Friday, May 4, 2012

Stay Out of the Medical Tent

Clearly Lindsay could teach me a thing or two

Springtime and, if you haven’t started your racing season yet, it’s probably coming up soon. The January/February 2012 issue of Inside Triathlon had some good tips on making sure you finish strong and stay out of the medical tent:
  1. Perform an at-home sweat-test – properly replacing fluids can help you avoid GI issues such as nausea, cramping, or diarrhea.
  2. Nail your nutrition – in training, find what works for you both with fuel and liquid replacement, and then stick to the plan.
  3. Increase your sodium – both before and after a long effort, increase your sodium for a few days as a way of banking some extra, but don’t overdo it.
  4. Determine your salty status – figure out how much sodium you need to replace during the event by having a lab measure your sodium loss using a sweat test. No lab nearby? If you have salt deposits on your clothes after working out or your sweat tastes salty, you may need to increase your intake.
  5. Don’t overdo it on water – use drinks that have electrolytes during training and racing; too much water can lead to hyponatremia. How to check? Your pee should be pale yellow – if not, increase or decrease water intake.
  6. Practice in your gear – the old adage stands, never race in anything new.
  7. Dress for the heat – lighter colors and a hat can keep your core temperature down. For increased heat, put ice in your hat.
  8. Adjust for the wind – by attempting to follow a race plan too closely in more difficult conditions, you run the risk of dehydration and exhaustion.
Any other tips for staying strong during a race?

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  1. Haha. A little practice and you too can be an MS Paint pro! :)

    I guess my biggest thing was already mentioned - practice beforehand! Test products to find what works for you and keeps you feeling strong. What works for one person may not work for you too.

  2. I've ended up in the medical tent after ultra races before and yes, I follow all the rules but something (sometimes very basic) does get me from time to time. So good advice from this post to all of us.

  3. Great tips.

    Don't wear, try or do something new that you haven't tested in training is always good advice to start with...

  4. I am big on number 3 in the days leading up to hot races. And it's also key to not overdo the water on race day to stay away from hyponatremia.

    Staying out of the med tent became my number one goal at Boston this year!

  5. All good things to remember for Dirty Kanza.

  6. Sticking to the plan race day can be harder than it sounds. Once the adrenaline kicks in, reason kicks out. I'm not sure how to fix that except through experience.

  7. I've worked medical tents and one of the biggest problems we expect is hyponatremia. All excellent pointers!

  8. Did you get this out of my book? The other is you can calculate your water loss in different temperature conditions in training and then depending on your level of "salting" zero in exactly on how much water and electrolytes to replace.


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