GFNY Cozumel Mexico, 10 November 2019


5 Tips for riding in the heat

THE HEAT IS ON - 5 Essential Tips to Successfully Riding in the Heat

One of the more prevalent features in Cozumel is the combination of sun and humidity.  It provides a tremendous amount of light, feeds the plants, bronzes the skin, creates energy, and keeps things pretty darn warm.  Specifically for the GFNY Cozumel we will focus on addressing that powerful heat and humidity combination.  Most of our cycling energy expenditure is used in the dissipation of heat, rather than generating the power to go fast on the bike.  The hotter it is, the harder it becomes to perform at your peak level.  In this article we will address our top five tips to prepare for your best ride, despite the temperature.
Get acclimated - In order to perform in the heat you have to prepare in the heat.  Do not be afraid to go out in the middle of the day and do your workout.    Normal workouts in the heat for 5-10 days should provide acclimatization.    As a rule of thumb, reduce exercise intensity to about 60-70% during this period.  And contrary to popular belief, just sitting at the pool in the heat doesn’t help!  You must exercise in that heat to achieve adaptation.
For those of you traveling from cooler climate and the race is in late November, you can take advantage and ride indoors in a warm room.  Just make sure you put a fan on you and drink plenty of fluids.
Hydration – In the weeks leading up to the event you need to start “loading.”  During the event, drink cool but not ice cold water.  Dowse your body with water as often as possible to help the wind cool you off.
Refill bottles often and use electrolytes to replace loss during exercise.  You will never be able to completely replace what you lose, but strive for a 500-1000ml (16-32 oz) every hour. Separate the amounts into 10-20 minute increments.  Try not to drink straight water, as drinking a solution with sodium will allow the fluid to be retained.  After exercise, replace with 200-350ml (6-12 oz) amounts every hour. 
There are many products on the market that have the correct ratio’s of carbohydrates and electrolytes.  They are simple to use and pre-packaged, just make sure you stick with one that you like and don’t experiment the day of the event.
Protect yourself - Wear sunscreen, wear protective and cooling clothes, find as much shade as possible (rest stops, on the road), wear light colored clothes (socks and shoes), wear technical fabrics that breathe.  There are a variety of products on the market that allows moisture to wick away from the skin.  And for all the men,  it may make sense to shave those beards! 
Know before you go -Research the weather forecast for race day.  Know when the heat will begin to increase and when it will be at its peak.  Do your best to be as far along in the ride as possible before that spike.  I know that the race begins early that morning, so that is good thing.
Know your limits -   While it is good to acclimate yourself and to push yourself, it is also important to know when you must back off – or even call it a day.  Overheating can cause several significant problems that you need to avoid.  If it does happen, the best possible thing is to get into an ice bath.  Ice baths can increase the body’s ability to cool up to 26 times normal than when you are exposed to a similar air temperature!
As tempting as it is to push yourself on race day it is important to go at a sustainable pace.  Without question we cannot sustain the same pace on hot days that we can on cool or moderate days.   Be smart, know your limits and listen to what your body is telling you!

Ride safe, ride comfortable and ride strong!

The AthletiCamps Team