While exercising in the summer months can be great, hydration can be the key to keeping it a great experience. Hydration is something that even experienced riders can make mistakes and mis-calculations on.
Usually I will try to make the best preparations possible, as soon as possible. So if I make plans the day before or even the day of an event, I will try to hydrate more as soon as possible. Or at least try get in extra fluids.
As always, don’t try something new on the day of a race or big event. Always try it in training first, and then another time, as close as possible to race pace. Somethings that sit easily on the stomach with the heart rate around 150, may NOT sit well when the Heart Rate is around 170.
1 of my most ‘unbelievable’ tips is to put chapstick over your eyebrows! I do this from a slightly high point in the center, and then lower until I get past the eyes. The chapstick will cause a lot of the sweat to divert from coming directly down into the eyes, to following the chapstick past the sides of the eyes. It won’t stop all the sweat, but the amount of sweat in your eyes will be much reduced.
While your out riding and getting close to running out of fluids, it is best to go ahead and finish off what you have rather than sip on the last little bit of it. Getting the fluids into you stomach is better (for your body) than sipping and attempting to make it last longer – which doesn’t keep you hydrated.
If you do find a spicket or a creek, pouring water over your head will help with the evaporation process that allows your body to stay cooler. If you think that you will be out long, either keep money for a store stop or a water filter/iodine tablets for purifying water from streams.
I have been out on long rides in Pisgah and in North Ga., which have many creek crossings, and been saved by someone else that had iodine tablets, and another time by someone that had a water filter with them! Personally I don’t like the iodine flavor, so I think I’m going to go the portable water filter route.