Decathlon Olympic champion and world record holder Ashton Eaton has found a new way to keep cool between events in competition thanks to a new cooling hood designed by Nike.
The new hood is designed to maximize recovery between the 10 decathlon events and reduce heat around the face and head. Nike already has a cooling vest aimed at regulating body temperatures in warm and hot conditions.
“A perfect scenario would be to feel like you’ve just started on every event. The more you do, the more attrition you experience. Rather than realizing immediate physiological gain, the challenge is more about reducing the mental attrition from the two days to maximize each event,” Eaton said in a press release.
“After asking questions about current recovery techniques, the conversation prompted me to ask myself: Why does it feel good, after running, to pour a bottle of water over your head?” Eaton added. “I don’t know the physiological answer, but the fact that it does feel better makes me perform better.”
At the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow, distance runner Galen Rupp wore a cooling vest and also improvised with an ice pack on his head to chill out before the men's 10,000-meter run. Rupp also preceded Eaton in facial fashion on the track with his mask to counter high pollen counts during races.
Eaton may debut the mask at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing next month, where the U.S. decathlete will defend his world championship title. Nike says it is also working on a prototype for his wife and Olympic heptathlete, Brianne Theisen-Eaton.
- Christopher Chavez