It is August, summer, the hottest time of the year. The effects of heat on our sports performance? This is what I learned from the last race of Austria’s Cross Country Championship and this is what you can take to maximize your performance during extreme conditions. Although our race started in the morning at 9 am, it was super hot! After the introduction lap, I was completely wet already. I looked at the weather forecast days before and always hoped for a “cool down”, but not this time. When the starting signal dropped, we had around 30 degrees. The worst conditions an athlete can face are hot, sunny and windless. So not the best requirements on the 4th round of the championship for pushing your body to an outstanding performance. I had a solid start and found my selfet on the 2nd position
I had a solid start and found myself in 2nd position after the first lap. The rocket was running perfectly as usual and I enjoyed riding a lot. Although motocross tracks and fast courses are not my strengths, I liked it a lot. My two favorite parts where the stone field and one corner including a step up on the motocross track ( I know, motocross!!! I surprised myself). The rest of the track was fast and dusty, due to the hot and dry weather, although it rained the night before. I had some struggles in the beginning, finding a good speed was not that easy. It somehow felt like riding in “slow motion”, as if my body was still in “Red Bull Romanicas” – mode, not on racing a 2 hours race. The second part of the race was much better, speed came back. Sadly I had to stop in the box 2 times. I destroyed my rear brake pedal, fixing it took some time. Finishing on the 2nd place is another good result for me and I am more than happy! I have always been on the podium in this years season, being consistent is something I can definitely be proud of! 🙂
Soooooo coming back to the topic I wanted to share with you..
How to prepare for racing in hot weather conditions?
Unfortunately, heat is not something you can “beat,” but you can optimize your performance by preparing for it. Racing in the heat is never easy. Whether you’re competing in a dry or humid climate, your body temperature runs higher than normal, you sweat more, work harder and your body is slower in hot weather. This is what you can take to maximize your performance:
- Drink early and more often: Refill your water savings! The process of becoming optimally hydrated before a race doesn’t happen overnight. It actually needs to start about three days before the event. The key to maintaining performance in hot conditions is sufficiently replacing the fluids and electrolytes you lose while you’re exercising.
- Eat A Cool Breakfast: You can keep your core body temperature as low as possible by eating a cool breakfast with foods that will produce a low thermogenic effect. Drinking a cold smoothie or eating chilled low-residue fruit (grapes, cantaloupe, plums, apricots, melon, peaches, watermelon, applesauce) will help keep your core temperature low.
- Start Slower And Adjust Your Goals: For hot races, it’s important to readjust your race plans by starting slower than what you had planned and setting your original time goals aside. You’re bound to move slower in hot conditions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t push hard and turn in a competitive effort. This avoids stalling out.
- Reduce Your Warmup: If warm temperatures prevail before your race, do as little as possible before you get to the starting line, including a very limited warm up session. At that point, it’s really more about just activating your muscles, so you don’t necessarily need to do a full warm up.
All in all racing in hot conditions is definitely not easy, but you can still achieve your goals! You just need to listen to your body a bit more than usual. It will tell you how far you can go! 🙂
By the way: this time there were 16 (!!!!!) girls in one starting row – how amazing is that? 🙂