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When prepping for Ironman, don't discount the effects of heat
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When prepping for Ironman, don't discount the effects of heat

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When you decide to take on an Ironman distance race (140.6 miles), one consideration is the time of year and the race location.

Ironman Tulsa is the first spring Ironman I have done. It was kind of nice not to have to do the super long training runs and rides during the peak of the hot summer!

For Ironman Tulsa, most long training days will fall in late winter/early spring, when it is pretty cool here. Most training plans will span 25-30 weeks, so formal training likely will start in December.

However, you’ll want to maintain or build a basic level of fitness over the summer so your body is ready to build mileage.

I recommend running, biking and swimming two to three times a week, focusing on perfecting form and technique in preparation for mileage-building.

When training in the heat of summer:

Run and bike early or late in the day. Listen to your body. If you feel discomfort, lightheadedness, disorientation or nausea, slow down, or STOP and get cooled off.

Stay hydrated. Take plenty of water or sports drinks with you and also drink sports drinks before a workout; their potassium and electrolytes will help replenish what you lose through sweat.

Dress for sweat. Wear moisture-wicking clothing that helps you stay cooler.

Take advantage of the warm summer to get acclimated to swimming in open water. You likely won’t get to swim in Oklahoma lakes until a week or two before Ironman Tulsa 2022.

Jana Rugg is a three-time Ironman finisher and triathlete who has lived in Sand Springs for 25 years. Her tips column will appear here with each regular Ironman installment until the May event.

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