First Really Hot Race and I Had Severe Abdominal Pain

I had a crit in the heat today and my stomach was in so much pain by the end. My power was low compared to what I normally can hold so my legs actually felt like they had more to give. My heartrate and abdominals were the limiting factors which is a first. I ate the food I normally eat 3 hrs before, but I took a 200mg caffeine pill 30 min before which is not normal. I have taken them for hard workouts, however I usually don’t for races.

I thought I was ready to race in the heat; I have sat in a sauna tent post ride an average of 4 days a week for 5 weeks now. My NP was 277 W for 16 min before I got dropped and I set my all time 5 min and 10 min heartrate records. The previous race I normalized 306 W for 45 min and finished well. I held 310 W for 16 min in a training ride last week… 277 normalized for 16 min should be relatively easy.

Is it normal to have this much performance drop in the heat? Any tips for racing in the heat? Is it normal to get abdominal pain when you are overexerting yourself?

Sorry to hear about your experience. Wish I could provide some wisdom but I just went out for a fairly hot ride (36c / 97f) to which I am not accustomed and also experienced pretty significant abdominal pain. Sometimes plain water helped a little but it was unrelenting so I cut ride pretty short. Like you my legs felt fine, just the gut brutality. Hopefully someone else has some insight though!

I think it’s more likely the large dose of caffeine you had rather than strictly the heat. If you’re not accustomed to that dose and enter a relatively high stakes situation such as a crit your cardiovascular system will be overtaxed. Combine that with the heat and its not surprising you set HR records.