards the skin and allows more blood to be sent back
to the muscles resulting in a prolonged high level of performance.
"The Arctic Heat Cooling Vest contains a special non-toxic completely biodegradable viscose gel that absorbs the water it is soaked in. The materials used in the vest are designed to lower skin temperature, which in turn stabilises the core body temperature. By controlling and stabilising the core body temperature a person can perform at his or her optimum level for much longer, sustained periods".