Cycling in Hot Weather
There are two topics of conversation that you will hear together. That being cycling and the weather. All weather conditions will put different demands on the body.
Cycling in the heat is tough, not only is your body radiated from the sun, but your body produces heat through exercise. If you get out regularly in the heat your body acclimatises to the temperatures to cope better, this usually takes about 2 weeks. Even sitting in a sauna or having hot baths will help your body adapt to cycling in the heat.
Training in the heat can make you a better cyclist
The good news is that training in the heat can make you a better cyclist. It improves how your muscles work. You are not going to get your best times whilst cycling in the heat, but it will make you a stronger cyclist. Train when others wouldn’t and you will see the benefits later on.
The most important thing to consider when cycling in hot temperatures is keeping hydrated. Even if you have been acclimatised to the heat, this does not mean that you don’t need to concentrate on drinking plenty of water. This can sometimes be a habitual thing to focus on, so you do not get caught out. Drink plenty on and off the bike. As soon as you get up in the morning drink a pint of water every day and ensure you have easy access to water all day. You can check how hydrated you are by observing the colour of your urine. If it’s too yellow or even orange, you need increase your water intake.
Have a plan to keep hydrated
When out on your bike plan how much you will drink. I try and get through a bottle per an hour. This could mean stopping so I make sure I know where to stop at a shop on route to refill. If I don't plan it I often forget, or think I will be ok until I get home. Then pay the price for the rest of the day with very little energy.
Be an early bird or night owl
For longer rides it can be a good idea to get out early or go out in the evening when the temperatures tend to be cooler. You will find that your speeds will slow down especially if you have been in the heat for a long time. Don’t give yourself a hard time, just be aware of it and remind yourself that you are out training when others wouldn’t!
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