The Heat and Me

I’ve done 3 weeks of 3-4 sessions a week (usually after a swim) building from 15 to 20-25minutes a couple of times to try and adapt.

My measure (albeit a mix of objective/subjective) was how my power/hr/pace/RPE mix was on runs and rides in the heat. My expectation was that it should shift back to ‘normal’ after heat adaptation.

I have a suspicion that actually exercising in the heat (I don’t mean in a sauna :grinning: ) is far more effective. You also need to adapt your training programme to take into account the extra stress of the heat training.

Approach and timeframes certainly seem appropriate.
I’m not sure I’d ever say doing the sauna method will end up meaning your HR will return to “normal” during a one-off type run in extreme heat (that’s still going to be a shock to the body), but the additional plasma volume in your blood should help you cope. There probably is no perfect substitute for just living and training in the heat.

The measure I was talking about was more related to the actual immediate response in the sauna. My experience is that after a couple of weeks, the HR ramp I see initially in short sauna sessions doesn’t occur even when I’ve been in there for much longer. That is the key indicator (for me), that I’ve had a plasma volume response that has led to my body being able to regulate itself better within the confines of the sauna.

TBH, I always find the sauna quite hard work after about 5minutes. A couple of weeks of it just allows me to ‘suffer’ a bit longer. Maybe I need a longer programme for response.

The way the KQ guy from my club described it to me is that you should just get out once your HR starts to really spike, even if not long has passed. It might initially only be a few minutes. Over time, that duration will begin to extend.

Maybe by just getting in from the off and doing 15mins, and effectively fighting through the final 10mins, detracts from the adaptation as the body gets overly stressed. I don’t know, I’m just hypothesising based on the approach I was advised of.

I will have a crack at it that way, no reason not to. Thanks

I’ve successfully used Saltsticks capsules to stave off cramps.
Start properly topping up 4-5 days before am long, hot event and take some out with me - either on the bike or in T2 bag/special needs.

A very cheap alternative to PH and other branded solutions.

The complication with sodium intake is you need to be careful you don’t overdo it on race day. If you overload the stomach with sodium, you’ll risk getting reverse osmosis and the stomach leeching water out of the bloodstream to dilute the sodium concentration. Which then just dehydrates you more in the short term.

It’s why I keep saying to myself I should get the proper PH sweat test done, to be more informed. But I’ve had such improved performance with PH1500 that whenever it comes to it (at various expo’s) I can’t justify spending the £75-100 to likely just be told I’m already on the right track. Every indication I have is that I’m a massively salty sweater…

…for example, my jersey after the Etape:

I’m a very similar heavy sweater. Again not paid for any testing but it is clear to see on my clothes. I’m sweating now just sat by a pool ffs!

Definitely correct not to overdo it but I’ve read the PH recommendations and also the saltsticks ones and stick to the parameters.

Wasn’t a criticism of what you were doing, more just a warning to anyone else that the solution is not simply gorging on as much sodium as possible!

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Yep. I used to gonthe other way and just drink as much water as possible then couldn’t work out why I was cramping more.

I can’t drink sports drinks which is a pain for getting calories in, they instantly bloat me and then I puke it all back up. Just have to eat a lot on the bike.

Saw a guy in athletes Garden after Hamburg, telling other members of his tri club that he was taking a salt stick every 20mins plus 2 portions of tailwind per hour, isn’t that 5g salt per hour?

Not sure on the TW but there is 215mg of sodium in 1 SS capsule.

How long do people think any heat adaptions will last? It’s likely to be warm again in Nice and I’d really not like to struggle as much!

I think altitude peaks about 2 weeks but benefits for a bit longer.

I’ll probably try and factor in some sauna or treadmill sessions.


Your local uni with a sports/physiology dept will also likely have a heat room you can hire out to exercise in.

Heat training itself is also really good, loads of the adaptations to heat are great for the cool later.

I’m going to take this back.

I’ve been looking at my power file for IMCH which includes a temp record. My power tailed of almost directly inline with the temp rise of 15°.

I was looking for just a ‘general overdoing it’, but my IF at the start was on target at .69 - .7 , I didn’t beast the hills, if anything I took it too easy on the descents which gave me a high VI.

As I was faffing with speed/power overlays I hit the temp overlay by mistake and sure enough, right when I felt my power ebb, and when the avg power drops suddenly, corresponds with the sudden temp rise.


That is exactly what happened to me in Hamburg. No excuses, hence my comment I ‘wilted’ in the heat. Others deal with it much better.

Regarding your drinking/over doing it comment, my recent rabbit hole research suggests that being hydrated won’t prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke. (but being dehydrated will make it more likely)


In hot conditions, I don’t enjoy running in a tri-suit: I suspect that tri-suits dry exceptionally quickly, while running clothes, are both looser as well as retain some moisture, so you can keep wet and cooler for whole run

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Yes, my trisuit was dry after a few minutes each time I soaked it in Hamburg; a combination of the heat & wind.

Matt - I think that is a brilliant tip, and something that I have never seen discussed anywhere else. Great thinking.

I’m not so sure. I imagine it’s all personal. I would hate to run in anything not particularly tight fitting. I prefer that, and train in such tops 99% of the time. Largely because of nipple chafing issues as much as anything!

I also actually don’t like the fact running vests retain moisture. I was very ill at London marathon, and sweating profusely. My club running vest (and I have a good one, not just the basic one that is less breathable - which I also have) just got excessively heavy.

Maybe it helps I currently use the fairly breathable compressport TR3 Aero top. It’s is full of little mesh holes in varying patterns. I was considering making the move to a proper aero one-piece trisuit, given the gains they’re meant to provide, but this had made me think. Maybe that’s part of the reason Matt preferred changing for the marathon at Hamburg, versus staying in his nopinz suit?