Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Cycling Center Dallas Blog
Here we talk about all things cycling - training, wattage, group rides, bike rallies, triathlons, weather, coaching, coaches, nutrition, ponderings, musings, and equipment! If you have a topic or a question, send us a note and we'll try to answer for you!
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Coach Wharton
16:17

Stage 19: 21 Days, 21 Tips for Cycling in July - Keep Your Cool!

Spray

Wow - it's July in Texas, and here and at the Tour de France, it is HOT HOT HOT! But are there any ways we can ride outside and KEEP OUR COOL!?

It's not easy, but it IS possible.

Start off with a mantra that's dear to me - HYDRATE! Drink early, drink often, drink your sports drink, and avoid the caffeine or diuretic medications. You just need to keep drinking a light-carb/smart salt solution, like OSMO or Skratch. I like them both.

Second, sunscreen is a Godsend. I'm more of a fan of having lighter sunscreen, like SPF15, and re-applying it every 90 minutes or so, but that can be cumbersome. Talk to a dermatologist about the pros and cons of seasonal protection and higher vs lower SPF values.

Third, lots of new kit fabrics come pre-treated with SPF protection, as well as Infra-Red ray protection. The kit at CCD reflects UVA and IR rays, thus keeping the skin about 8 degrees cooler. The kits are also built to help sweat evaporate instead of coagulating on the skin, thus helping with a cooling microclimate.

Finally, don't hesitate to use ice bags in your jersey pockets, under your jersey and on your back. We've seen it a lot in this year's Tour, and one thing I've noticed is that the riders, when given fresh ice bags at feed zones, will 'Pop' them with their fists, and then stuff them in their kit. When the ice begins to melt, it saturates the clothing, providing the user with a 'Swamp Cooler', that feels great!!!

Another trick along these lines is to take a ziploc of any size, snip the corners with scissors, and fill the bag with ice. Again - it'll melt and leak all over you, but it's reusable.
Be safe, stay hydrated, and keep your cool these next few weeks as summer wanes.

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Coach Wharton
15:29

21 Days of the Tour de France, 21 Tips for Cycling in July! Stage 10 - HYDRATION!!

Hydration

As the Tour de France makes its' way south towards the Pyrenees, and then the Alps, the riders are going to be doing everything they can to stay on top of their hydration. But it's more than just water. They need fluids, electrolytes (salts), and carboHYDRATES, to get it down to the cellular level. As it gets hotter, take a look at this chart, and follow it on a per-hour basis.

Hydration Chart

Take your body weight on the left, and depending on how hard your workouts are, use the column in the middle as the minimum # of ounces per hour, and the column on the right as the # of ounces I PREFER when it's hot outside. For reference, a short-necked bottle is 20oz and a long-necked water bottle is 24oz.

But don't stop there: modern hydration products employ the best science to help you handle the heat and humidity, and I prefer OSMO and then Skratch. We have it at the studio, and it's available at bike shops and online. We don't recommend traditional sports drinks, as they're too concentrated, and won't be as effective.

This takes practice, but when you do it right, it almost feels as if you're 'running cool'. You're more fresh, more alert, and definitely ride stronger.

Cycling Center Dallas and Online Bike Coach have several methods to help show you just how important hydration is. Come by the studio or give us a call and we'll be glad to give you a demonstration.

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