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Thrive In The Heat During Triathlon Training And Racing

  • By Scott Fliegelman
  • Published Aug 23, 2013
  • Updated Sep 10, 2013 at 6:18 PM UTC
Photo: Steve Godwin


It’s mid-summer, but that doesn’t mean you need to limit your training to 5 a.m. sessions and avoid racing. Here are proven tips for thriving as the temps and humidity soar.

In Training

Daily diet is the most overlooked aspect when aiming to better cope with heat during training and racing. Registered dietitian and triathlete Megan Forbes suggests increasing water-based foods such as fresh fruit rather than dried, and oatmeal rather than granola. Forbes also suggests adding salt to your food on days when you sweat heavily.

If you live in a cooler climate but plan to race in hot or humid conditions, include training days with an extra layer of clothing to increase sweat rate and create the need for more aggressive fluid and electrolyte replacement. Plan to weigh yourself without clothing before your workout, and then again when you return. Aim for a fluid replenishment plan that produces no greater than 2 percent loss of body weight during the workout. While there is some debate regarding acceptable levels of fluid weight loss during exercise, by doing this task frequently you will find your own personal level where you feel and perform the best.

Quick tips: training
- To better simulate humidity on the bike, set up your trainer in the laundry room as you dry a load of wet clothes.

- Plan to add sodium during practice sessions in the heat to aid fluid absorption. Shoot for 200mg per 8 oz of fluid, and then modify until you find the rate that makes you feel the best and results in minimal fluid weight loss measured by the post-workout scale.

- Keep an inexpensive scale in your car so that you’ll have the tools you need for pre- and post-workout weigh-ins when training away from home (please keep your shorts and sports bra on when weighing yourself in the parking lot).

- Try to align key race rehearsal workouts with especially hot and humid days whenever possible.

RELATED: Tips For Training In Hot Weather

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