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How to deal with sudden hot weather on race day?

Any tips for extremely fast acclimatization to heat? I'm doing a race this weekend and it looks like the same thing is going to happen this year that happened last year - race day is going to be 25 degrees hotter than it's been for the 2 weeks prior to the race. It's 57 today (high temp) and race day is supposed to be 83. Last year it was more like 90 (30+ degrees hotter) and I just died on the run. In the middle of the summer, 83 would feel balmy, but I know from last year that it's going to feel really HOT when I've been training in mid-50's with drizzle.

Any advice appreciated... I generally don't do well with heat.

There really isn't much you can do. I had the same experience at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 26 - just the other weekend. We spent all season training in 30- and 40-degree weather and it was 72 degrees/80% humidity at the 6:30 start. Out of 2,000 finishers, 15 went under 3:00 hours (less than one percent). So, I understand your concern.

About the only thing that comes to mind would be to make sure you are really well hydrated; slow your pace; ensure you have the right clothing; and remind yourself to enjoy the swim because it will be the only part of the day at which you will be cool. That sucks, sorry to hear about your weather.

How far is the race?

If there has been no chance to get ready, like it sounds like, lots of people will be suffering! I find that on the run ice helps -- for long hot races I stuff it in my sports bra and in my tri shorts. And man it feels sooo good! But it definitely raises the amount of chaffing, so be ready for that post-race shower to SUUUUCK.

Some people like pouring water over them (bike and run) -- I don't tend to on the run since I don't like squishy run shoes. And I just never really have on the bike as I usually feel cooler there (unless it is to rinse off after a sprinkling of my own making ;)

Pre-hydration becomes even more important I think. But make sure you are not just chugging water but also getting some electrolytes in as well.

Also make sure your race day hydration is not just water and includes electrolytes.

And remember, smile 'cause then your mind forgets how much it sucks :)

This happened to me just a few weeks ago, and it sucked! Good luck.

Nothing to add, but that I feel for you...This just happened at the 1/2 Marathon I did...turned out to be a suffer-fest for most of the participants, especially those who attempted the full Marathon.

Good Luck

Happened in my first race this year. Highs of maybe 60 if I was lucky and it was 92F on race day. Came in nearly an hour after my goal time and almost passed out once I crossed the finish. I felt a whole lot better after sitting in the car with the A/C blasting in just my tri shorts for an hour or so.

Good luck!

Hey Robin, you didn't mention if this was a tri or a run or what, so I assume run and make a comment to Tri's. Since you need two weeks to acclimatize to heat...THAT ain't going to happen. But there is something you can do. Slow down. If it's a running event, the current wisdom says to slow down 30 seconds per mile for every five degrees over 60 degrees. Say you run 8:00 pace. At 70 you should be at 8:30,75 at 9:00 and so on. If it's a Tri, stay hydrated on the bike and slow down, just a bit, to keep from depleting yourself too much for the run. During the run, run by even effort, not even pace and slow down as I mentioned.
Often at races folks don't slow down when the heat hits and before to long their riding and then running backwards. Make sure you're getting your electrolytes (like I need to tell you that, duh!) and good luck.

Hammer Endurolytes and a strong mind.

Sunscreen, and avoid the temptation to run with a lot of exposed skin. Learned this doing track workouts at noon in august in North Jersey. A short sleeve wicking tshirt kept me cooler than going shirtless cause it helped block the sun.

I've heard that if you run/workout in the gym or at home with long sleeves for a few weeks before the event it will help with acclimation to the warmer temps.

Im in the same boat with unwanted weather for my race on saturday. Current forcast, 60 degree water with 60 degree air temp...the kicker.....20mph wind with 30mph gusts! Good luck to both of us!

This happen to me last weekend i raced a Half Iron dist. in Whitelake,NC by the time i got to the run it was almost 90 degrees!Ugh! No body was used to it we all looked like zombies running!LOL!What helped me was slowing down and walking a little each mile shoving ice in my top also kept me cooler!Just listen to your body its not worth it to go all out when its that hot!!!Good luck!!:)

Thanks all. I just remembered I have one of those necktie thingies that you can soak in water ahead of time and it keeps the back of your neck cool. I used it in a long distance running relay last August and it really helped. This is just a sprint tri, so I won't be on the course too long but last year my running time was so much slower than anticipated due to the heat. Maybe there's no way around that though. Good luck to all who are racing this weekend!

+1 to all the advice here. See the race report on my blog from last weekend's Kinetic Half here in VA. Heat index of 89 degrees after weeks of cool weather. To a certain extent, you can't acclimatize. Slow down, water and electrolytes. And, be glad it's just a sprint!

+1 to everything above
My first Chicago Marathon was in 2007 when it was canceled during the race because there was a sudden heat wave and not enough water for everyone. I did finish though.

My friend gave me salt tabs or pills right before the race and i took them just in case. Helped me a lot with cramping.


83 degrees sounds sweet for a race! Will at actually be that warm. If the forcasted high is 83, it probably won't hit that until 1 or 2 in the afternoon. If your race is in the morning and its a sprint, it could be down around 70 during the race.

[quote=stewarba]83 degrees sounds sweet for a race! Will at actually be that warm. If the forcasted high is 83, it probably won't hit that until 1 or 2 in the afternoon. If your race is in the morning and its a sprint, it could be down around 70 during the race.[/quote]

Well, like I said above, it won't be "sweet" for me. I don't do well in heat, and I'm not acclimated to it at this point. In the middle of the summer, 83 would feel better. Right now it will feel hot. I won't be starting to race until after 10:00 (last heat of the race) so I'll be finishing when it starts getting really warm.

I did find my little neck cooler, so that should help.

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