Running and racing in the heat of Dubai is never easy. Whether you’re running in a dry or humid conditions, your body temperature runs higher than normal, you sweat more, work harder and run slower in hot weather.
Your body self-regulates its core temperature through a variety of means. Heat is moved from muscles and released through the skin by convection. Heat also leaves the body in water vapour as a runner exhales and is dispersed through sweating, a process that cools the skin and releases heat during evaporation.
The key to maintaining performance in hot conditions is sufficiently replacing the fluids and electrolytes you lose while you’re running.
During a run or race you need roughly 4-6 oz. of carbohydrate/electrolyte beverage every 20 minutes or so, the right amount of fluid needed varies greatly among runners.
Practicing your fluid replacement strategy ahead of time is important to maximizing performance in hot conditions, especially because the body can more quickly absorb electrolytes if they are consumed without carbohydrates.
The process of becoming optimally hydrated before a race starts about three days before the event. In the tapering phase of your training, your body will store more water and electrolytes, but you still need to drink fluids with electrolytes and not just water.
If you have a moderate to very high sweat rate, you can benefit from taking in extra sodium a day before the race. The increased sodium levels in the blood prompt your brain to drink more fluid to balance out the sodium levels. Continue with your normal pre-race nutrition regimen, and add 3,500-5,000mg of sodium 18-24 hours before competition.
A good race depends on more than just your training. To improve your speed and performance, you also need to consider the food you are putting into your body. The right foods at the right time can increase your running performance tremendously. Plus, you will reduce the risk of injury and illness. Every runner should include melon, berries, bananas, soup, grains, sweet peppers, lettuce, cucumber and celery in the diet.
Melon is an ideal recovery snack, it contains 90% of water and it replaces glycogen stores very quickly. Berries may contain up to 92% of water and are rich in anthocyanin which give them their deep hues and reduce post workout inflammation and joint pain.
If you need a high-carb energy booster before your afternoon run, you can’t go wrong with a banana. This fruit also contains a healthy dose of potassium, about 400 mg. This is especially important for long-distance runs or in hot temperatures when you are likely to sweat a lot and thus lose valuable minerals. Potassium ,as well as other minerals like sodium, magnesium and chloride, compensates for this loss and lowers your blood pressure at the same time.
Soup contains sodium the most important electrolyte to replace. Choose different vegetable varieties to have the right balance of electrolytes.
As they cook, grains such as quinoa, rice and oatmeal soak up water, which your body absorbs during digestion.
Sweet peppers are the most hydrating vegetables with 92 % of water they also contain Vitamin C and A. Red bell sweet pepper contains 253 % of your Vitamin C daily value.