Cooling with ice packs while riding trainer,

I have been using a cooling vest for the past week on the trainer. I have my fans maxed out and the vest does make a difference for me.

It has decreased my heart rate 5 beats or so for the same wattage. Perceived effort is around 10-20% less. Does it matter that I am being cooled? Will this prevent my body from adapting to the training load?
I am contemplating adding a few ice packs to a head band for when I start VO2 max workouts in a few months. Any thoughts or recommendations?

How long does the vest keep you cooled

Keeps me cool for 2 hours on steady state intervals. Think it would be an hour or so with threshold or VO2 max workouts. I have not used the vest on threshold and VO2 max workouts as yet.

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I believe it will help you hit higher highs. Your adaptations should increase. They happen after the work, not during. Some might say icing for recovery might blunt adaptations, but this is different. I think this will help.

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The only drawback I can think of is if you did all of your training this way and then went and raced a hot race. That seems like it’d be a bit of a shock.


Right, you need to consider your eventual training environment. Swapping to hot training can be done in mere weeks before and get the desired adaptations. Until that time, working “over cooled” is the “better” option if the other side is “over heated”.

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What’s the temperature in the room you train in? During the winter and summer? I ask cuz I live in Florida and during the heat of summer something like this may help.

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You don’t want to go more extreme? say:



Just ride in my basement 45° F this time of year :cold_face: I hardly need a fan. :laughing:

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Come to my garage. Have to wear gloves and wool socks when it’s 20 degrees out!

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I don’t know how some of you guys do that…I literally would never go out there and do that. You are way harder than I am!!

With a careful balance of layers and fan speeds it’s not too bad. Though I am glad I now have an attached garage for this instead of detached.

I’d take it over being too hot.

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Train for the weather that you race in.

I have considered some extra cooling, but I’d rather be acclimatised to the heat. Ice vest or similar would help, but then when I ride outside on a tough ride the heat would smash me.

I live in Brisbane, Australia (sub-tropical), have the trainer under my house (shaded but effectively outdoors) and it was 28c/82f & 75% humidity (5:30pm). Had fans on full speed, but it was still a sweat storm (Picuris +1 / SS 8.2).

When I see others struggling in the heat, I feel energised knowing I can perform in the heat.

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This is true for specificity close to your A event but is not true for general base and build. If you are doing your base/build in environmental conditions that limit your ability to do work you are reducing the possible training effect and likely to be slower than your potential.

Even if you had a hot/humid race you still don’t need to do all your specialty training in those conditions. You need enough to induce the necessary physiological acclimatization, but beyond that you are again holding yourself back from possible training effect that could be achieved at higher intensity.

If training in a hot environment is the only option you have then it is what it is, but it’s not the ideal.


Old thread, but was thinking about the ice vest idea for other way around. What if I trained without the vest and raced with it during hot races?

I read this article that shows zero actual difference, but when its 100 degrees+ I’m wondering if it would make a difference:

I was surprised by that and it prompted me to do a bit of back of the envelope math to estimate cooling and it’s probably ~10% of the rate of heat generation from cycling (assuming ~25% ish efficiency at 250 watts / ~750W in heat).

(Rough guess at R value for a cycling jersey, the actual value is probably lower which would bump the cooling a bit). Ignoring the loss of that surface area for evaporative cooling; those side panels that’d matter, the two on the back not so much.

Still feels better when I stuff ice packs in my jersey pocket on the rollers, though.

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