When you know your race will be taking place in a hot environment, there are a few things you can do to to prepare:
- Incorporate Heat Acclimation training 4-6 weeks before race day.
- Pre-hydrate with electrolytes the day/s before and morning of the race.
- Adjust your race targets appropriately for race-day weather.
- Increase both your hydration volume AND electrolytes on race day.
Despite preparing for heat and trying to apply good hydration and thermoregulation strategies while exercising in the heat, there may come a time when you find yourself overheating.
Nausea is one of the most common first effects of a heat crisis. When you overheat, gut motility slows or stops as blood flow is directed to the skin and working muscles. This means food and fluids sit in your gut, slosh around, create gas, etc. If you get nauseous during the race:
- Slow Down: Muscles generate a ton of heat, so slowing down can help reduce the internal heat you are producing. This can give your overtaxed cooling system a chance to catch up. Try not to stop unless you have to. Moving forward gets you closer to home, an aid station, or a store. But if you do need to stop, seek shade and a breeze if possible.
- Get Wet: Save some water for consumption, but try to find a way to douse yourself with water.
- Sip plain water: You want to get your gut moving again, but you have to be careful not to overload it. Don’t guzzle fluids, but do sip plain water. If it’s cold water, that’s even better.