Dr. Jeremy Rodgers, medical staff director for Rocky Mountain Ironman events, advises arriving at the race site up to a week early if possible, especially if coming from a climate with drastically lower heat indexes.
Forbes suggests using a salt supplement in the day or two before the race in addition to adding salt to your meals. “This will help hold all the water the athlete drinks and will make them a little ‘full,’ but these reserves will quickly diminish once racing starts and they’ll be glad they were there,” she says.
The single best thing you can do to race successfully in the heat is to lower your time-based goals to more accurately reflect the conditions of the day. Just as you would do in the wind, plan to be slower at your race effort versus your speed at that same effort in cooler conditions. Ignore your mph on the bike or pace on the run and listen to your perceived effort or heart rate monitor to let you know that you are indeed going hard and metering out your energy appropriately. The good news is that just about everyone else in the field will be slower as well.
Quick tips: Racing
- Leave the aero helmet at home. Enjoy the better airflow of your road helmet. At aid stations, take an extra water bottle to pour over your head.
- Race in low-cut socks. High-cut socks can drastically reduce heat dissipation and possibly lead to blisters.
- Stay ahead of your fluid needs. If you feel thirsty, you waited too long to drink.
- Visors work better than hats for shedding heat.
RELATED: Biggest Mistakes When Racing In Heat
Scott Fliegelman is the owner and head coach of FastForward Sports (Fastforwardsports.net) in Boulder, Colo.