Core turns body temperature into heat training zones through updated app

When used alongside Core’s wearable heat sensors, which have become popular in the WorldTour peloton, the updated app provides temperature data that can be used to inform training

Clock03:35, Thursday 23rd May 2024
Core has introduced new heat training zones to its app

© Core Body Temp

Core has introduced new heat training zones to its app

Core has updated its app to make it easier for cyclists to interpret and utilise data from its wearable heat sensors. The update has introduced a range of new and updated features, including a “smarter” heat strain index and new heat training zones.

The pursuit of performance gains is constantly opening up new frontiers and Core’s heat sensors are one of the newest, having been adopted widely by the WorldTour pelotons without gaining too much public attention, hence why Core describes them as “the peloton’s best kept secret”. Soudal Quick-Step, Lidl-Trek, Bora-Hansgrohe and Ceratizit-WNT are among the teams currently using the sensors.

Temperature monitoring isn’t actually a new concept, but Core says that its sensors go about it in a different way that doesn’t just record skin temperature like other devices, but detects heat as it moves in and out of the body. This is achieved through a Swiss-made thermal energy transfer sensor and the data is interpreted by an AI algorithm and transmitted to the app, where it is displayed as multiple metrics, including core body temperature, skin temperature, the updated heat index, plus the new training zones. Some of these metrics can also be transmitted to third-party devices too.

The heat index was already a key metric that measures how hard a body is working to stay cool, but Core says it has been improved through the latest app update to “more accurately represent strain on the body.” It does this by calculating a rider’s real-time mean body temperature, which is the weighted average of the core body and skin temperatures, and then placing it on a scale from 0 to 10.

While this can give a rider an idea of how their body is coping with the heat, it doesn’t necessarily inform training, which is why Core has now also introduced training zones too. These essentially take a heat index rating and place it into one of four heat training zones that can be used to better inform training and racing, and make it easier to understand when heat is impacting performance.

Zone 1 (0 - 0.9 on the heat strain scale) represents no heat strain and Zone 2 (1 - 2.9) is only moderate strain. It’s at zone 3 (3 - 6.9) where the strain becomes high, at which point Core says it has an impact on performance. That’s why Core says zone 3 is best avoided during races, “as heart rate will rise and perceptions of heat may become very uncomfortable.” However, in what it describes as “the paradox of heat zone 3”, this high heat strain can be beneficial and it is the “ideal” zone for training.

“Regular and repeated training in this zone will result in heat adaptation. It is the zone best for adapting to the heat,” Core says on its website. “While some adaptations may occur from training in Heat Zone 2, they will take longer to develop and will not reach the body’s full potential.”

Going beyond this into zone 4 is described as “harmful” and “dangerous”, and Core says “exercising in this zone for too long can cause serious health problems”, although it has advised that the device isn’t intended to be used for medical purposes and isn’t designed to diagnose heat stroke or heat illness.

Learn more about the heat sensors and app on Core’s website.

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