It’s hot hot hot outside and this weekend is predicted to be even hotter, with lots of races and events taking place over the next few days during our unusually hot weather, it’s important to be prepared and to be smart on race day to ensure you have a great event.
Here are some tips to ensure you are prepared for the heat, whether you are running, cycling or on an adventure challenge or racing in a triathlon.
Hydration is Key
It’s hot, it’s sticky, there’s very little wind outside, it’s important to get your hydration correct in the days leading up to your race day, using electrolytes or a sports drink can help ensure optimal hydration rather than just relying on water alone. Don’t over drink in advance of the race or on the morning of the event, sip on a sports bottle and make sure to take drinks at the aid station, even better bring a small bottle with you (if feasible). you should also consider your post-race hydration to ensure optimal recover from your race or event.
Wear light clothing and a visor
As the sun beats down from the sky keep your head covered with a cap or visor and wear sunglasses. You should wear light coloured clothes that are dri-fit or wicking material not cotton or polyester which can be uncomfortable and affect your performance. Your clothing can help you remain cool even on the hottest of days.
Apply a waterproof and where possible sweatproof suncreeen ideally 30 minutes before you are exposed to the sunlight on the day. If you are participating in a long distance event where you can carry some essentials be sure to pack a small bottle sunscreeneen that you can reapply during the race. Your face will more than likely be red from the race exertion you don’t need your body to be lobster-like for the post event photos or party!
Stay in the Shade
Pre race its important to try and stay cool, so you are not overheated going out on the course, so if you can stay out of the sunshine and off your feet in advance of the race then take the opportunity to do so both on race morning and in the couple of days before the event.
Don’t go out too hard
The heat affects people in many different ways, if you go out too hard you may overheat and end your race before you have even started, pace yourself according to the conditions of the day and race on how you feel rather than relying on your heart rate monitor which might spike due to the heat. don’t be afraid to readjust your pacing to start slower than planned and finish strong.
You are all in the same boat
Remember that everyone will be suffering in the heat, if you need to rest and rehydrate during the event or walk the aid stations then do so. Getting to the finish line in one piece is better than ending your race in the medical tent.
Remember, keep smiling and enjoy your event, every step you take you are heading towards the finish line and the all-important post-race fun and celebration!