Beating the Boston Heat

You have slaved away through the winter, logged countless miles in the snow, the dark, on the dreaded treadmill all in preparation for the Boston Marathon. At this stage of the game your long runs are done, and you are onto that blessed taper. There’s only one thing potentially standing in your way for a successful race day… the weather!

Boston is during that tricky part of the year when weather is just beginning to warm up. It feels like Mother Nature is still waking up from hibernation and not quite on top of her game yet. Seemingly, there’s equal potential for a random 80 degree day or a snowstorm!  But how variable is the weather, really?

We plotted the daily high temperatures for the two weeks leading into the Boston Marathon against the daily high temperature recorded on race day for the last 10 years. The two week window is important because this is approximately the amount of time it takes for your body to acclimate to warmer environmental conditions.

All in all the temperatures in the Boston are at typically around 60 +/- 10 degrees in early April. For the most part, the race day conditions have fallen within that same window. The years that stand out are 2014, 2016, and that epic race in 2012 where the temperature on race day was well above temperatures leading into race. Comparing the results from 2010 and 2012, the average time was 28 minutes slower. The heat has also resulted in an increase to the dropout rate and the number of athletes requiring medical assistance.

So how is 2017 shaping up? Now that we’re in that two week window, we included this year’s weather along with the five day forecast. Overall, we’re below the average temperatures for this time of year, meaning even an average day is probably going to feel warm.  So if we get a day higher than 65 degrees, that’s it, man. Game over! Not necessarily…

If you’re willing to be uncomfortable, we can artificially induce the adaptions you’ll need to race in the heat. This means while everyone else is reveling in running in a t-shirt, you’ll need to stay bundled up like it is still 28 degrees out. Yes, you’re probably gather more than a few strange looks, but this has the potential save you minutes (and maybe even a trip to the med tent) on race day. Now that you’re convinced, here’s how it actually works.

Start heat acclimating 10-14 days before the race. The greatest adaptions will be seen in the first five days. Adaptions will continue on to day 14 with marginal benefits beyond that. For every workout, you want to induce a generous amount of sweating, making sure to also increase your fluid and electrolyte intake to compensate. Sessions should last at least 30 minutes, daily, and can last up to an hour and a half once you begin to adapt. While less effective, passive sweating can also be induced using a sauna or steam room.

See you at the finish line!

 

Sources

www.wunderground.com

http://www.ibtimes.com/boston-marathon-2012-hundreds-hospitalized-heat-photos-555109

http://www.runtri.com/2012/01/boston-marathon-average-finish-times-by.html

http://www.gssiweb.org/en/Article/sse-153-heat-acclimatization-to-improve-athletic-performance-in-warm-hot-environments

 

 

 

Puerto Rico 70.3 – Brendan Davis

From the start I was seriously looking forward to racing Ironman 70.3 Puerto Rico. A large group of fellow BTTers racing and the course looked like it would be a beautiful race in a beautiful location, not to mention my first Ironman branded race (There is something to be said about Ironman). I believe it went into being as prepared as I ever have for a race, working with a coach (Dave) for the first time, and ready to go on race morning.

We all got there on the Friday before the race. After a brief hiccup getting my bike to the hotel (thanks Delta -_-), I got it together and did a brief bit of riding, running, and swimming to make sure everything was working properly. It ended up being really good idea as I haven’t done much salt water swimming and it took a little getting used to. I got everything together and was ready to go the next morning.

Race morning came, I got up and began my typical fret and worry getting everything together and dropping it all off at transition. We were a little rushed because transition closed a little bit early as it was about a half mile from the swim start. After quick rush to the bathroom, I made the long trek and started the waiting game. It was my intent to use a swimskin, but a zipper mishap made me give up and throw it in my checked bag. Then I sat and waited some more. While I appreciate WHY M30-34 starts 38 minutes after the start of the race, I don’t have to be happy about it … but alas …

FINALLY, they called my group and we climbed in the water. The swim was fantastic. The water was warm (not wetsuit legal), but not uncomfortable, and the lagoon is secluded and calm. As usual I tried to say a little to the outside at the start, but moved in closer as the pack spread out some. I kept a nice steady pace and worked my way through it, staying mostly on course. With the sunrise some of the orange bouys were a bit hard to see, but overall not a big deal. The only part I didn’t really care for was the approach to the bridge, in the last quarter mile or so, as you have to start dealing with some strong waves and the temperature noticeably drops, but it’s not enough to detract from the overall experience.

After climbing out of the water with the help of some awesome volunteers (you literally climb a huge temporary stair), I worked my way through the quarter mile run to transition. Well a bunch of folks left shoes near the swim out, I figured it wouldn’t be worth the lost time to mess with it and just trucked through barefoot. The path was pretty clear and clearly marked (no carpet though). I pushed through transition and got out on the bike. And I ROCKED IT. I was so happy with my bike, which I generally consider my major weakness. The scenery was beautiful, though the roads had a few rough patches. There were definitely some yard sales along the way. And a large vine that wacked quite a few folks in the head. I stayed on my nutrition/hydration plan and tried to enjoy the ride. A few parts were pretty windy, but overall a pretty manageable course, with some great views.

Made it back into transition and did a pretty quick bike to run (changing shoes doesn’t take that long :P), and was out on the run …. I started trying to run about 9:00-9:30/mile and then the sun and the heat kicked in. It was brutal, and there was no relief. The elevation profile is deceptive, and quite rolling, which you don’t really get from the online maps. Then you get to cliff climb #1 … and, well, the wheels fell off. At that point I knew it was gonna be a run/walk kinda day, and seeing pretty much everyone else doing the same. You run on the top of the hill for bit, with some beautiful views of the old castles, and then go down the other side (mind you this is two out and backs … so you know you are coming back up L). But you get down, enjoying the only shade on the course, then go through this gate and run along a sea wall. Again in the blazing sun, with no shade. And the breeze I felt on the last half of the bike … gone. It was a hell of an experience, but I kept moving. It was awesome to see my fellow BTTers on the run course as well. Knowing that there were a few friends out in this sufferfest with me made it a little better. And while the run didn’t go how I really wanted it too, I was super proud of myself. And you bet I sprinted to the end. This truly is a great race even with the run through hell!

I also wanted to note that this race had the best volunteers I have had during a race. They were awesome at keeping people soaked and getting what we needed, all the while having a great attitude. They were some of the best cheerleaders out there and they really helped make the race. The race director was also a really awesome guy with a fun personality, and the community was out in force during the run. I am really glad I decided to do it, and while I am not in any rush to do it again, I would highly recommend it. Even in just for a race through paradise!

The Rise of the Quantified Athlete

Here at Revel Racing we pride ourselves on the quantitative approach we take with our athletes. Part of this means evaluating and incorporating some of the latest technology into our training. This week I was lucky to attend the Harvard Innovation Lab’s: The Rise of the Quantified Athlete: An Experiential Forum on the Future of Athletic Performance along with some of the coaches from TeamBPC. Below are the three technologies we are most looking forward to trying out in 2017.

The Humon Hex (received): The humon hex is a device the size of a drink coaster that straps to your thigh. It uses LEDs to emit light into your muscle. The detectors measure the intensity of light to calculate the hemoglobin saturation in muscles. In sort it is measuring oxygen utilization of your muscles and displays a green light when you are good to go, a red light when you’re hitting your limit or a blue light when you’re recovered and ready for another bout. The device is still in a beta version is expected to be ready for commercialization this summer.

Whoop (ordered): I’ve been hearing about the Whoop device for a while now. At the forum I was able to hear about the extent to which Whoop has been validated in conjunction with UCONN’s Korey Stringer Institute. At this point in time there are some pretty solid models for calculating the amount of physical stress we impose during training. The biggest unknowns become what additional fatigue the athlete accumulates during the day (for example during a physically demanding job) and how well the athlete is recovering (negative training stress). This is where the Whoop comes in. It is a wrist device that enables 24/7 monitoring of the athlete. Whoop measures your resting heart rate, the amount and type of sleep you get, and your heart rate variability. These factors are combined to calculate a recovery state and can be used to optimize your training.

Nix (in discussions): Nix is a single-use sensor about the size of a quarter that is placed on your skin. The device monitors the amount of salt in your sweat to provide visual feedback on the athlete’s degree of hydration. This device is still also in beta testing, but we’re looking forward to trying it out!

The honorable mention goes to Vert. Vert was designed to measure the amount of G-forces required to jump, and it has traditionally been used for volleyball and basketball teams to track the number and intensity of the jumps the athletes have performed. Vert may be able to be used as an alternative to the Stryd running power meter.

Tracy Landeryou: Tri for a Cure

2017 is the 10th annual Tri for a Cure, and my 5th time participating in this event.  This year I have yet again set a very lofty fundraising goal of $20,000 for Maine Cancer Foundation.  I am proud to say that while I did not quite hit that goal last year, I raised $18,600 with the help of many donors!  In my 4 years of participating in this event I have raised nearly $70,000 in the fight against cancer.  Many of you know I lost my dad, Wes Jordan, to pancreatic cancer in 2002………I can’t believe that in a little over a month it will be 15 years since his passing.  I miss him every day, and I carry him with me every day in the locket I wear around my neck, and I carry him with me every Tri for a Cure.  During the run, which is the toughest part of a triathlon for me, I carry with me a list of names of people I am racing for – many of them are survivors, like my mom; some of them are battling the disease; and some of them have passed on to a better place, free of the horrible disease of cancer.  I have vowed to do whatever I can in the fight against this disease.  The Tri for a Cure is the most unique triathlon I have ever done, and I think it is the best one out there… and it is all about the cause.  Yes, there are people that are looking to win or place in the race, but they are also racing for a cause that is very special to them.  Every woman that does this race has been touched by cancer in one way or another… some are survivors themselves, and many are racing for family and friends that have been impacted by the disease.

I need your help in the fight against cancer.  I can’t do this alone.  Every donation helps, no matter the amount.  Please consider making a donation, the link to my fundraising page is below.  The 2017 Tri for a Cure is only 6 months away!  I will send reminders out periodically.  If you do not wish to donate, please let me know and I will not include you in future reminders.  For those of you that do wish to donate, thank you in advance… and remember, many companies match donations, so check with your employer.

Have a wonderful day!  Cancer tries and I will Tri Harder!

Tracy

http://mainecancer.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=6247

 

Revel Racing supports all our athletes giving back through sport via our Charitable Giving Program

Four Things Every Amateur Racing Kona Should Know

Congratulations! You’ve qualified for Kona! Your flights and accommodations are booked! Here’s a few things you should know before heading off to the Big Island.

Heat Acclimation

Chances are you’re not from a tropical, humid climate. Depending on where you’re flying in from, it will take somewhere on the order of two weeks to fully acclimate to the weather. Try to arrive on the island as early as you can and by Wednesday at the latest. You can start preconditioning yourself by overdressing for your workouts, riding the trainer without a fan, or even hitting up a hot yoga class 2-3 weeks before the race.

The Descent from Hawi

The descent from Hawi can be one of the most treacherous portions of the course. The gusts of wind have been known to blow riders right off the road, and the air currents can be unpredictable as you pass in and out of the cutouts along the road. Hawi is home to a few art galleries, boutiques, and great restaurants. Treat your Sherpa to lunch while you preview the descent.

Racing on the Equator

Being right on the equator, the sun is no joke in Hawaii. Aside from a few fleeting spots in Ali’i Drive the race course is totally exposed. A blistering sunburn is a very real threat that can make the rest of your trip miserable. Pack some SPF100 for the race along with multiple sticks of lip balm containing sun protection to have with you at all times. Reapply frequently and cover up as much as possible – cooling sleeves are essential throughout the race.

Revel

For many, racing Ironman World Championships is a once in a lifetime experience. You’re going to be among the best of the best. Let’s face it, more than likely you’re not going to be standing on the podium after the race. This is your victory lap! Take it all in. Run with a friend. Stop to hug your family. Revel in every moment!!!

 

Announcing Revel Racing!

A few years back I remember having dinner with my dad, and he said to me, “It doesn’t matter what you do. Just do what you love.” I don’t remember where it was, or in what context it came up, but that has always stuck with me.

I have been competing or coaching in one form or another since I was about eight years old. I love training, racing, and most especially, coaching. Finding Jeff and Team BPC has been one of the best things to have ever happen to me. Through this team I have met so many incredible people and talented athletes. You were with me through one of the toughest times of my life. With you I have established some friendships so strong that those people have become my family. It hasn’t been an easy decision, but after much thought, I’m finding it is time for me to leave Team BPC.

As sad as I am to go it is with immense excitement I want to announce the formation of Revel Racing! Revel will be my first step in eventually making a career out of doing what I love! Like BPC, Revel will be a personalized coaching service. However, with Revel I plan to have increased focus on supporting athletes choosing to race for charities.

I wish you all the best and I’m looking forward to seeing you out on the race course!

Dave