What could be more pleasant for a cyclist than to ride under a sunny sky with summer temperatures? Swallow the kilometers of asphalt or road, encouraged by a generous sun. Pleasant yes, but not without risk! Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of your summer ridings.
Contrary to rainy conditions where cyclists can adapt their equipment accordingly to protect themselves as best they can (hot and waterproof clothing, gloves, over-shoes, etc.), solutions to combat heat are limited. Even by regularly moisturizing and wearing a clothing adapted to the heat, cycling at temperatures above 30°C is very demanding for the body. The latter must constantly regulate the body temperature in order to avoid hyperthermia, a phenomenon that can cause discomfort or even jeopardize the cyclist's vital prognosis.
What are the direct consequences of heat on our body during a bike ride?
During a cycling exercise, the action of our muscles will produce heat. In order to maintain a body temperature of about 37°C, our body will evacuate this excess heat in the form of sweat. In the case of training at high temperatures, the needs of thermoregulation are added to those required for effort. To protect ourselves, our organism will promote thermoregulation and redistribute the blood to the cutaneous tissues at the expense of the muscles. Therefore, for the same exercise heart rate, a cyclist will ride slower in hot temperatures than in cool weather, and will therefore perform less well.
How do I gradually get used to the heat?
The best solution is to train when it's hot. In order not to take unreasonable risks, start by cycling for one hour without forcing, then gradually increase the duration of your workouts during the following sessions. When you are already acclimatized to a minimum, you will be able to increase your stress intensities, but you will be able to limit your efforts beyond 90% of your FC Max. But be careful not to overdo it, limit yourself to one session out of three in a warm environment, and don't insist if you feel unwell during a workout.
How to stop the negative effect of heat before and during cycling training?
Before going out: Drink regularly from the day before your workout, stay as much as possible in a cool environment, take a cold shower before going cycling, use restraining socks to improve your venous return, salt your food more to anticipate losses due to perspiration. Like professional cyclists, you can also wear a cooling jacket to keep your body temperature low until the beginning of your session.
During your workout: moisturize regularly with a low-concentrated and not too cold energy drink to avoid intestinal problems, wear clear and breathable clothes, water regularly with fresh water, especially at the nape of the neck to help your body cool down.