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Racing Ironman in HEAT

Posted By: KP
Date: Thursday, 2 July 2009, at 7:56 a.m.

Question ==>

"It looks like its gonna be pretty hot (80-85) and humid (70-80%). Is there anything nutritionally i should change other than perhaps more fluid and salt tabs".

When we race in conditions that you describe, whether in Kona or Germany, Korea, etc, it is important to remember that the stomach and gut are under intense pressure to digest calories and absorb water as HRs rise. Being even minimally dehydrated makes it tougher still.

HR and calorie absorption are closely linked. So I suggest most if not all of your calories come from liquid sources. I don't count the liquid in my calorie bottles as water. The liquid is just the delivery system. I suggest you grab a bottle of plain water at every aid station. Drink part of it and pour the rest over you if hot. Don't be afraid to pee off the bike. Get your liquid food and water in the entire race day (run too).

On very warm days, it is a good idea to lower bike efforts just a touch early on (especially directly out of the water). Two things make this critically important ===>

1) you want to get your gut processing ASAP, so lower HRs straight away. Don't hammer to get away from the others.

2) once you get control of HRs early in the day they are easier to control all day long and this makes fueling easier on your gut. Early high HRs in heat tend to stay high.

Bottom line .... HRs measure cardiovascular stress .... not efforts. Increased cardiovascular stress makes calorie absorption more difficult. Ride to power targets and use PE but monitor HRs to be sure your body is able to get enough water to stay hydrated and digest fuel. Even minimal dehydration degrades performance. Eat and drink through the last aid station of the marathon.

Have fun!

coach KP

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