Training and Tri-ing in the Heat

It is important to take extra care when you are training and tri-ing in the summer heat. The effects of heat stress are not pleasant but can be avoided by paying attention to how you feel and following these easy tips.

Hydrate

Make sure you drink a lot of water. When you train, particularly when you swim and ride, you don’t notice how much you sweat. So drink before, during and after training. I always have a bottle on hand and just sip away at it.

The day before a tri or longer training session, make sure you drink lots of water throughout the day. This will ensure your body is hydrated without you having to drink too much the morning of a tri.

If it’s hot, make sure you have something to drink on your ride, when you are in transition and or during the run. As soon as you have finished, have a drink or two to replenish what you have just sweat out.

The rough rule of thumb I use after an event is drink till you need to go to the toilet, then have one more!

Timing

Most triathlons are held in the early hours of the morning to avoid the extreme heat in the middle of the day. Likewise, it’s best to train early in the morning or in the evening after it has cooled off a bit.

If you are planning for an event that offers several different tri’s, be aware of the order that they are starting each triathlon. Some events start the longer triathlons first while others start he shorter ones first. This may mean that your event starts later in the morning and if it’s a warm day, you could be doing it in the heat. Just be prepared, make sure you hydrate the day before and take advantage of drinks along the way.

Protect Yourself

Make sure you wear sunscreen, a hat or visor and sunnies. Be careful about the type of sunscreen you wear on your face. You don’t want it to run into your eyes if you start to sweat, particularly if you are out for a long bike ride.

Also, wearing light-weight, loose fitting clothing helps the sweat evaporate and keeps you cooler.

If you do start to feel unwell (ie dizzy, faint, cramps, headache) you need to cool your body back down and increase your fluids until you start to feel better.

Train safely and have fun!