5 Ways to Stay Cool on Race Day!

Do you have a problem racing in the heat? Here are 5 great tips for you to stay cool so you can finish your race!

Staying cool and staying hydrated during training and race day are some of the most important aspects of racing and training.  Getting acclimated to the heat is very important during training so you do not faultier on race day.  Getting heat acclimated during training and be very hard and very frustrating.  Your workout result will probably not be where you would like them to be, but it will be worth it on race day when you are not one of the ones dropping out because of the heat.  Here are 5 great ways to Stay Cool on Race Day.  Remember don’t forget to check out KONA Multisport home of swimbikerun.com for all of your latesttriathlon gear, triathlon supplies, and triathlon equipment.

It’s here—the hottest part of the season. Pretty much wherever you live you’ll be experiencing some flavor of heat, humidity or both. It’s time to step away from your race pace calculator and take a healthy dose of reality: there’s simply no way you can race at your peak potential if your body isn’t 100 percent ready for the conditions.

The finish line of every triathlon is littered with bodies of athletes who “coulda shoulda woulda” had a great race if not for failing to address a specific challenge that arose on race day. Use this article to help yourself stay cool and avoid such a predicament.

#1: Pick the Right Gear

If you know your race is going to be hot, you need to make some serious gear considerations. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy that white one-piece tri suit that’s still on sale at your local store for 80 percent off—no heat is worth that kind of sacrifice. Just make sure your race outfit is not all black. Save for the shorts, color does matter.

If you know your race is going to be hot, you need to make some serious gear considerations. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and buy that white one-piece tri suit that’s still on sale at your local store for 80 percent off—no heat is worth that kind of sacrifice. Just make sure your race outfit is not all black. Save for the shorts, color does matter.

Your bike should be set up with multiple places to store fluids. In addition to refilling (or replacing) your bottles at the aid stations on the course, be sure to use the water from those aid stations to help keep your head and body cool, too.

For the run, consider wearing a hat. This helps keep the sun off your head and it’s great for holding ice.

Consider a Fuelbelt to manage your running hydration between stations. You might want to avoid compression gear as it will most likely keep you hot, but cooling sleeves will help keep the sun off you and retain some water.

Finally, don’t skimp on the sunscreen.

#2: Create a Personal Hydration Plan

Spend a few long workouts figuring out what your sweat rate is so that you know just how much fluid you should be taking in. There are plenty of online calculators that can help you out, but the key is actually taking the time to complete the tests. It’s a bit of extra work, but totally worth it if it helps save your race day.

Spend a few long workouts figuring out what your sweat rate is so that you know just how much fluid you should be taking in. There are plenty of online calculators that can help you out, but the key is actually taking the time to complete the tests. It’s a bit of extra work, but totally worth it if it helps save your race day.

Your plan will give you input on not only how much fluid you need to take in but a good idea of how much sodium you need as well. The salt isn’t there as a magic anti-cramping tool, but rather to help move the water from your stomach to the rest of your body. For this reason alone, sports drinks trump water as your first choice on race day.

Once you have a plan, test it on a few key training workouts such as a race simulation. Merging your plan with the reality of your ride/run will help eliminate a great deal of race-day friction.

#3: Focus on Finishing Place, Not Time

Whether you know the race will be hot beforehand or you are surprised by a sudden race-day heat wave, the effect is the same on your strategy: focus on place, not time.

All of your metrics and benchmark workouts were most likely conducted in much more amenable conditions than what you’ll face on race day. That great long run you had four weeks ago? It was a 78-degree day without a swim and a bike beforehand…simply not applicable here.

Instead of trying to hit arbitrary targets, focus on being a smooth as possible on race day to eliminate spiking your heart rate.

Make sure your nutrition plan is dialed in to ensure you have the fuel required to outlast the competition. Let them melt in the face of the heat by following their race plan from last month…you know better.

#4: Adjust Your Pace

Be prepared to adjust your pace if needed. These sample benchmarks for the swim, bike and run can help:

The Swim: Swim only as fast as your ability to maintain form. There is no excess exertion here—slow is smooth, smooth is fast

The Bike: Ride the most steady effort you can, working to flatten all the hills. If you have a heart rate monitor, you’ll want to watch your heart rate drop out of T1 before settling into a steady effort consistent with what you have seen in training. Expect your HR to be elevated by up to five or seven beats…anything higher than that and you’ll need to back off again to preserve the run.

The Run: For every 5 degrees over 65 degrees, you’ll want to slow your goal pace by three seconds per mile. So if you planned on running eight-minute miles but it’s 95-degrees out, that’s six increments of five degrees, or 18 seconds slower per mile. Run conservatively from the outset making the most of the slower pace to get in more fluids and fuel.

#5: Stay Cool on the Run

The most important factor isn’t speed, but rather how cool you can get (and stay!). Reducing your core body temperature for the run starts with the last aid station of the bike. You’ll want to grab extra water and douse your head, back and shorts. Don’t worry, this water will run off long before you hit transition so it won’t interfere with your change—but it will help you stay cool.

The most important factor isn’t speed, but rather how cool you can get (and stay!). Reducing your core body temperature for the run starts with the last aid station of the bike. You’ll want to grab extra water and douse your head, back and shorts. Don’t worry, this water will run off long before you hit transition so it won’t interfere with your change—but it will help you stay cool.

On the run your first aid station is the most critical. Again, douse yourself fully with water, doing your best not to get your shoes wet. If there’s ice, some of it goes into your hat (guys) or your jogging bra (ladies), as well as in your hands as you run out the other side. If you have on cooling sleeves, make sure these are wet as well. Maintain this process for the next three aid stations at a minimum, as you continue to front-load your calories.

All of this is possible given your slightly more conservative race pace. By the time the heat really settles in on the run, your competition will be facing the hardest final six miles of their lives and you’ll be just getting started.

“DONT FORGET 25% OFF ALL IN-STOCK BIKES” 

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