Living in Singapore, we experience summer weather all-year-round, but the Singaporean heat and humidity does come with its fair share of drawbacks.
Outdoor sports such as cycling requires individuals to endure the blazing sun and suffocating humidity for long periods of time, sometimes possibly leading to sun burns, heat rash, or heat strokes.
Since the weather in Singapore is not going to change, cyclists have to adapt to the weather conditions and take actions to stay cool throughout their ride.
When preparing to cycle in the heat and endure perspiration, you should choose your cycling attire wisely. Clothing in light colours, such as white or yellow, would help to reflect the sunlight away from the body. Wicking fabric can also help to move sweat away from the skin and allow it to evaporate.
If you’re wearing as little as possible due to the heat, you are also leaving more skin exposed to the sun. In this case, sunblock is crucial to protect your skin from sun damage.
As you’ll be perspiring profusely while cycling in the heat, staying hydrated is of great importance. Hydrate yourself before a ride to prepare for the exertion and drink more after you’re done with the ride to replenish the water your body has just lost.
Don’t pour water or use ice-packs
Dumping ice water over your head or having an ice-pack at the back of your neck could feel really refreshing, particularly on a hot day in Singapore. However, the extreme cold temperature could send a shock to your body. The best way is to squirt small amounts of water on your head, neck and shoulders to help dissipate the heat more effectively.
Starting your day early
Race schedules are out of your control, but training times are. If the daytime heat gets too overwhelming for you, start off your training earlier, for instance, before the crack of dawn, or in the evening as the sun sets. These times of the day are generally cooler and more comfortable to cycle in.
However, if you are preparing for a race that you know is going to be in extreme heat, try to train in a similar weather condition to prepare yourself for race day. Try to ride later in the morning, or even put on more layers to condition yourself to the hotter temperatures you will encounter later on.
Nevertheless, the weather in Singapore can get overwhelming to exercise in at times. Take a break if you start to feel giddy or overheated because it’s better to be safe than sorry! It is also okay to miss a training day if you can’t take the weather, and make up for it another day when the weather is more accomodating.