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Active Voice: Precooling Strategies and Improvements in Cycling Performance in the Heat

from By Megan Ross, B.S.

Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Megan Ross, B.S., is completing her Ph.D. through Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Western Australia. Based out of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, she travels with an AIS competitive cycling team and conducts performance-related studies with these athletes. Ross is interested in developing strategies for reducing risks of heat injury in cycling competitions. This commentary presents her views associated with the research article she and her colleagues published in the Jan. 2011 Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise®.

January is the month when cyclists travel “Down Under” to compete in the first event on the UCI Pro Tour calendar – an event held in the extreme heat of the Australian summer. With the stage‐race covering ~850 km over six days, in temperatures that often reach over 40°C/104°F, it is important that riders manage their heat stress. As such, research into practical means of cooling, either before, during or after exercise in hot temperatures continues to grow. more

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