Beating the Heat

When training on a sticky, hot Midwestern day, which can rival the heat index of most tropical places, it's critical to beat the heat. While there are some days when you feel like stopping before you even start your workout and having a beer, you owe it to yourself to get out and enjoy summer.

While having a beer isn't all bad and will be oh so refreshing, I usually try to get in a good workout before partaking - it will be that much more enjoyable!


The author enjoying a little piece of heaven (ice cold beer) after a very long and hot ride.

I've learned a few tricks in my 20 years of training, racing, and endurance adventures that might help you out in keeping you going longer and fighting exhaustion on a sweltering hot summer training day:
  1. Base Fitness: Maintaining a year round base line level of fitness through simply living an active lifestyle ensures you have the basic tool kit to go the distance on a hot summer day.
  2. Specificity: A good base fitness level will take you far, but not as far as fitness specific to your sport. Be as specific as possible with all of your training. If a primary focus of the year for you is a long, hot, summer road race, you should be doing long rides your race bike and carrying a lot of water, supplements, etc in advance of the event. Test out everything so there aren't any surprises on race day.
  3. Prepare: Pay attention to the details. How much water/fluid will you drink, what will you eat, will you be using any supplements, will you use a recovery drink afterwards? What clothing will you wear to keep you cool? Which sunscreen will you use that will allow your skin to breath and cool you down?
  4. Safety: Of course, safety is critical! Training in extreme heat can be dangerous for the fittest athlete. Do you have ID and a cell phone on you? Who will you call if you get stuck somewhere?
Two of the author's favorite hot weather training staples.

Finally, when you're out on the road, you often don't have access to the cool new supplement products to keep you performing. Following are a few things that can be found at any Convenience Store that keep me going:
  1. Salted Nut Roll: My all time favorite food for endurance athletes! Seriously. Think about it, they contain nuts, salt, and a sweet sugar nuget filling. Endurance athlete need sodium, sugar, and protein when training!
  2. Water: Duh! Buy the big gallon jug as it's usually cheaper than the smaller bottles!
  3. Gatorade: It's proven the test of time and still the best selling sports drink on the planet, and it works!
  4. Coke: Sometimes that sugar and caffiene boost is just what the doctor ordered!
  5. Rice Krispy Bar: They are big, cheap, and hit the spot on a long training ride
There you have it! Get out there and train, enjoy summer, stay hydrated, and proudly wear your Cyclova XC Gear!

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