Your core body temperature can massively impact your performance. That’s why athletes pour water over themselves during races. They’re trying to cool down because they know once their core body temperature reaches a certain level, they’ll lose power and their performance will deteriorate. Like heart rate and power, core body temperature is a crucial metric for elite and recreational athletes alike.
A new partnership with Suunto and CORE gives the Suunto community the opportunity to gain heat awareness and improve performance. The Suunto 9 Peak Pro, the most powerful watch we’ve ever made, combined with the CORE sensor mean the three key metrics of training and performance - heart rate, power, core body temperature - are all displayed on your watch face.
Read on to learn more and for three ways to control your core body temperature.
Overcoming the data and knowledge gap
Performance manager at CORE and road cyclist Christopher Jones believes a general awareness and understanding of core body temperature and how it affects performance is limited.
Until recently, athletes could only use invasive technology - e-pills and rectal probes - to monitor core temperature, and only for short time windows. Whereas heart rate monitors have provided almost around the clock data for decades. As a result the general public don't know a lot about core body temperature and how increased temperatures impact performance.
But the CORE sensor changes that. “The big advantage an athlete gets from CORE is understanding their body and being able to perform better in the heat,” Christopher says. “It is an easy-to-use and affordable solution that opens up this data and heat awareness for everyone.”
Embrace the tech and train smart
Christopher is excited CORE has now partnered with Suunto. The body temperature sensor has been used by athletes, coaches and sports scientists for several years. Just as heart rate monitors eventually began enjoying popularity with recreational sports enthusiasts, the same thing is gradually happening with core body temperature.
“It’s a new technology,” he says. “So just like a heart rate monitor, or a power meter, it will take time for people to adapt. But if you’re not racing in the Tour De France, you still use a heart rate monitor, right? Same thing with CORE. The tech will help guide sports people so they can train and race at their best. In a hot weather environment where it’s even harder to stay cool, the real time core body temperature data helps people to take the right steps to avoid heat becoming a problem.”
How does core body temperature affect performance?
When you get hot, your power output drops. Thermoregulation is, however, individual. Some people are better at operating at higher temperatures than others. When athletes get hot, the body diverts blood away from power-producing muscles to the skin. Sweat evaporation then cools the blood and the core body temperature.
3 ways to keep your core body temperature down
The CORE sensor delivers live data directly to your Suunto watch and means you are informed and can take action before it is too late. There are a few specific approaches to help manage your core body temperature for performance.
Follow a heat strategy
This involves doing things like easing off before you know you will begin a long ascent so you can cool your body down in advance. Or another example is staying behind other riders to reduce the amount of power needed and to keep your core body temperature as low as possible until you see a better opportunity to push.
Do active cooling
Staying well hydrated, pouring cold water over yourself, and wearing highly breathable fabrics and gear are all tactics that can be combined to keep cool.
Train your body to perform better when it’s hot
Heat training involves conditioning your body to be more efficient and perform better when you’re hot. CORE helps you elevate your core temperature to a precise temperature zone, letting your body adapt without wearing yourself out.
“Some athletes do heat training as a two-week training block, and then after that they can keep the conditioning with maintenance sessions.,” Christopher from CORE says. “Another approach is to slowly integrate heat training sessions into regular training sessions.”
How to use CORE body temperature sensor with your Suunto
SuuntoPlus CORE sports app is compatible with all Suunto 9 and Suunto 5 watches. To get started with CORE temperature sensor go to SuuntoPlus Store in Suunto app, find SuuntoPlus Core and select "Add to watch".
Before starting your activity, go down to exercise options and select CORE sports app. This connects your watch with the CORE sensor.
During your workout, your watch will receive and display live data from CORE sensor. Your body temperature data during the activity will also be saved in your workout.
Note: Make sure your Suunto 9 or Suunto 5 watch is updated to the latest software.