Man, it’s hot! July and August are difficult months for triathlon athletes to train and race — but there are things you can do to help get through these months.
The fitter you are the better you can handle the heat. It’s a bit late now, but try to ensure that coming into July and August you have established a strong level of fitness.
For example, July and August are not good months to optimize your fitness. The less exertion required by your muscles to go at a given pace means less heat is produced and a higher blood plasma volume (also a result of peak fitness) allows the body to move heat away from the muscles.
At least twice a week, train in the heat for 90 minutes so that your body can get used to it.
There is no point in going into a race if your body has not acclimatized. Also, determine your sweat rate so you have an idea of what fluids your body will need to replace fluid lost. Google how to determine your sweat rate.
If you lose a lot of salt in training (salt marks on your trisuit are a good indicator), you may need to consume more electrolytes training and racing or even up your salt intake on your food the week before.
Some athletes even take salt tablets during the race. For longer races, salt intake is critical.
A good drink formula for longer distance athletes is ELoad. However, always consult your doctor before increasing your salt intake if you need to do so, week-in and week-out, or if you have high blood pressure. Stay cool if you can. I recommend putting your water bottles in your freezer the night before so that your fluid intake has a greater cooling effect.
Where you have access to ice or cold water, use it to lower core temperature and apply especially to the neck, head and chest. When not training, stay cool.
Hydrate appropriately before, during and after the race. Don’t forget that most dehydration occurs during the run so drink on the bike and use drink stations on the run. Wear lighter-coloured clothing or clothing specifically designed for the heat, and vizors are better than hats. Sunglasses protect the eyes but for some also give an illusion of cooler conditions. Stay cool!