Please read with your individual health in mind and seek professional guidance before starting a training regimen. This blog is for informational purposes and is intended to entertain and provoke thought.
It comes as no surprise it's hot as hell outside. Let me tell you how to do it hot and why its important to train smart over the summer months.
There are many benefits backed by science and personal experiences as to why training in the heat can be beneficial! With that said there are many many risks if you do it wrong.
Heat adaptation "acclimatization"
Increases In Blood Plasma Volume
Faster Rate Of Sweating Thus Cooling Becomes Easier
Been Shown To Give Rises To Athletic VO2 Max
Vitamin D From Sunlight
You Feel Like A Bad A**
Doing hard things systematically builds character.
Risk For Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion Becomes More Present
Higher Risk Levels For Dehydration
Slower Recovery Between Workouts
When you train or spend time in high heat the body activates heat shock proteins. Heat shock proteins kick the body into gear making adaptations to get you prepared to withstand the rigors of higher heat, and in tropical climates..... Humidity. It takes roughly 2-4 weeks of heat exposure at appropriate doses before you start to notice your tolerance for the heat increases. During this time you need to have sound exercise programming, heat exposure and recovery response to reap the rewards of heat training.
The above is a very rough picture of what goes on in the body to make adaptations a success.
Keep these things in mind...............................
During heat training plan on pulling back your paces and enjoying the challenge. The journey matters not the destination One of the best things to do is run for time versus pace during hot months. If you normally run 8:30 min/per mile under normal weather conditions expect to run a minute to two slower depending on terrain and conditions.
Reduce your distance! If you run on a normal day 6 miles, on a day with high humidity and heat plan on running 2-3 miles. One of the things that happens is your body is working twice as hard as normal to try and hit your paces, cover the distance and keep your body at optimal operational temperature.
Our bodies want to maintain a certain temperature and in the heat this becomes super difficult. The body pulls blood that would normally go to the heart and lungs for running, to the skin to initiate sweating thus cooling. Think of a machine working double time. On the surface your paces are slow and you are uncomfortable but under the hood your body is carrying out a hell of a lot of tasks just to keep you alive. When overwhelmed system shut downs happen.
Summer Training Check List:
Let a friend or family member know how far you are going and what route
Hydrate daily not only when running but during recovery
The longer the runs become the more electrolytes become necessary
Run in the shade if possible during the peak of the summer
Slow progression of distance during hot months (Don't be afraid to back down distances and build
back up as tolerable)
If doing intensity workouts plan on early mornings and or inside workouts.
Mornings tend to be more humid during the summer yet mid days and evenings are higher in air pollution and temperatures are warmer. (Know the best time for you!)
Lower alcoholic beverage consumption over summer months to allow for adequate hydration.
REMEMBER STRESS RECOVER! RECOVERY FROM STRESS IS HOW WE GET BETTER THE HEAT IS NOTHING MORE THAN AN ADDITIONAL STRESSOR! Take into account everything else you do during hot months! Vacationing, outside time, changes in temperature and out of the normal routines. All of these things our bodies have to adapt for. Sound programming and knowledge of the self goes a long way.
Available for questions! Thank you
David Piggott (CPT,CES,PES)
Run Coach / Personal Trainer