Do-It-Yourself Sauna Training

On July 22, 2008, in Lifestyle, Racing, by Meghan

If you think I’m crazy after you browse this post, please don’t inform me of that fact. On the other hand, if you’ve concluded that I’m a huge dork, please feel free to mention this. If I had to call myself something, it would be determined.

In a few weeks, I will race the Burning River 100, and it will probably be quite hot and humid. Additionally, we all know that I faired somewhat horribly while trying to race in the hot and humid weather of Wisconsin a few months ago. Because I wish to have a better experience in Ohio, I’m indulging in a little heat and humidity training. Problematically, I live at elevation in the Rocky Mountains and, quite frankly, hot and humid weather is virtually non-existent. Further, I live in the wilderness where access to modern conveniences, for instance a sauna, is somewhat limited. Because the closest wet sauna is a 1 hour drive away, I’ve improvised here at home. Please join me on a tour of my bathroom sauna:

This is what I refer to as Heater #1, the baseboard heater in my bathroom. You can crank this puppy up to a whopping 75 degrees F.

This is Heater #2, an electric space heater that I've borrowed from a friend, which puts out a lot of heat in a little time. I crank up both heaters, shut the bathroom door, and let it heat up.

If I wait about 20 minutes, I can get the thermometer up to 92 degrees F. Then I turn on the shower for a bit to add the humidity factor.

It's a big challenge to stuff the bike into the little bathroom of my historic house. By standing on the toilet, and with all kinds of careful maneuvering, it slides into place.

I'm headed into the sauna with my 60 ounces of nuun and water.

Here's a foggy self portrait in the sauna. Does this look like fun?

After a 35 minute spin in my do-it-yourself sauna, I'm sweaty!

And I'm reduced to a puddle of sweat! Look out Ohio heat and humidity, here I come!

Tagged with:

29 Responses to “Do-It-Yourself Sauna Training”

  1. Sunshine Girl says:

    I’m having early onset hot flashes because of you. Stop it. You are making me hot.

  2. Audrey says:

    you’re insane…but i think you’ve found the right community of people to out yourself to…

  3. olga says:

    Hot mama!!! Ohio has nothing on you!

  4. Abbie says:

    I love it!! What an awesome idea. It’s funny because I could totally see myself doing something like that too. I don’t think you’re crazy at all. I think it’s smart.

  5. Bob Gentile says:

    I thought I was the Heat Misor but umm I think you win πŸ™‚ not just the sweat but your hair due is higher then mine–lol

  6. Thomas says:

    I’m probably just as nuts as you, but I can’t find anything wrong in your post.

  7. Beth says:

    This is hilarious!! πŸ™‚ I can only imagine trying to get my bike into one of our bathrooms. I think I would have to put it in the tub!

    Great idea though – the humidity is tough to deal with if you aren’t used to it. Ohio isn’t going to know what hit it when you come through!! πŸ™‚

  8. jeff says:

    nicely done, macgyver!

    the slick legs are hard to make out, but you can see the drips of sweat on the floorboards, so, yeah, it’s apparent that your setup really works!

  9. Danni says:

    I think you’re very clever!!! I would have never thought of that improvisation. Instead I spend $$$ to go to the sauna at the gym. You, my friend, are a genius.

  10. Roslyn says:

    Since I thought, at the beginning of this post, that you were going to say that you RAN for thirty minutes in the bathroom, you don’t sound crazy to me at all. Just really well prepared for a great race.

  11. Meghan says:

    Leslie- Whew, you better go jump in that lake again and cool off, girlie!

    Audrey- Hey, not nice! I said that if you think I’m crazy, you should keep your opinions to yourself. I’m off to sulk… πŸ˜‰

    Olga- Watch out humidity! I’m watching the weather forecast and praying for it now. Just kidding!

    Abbie- So glad to hear that you don’t think I’m crazy, and that people like you would try this, too!

    Bob- Don’t worry, you’re still the Heat Miser! You’ve been sauna training for like years or something. I will never come close to you!

    Thomas- Hah! Too funny. Great news! Crazy people unite!

    Beth- I did think of the tub when I wasn’t sure if it all was going to fit. But after I stood on my head, backflipped with the bike, and made a solid no-bobble landing, the bike just barely squeezed in. πŸ™‚

    Jeff- Macgyver reporting for duty. Please advise of my next assignment. I’m hoping it’s related to stuffing elephants into crawl spaces because I’ll be really good at that now.

    Danni- If your husband wouldn’t be driven nuts by such craziness, I say make your own at-home sauna. It’s quite time-consuming to prepare, execute, and clean up the mess afterwards, though.

    Roslyn- Sadly, I thought about it, “Now, what if I ran in place, would that make me sweat?” The bike was a good compromise. πŸ™‚

  12. Tom says:

    At the end of the month let us know what your electric bill is.

  13. The Salty One says:

    Oh the ingenuity! You really can acclimate to this stuff. The craziness will pay off. It really hasn’t been all that bad this summer. It’s rained a lot so the humidity hasn’t been as bad as it could be. I hope that stays true for the next 10 days!

  14. rick says:

    Haha, omigosh that is awesome. I was a little skeptical at first but it totally works. Now to make it hotter all you have to do is add more clothing, like a shell or something. So crazy genius. Ohio here you come.

  15. Backofpack says:

    Determined and innovative – that’s you! Seems like a darn good idea.

  16. Holly says:

    You are so hard core! I won’t be concerned unless you start wearing a plastic suit.

  17. Journey to a Centum says:

    AP News- Yellowstone Nationl Park
    Mysterious death reported in employee housing. Woman found in bathroom slumped over the handlebars of her bike. Two heaters were turned up high and the shower was running. Detectives could not find a shoehorn that must have been used to get the bicycle into the bathroom. CSI agents are stumped but believe they have a homicide investigation on their hands. “Nobody in their left or right minds would attempt such tom-foolery on their own accord.” Locals think her body may have somehow been inexpicably preserved since winter and think she may have suffered “cabin fever syndrome” while trying to stay warm. This theory has been proven wrong however as it seems the woman has been at work for the last few weeks and has participated in some running events.

  18. Bob Gentile says:

    LOL – Eric

  19. Meghan says:

    Wow, you guys are sumthin’ else. I don’t know what, but sumthin’.

    Tom- Is that THE Tom? The elusive Kettle Moraine Tom? If so, hello stranger! I will let you know what my bills are at the end of the month. I suspect a small increase, but, in reality, it doesn’t take much to make a sauna when the room is about 3’x8′!

    Salty- Knowing us racers’ luck, it will the humidity of the century or something equally ridiculous. Look out humidity, I’m coming! πŸ™‚

    Rick- You are such the skeptic! Have you no faith? Oh noes, I canNOT imagine donning more clothing in that room. On second thought, maybe I’ll try it…

    Michelle- THANK YOU! As opposed to your husband’s lunatic-like response, your support is greatly appreciated. πŸ˜‰

    Holly- Ooh, a garbage bag, I could try that. Thanks for the idea! Further jaunts into insanity, watch out!

    Eric- Really!? Was that necessary? I bet it took you about an hour to come up with that one. Actually, I don’t need a shoe horn to get my bike in there, just a spring board and some duct tape.

    Bob- Don’t encourage him. He’s like a wild animal. You feed him, and he keeps coming back.

    Ok, now be good to me, y’all! πŸ™‚

  20. Journey to a Centum says:

    Do I get to pick the wild animal? If I do I choose MAD MONKEY!

  21. A says:

    oh! This is equally brilliant and hilarious. I will remember this next time I need to acclimatize for a hot/humid weather race, it’s just ingenious! And inspiring. I’m totally going to copy you. Hope you don’t mind. πŸ™‚

    That said, I am sitting here laughing my a** off. πŸ™‚ I don’t know which I love more, the fact that you did this, or that you blogged about it. hee hee!

  22. JeffO says:

    The “crazy” thing is, there were twenty-something comments on a blog post about do-it-yourself sauna torture! We’re the crazy ones! This is so funny!

    NO – I will not be copying, so sorry. I am a complete heat-wimp lover of snow and raging blizzards. I’m a Badwater-don’t-wannabe. You totally have my respect for being motivated to race there and to train the way you do.

  23. Sunshine Girl says:

    I can’t wait to see what you come up with for Marathon des Sables.

  24. Bob Gentile says:


    you have any of those in Yellowstone Missy πŸ™‚

  25. Meghan says:

    Ok peeps, I don’t know if I’ve ever received this many comments before. If I only knew how much you would like to hear about my craziness. πŸ™‚

    Eric- Yes, you can be a mad monkey. And, I’ll forgive your “Meghan Dies” comment if you make me a mad monkey, too.

    Anne- Actually, Rick (the 365me link on my “Favorites” list) prompted me to make this a blog post, saying it would be entertaining. Little did I know. Yes, please copy. If you come up with more successful modifications, let me know!

    JeffO- Methinks you are a the smarter one. Here is me, trying to train for a climate I just don’t have. Maybe I should embrace the Rocky Mountain clime a little more, since I live here and all.

    Leslie- You and me, too! I might make myself a little crazy in my bathroom if I don’t come up with something better.

    Bob- Nope, no monkeys here. I think they are found mostly in Eric’s house.

  26. E-Speed says:

    whoa talk about extreme! Lets hope it stays well below 92 this weekend!

    I’m heading out to mark the last 6 miles of the course tomorrow and Friday night I’m marking the 4-6 before that so hopefully I’ll be really familiar with it come Saturday night! I’ve got Salty lined up to take over aid station duties for me if you are blazing through the course. Looking forward to meeting you! Let me know when you will be at the Friday night dinner (if you are going) I’ll try to get there with my family so we can chat if I get done with marking in time!

  27. Journey to a Centum says:

    Meghan – You are officially a Mad Monkey Runner. You need to promise to call out your loudest wild monkey call the next time you summit a major climb. Feel free to make loud monkey calls on the way up and down too! That way you won’t surprise any large animals. I’m working on shirts for our club.

    Judging from Bob’s latest hair style he’s in the running to become a Mad Monkey Runner too! Maybe he can stand on an old sand castle on the flat beaches he runs and make monkey calls.

    You have not seen the last of my journalistic endeavors!

    White-Footed Runner

  28. kelly says:

    Good luck at the Burning River 100! With all your heat training, you will have no problems. I have been laughing my butt off at everyones comments. Too funny. Do your best out there and keep positive. I will be following your race.

  29. Liz says:

    That. Is. Awesome. As are you..!

Leave a Reply