Keep cool on your next indoor trainer ride.
Remember how important it is to stay cool on sweltering July rides? If you don’t keep your core temperature down, you risk dehydration and exhaustion. Serious heat stroke is next.
Keeping your cool is just as important in January on your smart trainer. When you’re riding indoors on a bike trainer, there’s no bike movement and automatic breeze. Stale, hot air forms a cocoon around you. Soon you’re sweating like during a tailwind climb in July heat.
Riding the trainer in a cold place — an unheated garage or porch — doesn’t help much. The air still isn’t moving. A superheated microclimate forms an aura around you.
When your circulatory system must work hard to keep you cool, it can’t pump as much blood and oxygen to your muscles, enhancing fitness.
Here’s how to make sure your indoor winter rides are cool enough.
—Open two windows. Cross ventilation creates a natural breeze through your workout room.
—Buy a headwind. Get a big box fan and mount it head-high about 5 feet in front of your face. The resulting 15-mph headwind will evaporate gallons of sweat and cool your internal furnace. We’ve also read great things in cycling forums about the Lasko Pro Pivoting Utility fan and how much air it moves.
If you’re feeling flush with cash, consider the Wahoo Headwind Smart Fan. It’s designed specifically for using with a trainer and it blows a high volume of air exactly in the right spot, with no fuss. You can even set it up to blow harder when you pedal faster or when your heart rate increases.
—Hydrate. Guzzle a bottle of sports drink every 30 minutes while training indoors. This combats fluid loss and your rising core temperature.
Two more tips:
—Have sweatbands and T-shirts handy. Most riders soak through these items in 45 minutes. Then they’re sopping wet, clammy and uncomfortable. Very uncool. Switch to dry garb and, to avoid crotch irritation, consider a quick change of shorts, too.
—Protect your bike. Even when you do all of the above, you’ll still sweat on your machine. Drape a towel on the top tube and even the handlebar. Then wipe down the bike and trainer after every session.