Author Topic: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?  (Read 4992 times)

FloridaWindSUP

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Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« on: May 23, 2015, 02:01:04 PM »
I live in SW Florida, where it's pretty hot and humid all year, but especially in the summer. This will be my first summer as a SUP racer, after getting into it last fall.

As it has gotten hotter this spring I've noticed that there seems to be a threshold somewhere between 85 and 90 degrees, above which my endurance drops significantly and a new kind of exhaustion supersedes my normal tiredness.

Does that sound familiar to anyone? Are there any good ways to train for the heat or dress for the heat? Does it help to get down to really low body fat? Is it better to wear a wet shirt or go barebacked? Hat/visor or no? Max distance that it's reasonable to go without a camelback?
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hbsteve

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2015, 07:31:52 PM »
When I got too hot training for rowing races, I would put my hat in the water and then back on my head.  It helped.  You are dealing with more heat and humidity, so your challenge is much higher.  Good luck.

Off-Shore

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2015, 08:13:00 PM »
FWS - Here in Hong Kong we have similar weather to Florida in the summer, and we race in 36 Deg C / 97 deg F weather with 95% humidity. It is BRUTAL, and heart rate goes up, and performance down..

Here is what I have found works in the last 3 years of local racing in temps you describe

Hydration

1. I need hydration for anything over 30 minutes (2.5miles / 4kms). Then I carry around 0.75L / 25 fl oz per 30mins of additional paddling. I don't add anything to the water. I keep the reservoir in the fridge so it is cool the morning of paddling
2. I try and hydrate a lot the 24 hours before the race. Pure water. No additives
3. Between 45mins - 15mins before the race I drink 0.75L / 24 fl oz of water with one or two of the CamelBak Elixer or Nuun Sports Hydration capsules dissolved in it
4. 15 mins before the race I suck down one 40g pack of Energy Gel (e.g. High Five or Gu) followed by a couple of slugs of water
5. If wearing hydration I try to ensure the bite valve is easy to reach without having to take a hand off the paddle

Clothing / visors and caps

1. I fry in the sun so I always wear a top, light color (white). My current favourite is a Starboard SUP top. If there is a shower on the beach we start from, I get under it 5 mins before the start to get it wet. If none, I'll get in the sea. I'll also try and stay as cool as possible (in the shade or in the car) as long as possible before having to get out to the start or briefing
2. I have tried visors (they fall off too easily) and like wearing a hat / cap to keep the sun off my forehead and the sweat from my eyes. Try to make sure the cap has vents or is made of the lightest material possible. I also wet this before starting the race

Strategy for longer races when it is hot

1. I take an extra packet or two of Energy Gel in my shorts and whilst it takes a bit of time to take it out and suck it down, I find this can make a difference from hitting the wall around 30mins. Maybe it is mental, but for me it works

2. If I start to feel light headed or losing stability, it's usually because I am overheating.. So for me there is no shame in stopping and jumping in the water mid race. This only happens when we are in super hot conditions. Rather that than pass out..

Training / Weight etc

1. Certainly the leaner guys and ladies without the excess insulation that we race with seem to do better than me in the heat

2. For me my training in heat consists of finding out where my limits are. So I do what we call "flying K's" which is 4 x one km sprints over an 8km / 5mile course. So it is warm up 1km, sprint 1km, 75% 1km, sprint 1km, 75% 1km etc. In heat like you describe the key for me is finding the right pace that does not overheat me as the body will start to shut down. If the "flying km" feels fine I may be able to go faster than 75% on the next one. If I overdo the sprint, then I may only be able to do 65% on the next leg. The idea is to try and find out what the sustainable speed is for the distance I'm racing

I get intense headaches after paddling for any length of time in the 90+ deg F / 90+ RH conditions and also have found that salt tablets make a big difference, so I will often take a salt tab before a race, and afterwards and it seems to ward them off.

Post race

1. I jump in the water as soon as I finish and stay there until I feel my body temp gets back down. Knowing I'm going to do this with the finish in sight keeps the pace up for the last mile / km.

2. I keep sucking down the rest of the water in my CamelBak while in the water and continue drinking water after getting out.

3. I try to hold off as long as possible before the first beer ;)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2015, 08:20:13 PM by Off-Shore »
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SeldomScene

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2015, 05:57:14 PM »
Off Shore has said it all.  great post

Off-Shore

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2015, 06:56:33 PM »
Some good explanations and advice here too for running but is completely applicable for SUP racing.

What happens...

http://running.competitor.com/2014/06/training/5-reasons-heat-affects-performance_11671

And what to do...

http://running.competitor.com/2014/07/training/seven-hot-weather-training-tips_4347

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airSUP

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2015, 10:26:34 AM »
This is a good hat for surfing and flat water

http://tinyurl.com/lxaafqs

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Wetstuff

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2015, 11:29:00 AM »
I'll back O-S on hydration..  I drink a fair bit of tea - and pee a lot.  I was feeling a little puny about 2pm today after working outside most this hot Monday.  ..grabbed a blood pressure meter and got 112/48 ...but my BPMs were like a 140 after sitting down for about a half hour?! (my normal resting is <60)

Called my Doc (my surgical RN wife) and she said; "Your blood volume is down and your heart is having to work it's ass off to keep your pressure up.  Get something to drink."  I enjoy heavy labor but sometimes get behind the curve...  Some people say; 'If you drink enough tea' you replace fluids more quickly that release them'.  I don't think they factor in sweating.

F-W-S, If I were in FL I get one of those wide brim straw hats gardeners/lifeguards wear (saw them at Lowes) and cut the top out (if you have hair) and vent the scalp.  When iceboating the scalp was always considered the most important place to preserve heat - the reverse it likely true.

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FloridaWindSUP

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2015, 02:22:39 PM »
Thanks for the helpful advice folks! Off-shore, if you don't mind I'll pass your advice around to the other people I train with.

Yesterday I did some of the things suggested and had a good 4.3 mile race. Lots of water but no caffeine beforehand. Wore a white, sweat-absorbing visor and a loose tanktop jersey and dunked in the water a few times before starting.

Looking forward to trying that "flying k's" training method.
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stoneaxe

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2015, 07:59:30 AM »
My sister in law gave me a neckerchief (not sure what else to call it) that bikers wear. It's a cloth tube with polymer gel beads in it. Put it in a bowl of ice water in the fridge the night before and it sucks up all that cold water. Put it around your neck and the evaporative cooling it gives is surprisingly effective. Lasts a couple hours before drying out. They also make hats with it. I've never used it for racing but its awesome for yard work. Do all that off-shore has said and add this to the mix and I think that is the best you can do unless you get Pono to lend you his refrigerated racing suit.
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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2015, 08:26:37 AM »
FWS- I feel your pain.  The advice Off-Shore gave is spot on.  Aside from giving yourself time to get acclimated (as in days/weeks) to the heat and humidity, hydrating a few days in advance is key. Staying ahead of dehydration is the only way you'll have a chance.  The humidity we have in Florida certainly saps the will right out of you though. 
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natas585

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Re: Tips for Florida Heat and Humidity?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2015, 01:48:34 PM »
Wet your floppy hat and then freeze it the night before.  Take it out and put in on your head for the car ride to the race. Make sure your A/C is on your face full blast. That ought to do it.
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