The ICED Cap Effect in TriathlonsPutting Ice in an ICED CapICED Cap Cooler


Testers have seen time savings of up to 30 seconds per mile in hot races.  This might mean saving 1.5 minutes in a Sprint Triathlon up to 13 minutes in an Ironman length race.


ICED Cap in Triathlon
ICED Cap Used in Ironman Louisville 2012


White ICED Cap




Half Ironman

The first time the ICED Cap was tested in a triathlon was in a Half Ironman distance event held in Illinois. It was in the middle of the summer in 95°F heat with no cloud cover and very little shading.  To illustrate the severity of the heat, the sealant on the asphalt melted onto the tester’s shoes.  The tester passed over 40 other runners and was only passed by one other runner.  According to this triathlete, the cooling effect made a very big difference in his running time.



The ICED Cap was also used by three triathletes in the August 2012 Louisville Ironman.  Competitors encountered temperatures of almost 100°F in the afternoon.  All three triathletes reported that the ICED Caps made big differences in their times.  One, a lady with 20+ years of experience in triathlons, finished less than 10 minutes from the race deadline (midnight).  She said that without the ICED Cap, she would not have finished.  Many athletes that day did not finish (DNF) due to heat problems on the run leg of the race.


General Triathlon Instructions

It is generally best to have the ICED Cap ready for the start of the run.  A small cooler should be placed in the Bike-Run Transition area before the race starts.  The ICED cap should be prefilled with ice (using a little more ice in the cap than desired to allow for melting).  This depends on the length of the race from a Sprint to Ironman distance.  Water or sports drink bottles could also be placed in this cooler, of course.  Make sure the draw string is closed to ensure that ice cannot spill out while putting the ICED cap on during the transition.

Many hot triathlons do not provide ice during the run at aid stations, particularly Sprint and Olympic distance events. For most runners, the ice will last for most or all of the 5K race in a Sprint triathlon.  For the 10K races in Olympic distance triathlons, the ice will last for the first half of the race for most runners, and the water from the ice that drips onto the runner’s clothes will cool for the whole race.

After a hot bike ride, the ICED Cap will feel great and cool you off fairly quickly.  Depending on the amount of hair you have, you may feel some discomfort from the cold when first putting on the ICED Cap.  Within a minute (or less than a tenth of a mile in distance for most) any discomfort will go away and be replaced by a soothing cooling sensation.  Within a few minutes, water will begin dripping and additional evaporative cooling will take place from the wet shirt, top or shorts.  We have found that running shoes do not get wet when an ICED Cap is in use.



Check out just how much time the ICED Cap can save you.


Use the following instructions specifically during a triathlon footrace that has water (aid) stations that give out ice on its course.

Most races have aid stations about every one or two miles.

Given the estimate that about two cups of ice will take about 20-25 minutes to fully melt in 85-90° weather, a runner who takes an average of 10 minutes or less to run a mile will reach an aid station by the time he/she is ready to refill the ICED Cap with ice.

  1. Begin race with ice in the ICED Cap if possible.
  2. When approaching an aid station, take the ICED Cap off of your head, open the drawstring, and hold open the top of the cap
  3. Approach the aid station volunteer
  4. Yell “two cups of ice”
  5. A volunteer will usually pour ice in for you. This saves you time and is simpler than filling it yourself mid-race.  You should only have to slow down running a little.
  6. Tighten the drawstring, put your ICED Cap back on, adjust if necessary and enjoy the rest of your race knowing you are more cool and faster than most of the other runners.

Notes:ICED Cap Storage

  • If more than two cups (small drinking water cups usually used in races) of ice is used, the ice will last longer.
  • The ice pouch can be used as a pocket as well, to hold gels, food, etc.
  • The initial discomfort when putting the cap on at the beginning can be reduced by pre-wetting the cap. This discomfort will likely only happen the first time the ICED Cap is worn with ice.  It will not happen with each refilling.