However, there are still those who consider indoor cycling as the last resort, something to only do when going outside isn’t an option. This perception leads them to not take seriously the very real benefits of indoor training, and thus make mistakes.
The most common of these mistakes is not properly configuring their indoor training space. Just as you prepare yourself in the best possible way to ride with the group on a Saturdayby checking your equipment and taking care of details such as food and clothing, you should do the same with indoor cycling.
The top mistake on the list for novice cyclists is not ensuring proper cooling.
Why is it important to take care of cooling in indoor cycling?
When exercising, most of your energy is converted to heat, which in excess can impact performance. One of the big differences between indoor and outdoor cycling is cooling.
The body uses sweat as its main mechanism for controlling body temperature. When you have a high temperature, perspiration is what helps your body lower it and keep you cool.
When training outdoors, the body regulates temperature much more easily because of the contact of sweat with moving air. But indoors, the absence of airflow causes a bubble of humidity that prevents sweat from evaporating and causes it to drip off without fulfilling its cooling function.
And since the temperature in a room tends to be higher than outside, the heat increases even more. So does the sweating that seeks to regulate your temperature, and this leads to greater fluid loss.
Therefore, you must take care of cooling to combat the negative effects of indoor training on the body’s thermoregulation. Otherwise, stress and dehydration not only jeopardize your training, but also your subsequent performance.
How to take care of cooling in indoor training?
A fan is indispensable equipment for trainer sessions – even in winter. Physical exercise always raises your body temperature, even in the coldest months, so you need a current of air to help evaporate sweat. Sweat that doesn’t evaporate doesn’t help lower your body temperature.
The strength of the air current around your body will depend a bit on personal taste. Start with something you’re comfortable with and check at the end of the session to see how much sweat is on the floor. If it’s excessive, increase fan speed (or get a stronger fan) for the next workout.
When placing the fan, try to have the current hit you as directly as possible, ideally right in front of you. This simulates the air you face when you ride outdoors. If the configuration of your space doesn’t allow it, you can place the fan a little more to the side, but always try to direct airflow towards your chest.
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