Training in extreme heat takes patience, determination, and an understanding of our limits and thresholds. Take a look at the list below for a guide on how to train in the heat.
Hot enough yet? Hope not, because I ain’t gonna lie – it’s just the beginning. This is one of those glass half empty/half full deals. You can cry about it and give up, or embrace it, figure out another strategy, and get stronger (mentally and physically). And who here doesn’t appreciate a good sweat!?!?!
What’s going on? Lots of blood and fluid volume decreases due to sweat. Muscles produce heat. Your body needs to stay at a certain temp and sweat is good at regulating the thermostat. Heart is pumping harder, lungs are working harder for oxygen. Perceived effort (how hard you think you’re going) is at all time high – Can this possibly be good? YES!
1. Realize that it takes a few weeks to acclimate to the heat. And that means most likely you will see your pace slowing down despite the fact you may be pushing as hard as you can. Do not let that discourage you! Relax, slow down, and give yourself some time to adjust.
2. Try and schedule your workouts first thing in the morning. Reasons: You don’t have excuses getting in your way to push back workouts, it’ll be the coolest part of the day, and once races start back up, 99% of them will be in the morning – so you can practice hydration/nutrition/bathroom habits in preparing for events.
3. Here’s some science for you: Humidity is another kick in the pants here in North Texas. The closer the dew point is to the air temperature, the harder it is for your sweat to evaporate. Again, heat and humidity are things we can’t control, but we can adjust and adapt.
4. Your body is an amazing machine if you let it work and adapt. By relaxing and adjusting your regular training schedule your body will adapt. Quit beating yourself up over timed splits/pace. Stop looking at your watch, go off how you feel. If you have repeats, see if you can make each one a little harder. Examine your EASY DAYS. You may be going too hard on those days, and when you try and push, you may be overdoing it.
5. I know I’m a broken record, but make sure that you’re getting proper rest, hydrating with electrolytes and eating food that helps you recover after your workout.
6.Train like an Athlete, Eat like a Nutritionist, Sleep like a Baby. Repeat #5 the next day.
Dallas Luke’s Locker Training Coordinator
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