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Skating in this heat is 'hardcore' too

eebee's picture

How's everybody managing their training, in this heat? It's been mid-90s for a high every day here now for several weeks, but anything 85 deg F and upwards sends my heart rate skyrocketing. For my part, I'm basically just skating to get in a little bit of movement at this point and will be happy when it's back down around 85 for a high.

Blake has taken to freezing various-sized bottles of filtered water to a) keep everything in the coolers in the car as cold as possible, and b)  to provide us with ice-cold water even after it has been in the car for 5 hours.

In this kind of heat we really need to be making sure we have access to ice-cold fluids, not just fluids. I'm definitely making sure to have money on me and a vague idea where the next convenience store is during a long skate. I don't feel like going to the emergency room any time soon.

"Hardcore" skating isn't just limited to sub-zero temps!! Everybody stay away from Hyponatremia, ok?!?

Comments

skatey-mark's picture

NYTimes article on running in the heat

I just found an excellent article about marathon runners, and training in heat and polluted air. Light reading, so not a ton of "tips" or anything, but a few good tidbits....

 

NYTimes article on running in the heat

(hover over the link for an id/pw to view the article, courtesy of bugmenot.com)

 

One part that pwas particularly interesting

Of course, he added, runners should not use lotions, including sunblock, because they add a barrier to the evaporation of sweat. He said that while it seemed logical to drink as much water as possible before the race - and runners try it - "it doesn't work." The reason, he explained, is that drinking a lot of water increases blood volume and the body responds by getting rid of it, in urine.

"What you need to do is to increase your total body fluids another way," Dr. Martin said.

He added that the legal, safe way to do it is through glycerin loading. The technique exploits the unusual properties of glycerin, a thick, gooey sugar alcohol that is sold in drugstores as a lubricant. Each molecule of glycerin absorbs three molecules of water. During a race, the body uses the glycerin for energy. And every time the body metabolizes a molecule of glycerin, "it unleashes three molecules of water," Dr. Martin said.

The result, he said, is that "you have a water bank account."

 

I've never heard of "glycerin loading"... Anyone else heard of this or tried it?

 

- SM -

 

 

 

skart's picture

Good Discussion Of Glycerin Glycerol Loading

I have found a good discussion on the glycerin (glycerol) loading here:

http://www.ultrunr.com/glycerin.html

After reading this I will NOT be trying it.

eebee's picture

Not ready to go indoors, yet...

Crikey! With all this 'wear sunblock - don't wear sunblock', and 'get plenty of exercise - don't go out in these ozone levels', 'Hydrate plenty - don't fill up on water', it seems like the only safe thing to do is to join a gym! Noooooooooo....ANYTHING but that  :-)

 

I'm suspecting that this is all leading to either living in a bubble (like Michael Jackson, or Logan's Run - for those of you old enough to remember!), or throwing complete caution to the (tail)wind and frying our skin and lungs. Hey! We need some SKATE FREE, THEN DIE buttons!

 

Never heard of Glycerin loading. Makes you wonder what else people are doing to get a competitive edge.

 

Thanks for all the air quality links and article excerpts.

 

 

timv's picture

Not ready to go indoors either

Elizabeth, I know what you mean about the conflicting advice we get, and I think it's important to try to keep it in some kind of perspective. I figure that there's always a kind of an implied "if you're really, really concerned about it then this is what you should/shouldn't do" attached to each recommendation. It kinda reminds me of overzealous HR-types at places where I've worked, who couldn't believe that someone else wouldn't be as passionate as they were about group medical insurance policies or long-term disability coverage or something. That was their job but I had my own job focusing on other things, and they never really got that.

 

A big problem is that all this stuff is statistical. "Behavior X correlates to a 34% increase in the chances of developing condition Y, with a 95% confidence level" is an excellent way to report the results of a clinical study, but a terrible way to dispense advice. Humans by nature don't deal well with probabilities, which is why lotteries are successful and why they have all those big shiny new buildings in Las Vegas. Journalists and TV reporters in particular don't seem to understand this. Popular media reports of medical research results are particularly bad and very often misleading. And that thread about glycerin loading contains some great examples of how to misinterpret clinical results.

 

I'm all for being sensible and not doing things that are blatantly unwise, but it seems unreasonable to spend too much of the limited time we get worrying about ways to live forever. There aren't any, and the worrying is probably as bad as anything for us. Bottom line is that life is 100% fatal. And the experts often neglect to mention that heredity plays a big role in all of this. If I know that I have a particular condition or that it tends to run in my family, then that's reason to pay special attention to their recommendations. Otherwise, I'll try to behave more or less responsibly, within reason.

 

With regard to running, I've tended to do a lot of mine after dark in the summer, just because I feel so much better then and I can get a better workout if I'm not dealing with the heat. It will always be a big factor, especially with getting so much less wind cooling at those slower speeds. And I agree 100% with the observation about sunscreen and perspiration. I've had other runners arguing vehemently that it made no difference, but I knew darned well that any kind of film on my skin like that would interfere with evaporation.

 

As for what things people are doing to get a competitive edge, I'm sure that we couldn't even begin to imagine!

skatey-mark's picture

Ozone and exercise

Just posted some info about ozone and exercise...

 

http://roadskater.net/index.php?q=ozone-and-exercise

 

- SM -

skatey-mark's picture

90% mental, the other half is physical... :)

Learn to love the heat...  Embrace it...  :)

 

Seriously though...  Maybe I'm just a freak, but I feel like I've acclimated pretty well to the heat.  The only way to do that, of course, is to keep skating in it.  Now, you certainly have to be concerned about avoiding heat exhaustion and hyponatremia...  That makes it more difficult from a logistical standpoint...

 

I also got used to drinking warm water during skating a while ago.  Mostly out of laziness, since it was quicker to fill up the Camelbak and not have to worry about ice.  But also from a practical standpoint, they aren't likely to have nice, ice-cold water (or gatorade) for you at an event.  It'll be sitting out in the sun (shade if you're lucky, but still quite warm.)  That's not to say I don't appreciate a nice cold beverage if I can get one!  When Dave and I skated the Firecracker 100k, we stopped into CVS for some ice-cold gatorade, and it cooled us down fast.  Being in the A/C for a few minutes helped too of course!

 

I think alot of people just convince themselves that they're going to do poorly in the heat, so they do end up doing poorly in the heat.  If you convince yourself that the heat is no big deal, and train in it, I think that eventually it becomes much less of an issue.

 

In addition to hyponatremia and heat exhaustion (or heat stroke), another heat-related issue I've started thinking about (but not doing much about) is ozone...  We get "ozone warning days" here quite a bit and I've never really taken them seriously.  However, I did read something last year that said exercising during elevated ozone levels causes immediate damage to the lungs, or something like that.  This is definitely something I need to learn more about.  If it is indeed true, then that would certainly be an argument against "toughing it out" and training in the heat... 

 

So, forgetting about ozone for a moment...  The important thing about skating in the heat is staying hydrated.  That includes water and electrolytes.  You get both with a sport drink like gatorade, but you can also add electrolytes to plain old water.  (Or any other drink for that matter.)  That should stave off hyponatremia.  On a hot day, you'll need to drink at least 1 liter per hour.  This past weekend I was drinking even faster than that (not by much - maybe 1 liter every 50 minutes.)  I have found a 2-liter Camelbak to be perfect for me, since that's about the right time/distance for me to go between stops.  3 liters would be nice, but that's a significant amount of extra weight to carry.

 

Personally, I'd rather skate when it's 100 degrees outside than when it's 50 degrees  (35 degrees versus 10 degrees for those outside the US...  lol) I just don't like skating in the cold...  I should probably take my own (reverse) advice, and if I trained more in the cold, it would stop being a big deal too!  Hmmm...

 

One last thing...  I do find when I start to get warm, that I take my hand sliders off.  For some reason, having that surface area on my hands covered up makes me feel much warmer!  And lately I've started skating shirtless...  The last two 100k skates, I started off in a skinsuit and about halfway through unzipped it and rolled it down to my waist...  Kept me much cooler for the remainder of the skate...  I highly recommend it...  :)  Of course, I have some weird tanlines from my Camelbak now!

 

The comment about bringing some money and knowing where stores are on your route is very good...  We ran into that this past weekend on the beginner road skate.  Several people were overheating and/or out of fluids.  So a quick stop into a gas station had us refilling with nice cold beverages... 

eebee's picture

(Lack of Exercise)-Induced Asthma

Hmmm, well I'm glad you pointed that out about the ozone levels on hot days, since I have asthma too. I wish I could talk myself out of it! Maybe the higher heart-rate in the heat is a direct result of inhibited breathing & ozone levels. I remember skating on the Silver Comet Trail about 4 yrs ago in low-50s temps, and the person I was skating with got upset with my speed dropping off because I couldn't breathe (due to asthma from exercising in colder than 60 deg. F temp). He was saying "Come on, all you need to do is take in a deep breath, like this...!". I tried.

I agree with you, Mark, about becoming acclimated to skating in hotter temps with all that garbage on (helmet, pads, etc). The year I trained for my first A2A I noticed after about 3 x 4 hour Saturday morning schleps around Ansley Park, I no longer had the desire to hurl my helmet under the nearest car in a hot rage, and that going out to play golf in the heat of the day for 6 hours seemed downright cool & breezy after sweating buckets in elbow, knee, wrist and head protection. I remember a couple of the TNTers also ending up in the hospital a few hours AFTER quitting skating on those hot days, too.

The higher heart-rate in the heat thing is really just a personal observation, not an exclamation.  I'm not trying to freak everybody out here, just trying to bring up some issues regarding skating in the heat. Please take this next story as a tip, if you're ever in this situation...

A2A 2002 at about mile 71 or so, wherever David Lampp's last rest-stop oasis is at the concrete factory, I thought I was going to throw up and pass out all at once. I had drunk water and gatorade up until that point. All of a sudden neither one worked. It was strange. I had a raging thirst but felt like if I drank anything it would just cause my belly to slosh around even more! Ugh. I sat on that chair at that rest stop, dejected, next to Ken O (who later ended up in the hospital from hyponatremia), thinking there was no way I could even stand up, much less finish A2A. What worked? Ice rags on the neck!  I sat there, helmet off, with about 5 ice rags draped around my neck, and I felt fully energized about 10 minutes later. I got up and finished my first full-distance A2A. Yay ice.

timv's picture

Heat Acclimation and Limited Expectations

Those are some good observations from both of you. During the holiday bowl season for college football, when players from places like Nebraska and Michagan travel to Florida in the dead of winter, it amuses me to hear announcers make glib remarks about drinking a lot of water, as if it wasn't going to pass right through their unacclimated bodies. Unless they've actually spent time out there playing in the heat, drinking a lot of water just makes them pee a lot.

 

When the weather turns warm I consistently gain 7 or 8 pounds despite exercising more. I figure that I must be carrying about another gallon of water internally during the summer. But I don't deal with hot weather particularly well despite that. I can see from watching my HRM how much my heartrate goes up when I'm struggling to keep myself cool. Moving air and low humidity definitely do help. The muggy weather we've had lately has been pretty hard for me to deal with. 70s or low 80s would be ideal for me.

 

Taking the sliders off to get cooler seems reasonable. An old-time pre-air-conditioning remedy for dealing with summer heat is running cold water over your wrists. The skin is thin and there are a lot of big blood vessels near the skin there, so there's opportunity for a lot of heat transfer. In the winter I'm always rolling my shirtsleeves up and down a turn or two to regulate heat. The face and throat are other places that reject a lot of heat this way.

roadskater's picture

Frozen Gel Sliders and Hot Head Treatment

Floyd Landis sure was pouring the water on today, more so than drinking it appeared at times (no spoiler here, but plenty available in the sidebars of this website).

I wonder if there's any gel in those gel palm sliders and if freezing those might, in addition to making the freezer stink, provide any relief. I've seen (and purchased) very small soft gel packs that might fit inside the slider or between the plastic and padding. Hmm. US Patents and Trademark Office! Ha.

On occasion I have put one of those gel packs on my head if it was not too cold, underneath my helmet in fact. But don't do as I say just laugh at what I say. It's not safe they tell us to either pour extremely cold water on our heads or have gel packs on them (they don't usually say that because they don't think I'll be that dense). I've heard it is best to pour water on the back of the neck. Tepid or slightly cooler water should be fine on the head of course. Your smileage may vary.

OK that's about it for gel sliders, except to say for those that don't know what they are, these are small palm protectors skaters wear to protect against road rashing the palms and to some extent the fingers. They provide little or no wrist protection, but they look cool and that's what really matters, right?

 

Personal "Air Conditioning"

A few years back, I was having trouble dealing with the heat.  My body weight was up a tad, and we seemed to have gone from 50 to 95 degrees in a over night.  The heat was really beating me up.  Skating wasn't fun.

   My solution at the time was to get as much frozen stuff against my body like the drinks I was sure to be carrying anyway.  I tried that a few times with water and juice boxes, and it just wasn't enough relief though it helped. 

   My next step was to carry one of those icy gel packs that comes with a belt so that it could be worn around the waist for temporary iciing of the back.  It was big and heavy, but it got me enough relief to help me feel like skating again.  I just took it easy, but I was able to do some of my longer skates that way.  I know it sounds crazy, and I haven't used it since, but at the time, it did help.

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