Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Ridin' the Heat Wave

When the thermometer nears 100F I can think of a dozen places I'd rather be than outside on the road riding my road bike.  That's right... I said places I WOULD RATHER BE than outside riding in 100F heat.  And, believe it or not, one of them is on the trainer in my cool basement.  That's how much I detest those Hazy, Hot and Humid Days of July/August.  Besides, if you're not going to be racing in the heat, why the hell train in it?  I see no benefit.  Did you know your power output drops dramatically in the heat?  A lot!  Just heard on Versus where Dr. Allen Lim (my mentor) said only a 1-2 deg C increase in core temp is enough to drop your wattage at least 30 watts.  Still don't believe me, come on over my house and I'll set up the trainer on my deck in 100F heat and you can have a go at it (FTP Test).  Then, wait a couple days after your rested and do the same test in my cool 68F basement.  Guess which test you're going to perform MUCH better on?  That's right Mr. Freeze..the one in my basement.  STILL don't believe me, I'll make ya a beer bet.  Haven't lost one yet.

Ok, ok, before you call me a wussy (or worse)..and BTW, our HS football coaches called us pussies when we had 2-a-day football practices in 100F heat and had to take a water break...I said I'm not enamored with riding in 100F heat- not that I wouldn't ride.  I didn't say I wouldn't go earlier in the day or later in the day when it's not so bad.  Just this morning, I joined my friend Mark Dean and his Tri-guys/gals at 0630 for a 1 1/2 hr. ride.  The temps were in the low 70s and it felt great.

I don't have to tell you to hydrate well before, during and after the ride too.  For longer rides, I'd pop an electrolyte pill or two.  It will also help to wear light clothes that don't absorb so much heat.

Another alternative, if you ONLY have time to go out when it's hot, is to ditch the road bike and grab the Mtn. bike and head for the thick tree cover.  I did that the entire month of August last year and had a ball.  You would not believe how much cooler it is under the tree cover.  Plus, you'll still maintain your biking fitness.

Stay Cool!  Power ON!  Coach Rob

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