Tips for Hot Race Weather

I’m running the ING Night Half Marathon this upcoming weekend. And here’s the forecast…

Dang it, that’s hot. (That’s 30C btw.) If you remember, I prefer winter or cold weather training over heat. And not so lucky for me, this will be the hottest I’ve experienced come a race day. 

So I’ve scoured the internet to find the best advice to prepare for hot race weather. Here are my favorite tips that I’ll be following:

1. Hydrate Well Before Race Day

That means I’m having half my weight in ounces daily or enough that my pee is mostly clear.

2. Eat Cool Foods Come Race Day 

So for breakfast I’d have yogurt, lunch salad, cold fruits for snacks, etc. Any attempt to keep core body temps down, I’m game.

3. Wear Light Colored Clothing

Dri-wick and lightweight fabrics will be key to help keep air curculating. 

4. Alternate Water and Salt/Electrolytes at the Aid Stations

I’ve found a lot of Europe races don’t provide sports drinks at water stops or at all. That’s why it will be essential to bring salt sticks or packets in my belt to help prevent cramping.

5. Keep Head Cool

Also, in addition to taking liquids at each aid station, it’s advised dosing head with water to keep cool. 

I’ve read for every 5F above 60F, pace can drop anywhere from 20-30 seconds per mile, so start times and expectations should be lowered. So as opposed to running for time, I’ll be using rate of perceived exertion to determine my pace. No joking aside, I’d really like to avoid heat stroke this race! I’m not looking forward to the temps but I’m looking forward to having fun. Overall, my goals are to prevent cramps, avoid hyponatremia (too much water, causing sodium imbalance), and to cross the finish line. 

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