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  1. #1
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Heat Exhaustion, Heat Acclimation, And PR's Next Ride

    I've stumbled onto a physiological phenomena that maybe some of the seasoned riders can offer their experiences with. A few weeks back I had posted a strava run on one of our challenging cat4 hills, locally. Here is what happened leading up to it. 3 days prior I had made a PR ride on a fast 30mi which gave me a tasted of heat exhaustion the next day. A couple days of recovery and I attacked that strava segment and set a PR on a particularly hot 90+deg and humid evening. Tonight, I just repeated that scenario entirely. 3 days ago I did a hilly 43mi ride on a 94deg day and it whooped my butt bad. Tonight I clobbered that hill segment and gained one more place in the top 12.

    I guess it's heat acclimation because there surely hasnt been any radical changes in my training, rather methodical but nothing outright radical.

    Anyone else experience these physical strength gains in hot/humid riding conditions?

    Here is the link to the ride tonight (jumped to #6):

    http://app.strava.com/rides/13594804#247412647
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    The warmer weather might be helping you to warm-up your leg muscles. That, or you're motivated to feel a stronger breeze from your faster road speed.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    The warmer weather might be helping you to warm-up your leg muscles. That, or you're motivated to feel a stronger breeze from your faster road speed.
    When hitting that last 100yds it gets so steep I am nearly done in. No breeze and I'm puffing pretty good. Sure does feel good when stopping at the top to reset the strava and get a swig of water.

    I have no anwer for the continued PR's in hot weather following the mild heat exhaustion. Hot has never bothered me on this 1.4mi challenge. Could be I'm learning how to ride this hill faster in conjunction with the conditioning.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  4. #4
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Darwinism in effect. That which didn't kill you made you stronger.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    If you had heat exhaustion it is unlikely that you would recover enough to post any PRs in a day or two. Not saying the heat didn't effect you but it could have been a bad day or a mild case of bonk. But I have noticed that most of my faster times are during warm weather at least till it gets to close to 100 when things fall off again. I do think some of us get used to the heat faster than others and when things start to get hot the first few days have more of an effect on us than after a few days.

    Just for the record I had a mild case of Heat Exhaustion about two years ago and I was lucky enough to have a nurse riding with us. we had been riding in 90 degree weather and reached the turn around point on a club ride. On the way back we hit a small climb and after cresting we ran into a 103 degree blast furnace on the other side. Three miles later my HR was almost the same as it had been at the top of the climb. I kept down shifting because my power output was dropping fast and the nurse pulled up next to me to ask if I was OK. She had the group pull over and she had me get in the shade of a large bush. They poured extra water on me and some of the riders headed back to get a car to come pick me up. I cooled off in a small coffee shop till my HR was back to normal and caught a ride home. I was back on the bike in two days but it was well over a week before I could even ride towards the front of the B group let alone set any PRS.

    Just my 2 cents.
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  6. #6
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    IMO, the PRs came from execution and goal setting versus heat acclimation although that may have an effect. Time trials are 85% legs, lungs and heart, 10% brain and 5% equipment. The brain controls the pace and determines how much you will suffer so you have to train the brain. As one practices timed events over a given distance, the brain lets go and the rider starts to relax and generate more power and focus on the goal. It took a couple of races with mediocre results in the 2k pursuit and 500 meter time trial before I could execute and commit 100% effort and start doing well.

    You will continue to improve until you hit a peak (unless you already have) and then performance with back off. One does not plateau at a peak.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  7. #7
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    Being from Vancouver, I don't have a lot of experience riding in the heat but I do know the air density and wind resistance is lower when it's humid out so that and some practice may be helping you out.

  8. #8
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
    Being from Vancouver, I don't have a lot of experience riding in the heat but I do know the air density and wind resistance is lower when it's humid out so that and some practice may be helping you out.
    A few weeks back I'd wondered about the oxygen density since I wasnt so winded at the top. Not sure if that's it but it does seem to help more than when it's hot and dry.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    IMO, the PRs came from execution and goal setting versus heat acclimation although that may have an effect. Time trials are 85% legs, lungs and heart, 10% brain and 5% equipment. The brain controls the pace and determines how much you will suffer so you have to train the brain. As one practices timed events over a given distance, the brain lets go and the rider starts to relax and generate more power and focus on the goal. It took a couple of races with mediocre results in the 2k pursuit and 500 meter time trial before I could execute and commit 100% effort and start doing well.

    You will continue to improve until you hit a peak (unless you already have) and then performance with back off. One does not plateau at a peak.
    I improve every other week, almost as reliably as to make me wonder why I go out on those "inbetweener" weeks. I'll make another stab at it next monday. One thing for sure, it's really a struggle to keep from pacing myself over the 1.4mi so to save something at the top. Last night I flat took off from the start instead of a good steady speed, and that was the difference. Legs were strong until the last 200yds where the incline is increased. It's really a fun climb and the other 11mi on the rollers is a blast....and that keeps me coming back for more.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  10. #10
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    OldsCool, you may want to try going the up the climb twice in one session. On the first time, select a level of effort that is a notch below you fast pace. When you get to the top note the time. Coast down and spin around a little bit and then hit it again at your max effort. I did some 10 minute climbing intervals this evening and my first one is always the toughest. I was much stronger on the 2nd one. The 3rd one was close to the 2nd but a slightly lower average power but still better than the first one.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  11. #11
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Like a warmup of sorts? I can see that. Not that I'll try it next time out but it's a strong consideration when I plateau. Thanx for the tip.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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