Tips for Safely Training Through Summer Heat
Last summer I decided to tackle a 7-mile run in mid-July on a 90-degree day and ended my workout with a nasty case of heat exhaustion. With clammy skin and blurry vision, I stumbled back to my car, making it just in time to pass out in the front seat. As endurance athletes, we don’t want to let the weather get in our way. However, extreme heat and humidity can be a dangerous combination for anyone exercising outdoors. Safely maintain your training schedule by following a few of our helpful training tips.
Train early in the morning or late in the evening
This may seem obvious, but I always see runners braving the mid-day heat trying to fit a run into their lunch break. This approach not only leads to a miserable workout, but can also be extremely dangerous. Instead, wake up an hour early and get your training done before you start your workday. Not only will you be exercising at the coolest part of the day, but morning exercisers are more likely to stay consistent with their workouts. Can’t get yourself to get up early? Try taking your workout outside a little later in the evening as the temperature starts to drop.
Take advantage of indoor Workouts
If you’re like me, you pursue endurance sports because of your love for the outdoors, so the thought of bringing your hobby inside might make you cringe, but hear me out. We all know that cross-training is good for us, but it often takes the back burner when we’re training for an event. If the heat is keeping you indoors work on building strength and increasing flexibility. Being strong and limber not only make you a better athlete but also help keep you from getting injured.
Think Effort, Not Speed
Whether you’re running, biking or swimming, heat has a tendency to slow you down. In the summer, I choose to run by effort or time, not by pace. This allows me to maintain a training program without getting discouraged and it encourages me to run based on how my body feels rather than speed and distance alone.