Hydration, sunscreen and HOT practices

  • 11 Aug 2015 10:52 AM
    Message # 3474900

    With fall not officially starting until Sept. 23rd this year, "fall" season athletes will spend as much time rowing during the summer as they will the fall.  Our first week of practice will see temperatures daily reaching nearly 90 degrees.  It is absolutely imperative that rowers be prepared for this kind of weather every day.  Dehydration and sun over exposure are the two biggest concerns that I have going out in this sort of weather.

    Exposure to the sun is easily managed with SUNSCREEN.  Please bring your own and apply it immediately upon arriving at the boathouse and changing into your practice gear.  I try to keep some around at all times for emergencies but it is expensive to provide sunscreen for 80 athletes on a daily basis.  (If somebody would like to donate "community" sunscreen, that would be awesome.)  Sunscreen should be SPF 30-50 and waterproof.  The article from webmd linked below talks about various SPF levels and how much they actually block.

    I personally find that rowing in a long sleeve white shirt is actually cooler in the sun than rowing in a tank.  The white reflects the heat and if you get hot, you can wet the material providing a very good cooling effect.  As with all rowing clothing, this should be a synthetic "tech" material and not cotton.  Even overcast days require exposure protection as it is possible to get sun burned even in fully overcast situations.  Hats and visors do not fully protect the face due to the reflections off of the water.  

    Hydration is important at ALL times, but becomes absolutely critical on these high-heat, high-humidity days.  Hydration is something that has to start well before practice.  The attached flyer from St. Vincent Sports Performance suggests 24 oz. of water 1-2 hours prior to practice as well as 50% of your body weight in fluid ounces daily.  The dietician at the Notre Dame clinic we attended last winter recommended up to 100% of your body weight in fluid ounces daily.  This is something that needs to be consumed over the course of the day, not all at once right before we go on the water.

    The attached flyer also indicates that you should consume about 20oz of water per hour of practice.  We expect to be on the water for about 60-90 minutes each day.  All athletes should be able to take sufficient water with them in the boat.  The typical large water bottle holds 24 ounces of water which should be good for a practice.  

    This year, in order to maintain a safe practice environment, we will be following the protocol below, based on recommendations set up by the IHSAA with regard to practicing in extreme heat.  They have a valuable document which is attached below that I recommend that all parents and athletes read.  Based on the heat index we will make the following practice accomodations

    Heat Index < 80 : No modifications to practice

    Heat Index 80 - 90 : 2-5 minute water break every 30-40 minutes of practice, increased monitoring of athletes for symptoms of heat related illness.  No athlete allowed to practice on the water without a water bottle.

    Heat Index 90 -105 : Mandatory 5 minute water break every 30 minutes, additional water break as requested by athletes.  Increased monitoring of athletes for symptoms of heat related illness.  No athlete allowed to practice on the water without a water bottle.  Extra water carried by coaches for athletes.  

    Heat Index > 105 : On the water practice will be cancelled.  Dry land exercises will be limited sustained duration (no more that 20 minute sessions without a break) with mandatory 10 minute breaks between sessions.  Extremely vigilant monitoring of athletes for heat related illness.

    We have fortunately not had any issues in the past as all of our coaches have always been vigilant with regard to practice in high heat index situations.  This policy is meant to provide consistent guidelines so that all coaches are following the same protocol based on recommended practices. 

    WebMD article on sunscreen performance

    St. Vincent Hydration Tip Sheet

    IHSAA Heat Index Chart


Contact Us
The Indianapolis Rowing Center boathouse is located inside Eagle Creek Park on Eagle Creek Reservoir.  
The IRC director maintains an office in the Eagle Creek Park Office Building.

Boathouse Address - no packages
7350 Eagle Beach Drive
Indianapolis, IN  46254
(317) 991-1829   

IRC Directors Office - packages
Andrew Purdie, Executive Director
7840 W. 56th St.
Indianapolis, IN  46254

Postal Address
Indianapolis Rowing Center 
PO Box 53223
Indianapolis, IN  46220
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