Us Brits have an interesting relationship with the summer sun. We spend the vast majority of the year, desperately waiting for it to burst through the clouds and then are caught completely off guard when it finally does.
For your average person this means nothing more than bad tan lines, at worst a little sunburn. If however you spend your free time competing and training out in the elements then the risk becomes a little greater. Chronic dehydration and overheating is far from pretty and can in severe cases require hospitalisation. It goes without saying that your performance will take a hit too, even just a 2% drop in body weight through dehydration can cause a big drop in performance. Let it go further though and it gets worse, another 3% drop in body weight and expect to struggle to finish even a short route as studies have shown a 30% reduction in endurance.
Fortunately a little forethought can go a long way and whether you’re running the trails, navigating a tricky downhill section on a MTB or tackling some tough cliff faces. Something that ultra running phenom Kim Cavill knows all too well. Competing earlier this month in the Transvulcania Ultra Marathon, a brutal 74.33 kilometer course that takes it's competitors on a helter skelter route through the steepest climbs the island has to offer. All under the relentlessly sweltering sun, that the Canary Islands are known for.
Here are Kim's battle honed tips to keep you operating at your best despite the heat.