NIKKI BRAMMEIER : BOELS DOLMANS
Welcome back to the Bike Breaks pro rider corner!
This time round, we have the lovely Nikki Brammeier share some words on training in the heat and how to manage it.
Nikki is a highly accomplished British professional cyclist and juggles her talents between the road and Cyclo-Cross. She currently rides for the world’s number one ranked female cycling team, Boels-Dolmans and has played a huge part in many of the team’s victories over the past few seasons.
Nikki has an impressive string of National titles across many disciplines, including the track and MTB, as well as her Cross-Road results since she began racing at a high level in 2000. Stand out achievements include her World Cup Cyclo-Cross victory in Namur, 2015 and her selection for the Rio Olympic Games road race in 2016.
Nikki has been based in Girona for many seasons in favour of the excellent training grounds and year-round, cycling-great weather. Following a very warm few months and an especially hot summer, we thought we would check in with Nikki to see how she manages to keep her training up and handle the heat.
Thanks Nikki and all the best for the remainder of the road season and cross kicking off soon!
British cyclo-cross national championships 2016
NIKKI’S TIPS ON HOW TO TRAIN IN THE HEAT:
I really struggle with training in the heat. Ever since moving out to Girona, it has become a bit of a personal battle of mine. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love Cyclo Cross so much :-). I really have to pay attention and make a bit more of an effort with a few things when the temperatures start to go up. It takes me no less than 3 weeks to fully adapt to any kind of high temperatures, usually anything above 25-30 degrees. I’ve had a fair few episodes of heat exhaustion, sometimes resulting in me vomiting or fainting if it gets really bad. A few of the measures I try to take to keep cool are ;
- Go out early – When it gets super hot I always take advantage of the lower temperatures early in the morning. This can really make a huge difference. It’s of course often annoying to wake up early and be out on the bike so early but it really makes a huge difference to me. I usually try to do all my intervals in the first couple of hours when the temps are low – that leaves me with only a few more hours of general riding in the furnace to get through.
- Stay hydrated. This might sound obvious enough but it really needs emphasizing. I try to drink at least a litre of water before riding and a litre every hour on the bike. I generally drink water with some kind of salt/electrolyte solution. I tend to stick a few sachets of something with a high salt concentration in my pockets and add it to water when I’m training. I’m always stopping at water fountains and petrol stations to fill up.
- Freeze your bottles. This is again something quite easy to do but it makes a difference having that extra cold drink to guzzle down in the first hour of riding. Just make up your bottles the night before and pop them in the freezer. Easy.
- Adapting training intensity– When it’s super hot and I have intervals, I tend to train at 10% lower watts. When it’s that hot, your effort always becomes harder so to balance it out, taking that little bit off your numbers can really make a difference and help you deal with the training load better. We generally get a better adaption from our training in high temperatures, something similar to that at altitude so don’t be scared to drop your watts a little bit.