Summer is finally here, temperatures are rising and your training is has reached peak levels for those mid-season races. We all know that heat, humidity, and the sun bearing down on us creates extra stress during our races, and the same is true for our daily training sessions. I myself have had to readjust my training methods having recently moved from the rather cool climate of San Francisco to the hot and often humid Austin, Texas.
Here are some proven game changers to take your training to the next level when the thermometer soars.
- Adjust Training Slowly: You don’t have to start all your training sessions at 4am to avoid the heat, but conversely it would also be foolish to immediately do all your training sessions during the warmer parts of the day. Begin by slowly integrating your shortest sessions in the warmer parts of the day giving your body time to adapt. Once you begin to adjust to the warmer conditions you can slowly start to increase the duration of your training during this time.
- Let Your Heart Rate Guide You: we have two variables in training, input and output. Our heart rate is an input variable, and pace/power are output variables. We can use heart rate to control our effort, but we must understand that in the beginning our pace and power will likely be lower than we would see at a similar heart rate in more favorable conditions. So set a cap, or ceiling on your heart rate and keep your effort controlled. Often once we cross this threshold when it’s hot we struggle to regulate our core temperature making it nearly impossible to get our heart rate back down.
- Increase Daily Hydration – We want to not only increase our hydration during training, but we want to increase our hydration around the clock. This means more fluids, more electrolytes (because we are sweating more out), and more water dense foods (veggies, fruits, etc). Some suggestions are having 24oz of water in the morning and evening with electrolyte tabs, eating watermelon with salt (sweat and savory), keeping a water bottle with you during the day subconsciously helping you intake more fluids.
- Listen To Your Body – Make sure you listen to your body when training in the heat. If you experience dizziness, do you feel nauseated, like you have a fever? These are signs you are pushing your limits and it’s probably time to call it a day.
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