As many of you know, my teammate Ian Crane, has been doing some pretty important work preparing for elite nationals in Augusta, Georgia this coming weekend. The biggest obstacle in the race, aside from the other people trying to cross the finish line first, will likely be the heat. Ian, coming from the snowy, southern Alaskan town of Bellingham, is currently just coming out of winter hibernation, and although he’s lean from his long winter slumber, he’s completely unacclimated to anything above 49 degrees F. So in preparation, he’s compiled a list of things he’s done to get his body ready for the heat. To build new capillaries, he’s been training in a parka, much like Cody and Jesse do up in Canada every day. While many of his practices sound sensible, such as listening to Riahna to feel the warmth of the Caribbean, I warn you–don’t take his advice! I, Kennett Peterson, have all the best techniques for heat acclimation, which I’ll share with you right here.
Step #1: Shave everything. This includes buzzing of the head, groinal region, armpits, and shaving of the torso, arms and legs. Luckily for me, I have the power to control my hair growth and slow it down, diverting the hair energy into building stronger bones so that when I crash, I don’t get hurt as badly.
#2: Go really fast around corners. The heat generated from the G forces when you corner really fast will get your body in the mood for Georgia-esque temps. Also, the higher the angle of the corner, the better heat acclimation you get. A 90 degree corner is only half as good/hot as a 180 degree corner. Yesterday I looked down at my bike computer and saw that I was going 54.8 mph heading into a 200 degree corner. Although I had to come way out into the left hand lane into the blind corner, risking life and limb and peeing myself just a little, the heat acclimation I got was astounding and well worth the risk of dying. Later that day I didn’t even feel my hand burning on a stove while I was cooking spinach until like six seconds after I rested it there.
#3: Ride in the heat. It’s been in the 90’s here all week except for earlier in the week when it wasn’t. It was 101 today. If you live where it’s cold, quit your job and move. It’s
amateur, I mean ELITE nationals for heck’s sake! It doesn’t get any more prestigious.
#4: Deprive yourself of water on long, hot rides. One of my old soccer coaches had us do this during summer practice. He said that during the game we wouldn’t be drinking whenever we wanted, so to get used to it we would only drink like once during practice. Today on my ride I only drank eight water bottles instead of the 31 that I wanted to drink.
#5: Load up on salt. I’ve been putting salt on everything. I do that usually, but lately I’ve been using even more than normal. The body can store up a lot of salt, and it’s pretty much impossible, while you’re in the race, to consume as much as you’re sweating out during those 4.5 hours. So stalk up on salt before hand. Top Ramen is a good choice if you want some flavor with your salt. Also, with your body super saturated (not really) with salt, you’ll be able to carry a lot more stored water along in you, while increasing your plasma levels.
#6: Eat lots of watermelon to replenish your water stores, post ride. I really like watermelon, especially in the summer. Science has proven the fact that eating one liter of watermelon is equivalent to drinking 7 liters of water. I always carry at least half a watermelon on me from the months of May-Sept. And despite its name, it CAN be brought on planes, TSA!!
#7: Never use deodorant or sunscreen, as both will clog your pores and inhibit them from secreting sweat. It’s much better to get really sunburned than to lose even a single pore’s ability to cool you down with sweat.
#8: Stretch your skin to create more body surface area. Like an elephant’s ears, you want as much surface area to mass ratio as you can get when it comes to cooling down in the heat. More surface area means you have more blood being pumped to the outside of your body, effectively cooling the blood down when it’s pumped to skin near the air. I recommend manually pulling and stretching skin for at least 90 minutes a day.
#10: Eat hot food. I can’t remember if Ian said this or not and I don’t want to go back to his blog to give him even MORE hits, so I’ll just assume that he didn’t say it. By eating spicy and hot (temperature) foods, you’ll increase your body’s ability to produce special enzymes to cool itself. Don’t ask me about it. It’s science. Also, the hot, acidic food you’re eating will acclimate you in another way when it exits your body. The spicier your poop, the more heat tolerance you’re getting. Here’s a little poem to go by: If it smells overripe, hurts to wipe, and leaves a red stripe, congrats! You’ve no reason to gripe, so keep pumping that pipe with spicy foods and tripe.
#11: Have a large, fat cat sit in your lap on a daily basis for heat acclimation. You must be acclimating all the time, 24 hours a day. Not just on rides. I don’t have a cat, but I do have a hot pussy to sit on my lap instead. OH hahahah!! No, but not really.
#12: Fart in the shower. And don’t have the fan on. Farting in the shower increases the room discomfort level by 12 points, which translates to temperature by 23 degrees.
#13: Glance at the sun every now and then. Don’t look at it for more than forty minutes straight, as it’s bad for your eyes. I recommend the 20/20/20 rule. 20 minutes looking at the sun, 20 seconds looking at something 20 millimeters away, 20 more minutes looking at the sun, etc.
#14: Avoid products like Sensodyne, the toothpaste for people who can’t eat cold things because they’re weak-minded. By using Sensodyne, you’re reducing the overall amount of cold you can feel. The percentage of temperature your body can sense, increases towards hot. If anything, you want to reduce the heat not increase it. Don’t use Sensodyne because it will make you hot.
#15: I’m sure you’re like me and you can’t get enough fatty northern fish, like mackerel, sardines, and herring. The pungently delicious odor of a good can of herring, wafting past my nose on a hot summer day is so appeasing that it’s making my mouth water right now as I type. A few months ago my teammate, Dan, explained to me why this type of northern fish is good for you. I didn’t really absorb or understand what he was saying, but basically the gist of it was that when you eat animals from the far north or south (cold places) the omega-3 fats your body absorbs helps your body stay cool. So eating animals from cold places increases your tolerance to the heat. You might (naively, I might add) say to yourself, “Wait a minute, Kennett. Wouldn’t eating foods from cold places help you stay warm, since those animals have to stay warm in the extreme cold? And even that logic doesn’t make any sense so what are you talking about?” And to that I say: shut your dirty little mouth and be quiet when I’m talking at you. It’s science. Shut up. There’s even a quote in the Bible that backs me up:
Page 312, verse 19 from the book of Jehovahs: “And they lord said on to him, thy kingdom come, ‘there shall be great chilling of the spirit when’st thy eats the cold, dead flesh of his fellow man.’”
#16: Build yourself an ice vest for before the race. It can get hot just rolling around in the parking lot the 30 minutes before the race, and you might as well stay cool then. I built a sick as ice vest a few months ago but left it behind at a host house by accident.
#17: Change your name to something that can be muttered in as few syllables as possible. That way when people ask your name you won’t waste precious mouth moisture by going on and on, finishing your long, mulit syllable name. While ‘LL Cool K’ sounded appealing to me, I decided on the more practical ‘Keehhh.’ I can say that without even opening my mouth.
If there’s one person who knows about heat acclimation, it’s Thomas T, who is pictured here stealing a cantaloupe rind.