"We call that the awkward shower," says Robert Huggins, Ph.D. I'm kneeling in a tarp-lined tub, while a PhD student named Cody drops a waterfall of deionized water over the top of his head. Here at the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) at the University of Connecticut, they try to collect every drop of sweat I've just collected on a bike ride. "Sweat likes to hide in those little body hairs."
The shower is only part of today's test. I'm here to find out how my body reacts to heat after hearing this workout in heat The weather can make you a better athlete ̵
To see how I react to training in the heat, scientists record my temperature and heart data, collect sweat from my body and clothes, and measure its volume and electrolytes I put my fingers underwater through my scalp, like a bathing suit, and it's just as awkward as Huggins warned, which brings me back to the fact that I'm a lab rat Tail: a thermometer sticking out of my ass with a cable attached to a computer It does not really hurt, but every time the tail moves, I feel like I really need a bathroom  Just before the nasty shower, I pedaled a 55-pound flywheel that was attached to a stationary device, while technicians pedaled my heart and body in the $ 700,000 Missi monitored on Heat Lab. The small room has the sterile veneer of a gym, but huge fans and trolleys with special test equipment.
The climate in the laboratory can reach 110 degrees at 90 percent humidity. Such conditions are exhausting, but they can make athletes stronger and faster – not just in heat, but at any temperature. "It's like legal blood doping," says Huggins, who is still competitive himself. "When you train at high temperatures, you have performance advantages in both heat and cold."
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Before the heat speeds you up, slows down your workout.
During a standard workout, both your skeletal muscles and your heart need a bit more When the air conditioning in the gym breaks on a hot day, "your skin suddenly needs a lot more blood," says Casa Du hot blood directly on the surface of the skin so you can release the heat. "Suddenly, your body tries to channel blood to three places – skin, muscles and heels rz – instead of just two. Something has to give, and it's your speed and stamina.
I remember my own embarrassing moment in hot weather last year on a bike ride. In South America, I trained for months at 60 degrees. When I came back, I went straight to Fort Collins, Colorado. At first I felt strong, but when the heat exceeded 90 degrees, my legs became heavy and my riding mates finally left me behind.
The problem, as Casa explains, was that I was air-conditioned but not heat-resistant, and my hypothalamus – the brain governor – began reducing my available energy. "That's called voluntary exhaustion," says Casa. "It's like you do not kill yourself."
This is where the heat training comes in handy. In response to hot, humid workouts and other helpful physiological changes, your body increases blood volume – the amount of fluid that circulates in your vessels – allowing you to regulate temperature more efficiently. And that's why I'm with KSI today: to see what it feels like to work closely but not too close to the heat stroke threshold so I can take advantage of the training there.
Training in the heat can make you – unless it breaks you.
I can not say if it's the heat or the probe in my rectum, but I'm still sweating before I pedal. The fastest way to get used to the heat and achieve good performance is to raise the temperature to a level just below the risk. As my test progresses, Huggins & # 39; students periodically tap on a few computer keys to increase resistance. I watch my temperature rise on one of the wall-mounted TVs. The goal is to stay calm between 101 and 103 degrees and I've reached that area within ten minutes.
"When an athlete hits 104, we turn it off," says Huggins. Cell damage generally occurs at 105.5 degrees. That's enough to fry your gut like eggs, and the result is a heat stroke.
Until the Ironman Athletes in Kona will pay US $ 200 for experience in the heat lab, and exercising on a day off for seven to ten days for two days can significantly increase your blood volume, lower your heart rate, and help you rest alone provides 80 to 90 percent of the benefits of heat acclimation, "says Casa.
After three weeks – if you're fit in the beginning – you're ready to compete in hot, elite-level weather Most of the acclimatization benefits will last without maintenance up to two weeks These benefits may be claimed indefinitely.
But I do not participate in Kona and have not spent $ 200 for an hour in the Fitn For me, it's about understanding what I can do on my own so as not to fall for a ride. Learning how hot you are is a big part of it, and I discover that I also need to drink enough. The less you drink while you are sweating, the more your hard-earned blood volume drops. This means less cooling and either a slowing down of tempo or internal fried eggs. "For every 1 percent loss of body mass, your heart rate will be three beats faster and your core temperature will be half a degree higher," says Huggins. To find out how much you should drink, you can do a rough test at home: Subtract your weight after a workout (add in how many ounces you drank during exercise) from your weight before this workout. If your weight drops by 2 percent, you are not drinking enough. If it increases by more than 2 percent, you drink too much, which can be more dangerous than dehydration.
Train Without Laboratory For The Heat
To prepare for my next adventure in the heat, Huggins offers an acclimatization method for the home: set up two space heaters and a humidifier and turn them up while exercising , Huggins also wants you to use a rectal thermometer to keep the temperature between 101 and 103 for accuracy and safety. If you raise your body temperature above 104, you may be at risk.
Of course, there's always the opportunity: spend more time outside and less time in an air-conditioned gym. And if the forecast shows heat and humidity, make it a training day.