How to Beat the Heat

Part two of our interview with world-leading heat researcher Dr. Julien Périard

Good morning everyone,

I hope you had a great weekend training, racing, or otherwise. I was able to get out for a nice easy gravel ride. It was a sunny, bluebird skies morning and it was super nice to switch things up from typical road riding. I even got a little sunburn, which is definitely a sign summer is approaching!

In today’s edition:

  • An iconic event joins the Challenge Family, but does a change in distance mean the death of a classic? 🎡

  • More world-class heat training tips from Dr. Julien Périard 🥵

  • And the training routine of a renowned Maitre d’ 🍽️

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

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🌵 Inspiring pair: An Arizona duo, one with a terminal cancer diagnosis, and another with cerebral palsy, are aiming to complete Ironman Arizona together this fall. [FOX 10]

😎 Spots galore: Loads of spots for the Ironman and 70.3 World Championships will be up for grabs in Subic Bay, Philippines at the IRONMAN events on June 11th. []

🙏 Swansea sorrow: An athlete lost consciousness during the swim portion of this weekend’s Swansea triathlon and sadly passed away. Our thoughts are with their family and friends. [The Independant]


Iconic London Triathlon Partners with Challenge, Offers Middle Distance Race

Challenge Family

As announced by Endurance Sportswire, the iconic London Triathlon, one of the largest city-center races in the world, will now be known as Challenge London.

  • The race will now offer a middle-distance event along with the longstanding Olympic and sprint distance events.

Zoom out: This announcement is significant for Challenge Family, and the continued “lengthification” of the sport.

  • With the addition of a middle-distance race to the event, it shows that race organizers see growth opportunities with longer races.

  • And given the rise of Ultrarunning and long-distance gravel cycling races a company like Challenge is doing its best to respond to changing consumer tastes and market conditions.

It will be interesting to see if in future editions Challenge decides to double down on the middle distance which could lead to the continued death of the Olympic distance.

Do you think shorter races are on the decline?

Or is there just more options for athletes?

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How to Beat the Heat With World-Leading Expert Dr. Julien Périard: Part Two

Dr. Julien Périard is the Research Professor and Deputy Director, University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise. He has worked with both amateur and professional athletes from various disciplines, along with National and International Federations (FIFA, UCI, World Athletics, and World Triathlon), and was also an elite triathlete. This is part two of our interview.

Some call training in heat “poor man’s altitude” Why is that? What is happening physiologically in the body while training in the heat?

Heat and altitude are quite different and induce different adaptations.

⛰️ The goal of training at altitude for endurance athletes is to increase hemoglobin content, oxygen-carrying capacity essentially. This typically occurs after three weeks of spending about 14 hours a day at altitudes above 2500 m.

🔥 Heat exposure leads to a rapid increase in plasma volume and an increase in sweat rate, among other adaptations.

  • These adaptations contribute to lowering heart rate and core temperature during exercise at a given workload, as well as an increasing VO2max in the heat. These adaptations develop over the course of 5-14 days with daily heat exposures of 60-90 min.

The goal of heat training is to increase whole-body temperature and induce sweating, to drive the adaptive response.

There are recent studies that show an increase in both plasma volume and hemoglobin content after very long heat acclimation protocols (5 ½ weeks of 5 x 60 min heat sessions per week). This protocol length is much longer than typical laboratory-based approaches and likely very different from what elite athletes may undertake due to potential difficulties in integrating this many sessions into the training program; although it may depend on the period of the season.

Do you want maximal exposure to heat? I.e. all training sessions in hot conditions? Or Is it better to be selective with exposure?

At the elite level, or any level really, it’s better to be selective. That is because the ability to maintain a given workload will be compromised in the heat during prolonged exposures. So, if the goal is to maintain or hit specific power outputs or running speeds, the relative effort to achieve these will be much harder and reflected in both physiological and perceptual responses.

That’s not to say that hard efforts can’t or shouldn’t be done in the heat, simply that these should be carefully selected.

✔️ Generally speaking, athletes may want to conduct easier sessions in the heat and expose themselves to the stimulus for 60-90 min per session. This can be done based on maintaining a certain heart rate or perceived exertion, such that workload decreases as thermal (body temperature) develops.

  • Alternatively, a particular speed or power output can be maintained throughout each session, which will become relatively easier to maintain as acclimation develops.

Thank you Dr. Périard for your incredible insight! If you missed part one of our interview check it out and learn:

  • Hacks for training in humidity

  • How to tell if you’re a salty sweater

  • If you need more carbs while training in the heat

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🦸‍♂️ Ageless wonder: 86 and still racing triathlons? No problem for Canada’s Charlie Barnes! But what’s his secret? According to Barnes, there are no secrets, but finding your why” certainly helps. [Triathlon Magazine Canada]

🍗 Maitre d’ routine: When Zouheir Louhaichy isn’t helping manage the incredibly popular NYC French Brasserie, Balthazar (or dealing with abusive celebrity patrons), he’s busy training for Ironmans. Take a look at Louhaichy’s Sunday training routine, which of course always starts with Kona coffee. [New York Times]

🏃‍♂️ Economics of running: Running economy is a term thrown around a lot, but what is it? It essentially boils down to running efficiency, which after swimming and biking hard, is so critical. Researchers at Loughborough University think they have a definition and some helpful ways to improve it. []

🍺 Beer/workout pairing: If you’ve ever wondered what beer pairs well with a specific workout, well, triathlete has you covered. We’re especially partial to the hot/humid tempo run paired with a crisp Pilsner. [Triathlete]

🏛️ Legacy of sport: The Brownlee Brothers have inspired a generation of athletes with their Olympic exploits. But few know about their foundation, which exists to inspire kids from all backgrounds to enjoy sport. Recently they had their 50,000th kid cross the line of a Brownlee tri event. [TRI247]


Last week we asked readers if they would take a slot for the IRONMAN World Championships in Nice, France, or decline their spot.

Here’s what some readers said:

  • “I turned down my Nice slot in Texas.”

  • “Nice, France is an amazing destination for a race-cation... plus the men's pro race is going to be 💯”

  • “It just feels like another IM race on a course you can do any year. Whereas yes Kona has the history and cache, but it is also something you can't do outside of the Big Island.”

Thank you for contributing your thoughts!


World Triathlon Championship Series Cagliari, Ironman Brazil

Women: Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR) returned to the top of the podium after making a crucial six-women breakaway.

  • 🥇 Georgia Taylor-Brown (GBR)

  • 🥈 Emma Lombardi (FRA)

  • 🥉 Taylor Spivey (USA)

Men: We were treated to an epic duel between Hayden Wilde (NZ) and Alex Yee (GBR), with the Brit dropping the Kiwi in the final few meters.

  • 🥇 Alex Yee (GBR)

  • 🥈 Hayden Wilde (NZ)

  • 🥉 Leo Bergere (FRA)

Tempo’s take: In the women’s race, it continues to be a matter of making the front pack. Even without the usual suspects (Duffy, Knibb, Learmonth), there was still a front group that was able to create a significant gap over the chase. This was the last Olympic distance event before the Olympic test event in August, so the races may take on a different flavor as they shorten up the distances. Onwards to Montreal in about a month.

Check out the rest of the weekend’s results here.


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