July 31, 2016

It’s hot out there! In the midst of the summer heat athletes are struggling to find their summer training groove.  I’m from Arizona, born and raised in the Valley of the Sun and I feel I’m pretty accustomed to this heat.   I’ve learned my way around it and what is has to offer me.  For many athletes, our peak races come this fall, which means a brutally hot summer full of high volume miles.  There are ways around it by training the smart way.  In my experience, here are some tips for doing it right…
Take a Sweat Test: Weigh yourself naked, run or bike for 1 hour in the type of conditions and intensity you think you will be racing. Record how much you drink during that hour. Weigh yourself naked after the training.  For every pound you lose, equals 16-20 oz of fluid needed/hour plus how much you drank during that hour. Do this as often as you feel needed. 
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:Before, during, and after your bikes and runs, it is so important to get your fluids in. Find the combination of electrolyte sports drink and amount of water that works for you.  A 24oz bottle of water and one 24oz bottle of my sports drink per hour might be a good start if you plan on rides lasting over 2 hours.  Find yourself a great hand-held or waist band Fuelbelt that will carry enough water to get you by on your short and long runs.  Always make sure to hydrate well all day after that so your body is ready to go for the next day.  Coconut water is also a good way of adding fluid and much need potassium to your post ride hydration plan. Getting tired of plain old water? Try an electrolyte tab like Nuun.  These are flavorful, low in calories, and high in necessary electrolytes.
Know your Route:It’s important to know where the next hydration fueling station is.  You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without water.  
SUNSCREEN:You should protect yourself with 10 SPF for every hour you are out.  That means if you are out for a 3 hour ride, you should have at least 30 SPF on.  There are small tubes and sticks of sunscreen that can fit into the back of your bike jersey, so you can re-apply during your ride.  Protect your skin! There are also some hair products with SPF barriers. I have used a product by BioMega that helps protect my color treated hair in the sun and it contains a UV protectant.  I have also put a simple, cheap conditioner on the ends to protect my strands from fraying in the wind.
Salt:Of course, everybody is different, but don’t underestimate the amount of sodium you may need when you’re riding through a life sized blow dryer and your sweat is drying as fast as your body is creating it.  Iodine is an essential electrolyte.
Clothing: Go light, but wear sunscreen under your jersey.  You can also try a second layer of the new Castelli Prosecco UPF 50 shirt.  It wicks sweat and keeps you cool! Mission also makes some pretty cool neck coolers, hats, and other clothing that specifically work to keep you cool.  
Lube it up: Use a chamois cream. Heat causes sweat. Sweat causes moisture. Moisture, cycling, and a saddle for hours on end can cause problems. Enough said! Ruby’s Lube is a great solution.
Get outta Here!:Plan a road trip with your friends and get out of town to somewhere nice and cool, just for a change.  Pack up the bikes and go! A cooler training weekend can do amazing things for your body and your mind.
Enjoy Yourself: Don’t forget that through all the training, heat, sweat dripping in the eyes, and saddle sores you are doing what you love. Right?  Think of the end product here and it’ll all be worth it.
Now get out there and get in some training!

Karleen Dirmantas
BSRX3 Gold Level Coach



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