Racing a Triathlon in the Heat

Racing during the summer months like July, August, and the early part of September, can pose to be a real challenge because of the increase in temperature.

Races that take place during these months will subject you to above normal temperature and humidity. If you are used to racing and training in this kind of weather then this should not be a problem, but if you come from an area where the temperature is lower then it’s best that you prepare.

Prepare to Sweat

The first thing that you must do is determine your sweat rate. To do this you must weight yourself first before your morning run. Then spend an hour running, while taking in all the fluids that you require.

After an hour, weight yourself again.

Subtract your pre-run weight to your post run weight and then add the weight of the fluid you took during your run.  The difference is the weight in pounds you’ve shed during the run.

To determine your sweat rate in liters per hour, divide your sweat weight from above with the number of hours you ran for (ie 1) and multiply it by 0.472.

If you repeat this test in different temperatures, you will be able to determine your body’s reaction to the different temperature levels. It is truly an advantage to know this, since this will help you determine the amount of fluids that you need to take in order to prevent dehydration.

Sauna Time

To get used to the heat you can try spending time in the sauna. Going to the sauna two or three times each week after your swim or weight training will help your body get accustomed to the rise in temperature.

Some athletes take their trainers with them to the sauna, but that is really not necessary. Another option that you can try is training inside the house or the gym while wearing a full-sleeved shirt, without fans, and with the windows closed. Hot!

To mimic humidity you can throw the clothes that you are wearing in the dryer. I myself have done this indoor, full-sleeved training and have fared well during races.

Keep Yourself Hydrated

To help your retain more water you can add a little bit of salt in your meals. An alternative to table salt is salt tablets or electrolyte pills. Triathletes have used these for years during long and hot events. However, it is best that you do a dry run first before you actually use it during the race.

Preparing for a race in a hot and humid conditions will require you to simulate the particular environment in order to help your body cope with the change. This is the same as training in the hills for a race in a hilly course.

It’s always best to be prepared for all racing conditions.

Stay safe!

Terry

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