The key is to bring down the core body temperature slowly to minimize the “shock” to your body. Think about when someone falls into a frozen lake, the biggest shock to the body is the drastic temperature change. This creates incredible stress and ultimately fatigue to the body. The body’s natural defense mechanism is to try and heat the body of water that you are in, unfortunately, being submerged in freezing cold water lowers the core body temperature too quickly and you begin to shiver (your body’s natural way to warm itself). Shivering is fatiguing on the body and uses a tremendous amount of energy – not a good state to be in between races when you are attempting to conserve energy to finish each race strong.
Step 1: Come off of the track and into the shade of your awning, strip out of your gear (logistics pending) and sit under an oscillating fan. Place hand clothes on the back of your neck, both wrists and your groin. On your neck and groin you have to large arteries that will help decrease your body temperature quickly. Your wrists are low in fat and will help cool the core temperature quickly as well. Consume a cold sports drink slowly.
Step 2: Pour room temperature water onto the wash clothes while you are sitting under the fan; continue to pour onto the clothes to keep them damp with the air blowing across them. Duration: 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: Pour slightly cooler water (not ice cold) onto the wash clothes while the fan blows across the slightly cooler clothes. Continue to re-hydrate with cold sports drink. Duration 3-5 minutes.
Step 4: Pour ice cold water onto the wash clothes while the fan blows across the cold clothes. Duration: until you begin to feel slightly chilled. Then move back to room temperature water and stay under the fan. If you begin to get “goose bumps”, discontinue the water and adjust time in front of the fan accordingly. Remember, if you get too cold, your body begins to shiver to create internal heat, robbing you of much needed energy.
Once you have pulled your core temperature down; strive to consume fresh fruit for the water, vitamins, minerals and electrolytes to prepare you for your next race. Remember to add some high quality, easily digestible protein to control your hunger during the day (protein and fat are the only elements that control your hunger).