Racing and Training in the HEAT

Pac Crest trail 2017We just returned from Pacific Crest event in Sunriver where thousands of athletes were racing Endurance events including the 72.3 BEASTMAN, Olympic and Sprint Triathlons, Marathon, Half Marathon, 25K Trail Run and more in excessive heat with temperatures above 90 degrees! Most got to the finish line so we thought we’d share some tips that helped them endure that may also help you stay on track with your fitness routine during these warm days!

Here’s some tips to assure you continue to race strong during soaring temperatures:

Drink plenty of hydrating fluids before, during, and after exercise

The American College of Sports Medicine encourages exercisers to consume approximately five to 10 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes during workouts (that’s equivalent to about 3-5 big gulps of water). Many athletes carried water with them in a bottle or CamelBak during their races.

Remember to also take in some energy drink

Such as NUUN hydration or Gatorade to assure you maintain solid electrolyte levels.

Keep your core temperature low

During races, in addition to water, many Aid Stations will offer ice that you can hold, wet towels or sponges that you can place around your neck, misters that you can ask to get sprayed, all to assure you keep your core temperature low. Throwing water over your head will help keep you cool but don’t sacrifice water going in your body for water going over your body.

Wear loose-fitting, breathable, light colored clothing

That will help wick away moisture helping in the evaporation process and keeping you cool. Wear a sun visor and sunglasses to shelter you from the sun.

Back off on your pace

Listen to your body which is working overtime to manage the heat.  You may not be able to achieve your normal speed at the same effort so just relax and go at a moderate or easier pace. Slow down or stop immediately if you’re feeling dizzy, faint or nauseous.

Be sure that you’re rested and well-fed

If you’re tired and hungry, the effect of the heat will be much greater.

When working out or training, here’s some tips to keep your energy high and your fitness routine in check when you just can’t handle the heat!

Opt for the Indoors

There are plenty of fitness opportunities that will keep you cool.  Your local gym, training studio and rock-climbing center will all have you feeling nice and cool while you’re sweating buckets!

Water Sports is where it’s at

Swimming is a fabulous workout and a great way to stay cool. Kayaking, paddle-boarding, wake-boarding & water skiing are all fabulous water sports that will keep your temperature down

Head to the mountains

Often you can escape the heat by heading to the mountains where the trees and trails will provide some shade.

Let’s Ride

Biking is a great workout and since you’re riding at fast speeds, the air moving over your body will keep you cooler than say a run in the heat.

Try not to exercise in the heat of the day

Plan your workouts early in the morning or late in the evening to escape the heat of the day. If you can’t live without your lunch workout and the thermometer is reading dangerous, opt for a swim, cycle, kayak or indoor session.

Be smart when racing and training in the heat and remember that staying consistent over the summer is critical to maintaining your fitness and avoiding having to start from scratch in September!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details. 

Join us for the
July 8th & 9th:

Hagg_SwimThe Hagg Lake course offers a true test of the sport of triathlon with its rolling hills on both the bike and run leg portions of the event. Make the Hagg Lake Triathlon & Multi-Sport Weekend one of your summer stops and compete on the course that has seen many of the greats in the sport of triathlon.



Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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