Sunday, June 21, 2009

I'm a Guinea Pig

An experiment today. I want to see how much the heat reduces my FTP. Out I go into the heat for a my usual testing protocol. As I do each of the shorter maximal efforts I get a little hotter. I cool some on the recovery intervals, but never back to where I started. By the time I go for the 20 minute time trial, I'm cooked. Too much accumulated body heat. With an air temperature above the normal body temperature there's not much differential to dissipate caloric heat. The low humidity air doesn't conduct much heat. The body heat just continues to climb. I wish I had a way to measure it. Would that be too nerdy? Maybe, but I love this physiology stuff.

This much is obvious. The heat is taking a big bite of performance. The heat is the limiting factor. Not muscle stregth or lactate threshold. I didn't tax those systems on the 20-min TT. Which begs a question... If I can't reach my muscular potential am I really gaining any strength/endurance? Or do lower efforts in the heat equate to higher efforts at better environmental conditions?

I need to put some thought into this... it's not going to get any easier over the next week!