Keeping Cool on a Turbo Trainer

Don’t Overheat!

Without any air flowing past you, getting hot and sweaty is a major problem during an indoor cycling workout.

Approximately 80% of the energy you produce is heat so if you’re putting out 250 watts you’ll be producing 1000 watts of heat. Now imagine pedaling away in front of a 1000 watt fan heater and you’ll get an idea of how much heat your body generates when your cycling.  Outside there’s a constant flow of air to help your sweat evaporate and stop you overheating.  However when you’re riding indoors the air is static which means your sweat won’t evaporate fast enough to cool you off and will just drip onto the floor, or over your bike.

Pedaling Output Heat Created
100w 400w
200w 800w
300w 1200w
400w 1600w
500w 2000w

When your body starts to heat up and can’t cool down enough, it will automatically reduce the blood supply to your muscles meaning that you won’t be able to put out enough power.  You might also start to feel sick and nauseous.

Not only do you need to be in a cool environment but you need a good flow of air to help the sweat evaporate and keep cooling you.  Otherwise the sweat will just drip off you and have no cooling effect whatsoever.

The use of a fan positioned about 3 feet away will help cool the body and keep your pulse down. The more your body heats up the more it tries to keep cool by pumping blood to the outer surface (ie the skin) resulting in a higher pulse for a given effort).

Invest in a good fan with lots of power rather than one that just puts out a breeze.  It’ll also make you feel like you’re going much faster as well!

During a high intensity indoor cycling workout you will sweat a great deal so you will need to constantly replace this by taking frequent sips of water. You will probably require one bottle (75cl) or more per hour and then need to drink after you have finished.

Resources

Indoor Cycling Association

Indoor Cycling Association