There’s nothing like checking the forecast ahead of a big race, seeing 90+ degree temperatures and knowing that you’ll be checking into the pain cave. Some people can weather the elements better than others – I am not one of them. I’m hot-blooded: I rarely get cold, and wilt very quickly when I’m exposed to temperatures over 80 degrees. After a few bouts with serious heat, I finally came out on top last weekend at Vineman 70.3. Here’s how I made it work:
Hydrate – this one may seem obvious, but few things are when you’re out for a long or challenging workout in hot weather. Hydrate (days) before, during and after your workout or race. Everyone is different, but I’ve found that sipping 4-8 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during a run works well for me, and I shoot for 2 24 ounce bottles of fluid per hour on the bike. Need help remembering? Many fitness trackers include a time alert – my Garmin buzzes every 17.5 minutes and serves as a reminder that I need to keep drinking.
Ice – this. Ice easily saved my race at Vineman 70.3 amidst the 90+ degree heat. I pour a cup down my tri top, toss some in my water bottle and also fill my hat whenever the opportunity presents itself. Regulating your core temperature has never been easier.
Hat – not visor: I prefer visors for most workouts, but warm weather workouts are all about the hat. Wearing a hat allows me to stash some ice cubes and soak it in cold water whenever I get the chance.
Sponges – they’re not always easy to come by, but if you see them at an aid station, take advantage. I like to grab a few – one to wipe the sweat/salt off my face, one to cool down my armpits, and another to toss in my tri top for good measure.
Carry a water bottle – even if you know exactly where the water fountains are on your go-to route, it’s always better to have more than less in the heat. I filled my water bottle at every aid station at Vineman 70.3 – all 13 of them. I made sure to grab cold water and also toss in some ice: I was able to drink half, and squirt the rest on my neck, chest, and wherever else was on the verge of overheating.
Don’t forget about electrolyte replacement – the more you sweat, the more you need to remember electrolyte replenishment. Everyone has their own method – some people prefer salt pills, others reach for a sports drink; either way, do not underestimate the impact that electrolyte balance has on performance. Not sure whether salt pills or a sports drink would work better for you? Experiment during a long training day. I typically mix both depending on how my stomach feels. I recently tried Gu Roctane electrolyte capsules and was extremely pleased with the results.
Wear Sunscreen! – Ask Taylor if you don’t believe me! Both Taylor and I have suffered burns this season; I didn’t suffer like she did, but we just ordered Bullfrog sunscreen – known for its water and sweat resistance.
What else works well for you guys?