Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dealing With Heat

From the Newsletter Archives, August 2007. Written by Jamie Cleveland, pro triathlete and owner of Hill Country Running Company and Texas Iron Training:

Texas Summers are hot, brutal and long. Training for those July-September races can be a real challenge. In order to maximize your training in this tough environment, follow these simple guidelines.

1. Do not train in the hottest part of the day
Heading out for an important and intense workout in the middle of the afternoon is not just silly, it is dangerous because it exposes you to dehydration and heat illness.

2. Drink plenty of fluid
Dehydration is the single most common heat related issue for endurance athletes. A small decrease in your body's hydration level can result in a huge drop in performance.

3. Monitor your salt loss and salt intake
Sodium, and to a lesser extent, potassium and magnesium are essential electrolytes depleted during exercise in hot environments.

4. Wear sunscreen
At the risk of sounding like someone's parent, sunscreen should be worn at all times while working out outdoors.

5. Wear light colored clothing that is breathable
Light colored technical fabrics will actually help reduce the temperature of your skin.

6. Sunglasses are a must
When you squint against glare or direct sunlight, your entire upper body tenses up. In order to avoid that, invest in a decent pair of sunglasses that provide complete UV broad spectrum protection.

With a little thought and planning, anyone can take the bite out of the Texas summers. Training shouldn't be about suffering through or simply enduring sessions. Take a little time to establish an environment that supports success and enables you to enjoy your training year round.

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