Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Performing when the HEAT is on..... literally!

IT'S HOT and sticky and you feel like you wanna run naked through a cool sprinkler over and over and over. How do you make sure you are taking all of the precautions possible to achieve peak performance in important races coming up like Elite and Junior National Road Championships in Oregon and Masters Nationals in uber humid Louisville, Kentucky in August of all months? What if you want to do well in your next crit, which is only an hour, right? Your core temperature along with the more important, muscle temperature, can overheat and greatly reduce performance in as little as 5 minutes of exposure. WHAT?

Mechanical performance of muscle is greatly influenced by temperature, as are most biological processes. Maximal forces developed by muscles and their rates of force generation, contraction, relaxation and power output are all altered when body temperature varies. Hmmmmm.......

In The Effects of Temperature on Performance by By Lawrence Fine, he states:

"A human being can only tolerate a variation of around 5° F in internal body temperature without physical and mental performance being impaired."

Did he just say MENTAL performance? Yes he did and as we know, that alone can play an enormous role in how we perform when the temperatures are normal!

Here is a quick and easy explanation on the 4 ways heat is released from Mr. Fine.

Most of the heat is conducted in the blood stream to the skin where it is released into the environment in four different ways:

1. Conduction: excess heat is transferred through direct contact with an object (e.g. when swimming in cold water).

2. Convection: circulating air allows heat to be transferred to air passing over the skin (depends on the air temperature).

3. Radiation: Involves heat being lost from the body through radiation (e.g. loss of heat within a cold environment).

4. Evaporation: excess heat is transferred to sweat which is then evaporated. Sweating is the most important means of dissipating heat when exercising under hot conditions.

What to do? I have written a tip sheet with very effective tips for dealing with the heat and optimizing your performance in the heat:

1. It is paramount that you know if you are someone who loses a lot of sodium during a hot and/or long event. If you cross the finish line looking like a powdered donut but have not yet cramped in a race, you are lucky. Know it’s coming though at some point and take the precautions to counteract cramping. There is nothing you can do to change the fact that you might be someone whose body loses sodium at a rapid rate. Its genetic and you either are or are not that person.

2. If you are going to be in a hot (over 35 degrees C) or long event, take precautions 3 days prior up to the morning of and during. Start drinking fluids with electrolytes mixed in, up to a gallon per day 2-3 days out. Keep cool the morning of and start eating electrolyte tablets or salt tablets 3 hours before the event and have them also readily available in your jersey pocket to continue taking during the event. Sodium, potassium and magnesium are the 3 components to ward off cramping, with sodium being about 90 percent of the ratio, so don't be afraid to salt your food as an athlete (unless you have been diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure). You need the sodium to stay hydrated!

3. Studies have shown that our muscle temperature runs about 2 degrees Celsius higher than our core temp and that muscle temps higher than 37 degrees decrease performance exponentially. Stay cool the morning of the event, especially if it’s hot out. Small ice packs in your jersey pockets placed near your kidneys during your warm up will help you stay cool, drink refrigerated temperature electrolyte drinks and soak yourself with cold water before heading to the start line. IF you just can't cool down, soak your extremities (hands or feet) in ice water for 2 minutes. The extremities carry the highest amounts of small veins and capillaries with the ability to quickly carry the cooler blood to the whole body.

4. Clothing can be an inhibitor of performance or a great aide and should be light colored if possible and made of a lightweight, breathable material that allows sweat to evaporate and pulls or wicks the sweat from the athlete’s skin.

5. Acclimatization can be very effective in preparing an athlete for competition in hotter weather. Athletes can become acclimated to hot conditions by spending a defined period of time in the designated place beforehand (10-14 days is recommended as a good adaptation period).

6. Your coach can judge or measure whether the temperature is too hot for training. Training should not take place in temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius or 102 degrees F. Particular attention to the conditions must be taken with children when training. It is best on hot days to train very early in the morning before the sun warms the day, which needs to be planned the night before to adjust sleep so that an athlete can get adequate hours of rest.

For more information and/or specific help please feel free to email Dotsie at:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sisquoc Road Race - June 12, 2010

Who raced: Katie Donovan

I stopped by my mom's for lunch on my way home from the race. She handed me a garmin GPS for my car and told me she's sick of me calling and waking her up everytime I get lost driving to a local race. I don't know how I passed my exit , but this was one of those races where I had to start putting on my kit enroute to the race.

I was the only SC Velo rider racing. The Colavita team out of Nevada seemed to be the strongest team there. They started attacking from the start which ruined my plan of using the first of four laps to warm up. Kirstin (colavita) broke away on the first lap. Nobody seemed to want to chase and by the second lap she had over a minute on the field. I didn't want to have to bridge a 2 minute gap so I went to the front and kept us going at a steady pace. When we got to the back side of the course which was a slight climb I picked up the pace even more and a split was created.

The split consisted of two colavita girls, Tammy Wildgoose t(paramount) and Laura Hines (unattached). Colavita did a lot of work to help bridge up to their teammate. At the backside of the course the gap was 20 seconds. Julie from Colavita attacked and we dropped three girls. We kept drilling it and caught Kirsten in the feed zone starting the fourth and final lap. At this point it was me and the two of them. They started attacking me one after another. I was dying, but their jumps were getting kind of weak so I just kept responding. Finally they were like "let's just work together", so I attacked and we dropped Kirsten. I buried myself on the hill until Julie popped off. With 1k to go I looked behind me and could see that she was gaining ground on me, but I felt pretty safe and knew that unless I completely died she wouldn't catch me. I crossed the line first with Julie and Kirsten getting 2nd and 3rd.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dominguez, CA - CBR race May 31, 2010 - By Steph Roorda

Who raced - Pam Schuster, Steph Roorda, PC Calderon, Bea Rodriguez

The race started fast, attacks were made in the first lap by others as well as by some of us. I countered a move made by Bea, and immediately had a gap with one other girl. We were driving it hard when i look back and to see one of my own coming across. It was Pam. She joined us and the three of us worked together and the gap continued to grow. With 3 laps to go Pam laid down a spicy move and broke away from the breakaway, as her style goes. I sat on the other rider in the break until 1 lap to go. Pam had a lengthy gap by this point and i made the move to get away from the rest of the breakaway. We both stayed away, Pam taking top spot, I finished second behind her. PC won the field sprint for 4th and Bea crossed in 6th!

Team Time Trial - Lake Los Angeles, CA

May 29, 2010

With so many strong riders on the team we decided to split our efforts and put together two teams for the state championship team time trial event. One in the elite womens category and one in the mixed open category.

Who raced - Dotsie Bausch, Kirk Bausch, Chris Demarchi, Heather Jackson - Mixed 4 person Open

The Incycle/SC Velo p/b Empower Coaching headed out to the methamphetamine
capital of the world on Saturday to compete in the State Championship Team
Time Trial in Lancaster, California. Empty, non-traffic roads are all but
guaranteed out there in the wee hours after sunrise. The long, flat, windy
straight aways give an illusion that you are closer to the end than you ever
really are.
We had 40 kilometers to cover on the baking hot pavement of the high desert.
My team was mixed team of 2 women and 2 men. We borrowed my hubby Kirk
Bausch and Chris Demarchi from our big brother team, Amgen/UBS and added pro
triathlete, Heather Jackson as our guest rider, while our other 4 Incycle
women came together to form a team of there own. We had a goal of 47 minutes
and change and crossed the line in 48:01. One of my pet peeves in time
trialing is finishing a mere one second over the goal time. CHECK. I mean I
would rather it be 30 seconds or even 10, but not ONE. Oh well. We sure had
a blast out there, despite Heather and me being residents of the hurt locker
from the first pedal stroke. The boys were awesome and our goal of keeping a
smooth rotation was accomplished with Heather and I taking shorter pulls but
just as fast speed wise as the boys had dropped us off at. My team pursuit
background came into real handy in this race, as team pursuit redefines the
definition of wheels sucking. I displayed my very finest wheel sucking in
this team time trial. We were very excited to find at the end of the day
that we would have gotten the bronze medal in the 4-person MEN'S open
category and were the 4th fastest time of the day.
It was a real pleasure and honor to race on the same team with these fine
athletes, as everyone gave 110% of themselves all the way from start to
finish, in true Incycle/SC Velo STYLE:-)