Tips for a Hot Race Day

Tips for When Race Day= Scorcher


It seems like we jumped right from winter to summer this year-- all of a sudden, it’s in the 90s with oppressive humidity. When you add the spring pollen into the mix, running and racing outside can be somewhat miserable! With preparation, planning, and a little bit of adrenaline we’ll push through. There are only so many factors you can control in race day prep and execution, unfortunately the weather isn’t one of them! Here’s some tips to help you carry on:

  1. Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing made of technical materials that wick sweat away from the skin, so you don’t feel soaked. 
  2. Be sure to stay hydrated; sip calorie-free fluids throughout the day. Avoid chugging fluids right before a run; that could leave you with GI distress. This is best to begin several days before race day! 
  3. Did you know you can benefit from taking in extra sodium a day before the race? Increased sodium levels in the blood prompt your brain to drink more fluid before and during the race. Eat your usual pre-race pasta or other carby-goodness, just add 3,500-5,000mg of sodium 18-24 hours before race day  by periodically taking salt capsules or sodium-packed snacks the day before the race.
  4. To avoid sunburn, apply broad-spectrum sunscreen 20 minutes before your run, and reapply every two hours, even if the formula says that it is sweat proof...this is easier said than done, but throwing a tiny tube of sunblock in your race belt can save you misery later.
  5. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals. Heat makes your body work so much harder—not only are you putting out the effort to run a considerable distance, its also trying to keep you cool. This double workload increases your heart rate and may slow your mile pace by as much as 20 seconds.
  6. If you start to feel dizzy, confused, nauseous, or weak, slow down, walk, or get to an aide station for help.