Staying cool and keeping hydrated this summer is essential to performance. Here, Steve Elden-Gray from Protrain looks at how can we effectively train and not get burdened down by the heat, while also not going over the top in trying to keep cool & hydrated.
Plan your hydration
One of the best things is to have a daily hydration plan. Plan to consume a good amount of water regularly throughout the day, every day. It sounds simple but it is one thing that is easily overlooked and forgotten about until we feel thirsty.
A hydration plan should be no different whether on the bike training or doing events. Planning to drink at 15-20 minute intervals when on the bike will help us stay hydrated and perform at our best. Water is generally fine for durations under 2 hours with sports drinks containing Carbohydrates, Sodium and Potassium used for all endurance training and events over the 2 hour mark.
Depending on the temperature you should aim to consume somewhere between 500-1000ml of fluid per hour. So for long hot days you must plan plenty of fluids before and during your ride. This needs some planning and forward thinking about when and where and how to refill bottles. If you don’t then you will likely experience some signs of dehydration.
Signposts of dehydration
Dehydration indicators include muscle cramps and fatigue. Even small amounts of dehydration will cause a reduction in performance and a decrease in energy levels. More severe levels will result in coordination loss, putting you and others at risks of crashing. Remember it is important to replace training or event fluid loss afterwards as well. This can be measured by weighing in and replacing any lost weight with fluids.
I have found planning my fluid intake works when we have to be out in the hot weather but you could also plan to train at cooler times of the day and avoid the heat. Other ways to keep cool are having clothing that unzips to easily increase airflow and pouring water over yourself is another way to aid cooling.
There are plenty of tricks riders use to aid beating the heat like putting ice cubes into bottles for example. What is your best trick?
Now is the perfect time to sit down for a coffee with Steve Elden from Protrain and plan your next goal or optimize and correct your bike position. Protrain has a professional Bike Fit Studio and Testing Lab to give further benefits to your training. For more information on Protrain and more articles from Steve click here.