Know when to say WHEN!
The following is a piece I wrote for the Cincinnati Cycle Club newsletter. You can access the site by clicking here.
Know When to Say WHEN
Hot enough for you? I thought for sure by the beginning of August we would get a break from the heat …. not a chance….
So, don’t forget to keep well hydrated at all times. Take in extra water and keep that lemon wedge in your day bottle. For me, during these 90+ days, I drink at least four 32 oz. bottles per day—minimum—and that does not include cycling time. On Thursday I did a 2 hour recovery ride and went through 4 bottles on my bike. When I arrived home, I drank another 20 oz. plus of water right away. Keep those quality electrolyte drinks coming in, too!
Even when you are well hydrated, know when to say when in this heat! Sometimes, depending on your body’s ability to deal with the heat, it might just be too hot to ride outside. Just like it is sometimes too cold, it can be too hot! Your planned 4 hour ride in 95 degrees might be best cut down to 2.
Another issue that is made worse by the intense heat is saddle sores. Sorry, don’t mean to be graphic, but as cyclists, it is something we have to be very aware of. Saddle sores are a problem during all 4 seasons, but they seem to be worse during the heat. I am sure you all practice great hygiene by always wearing clean shorts, that is the first step. The second is to remove your cycling shorts as quickly as possible after you climb off the bike. Obviously you want to wash as soon as possible. If you are not able, at the very least, remove your shorts and put on regular clothes. Simply put, all that sweat can cause major issues. One of my online cycling coaching clients actually contracted MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) because he would wear his shorts for extended periods of time after riding. So, don’t drive home in your shorts, don’t cut your grass when you get home in your shorts and don’t hang out with your peeps for hours and hours after you ride while still in your shorts. Okay, ‘nough said!
Enough about the heat!
How about I touch on a new subject; pacing yourself on a ride. What is the use of giving it 110% in the first 10 miles or going so hard that you blow up and are not able to complete the ride in an efficient manner?!? We have all been there and done that. It isn’t fun (well, it might be fun before you blow up). Try to gather information on the ride before you head out. “Hey Bob, what is this ride like? What are the roads like? How long is it?” etc. At least then, you will know what to expect. If you find yourself in a group that is “more experienced” than you, let them take the lead and you ride in the group at your own pace. It is okay to “sit in” and rest. Try not to get in over your head. One way of becoming a better cyclist is to ride with those that are better than you. Give yourself time, you will get there!