city of sweat
Gearing up for an endurance race requires months of dedicated training — several of which may take place in the dog days of summer if you're aiming for a fall or winter event.
While training for a half marathon this summer, I experimented with several personal cooling devices to see if anything would ease the heat-induced pain. I found several items available in Austin that were powerful enough to at least take the edge off; whether the effects were psychological or physiological, I can't be sure. But, hey, anything helps!
You can find this palm cooling device on the shelves of Rogue. Slip it around your hand and hold the small gel pack in your palm, either during or after a run. I seemed to treat the pack like its own stress ball; I found myself gripping onto it during the run which helped divert some of my attention away from the amount of miles ahead.
"Athletic performance, pace-setting and fatigue are all guided by signals relayed between the brain and the body. Cooling the hand stimulates thermoregulation signals to the brain, which is scientifically shown to improve athletic performance and delay fatigue."
Wear this shirt embedded with gel packs during or after your workout. I opted to put it on afterwards as part of my cool down process. It was a big icky taking my drenched, old shirt off and putting a new one on my sweaty body, but the IceTee did legitimately cool my core temperature down quickly. The company is based in Austin and products can be purchased online.
"Our cooling shirts provide cool, breathable relief that moves effortlessly between intense physical activity and the need to remain cool in extreme conditions. The IceTee is a dry-fit, moisture wicking cooling shirt, fitted with high intensity (reusable) cooling gel packs that stay dry and cool you at critical points on your body - the neck, spine, and underarms for men and the neck and spine for women."
Perhaps the most basic way to stay hydrated and cool is by running with a handheld. Plus, if you get lost, you're going to want to have some water on you. A great trick is packing a handheld with ice so it serves as a palm cooler and source of hydration during your run. You can find handhelds at all local running stores, including RunTex, Rogue, Hill Country Running Co. and more.
"A run of almost any distance will benefit from proper hydration. The QuickShot is the perfect size for short or intense runs. It’s topped off with the Race Cap, originally designed for gel consumption, so fluids come in quick bursts to avoid interrupting breathing or affecting stride."
We've still got August and September to conquer — what are your tips for staying cool on the run?