Busting Myths About Riding in the Heat and Cold, with Dr. Stephen Cheung

We bust myths about exercising in the heat and in cold weather. We are joined by Dr. Stephen Cheung, one of the world's preeminent environmental physiologists.

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At Fast Talk, we love a good myth. More than that, we like busting them. From the age-old myth about sleeping in a room with plants to the myth of lactic acid, Coach Connor and I enjoy applying science to firmly-held beliefs and turning worlds upside down—or at least correcting misinformation.

Today our focus is the large number of myths about riding and racing in the heat and cold. First, a reminder that we previously covered training in such conditions in episodes 21 and 35. While we’ll cover some of the physiology in this episode, check out those shows for a deeper dive into the mechanisms at play. Today, it’s all myths.

We start with some general myths about temperature: are there hot and cold riders? Good question. Then we move to myths about heat: Can you adapt? Does pouring water over your head help? And should your drink mix match your sweat? Finally, we tackle myths about the cold: Can you adapt to the cold? Should you over- or under-dress? Can you damage your lungs? That and much more.

Today, we’re joined by Dr. Stephen Cheung, a professor in the kinesiology department of Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is one of the world’s preeminent environmental physiologists and studies how humans perform in extreme conditions. He’s a well-respected author, the chief sports scientist at Baron Biosystems, makers of Xert, and he essentially tortures people as a job, which sounds pretty sadistic, and fun.

One other note before we get into it: in this time of online symposiums, Dr. Cheung is organizing a “Virtual Environmental Ergonomics” series. For more info, visit www.icee2021.com.

Today we’ll also hear from Nick Legan, Shimano’s road brand manager and a gravel racing expert, who has spent many an hour riding in extreme conditions, and Whitney Garcia, a former pro triathlete who raced in the heat of Kona and other hot climes throughout her career.

So, get your slushies, your bar mitts… your embro? No skip the embro. Let’s make you fast!

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Episode Transcript

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