Heat adaptation

I’ve listened to the podcasts and most recent the ones with @Nate_Pearson @Jonathan using a sauna directly after training. Which can benefit you increasing RBC.

As uncomfortable as it is, I don’t have a fan, the Lemond makes enough noise without adding a fan. (Trainer is inside and don’t want to annoy the wife more) So all my indoor training is without a fan and is a sweat box. So without a fan, is it having the same effect as heat training using a sauna? I’m now comfortable in my sweat box. My HR has dropped 10-15 beats since March. Especially at Z2-Z3.

This is probably a poor analogy, but training in excessive heat, when heat training is NOT the intended goal, is effectively limiting your top end like a restrictor plate on race car. The restrictor plate limits the output of the motor and doesn’t allow it to reach it’s max power output.

Transition that to our training world and that restrictor is the heat in our body and our brain setring limits on the power we can produce. You are creating lower power than you could with more cooling. That matters because we get lower overall training stress on the body because of the heat.

This has been discussed before and likely answered better by others. I will search and see if I can find the other discussion.


It’s fine for Z2/3 stuff but once it’s time to go to work your body will thermoregulate and spend resources cooling your body rather than meeting performance demands. Like many modern electronics, they will shut down or slow performance down when they get hot rather than just self destructing. Your body works the same way.

Yes the heat training will be beneficial but it won’t be as beneficial as hitting the power targets in your workouts.

I try to do Z2 workouts without fans to help with heat training and everything above that I want to stay as cool as possible and work as hard as possible on the interval and not dissipating heat.

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Thanks Chad, interesting, and I get the analogy. If that was the case, does that mean, with checks and balances I have set PB for my 5, 10, 20, 30 and 60min FTP this year in this environment. And still been limiting myself? The past 4 weeks has seen every week setting new and 2nd and 3rd Wattage or heart rate records for myself.

I ride in 95-100F dry heat in the summer. Takes a couple of weeks to adapt, and then it possible to ride just as hard. One of the adaptations from riding in those conditions is that it will raise vo2max.

You will still be moving though which has a huge cooling potential, plus dry low humidity air does not hinder evaporation so sweat will cool you more effectively. This does not reflect the condition indoors without any air moving across the body.

@Nate_Pearson does heat training have to be done in combination with riding or can I add sitting in the sauna to the end of gym workouts?

You don’t have to put them together. You just need to get the core body temp up. Doing it after a ride makes that process take less time.

So yes, after the end of your gym workouts sounds great!

Sonya Looney went at great length, discussing heat training in her two part series that ran on the 28th of Feb and 8th of March.

Look them up.