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2014-10-27 11:44 AM

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Subject: Trick for dealing with the heat
So I've been doing this for a few years now and have heard most tricks for dealing with the heat. But one I hadn't heard as much and hadn't tried is ice down your shorts. I raced Austin yesterday in warm (I personally call it hot but I know for the Texans it's not) temps and tried this. It's the single best thing I've tried so far. Tight tri shorts keep it all trapped right there where your femoral arteries are and yes, it cools things off in general down there. The ice easily lasted until the next aid station with ice. Just an FYI.


2014-10-27 12:47 PM
in reply to: #5063184

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
No chafing issues?
2014-10-27 2:56 PM
in reply to: smoom

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat

Ice in the shorts is one of my solutions for running in 90+.  Another solution I commonly use is to run with a cup of ice in one hand, and hold the ice in the other hand and let it melt, then get more ice.  Ice melting in the palm of my hand seems to make a big difference without any "wow that's cold!" shock effect.

I don't like ice under the hat because I wear contacts and water running into my eyes is bad.

 

2014-10-27 3:16 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat

We've filled pantyhose or socks with ice and put them down the back of our jerseys.

2014-10-27 3:20 PM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat

At Kona this year, the most popular things that I noticed while working the aid stations were...

1.  Ice in the hat
2.  Dumping cold water on themselves
3.  Ice down their back or in their arm coolers
4.  Ice down the shorts
5.  People wearing surgical gloves and putting ice inside the palm side of the glove
6.  People just walking up to the trash cans of ice water (to chill either the bottles of water or perform), and just sticking their head in it.

2014-10-27 3:27 PM
in reply to: jeng

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat

The De Soto long sleeve cooling shirts have pockets along the spine to put ice in.   Used at Silverman, was great



2014-10-27 3:43 PM
in reply to: JoelO

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
Originally posted by JoelO

No chafing issues?


Nope, none. The only downside is that you constantly look like you wet yourself but hey, the cool kids are into peeing themselves during the race anyway, right?
2014-10-27 3:45 PM
in reply to: smoom

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
I have a trick for dealing with the heat. It's called Canada.
2014-10-27 4:16 PM
in reply to: b2run

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
Watched a bit of Kona online and saw many people doing this. The commentator said the same.....Ice along the femoral artery cools the body. And the leader at the time was doing it at every aid station.
2014-10-27 6:16 PM
in reply to: hessma

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat

Originally posted by hessma  The commentator said the same.....Ice along the femoral artery cools the body.

Applying ice to the femoral artery does cool the body.  That said...

The huge problem with this is there isn't enough ice, time, or surface area to even put the smallest dent in your core body temperature.  Basically the only way one can cool down quickly in that regard is for the body to be immersed in a ice/cold water bath.  Applying a small bit of ice to the major arteries is like putting a bandaid on a gunshot wound.  Not enough ice applied for not enough time.  It's a perception/placebo effect.  It's a very temporary cooling of the skin temperature.  Two seconds later you're just as hot as before.  I'm not knocking the placebo effect as the mental game plays a role but perception is not reality and the reality is that applying a tiny bit of ice to a tiny part of your body doesn't do anything to your core temp.

There have been some PubMed articles.  The most cited article on exercise-related hyperthermia is this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2629045/

Ice-Pack Application

Some medical professionals recommend applying ice packs or ice bags to the major arteries of the body as a means of whole-body cooling.35,36 The most common placement sites are the neck, groin, and axillae. The goal of this treatment is to cool the blood as it is pumped through the carotid, axillary, and femoral arteries. However, even when ice bags were applied to the entire body (24 to 28 bags of ice), cooling rates were in category C (0.028°C · min−1).19 In fact, these results suggest that it would take approximately 110 minutes to cool an EHS patient from 42.2°C (108°F) to 38.89°C (102°F) with this method. Given proper planning and available resources for category A treatments, the use of ice packs or ice bags for the treatment of EHS should be discontinued, because the extraction of heat from the body is ineffective for the body temperatures typically associated with EHS.19

So a few ice cubes isn't going to do jack.

There was also a good discussion on ST a few years ago in which some guy who works for/with the Dept of Defense designing cooling systems for soldiers commented that there's really no way to effectively cool oneself during a race.  The only way to do so was through immersion or some bazillion dollar high-tech ice vest that's not at all practical.  He was a fan of the evaporative cooling effect, not that it cooled the core at all but it makes your skin feel cooler which makes you think you're cooler.  Some of his quotes:

The company I work for sells high end cooling systems to the US Military for helicopter pilots and tank crews. I'll give you my two cents on the subject coming from someone who has personally sold cooling systems for some of the most demanding temperature requirements out there for the past 7 yrs and also has a graduate level engineering background. Note that the systems we provide are vapor compression (like your fridge) but rather pump cooled liquid to a vest worn under a soldiers flight gear (like wearing a radiator). In our ever present quest to field cooling systems for the average infantry soldier on the ground who is very weight constrained, we've examine many different systems and technologies. None of them are effective enough at a physiological level and yet practical (i.e. you're not lugging around 10lbs of batteries, etc). The military has examined hand cooling in a manner much more complicated than you described. What they found was that your hand basically needs to be in a vaccum environment to bring your blood vessels to the surface to have any appreciable cooling effect. There are some commercial products out there that do this...i think one is called Avacore. It's defnitely not race portable though. We've examined targeted cooling on specific parts of the body (groin, kidneys, back of neck, etc) but again you can't get enough cooling into such a tiny surface area when combining the mass flow rate of blood past it. 

So would your concept work? as others have said it would but only for a placebo effect. But it's important to note that the placebo effect is sometimes enough. If you think you're cool and comfortably (even if your body truly isn't) then it might be enough to keep you going. Really this placebo effect could work as long as the environment you're in isn't so extreme such that you "think" you're ok but your body really is at risk of heat casualty. 

I'm an engineer / business development guy for a defense contractor and for the last 7yrs have worked with the US Army on cooling systems for soldiers. We've had systems fielded in Iraq / Afghanistan for 10yrs and I've had the benefit of working with some of the top government researchers in human cooling and human factors. We use vapor compression as a cooling medium which is not feasible for a triathlon since no one wants to carry around 10lbs. But our system uses a vest that targets the core body of the wearer. The rationale behind this is that you cool the heart and it pumps out cool blood to the extremities. Again this solution isn't feasible in a tri because no one wants to wear a vest! 

However, the Army has done many studies that examined cooling targeted areas such as pressure points or major blood vessels and ateries. The reality is that there isn't enough mass flow of blood through that one small location to even make a dent in your core body temperature. It might feel like you're cooler but thats all in your head. Additionally, pouring water or putting ice next to it is only going to provide a momentary fix. It's not at all addressing your core body on a larger scale and never ever would you see a quick reduction in body temp. Furthermore, you're talking about cooling a nerve which doesn't have any effect on your core body temperature other than making your brain think you're cold. That in itself might be more dangerous then helpful because you won't notice the signs of heat stress. 

My advice??? if you're dealing with some real nasty temps then i'd go with something like the skin coolers from Desoto. They use ice packs which is something of a simpler version of what we provide with to the Army but designed for tri use. Ice packs don't last terribly long but long enough for all but the longest tri races (plus you could switch them out). I'd also dump as much water over those garments at an aide station as you can. Evaporative cooling is very beneficial and is definitely your friend here.... this may not be as effective in high humidity environments but it will still help. Above all else...... hydrate hydrate hydrate! 

2014-10-27 6:19 PM
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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
Originally posted by hessma
Ice along the femoral artery cools the body.


Does it really? I can definitely agree that it will mentally cool you off. But is the energy consumed melting the ice, warming it up and evaporating it off sufficient to actually make a significant difference on body temp?

According to the math here: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100528075246AAuz8j8a single ice cube could potentially decrease a 70kg body (of water) by about 1.25 degrees C. So I guess as long as all that heat comes from the body, and none drips off before vaporizing...maybe it would be pretty helpful. A cup of ice may be able to bring you down a degree or two in the real world. Cool.

Edited by dfroelich 2014-10-27 6:29 PM


2014-10-27 8:08 PM
in reply to: smoom

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
The real trick is to heat acclimate for the two to three weeks prior to the race. Then you will be well prepared to tolerate the high temperatures. All of the tricks are helpful but there is no substitute for training in heat to get you ready to race in heat.

I did two weeks in sweatsuits, wool hats, running tights, multiple layers, etc leading up to my last really hot race and it made a pretty amazing difference on race day.
2014-10-27 9:58 PM
in reply to: #5063184

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
I completely defer to the science on this one. Thanks for the information.

Still, the ice down the shorts method seemed to work better than anything else I have tried. Maybe there is a mental benefit of ice on the privates. What was the Seinfeld episode with George at the beach? I guess that was different. Anyway, I'll be doing this at the next race since I can't submerse
myself in ice water during the race.
2014-10-27 10:32 PM
in reply to: smoom


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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
3 - 4 ice cubes inserted deep into the anal passage is very effective at bringing the core body temperature down. It does take a bit of technique to surreptitiously get the cubes up there, but with practice it can be done quickly and smoothly without attracting too much attention. They need to go longways by the way, not sideways.
2014-10-28 4:46 AM
in reply to: brucemorgan

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
Originally posted by brucemorgan

Another solution I commonly use is to run with a cup of ice in one hand, and hold the ice in the other hand and let it melt, then get more ice.  Ice melting in the palm of my hand seems to make a big difference without any "wow that's cold!" shock effect.

 





RIchard Hammond from the UK Top Gear did a series called Miracle of Naute, on season 1 ep. 3. he looked at heat control. He was looking at ways huskeys control their heat. One way was passing a lot of their blood through their paws on to the cold ground. I can't find any clips but he used something called CoreControl the Cooling Glove (I think) which cooled the blood passing through on hand. He was looking at cognative function, more than athletic function, but it worked very well.

So the ice in a cup in your hand does have some backing!
2014-10-28 7:27 AM
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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
LOL I thought I was the only one who actually stuck my head in the big cans of ice water! Done it in several races in Vietnam when I just thought I would puke from the heat, and provoked a pretty negative response from a race official in Singapore when I did it there at the finish of a race. I guess it isn't that sanitary, but if it's that or puke/pass out, I'm headed for the ice bucket!

Edited by Hot Runner 2014-10-28 7:29 AM


2014-10-28 8:11 AM
in reply to: Eucid

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
Originally posted by Eucid

Originally posted by brucemorgan

Another solution I commonly use is to run with a cup of ice in one hand, and hold the ice in the other hand and let it melt, then get more ice.  Ice melting in the palm of my hand seems to make a big difference without any "wow that's cold!" shock effect.

 





RIchard Hammond from the UK Top Gear did a series called Miracle of Naute, on season 1 ep. 3. he looked at heat control. He was looking at ways huskeys control their heat. One way was passing a lot of their blood through their paws on to the cold ground. I can't find any clips but he used something called CoreControl the Cooling Glove (I think) which cooled the blood passing through on hand. He was looking at cognative function, more than athletic function, but it worked very well.

So the ice in a cup in your hand does have some backing!


I've put bags of ice down my tri-top. Probably not as effective as putting it in my shorts, but it seems to work and it's easier to do while running.
2014-10-28 9:18 AM
in reply to: jmk-brooklyn

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
Smoom, I do that all the time in races. I actually like doing it with a tri top and find that if I throw ice down my back it settles right over my kidney area, which feels really good when you are too hot! And I've done the "down the pants ice" too- feels good and I've never had chafing issues either. My thought is that if it is hot enough for you to want to do that, you are already pretty wet anyway! The only thing I don't like is that sometimes the water drains into your shoes and you end out running in soppy shoes, but I would take that over the heat any day!
2014-10-29 2:30 AM
in reply to: smoom

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat
I remember the first time I tried this (ice down the shorts) during the run section of my first Olympic in Arizona. It was brutally hot (101°F, no wind and no shade) and on the 2nd loop I was dumping water and ice on my head, putting ice in my bra, in the small side and back pockets of my shorts, and down my shorts. I started giggling as I was slowly overtaking a guy, and he asked me why I was laughing. I replied "One tip to remember, don't put more than one ice cube down your shorts at a time, they end up in one location and start jiggling around - it's very very distracting". He burst out laughing and had to stop! Obviously, I overtake people by distraction For me, the best thing was putting ice in my side and back pockets of my shorts, especially the back pocket - it worked really well and if I zipped the pocket up, the cubes lasted quite a long time.
2014-10-29 7:58 AM
in reply to: smoom

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Subject: RE: Trick for dealing with the heat

Originally posted by smoom So I've been doing this for a few years now and have heard most tricks for dealing with the heat. But one I hadn't heard as much and hadn't tried is ice down your shorts. I raced Austin yesterday in warm (I personally call it hot but I know for the Texans it's not) temps and tried this. It's the single best thing I've tried so far. Tight tri shorts keep it all trapped right there where your femoral arteries are and yes, it cools things off in general down there. The ice easily lasted until the next aid station with ice. Just an FYI.

 

I did this somewhat accidentally in Augusta.  Felt good, man.

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