For those of you who are Alberta Bound for the Calgary 70.3, there is some local knowledge you need as you pack for the trip over the mountains. Calgary weather is freakier than you can imagine!
This past week Muddah Nature has thrown out,
- super hot (Sat & Mon),
- very cold (Mon),
- rainy (Sun),
- perfectly clear and calm (Mon),
- extremely windy (Mon night) and
- thunder and lightning (Sun/Mon night)
When packing for Calgary 70.3, prepare for barely above zero to 30 C, no wind, tail wind and head winds, dry and wet, even snow and hail. Long sleeved cycling and running gear, leg and arm warmers, gloves for bike and run, helmet liners, running hat, rain gear as needed, thermal layers, fur lined underwear, cycling shoe covers, etc.
Also, Ghost Lake will be very cold. Don't expect anything else.
As the race is point to point, make sure you have your warm gear at the start and finish lines.
If the weather is cold and nasty, hydration is as important not becasue it is hot and your sweating it off, but because it is cold and you won't drink as much as usual. You should be consuming almost the same volume of fluids regardless of ambient temperature, maybe only slightly less in the cold if you are dressed too lightly (ahem!).
Remember that you lose a huge amount of fluid just through breathing, and that takes place regardless of ambient temperature. Calgary is also very dry relative to Vancouver, so you will dehydrate even faster through breathing as a function of hydrating the air your breath in, then out.
The altitude in Calgary may be a shock to sea level folk as well. You may feel like you are short of breath and experience some added stress / discomfort while exercising. However, the oxygen content is acceptable for endurance sport, so it will not adversely affect your performance to a significant degree. Hydration, weather, following your race plan, etc. are where you stand to enhance your performance.