Training in the Heat - Prana Endurance
BUFF® Staff / 7-18-2017
Welcome to the summer, it’s amazing how hot the days are getting! Particularly for us folks who live in tropical climates, not only do we get the impact of the heat, but to add insult to injury, the humidity throws us a gut punch while we’re down. Okay, so summer is here and the heat is climbing. Now the real question is - how do you adjust your training during these extreme temperatures to ensure you stay on track with your training and safe? I’m not the only one who has been impacted by these conditions. We are all feeling the heat and I have been adjusting training plans for several of the athletes I coach to help them cope with the intense conditions. So, what can we do to adjust our training to fit these environmental conditions?
First of all, you’ve got to be smart about running or training in the heat. We all know that a little heat is okay and can help with conditioning for some hot races. However, there is no need to risk serious injury just because you want to get that workout in. Last thing you want to do is find yourself passed out from dehydration or heat stroke, setting back your training several weeks.
Below are some tips for training in the heat,
On the particularly hot days, adjust your pace as needed. Changing the workout from distance to time is a good way to keep yourself mentally engaged. If you “need” to run outside make sure you turn your workout into a recovery/easy run (1 to 2 min/mile slower than your race pace). Keep an eye on your HR (heart rate) and make sure it is within your recovery zone… if you notice your HR start to spike, listen to your body and ease off as much as it takes to bring it back down. Sometimes it is best to just end the workout and rest up so you can fight another day
Proper hydration takes place days before your run. Best advice is to always keep yourself hydrated - plain and simple. On hot days, take extra fluids with you. Adding some of your favorite hydration powder into your water is a great idea, just make sure you dilute it as you want to avoid the extra sugars. If you are not into spending money on fancy powders, just add some lemon, sea salt and honey to your water bottle and you will be good to go. After your run, make a conscious effort to keep drinking water throughout the day.
Dress for the heat
We are fortunate to have some amazing technical running gear available out there which does a great job at keeping you cool(er) and dry. First off, stick to light colors when you’re doing your shopping. Many activewear companies such as BUFF now offer pieces in UV protective fabrics which are great. I find that wearing a hat and/or headwrap and sunglasses also reduces the strain that the sun causes. As you might have noticed from my Instagram feed, I never leave the house without my BUFF®. I find that not only does it allow light weight protection from the elements but also on those extremely hot days it allows me to keep cool by just pouring a little water on my head. For me the most important factors in gear are UV protection and fast drying or highly wicking items. If you are more of a hat person, the BUFF trucker hats are a must to protect your face from getting toasted. Along that line, don’t forget the sunscreen! A sunburn will really place strain on your body and also make spending time outside in the heat while recovering more challenging. An product I’m dieing to try out are the new UV Arm Sleeves from BUFF, for a guy who spends a lot of time in the sun I think the added protection will be more than welcome.
Take the run indoors
I’m just going to say it… get on the treadmill, yup with safety being the most important thing let’s rethink the dreadmill. If you have some quality workouts scheduled which are critical to your training, talk to your coach on how to adjust these sessions to be done indoors. If done correctly treadmill workouts can be extremely beneficial in focusing on specific race paces. Hill workouts can also be done on a treadmill with much success.