In hot weather, you may find yourself training and racing in difficult conditions. Your body faces two challenges as you’re exercising: keeping you cool and keeping you moving.
To get the most out of your workouts and on race day, ensure you are sufficiently hydrated and fuelled - this includes drinking plenty of fluids (both water and electrolyte drinks).
For long sessions and racing, you may need to apply extra chafe cream to those areas where you are prone to chaffing. If you sweat more, you may chafe more too. Look for (and practice with) an oil-free, water-resistant and fragrance-free sun-tan lotion. These can help minimise additional sweating and stinging (if it runs into your eyes).
Wear sunglasses and/or a peak cap to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun. Glare can cause tension in your neck and shoulders, as well as headaches. And choose lightweight technical clothing, either white or pale colours. And be sure to train a few times in your planned race kit.
Practice your hydration and nutrition strategies in training. Not only will you get more out of your race-practice sessions, you will also be well-prepared for race day. You may lose more electrolytes on a hot race day than you would in training - be prepared to adjust your levels as needed. Learn more: Nutrition Strategies
It's important to seek out shade whenever possible when in hot conditions. This is because your body has to work harder to cool down, which means that blood is being distributed not only to your working muscles but additionally for the purpose of cooling.
As a result, your heart rate can increase by up to 20 beats per minute, placing an added strain on your heart. To help cool off, focus on cooling down the areas closest to the surface of your skin, such as your wrists and the back of your neck. This can be done by using cold water or ice from aid stations.
In hot and humid conditions, it's probable that your run pace and bike power will be slower/lower than normal. Your heart rate will be higher, and therefore you will need to alter your pacing strategy. To ensure sustainable endurance, it's best to use Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) to gauge your effort during the race. Listen to your body and make adjustments as necessary.
Our Triathlon Race Pace Calculator will guide your pacing strategy.
Check Phil's Blog Post for some more helpful tips: How to Race a Triathlon in Hot Weather
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