For all of you in the northern hemisphere, welcome to summer, and it is getting hot out there. I am currently in Phoenix, Arizona, and for the past week, it has gotten over 100 degrees (38 Celsius). This heat though has not hindered my training, which right now is being kicked into overdrive.
With proper preparation and strategic implementation, you can easily beat the heat and maintain normal training levels. Here are some good tips that I am using to help me (if you are in “down under” right now or any other part of the southern hemisphere just save this email for 6 months from now):
- Drink plenty of water: Although you may not notice it, swimming, especially in outdoor pools, is very dehydrating. Sipping water throughout your workout even if you do not feel dehydrated can prevent you from burying yourself and having to overcompensate later. If you have another workout after your swim later on in the day, definitely start drinking right after you get out of the pool. However…
- Balance your water consumption with minerals. Drinking too much water can be just as big of a problem as too little. Make sure you are balancing your water consumption with the right amount of electrolytes and minerals including some overlooked ones like magnesium and potassium. I usually have a bottle of NUUN for every two water bottles I drink and use sea salt and liquid aminos on my foods.
- Eat water and mineral rich foods. Fruits and vegetables have naturally high amounts of water and essential minerals like potassium. Celery, for example, has 88 mg of sodium per serving (110g) . Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can hydrate you without overwhelming your system.
- Plan your training: If your schedule allows, do your bike and run workouts in the cooler morning and save swimming (or a workout that can be performed on the trainer or treadmill) for the hotter parts of the day. When you do ride and run outside, plan frequent water stops or lay out a loop course, where you can ride/run by your own aid station. I usually pack a cooler full of water and NUUN, which I hide it in the bushes.
- Know the signs of dehydration: When training outside, monitor yourself for signs of dehydration such as lightheadedness, fatigue, tunnel vision, yellow pee or not urinating altogether, nausea, not sweating, and in extreme conditions cold flashes. If you are feeling any of these, take a break, drink some iced fluids (sips not gulps), and resume later. Calling a workout early and then finishing up on the treadmill or trainer is completely acceptable.
- If you train by heart rate (like following a MAF training program), know that your heart rate will be higher in the heat so do not beat yourself up over your potentially slower paces.
Overall, know your limits, do not be afraid of reducing your effort levels (or taking a break) if you are feeling weak, and remember to be safe out there.
Coach Chris and Kev