Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tips for Training and Racing in the Heat - #4 Strategies for Race Day!

You've done all the right things leading up to race day.  Now, you are up and at 'em first thing in the morning...don't blow it!

Tip #1 - Bring an extra fluid* bottle to the race venue!

*Fluid means water mixed with electrolytes and carbohydrates.

If you like to be early to the race site on race day, you still might have two hours until the gun goes off to start your wave.  Bring an extra fluid bottle to sip while you set up transition and while you wait for the start.

Tip #2 - Wear a hat, not a visor!

A hat is perfect for holding ice.  What?!?!  For a lot of us, when we start the run, the sun is bright, the temps are higher and we are hot and tired.  Most aid stations will have ice.  When you approach the station, pull off your hat, ask the volunteers to help you fill your hat about halfway with ice, then place the ice-filled hat on your head.  The ice will melt and run down your head keeping you cool.  Another benefit if you have enough ice, your brain freezes and you forget what crazy feat you are trying to accomplish!  You can also dump your hat in cold water to get a similar affect.  One last benefit of a hat is the shade the bill provides.

Tip #3 - Use the rags and sponges provided at the race!

Again, many aid stations will have rags and/or sponges soaking in a tub of cold water.  Don't pass them up!  These icy rags can be tied around your neck to keep you cool.  Sponges can be placed near the neck and chest to cool your core.  You can also stuff one in your hat.  Then, these can be exchanged at the next aid station for a cool replacement!

Tip #4 - Keep shoes dry!

Wet shoes and socks cause blisters.  Also, no one likes sloshing through the run leg of a triathlon.  If you decide to dump water on your head, try bending forward so you don't soak your shoes.  Avoid running through sprinklers and/or hoses.  As much as I would love to have the kid in the neighborhood drench me with his Super-Soaker, I say "No, thank you".  Also, keep those rags and sponges toward the top of your body.

You now have four tips to help you have a fantastic race!

Happy Training and the Heat!

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