In Summer although the heat shouldn't be an excuse to avoid training, it should definitely be something that you take into consideration for your training and racing, making some adjustments where required.
- Aim to run earlier in the morning or later in the day. Avoid the middle/hottest part of the day if you can.
- Hydrate well before, during and after your run with water. You don't have to go overboard on the water as this can upset the balance of salts/electrolytes in your body. If you weigh yourself before and after your run, this difference is your loss of fluids so aim to drink 1.2-1.5 x the amount lost in the ensuing hours after training.
- Choose a run with shade, rather than a run that is exposed to direct sunlight most of the way.
- Wear light, breathable running gear - as well as a hat, sunnies and sunscreen.
- Don't try to run as fast as you would on a nice, cool day. Gauge your effort, and aim to run at the same effort level as the session recommends.
- Jump in the ocean, lake, river, pool, or shower after your run to help you get your temperature back down again.
Hot weather is a challenge, but with some small tweaks to your training you can be ready for it and still get through all of your planned sessions.
You might even be traveling to a race where it is hotter or more humid than what you are used to so in this case do some regular training (i.e. at least once a week) in some heat and humidity, from now until event day to acclimatise as best as possible. If you live in a cooler climate you could do the occasional session in the middle of the day or with some added clothing.
See below for some of our hot weather race tips:
- Increase your intake of fluids 1-3 days before your event.
- On a hot day, drink sufficient cold fluids before your event starts. Take a cold bottle with you. Drink throughout your event i.e. a few sips every 15mins. You can alternate between water and sports drink.
- Sports drink can help immensely when racing in hotter weather even short distances or for any events over 90mins and if you are a heavy sweater. Take sports drink i.e. Endura to replace the electrolytes lost in sweat, to hydrate you faster than just water alone and to help keep the body performing at it's best. There are many types of sports drinks and most have carbs to assist in re-fueling as well so check which type of drink suits you best. (At a 20k Sydney Trail race in January at Manly Dam, Greta felt she would have benefited from some sports drink. It was really humid and her camelbak of water plus gels weren't quite enough to keep her muscles performing up to speed. Since then she used sports drinks for her trail races and really notices the difference).
- Avoid alcohol and avoid too much caffeine, as this could contribute to dehydration.
- Wear light, breathable clothing, a visor and sunnies.
- Pour water over your head and chest at the water stations and use any ice buckets if available.
- If water bubblers or water stations are limited, make sure you carry your water on you i.e. in a camelbak or hydration belt. You can carry some sports drink in a hand held squeezy bottle or soft flask. Refridgerate your water/sports drink overnight before your run.
- Post run aim to drink about 1.2-1.5 litres of fluid for each kg of weight lost in training or competition.
- If you feel dizzy or unwell during an event do not push through as you could be suffering from dehydration or other illnesses. In these instances, have a drink and seek first aid.
For more information, have a read of the following article:
Be prepared and enjoy your training and events through Summer. Keep us posted with any queries or highlights.