The current spell of hot weather is much welcome but it can make things challenging when it comes to training. In this short post we reiterate 5 simple tips for maximising your training and racing performance in the current climate.
- PAY CONTINUOUS ATTNETION TO HYDRATION
Sounds like a no-brainer but dehydration can occur very quickly when training in hot weather, and even moderate dehydration can impair performance. Be sure to sip on fluid across the day and cordial can be a more flavoursome alternative for those that find water too plain. Hydrating fruits and vegetables, such as watermelon and cucumber, can also be very useful.
It is also essential to keep in mind that there is more to hydration than consuming adequate amounts of fluid. Electrolyte replenishment is also vital when training in hot conditions. While electrolyte supplements can be beneficial – especially during longer duration exercise – salt of any variety is usually sufficient to replace sodium loss, while bananas and potatoes can aid with restoring potassium.
- EARLY MORNINGS ARE BEST – LATE EVENINGS ARE THE NEXT-BEST ALTERNATIVE
Training early in the morning, when daily temperatures are at their lowest, is often the best approach during heatwaves. Training late in the evenings can be an alternative, but evening temperatures usually exceed morning temperatures, and you can often find yourself more tired than normal after a hot day. Running in the shade, where temperatures are lower compared to running in direct sunlight, should also be sought out.
- REDUCE THE PACE
For any given pace, you have to work harder when exercising in hot temperatures compared to exercising in normal temperatures. Consequently, running at a set pace in warm weather will mean that you are running at a higher effort level. Stick to the desired effort level by dialling back on your pace. The easiest method of doing this is by tracking your heart rate via a heart rate monitor.
- REDUCE THE DURATION
It can often be wise to modulate your training during hot weather by reducing the volume of training sessions, or even just the volume of your warm ups and cool downs. Splitting sessions into doubles – ie. doing one 30 minute run in the morning and one 30 minute run in the evening, instead of a single 60 minute run – can also work well if this is possible.
- SUNCREAM, SHADES, PEAKED CAP
Sunburn is dangerous, draining and unnecessary. Avoid it by layering up appropriately. Sunglasses can reduce the glare of the sun and trick your brain into thinking that it is slightly cooler than what it is. A peaked cap (worn front of back) can also help minimise the impact of the sun on your central nervous system.