Sports-related sensors like power meters, heart rate monitors, and the CORE sensor give biofeedback. This helps athletes objectively evaluate how their body reacts to various situations. Before seeing actual core temp data, most people give exceedingly poor estimates of their core body temperature.
Regularly checking CORE data gives you strong insights into how your thermoregulation system works. With a little practice and observation, you can better learn to estimate your core temp based on how your feel. Importantly, this will let you better thermoregulate and improve your athletic performance.
Basic heat awareness
The first step in using CORE is to simply wear it during your regular training and regularly check your core temp. Note how you feel at various core temperatures – what numbers are associated with the feelings of cool, moderate, warm, very warm, hot, and very hot? Also, note your comfort level at various core temps.
Other observations you can make:
- At what core temp do you start sweating?
- At what core temp do you feel uncomfortable?
- At what core temp does your performance start to suffer?
- Do core temp changes lag behind heart rate changes?
- Does your perceived skin temperature always correlate to core temp? (In other words, can your skin feel cool while your core temp is high, and can your skin feel very warm while your core temp is not elevated?)
- How quickly does your core temp decline after a workout is finished? (You can see core temp on your Garmin watch when not recording an activity by using the CORE Connect-IQ Widget.)
- How is your core temp influenced by workout intensity, and by ambient air conditions?
- How does high humidity influence your core temp?
- Do you notice a correlation between hydration levels and core temps?
Benefits of heat awareness
Don’t worry if you can’t answer all of these questions. The ability to notice some of them takes more experience than others. But gaining a basic heat awareness translates directly to your training and racing, allowing you to make more informed decisions. For example, these cues might result in the following:
- taking cooling measures before you get overly hot
- pacing yourself to not overheat in hot climatic conditions
- adapting your hydration strategies
- making different clothing choices
- doing high intensity workouts at a different time of day.
Your next step will be to establish personalised temperature zones, which will help you better quantify your observations and allow you to structure a training programme.