Heat Training Insights from an E-Sports National Champion

Editor’s note: Every cyclist who rides hard indoors knows about overheating. Regardless of the room temperature, the lack of airflow means that core temp rises and performance declines. We spoke about this with Brian Kellison, the USA Cycling Esports National Champion in the M45–49 division in both 2022 and 2023. You can follow Brian’s journey online at twitch.tv/briankellison


What started you with heat adaption training?

I live in Central California, which is very hot during the summer. For safety reasons, I wanted something that could help me know what my body was doing in intense heat. I first used the CORE sensor to see how on “perceived” hot days my body wasn’t in danger. Then I started using the sensor to train specifically in very hot conditions, knowing I would benefit, and it would not hinder my performance.


How frequently do you do heat sessions?

I usually do about 4 heat sessions a week. I race casually during the week inside of structured training and will do heat races to see how deep I can go while at or above my heat threshold. I want to see how my body reacts under intense conditions during workouts as well as race simulations.



How do you stay cool during indoor racing?

I began to look at ways professional teams and riders were coming up with cooling techniques. One of those strategies was “slushies” and for me that meant “Slurpee” here in the States. I don’t own a slushy machine but I began using “ice pops” which are frozen fruit juices. During hard sessions or races in my overly hot garage (upwards of 48° C/ 118° F) I tuck ice pops under my wrists bands and eat slightly frozen ice pops to keep my core temperature as cool as possible. I have many blowers moving the air around as well.


How do you use CORE data while training and racing?

The thing I find most interesting now is how much I look at the CORE temp data on my head unit. I find it essential to know where I am exactly while training and racing. No more guessing or perceiving if I’m overheating. It has mentally made me much stronger.

I can power through really hot sessions without fans because I can see I still have power at the end of a race or a final set of intervals. I’m not guessing. I know I’m either going to trust my sprint if the group is still together or I’m confident I can attempt a late breakaway, catching others off guard. 

After doing the heat ramp test and getting your optimal zones you KNOW how to push yourself because you KNOW how hot you are, instead of just wondering if you are too hot to have the power at the end. It is an essential tool for anyone wanting to get the most out of each time they want to perform.

I also stream my journey online at twitch.tv/briankellison