Top FIVE tips for racing a warm weather event:
1) Hydrate with an electrolyte drink from lunchtime to dinnertime the night before a race or long training day. Use it in place of water. Use a product that you’ve used in the past that you know works. Don’t over hydrate- you want light yellow urine. Be sure the drink contains sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium…all are needed, not just the sodium.
2) Rule of thumb for a hot weather 70.3 to judge whether or not you are drinking enough fluids: You should feel the need to pee at least once on the bike. For a 140.6, you should feel the need to go at least twice.
3) If you’re drinking only water on the bike/run, you should also be taking in an external source of electrolytes. Don’t skimp on these. In this weather, the average athlete functions best on 300-800+ mg of sodium chloride per hour. That sounds like a lot….but we sweat a lot in temps 80-90 + high humidity. The more plain water you drink, the more electrolytes you need to take in. If you take on to much water and your gut is sloshing, start taking in more electrolytes or replace the water with a “sports” drink that you’ve used in the past- the sodium will help pull the fluid out of your gut. *If you are working with a Coach or sports RD, you can easily find your sweat rate- this is good info to have once our weather heats up. It will help you dial in your fluids/electrolytes specifically to YOU*
4) Use the ICE at the aid stations. Put it down the back of your shirt, your sports bra, your hat, the *palms of your hands* and the back of your neck. Studies have shown that holding the ice will cool your body temp the quickest. Last year, some local races ran out of ice/cold water towards the end of the day: If you are a slower athlete, don’t be afraid to contact the RD or put up on their FB page and say “please be sure you will have enough ice & water out on the course.” That is acceptable, given that races DO run out of water/ice on occasion….and this is not the weather to have it happen in.
5) Hat vs Visor: in an aid station supported hot weather race, go with the hat. Why? Because you can put ice inside the hat and dump water on top of the hat at each mile. Having a wet cover on your head helps to keep you cool verses just the visor which exposes the top of your head to the sun without a layer of protection.
Those were the top 5 that came to mind quickly. There are more! Have fun out there and be sure to smile across the finish line!