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Benefits of measuring body temperature with a core body sensor in cycling

Cycling presents us with some unique challenges. It’s often considered one of the best forms of cardiovascular exercise because it avoids the heavy load on our joints that running can cause, as well as being highly rewarding – traveling miles along varying landscapes.

Regarding competition, some skills, techniques, and strategies are involved. But these are limited compared to most sports, making it a sport that is pretty much about who has the best aerobic fitness (and mental strength).

One way we can monitor data and improve our cycling performance is through core body temperature sensors – the temperature of our internal organs. Using a core body sensor, we can assess our training load, build heat tolerance, and even create fatigue through heat.

Heat tolerance of the body

A study by Gonzales-Alonso in 1991 showed that athletes performing in hot environments showed signs of fatigue once their core body temperature hit 40°C – and yes, that is well in the range of having a fever.

Of course, the athletes didn’t have a fever. The body had heated up from the exercise. However, it was evident that athletes who scored high in aerobic fitness had much better heat tolerance, meaning they fatigued less than others when their core body temperature was over 40°C.

The reason for this is because of tolerance. The athlete’s body had been through it many times before and became more resistant to the high temperatures. It shined a light on how important training your heat tolerance was – but there will be, of course, limits to this, as a high core temperature will become a hindrance at some point for everyone.

Heat-induced fatigue while cycling

Instead of looking at how well we deal with a high core temperature, we can embrace the effects of an elevated core temperature and see how it can be implemented into our training. So, forget at what point we fatigue due to the heat, and instead focus on how we can make ourselves fatigued by purposely getting hot.

A high core body temperature can cause cardiovascular strain, this is because of the additional skin blood flow that is required for sweat, and it drives our heart rate to increase. Now we can achieve a higher heart rate with a lower training load. It doesn’t sound like a good thing, but it can be a helpful tool, as we can train our cardio without exhausting as much muscle fatigue, meaning we can train more.

How cyclists can prevent fatigue

So, our tolerance to heat is limited, and now we can use this fatigue to our advantage. But, one of the most considerable benefits of monitoring our core body temperature is to take us to the limit – but know when to stop.

Training under excessively high core body temperature – which causes our performance to decline rapidly – isn’t optimal. Therefore, monitoring our temperature can be a way to train as hard as possible and to know when to stop. It can prevent overtraining and ensure we know when we are and aren’t fatigued.

It also points out that we all get sick from time to time. Often, it’s difficult to know if we have an illness because there may be a period where we feel no symptoms. A slightly raised resting heart rate when you wake up could be one sign, but so can an elevated core temperature. So, being usually tracking our temperature when training could quickly point out that something is wrong – either we’re ill or have recently overtrained.

How to track body temperature with a core body sensor 

When we think about taking our temperature, we think of a thermometer used under our tongue or arm – or for more accuracy, a rectal probe. However, this invasiveness means that it isn’t convenient nor possible to continuously track, meaning the data points will be few and far between.

For better quality data, a wearable sensor will be far more helpful for an athlete. They’re both continuous and non-invasive, meaning that the data collection is ongoing and real-time, and we only have to wear the torso or arm strap. You can swallow an e-pill that contains a battery – this will continuously track your temperature accurately, but it’s pretty invasive and only lasts for the time it takes to pass through you.

Of course, you will need a device that connects to your phone to transfer the data and a place to store the data. It’s helpful to pair this information with your heart rate for two angles on your training and fitness.

Finally, the use of artificial intelligence technology and the ability to interpret the data is crucial. Otherwise, you’re left with just numbers with little idea of how to react to it. Particularly for those who are competing, adjusting your training following the data can play a considerable role in gaining an edge.Image (Max. 20Mb)

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