Early bird or late night session
The first and most commonly known tip is to change the time of training. However the fact that I perform better in the afternoon and the night while training, when it is humid I prefer to train early in the morning. Starting when just the sun came up. After a long day of work in a cooled building I hate to go out into hot and humid circumstances. That feels suffocating for me. Beside the time of the day I advice you to run in a shaded area underneath trees. Try to avoid tarmac because it absorbs and reflects the heat very easy. If you aren’t in the possibility to run in some shade, don’t ever forget to use sunscreen. Even if you run in the shade you can easily burn by the way.. A commonly mistake.
Hydrate, hydrate and hydrate
During warm weather conditions you’ll lose a lot of fluid. Without noticing you can easily lose 1-2% of your body fluids. In 2015 I did some fieldtests together with my coach, to see how much fluid I would lose after a warm-up. At 25 degrees in humid weather conditions (RSA, Potchefstroom) I measured, after only a warm-up of 15 minutes easy jogging, that I lost 0,8 liters of fluid already. After some drills and strides I almost doubled that loss. And I didn’t even started the core part of my training yet. So without noticing you can lose so much fluid that it can decrease the results and desired outcome of your training. When you take some extras to drink, increase it with at minimal factor of 1,5 of normal intake. Water will not be enough. You have to take some extra elektrolytes. Because you will sweat a lot, you will lose a lot of bodysalt.
Drink before you get thirsty
Being thirsty is a good indication, but actually you are already to late with your intake. So, please try to avoid getting thirsty en get some structure in drinking. For example: If you drink 5 cups of coffee a day, take an extra glass of water or isotonic drink to increase your body fluids a bit during the day. I know, I know, you will have to go to the toilet more often than usual, but that moment can be used to check the color of your urine .So see the positive side of it. If it is clear or bit yellow, your are well hydrated. During your runs you can take a waterbag or a whaistbelt. Very handy during hot conditions!
Wear the right clothes
It sounds a bit cliché but I still see runners wear the wrong clothes. There is so much clothes nowadays to choose from which can help you lower your core temperature. Like clothes that are made with some extra wholes for good ventilation. For example the breathable singlets of ASICS (sold out for gents, sorry!) which still protect you against the UV Radiation. I love singlets during summertime. (How to spot the runner on the beach? When they tan on the beach it seams they still where a singlet! 🙂 Just kidding!)
Change the intensity of your training or pause a bit longer during intervals
Did you planned a long run ? Do not hesistate to contact your coach to change your original trainingplan. A plan is always made with the tought you can eliminate the session under ideal circumstances. Guess what? The ideal circumstances are a hoax. They don’t excist. There is always some reason why it is good to change your training. So keep listening to your body. Just ask your coach what the purpose of the training is. During hot conditions I always say to the runners who I coach: “do 75% of the orginal plan, slow down the pace, ask a alternative program and stay in contact with your body!” And when doing intervals at a higher pace, increase your recoverytime by 25%.
Train with a heartrate monitor
Some runners are friends with there hearth rate monitor, other hate them because they know there monitor says they always go to fast. But in this case, with training in hot and humid conditions a heart rate monitor can be the right tool. Or like I love to say: “your only friend, that always speaks the truth”. Your body cools by sweating. To sweat it increases your heartrate. So normally, when hydrated well, your heartrate can be easily 10 up to 15 beats per minute higher. So if you don’t really feel if you are going to fast, a hearthrate monitor can give you the right feedback to drop down your pace.
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