Thursday, July 19, 2012

Heat vs Heart Rate // Chill Out

For some of the best training years in my life I lived in San Diego, CA.
The temperature was pretty much a perfect 21.4C (71F) all year long and it was incredible.

Now living in Toronto, Canada - Summer 2012 has had temperatures in the low 30's (86F) and humidity of 90+%

With getting ready for Nationals in a week's time, I've been trying to train at the same time as I race (7-10am) and it's still hot.  In my work-up 10k's, I've been noticing my heart rate increasing and my speed decreasing, yet my perceived effort isn't too different.  Thus began the research. explains that perspiration is the body's first attempt at self temperature regulation, however, when my HR is in the 190's sweating seems to do very little other than magnify the sun's rays and cook my white skin.  The next step is for your circulatory system to get involved and your blood vessels start to dilate, lowering the pressure in your veins helping lower the temperature.  I'm not sure how long this works for, or at what temperatures, but I need more.

Super Tech Solution:
Basically it's a machine you put your hand in that helps cool your blood before it returns to your core, thus lowering your body temperature and heart rate.  It's a little more technical than that, you'll have to check their website if you really care.  The $3k price tag scared me off.  While it might work for baseball and footballers, but I haven't seen too many on the sidelines.  And it definitely won't work for the run, which is where my heart rate skyrockets. So for $3k in "techie" dollars, I'll take a serious look at an altitude tent :p

Rocket Science Sports: 20BPM Race suit seems to be a novel idea.  Claims to reflect 50% of radiant heat and help lower your heart rate 20 bpm - via vibration and temperature control. And at 1/10 the cost of CoreControl... and is functional in a racing environment... it just might work, for next year.  AND these guys appear to have Sweat Science, not just gimmicks on their side.

- Proprietary Reflective Fabric reflects sunlight and radiant heat up to 50% more than dark-colored garments. It also shields UV rays with SPF50.  This statement makes me wonder if 'any' white suit will have a similar effect?

- First company to design a race suit with vortex technology. Vortex generators reduce drag in water by 6%.  That's cool -  I'll keep that in mind if I add TRI to my resume.

 - Dimpled SCS coated leg panels for improved aero/hydrodynamics.  In following this years TdF, I didn't hear Bradley Wiggins suit being dimpled, or aero helmets being dimpled yet for that matter... However Nike dimpled a suit for Usanian Bolt this year, so we'll see!

Update: I like the RocketScience UK site better; more pics and graphs on success of suit.

While these are all great; this blog is about SuperGo Sam Riding AGAIN - meaning there's not the biggest budget in the world to work with.

Gel flasks full of ice (water / sports drink) $3 each
Good for when you want to get something cold in you (with a bit of electrolytes).
Maybe this is the poor mans version of the CoreControl.  So far, I've done 3 runs with 2 of them now, and I've found my HR about 10 beats lower.  Maybe I'm more concentrated, drinking cooler liquids... but it feels like it works.  Not sure if I'm quite ready to use this in a race yet, but it's SO hot, I feel it might make it's debut next weekend.
On average I would say these ice packs last about 20 minutes.  Now in a Duathlon, you have a 10k run, so for me, that's almost double 20 mins.  Empty flasks can be consumed and dumped in the pockets, or a disposable option could be to use plastic baggies full of ice and toss them when they're melted.

Will help reduce weight AND help more heat escape.
(not yet tested, will try tomorrow)  Even if it's a mental edge, I'll take it!

Coolest Racing Uniform Possible:
Well, blue is the best I have so that's what we're going with.  In future maybe I'll shop for a white one to save myself a few degrees of heat.

Ice in Race Beverage:
There's usually about 2 hours from the time I leave my hotel to the time the race starts, so I cram in as much frozen liquid as possible.  (It all usually melts by the time I get on the bike, but it's still cooler than if it started at room temp)

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