My Risk Insight – Staying Cool in the Summer Heat!

This is the first of a new series of “Risk Insights” specifically designed for our non work related activities.  In other words, for our personal lives such as home, auto, recreation, etc.  The staff at IronRisk Strategies hope you find these insights helpful!

It’s Getting Hot Out Here!

I am looking at my iphone weather app and see that the predicted air temperatures for the coming weekend are 105° on Friday, 104° on Saturday and 101° on Sunday.  So what better subject to kick off our newest series of Risk Insights, than that of keeping cool in hot weather.

I raced the Eagleman/Ironman 70.3 race 3 weeks ago in Cambridge, MD.  My first tip for staying cool in this weather is to not compete in a Half Ironman.  (That’s just common sense)  My buddy told me after the race that when he looked at his bike computer at 11:00, it showed 105°.  (Grant it that is 2 feet above the blacktop road, but that is where I was for a lot of the day)   I didn’t realize just how hot it was until I got off the bike around 12:00, but let’s just say I now know what a Brick Oven Pizza feels like when it is pushed into the oven.  (And I still had 13.1 miles to run (or walk) in that brick oven)

Although I wouldn’t recommend it, that experience did present some lessons to really think about as to how to manage that sort of heat.  Here are a few of those lessons:

  1. Stay inside or in the shade (neither of which is an option on that course in Cambridge, MD)  I know, it’s more common sense!
  2. Stay focused on hydration –  Make sure you drink lots of water and if you are sweating, make sure you are also drinking something with electrolytes in it.  (i.e. Gatorade, sports drinks, etc.)   Hyponatremia, an abnormally low level of sodium in the blood stream, is just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than dehydration.
  3. Think about your core body temperature.  I got through the run because I constantly focused on dumping water and ice on my head, neck and upper body.  Letting your body temperature get above 101° is an express ticket to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.  That is what is so nice about a pool, so I suggest trying to find one this weekend.

Let me assure you that I am not a doctor so please don’t take this advice as medical.  But I can tell you, the lessons I have learned by racing in high heat, have worked for me.  I may have been 1 hour and 15 minutes slower than my previous best time at Eagleman, but I did get through it.

Here is another article titled Stay Cool in the Summer Heat,” which can provide more insight into this hot topic.  Just click on the title to check it out.

In the mean time, have a safe and comfortable summer.

Lock Curtis and the staff at IronRisk Strategies, LLC