Dear racelab team!
Training in the heat!
Did you know that heat training is very similar to altitude training?
The body adapts to extreme conditions and responds to it, getting more efficient and stronger, which then translates to faster times when the conditions are less severe.
With these benefits come some sacrifices, or at least some adjustment time.
We need to be aware of this so that there is minimal frustration in the process.
So, when you start training at higher temperatures or higher elevation, your body cannot do the same work at the same price...you cannot do the same speed at the same HR or intensity. Something has to give, otherwise you end up over training or getting hurt or sick, or not getting the benefits of the workout or the training season.
Most likely you have noticed slower times in your training sessions at a given heart rate, now that the weather is getting hotter.
Your body is working hard just to regulate your core temperature at normal activity. If on top of that you add an hour or two...or more of hard training, resulting in even higher body temperatures, the risks of overheating, depleting and over training get higher and higher.
So be patient and let your body adapt slowly, safely and progressively.
- Follow your HR zones: the heart rate is the only measurement of intensity that will respond to the heat factor.
- Stay hydrated: your body is losing great amounts of fluid and electrolytes through sweat to help regulate the temperature. You need to replace both! Everybody is different and has different needs, but we can start with at least 16 - 24 ounces of water plus 300 to 600 mg of electrolytes per hour of workout. Call me if you have questions!
- Avoid training in the hottest hours of the day.
- Wear garments made with fabrics specifically for hot weather to help lower your body temperature.
You'll get the right benefits of that particular workout, you will be safe and will stay healthy, your recovery will be faster and more efficient and by the end of the summer, you'll be faster, stronger and... happier!
...and there is nothing better than being surrounded by happy athletes!