Heat/Fan Adaptation

Preparing for IM races this summer. First race will be Tulsa in May–could be hot, could be not. After that, training will continue through the summer (hot) in Oklahoma preparing for Mont Tremblant in August.

Last year, I worked with Simon Bennett on training plans (for the season that wasn’t), and we began to discuss turning the fan off when training. So, that’s the basis for this question…

At what point is it appropriate to stop cooling down while training? Right now, I am have sweat literally pouring off of me on the trainer and feel like I am not maximizing my training. I am on the Suf 16-wk plan, which includes outdoor rides, and I know that I need to adapt for heat. So, when is it time to turn off the fan and suffer in the stagnant heat of the house? How do you suggest best transitioning to that effort? Or, do I just save it for the outdoor weekend rides?

I’m also curious a bit about the physiology behind it, so…thanks in advance!

Listened to a few podcasts on this - so by no means am I an expert.

The goal of the heat adaption as I understand is to increase your red blood cell count (as does training at elevation) and teach the body how to cool itself down in the heat.

Personally, I wouldn’t do most SUF workouts without a fan on. Even in an unheated pain cave. The recovery workouts are probably the best place to start experimenting - can I drop the fan to low? Can I increase the indoor temp a few degrees. Gradual is probably better?

Post workout is where the heat adaption gains (again from my podcast listening memories) can be grown. Keep your temp up afterwards and you get more adaptions.

The downside is that it can be lost as quickly as it is gained.

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I suspect that the factor is not just temperature but also humidity. I would have thresholds of either above which I turned on a fan & dehumidifier during a workout. I wouldn’t accept being hot if it also meant being unrealistically humid.