CAN'T STAND THE HEAT?
When writing blogs. I try not to be reactive, especially when writing about the weather. This is the united kingdom after all!
However, this weekend was an absolute scorcher and mountain rescue had a field day due to the heat this weekend.
One of my clients asked me to do a post on the heat and I thought, fantastic idea.
I've done it before, but it's something that is well worth covering again.
So in today's blog I will be talking about training in the heat, and ways to make it safe and effective for everyone!
Let's get started!
Before you even consider going outside. Have a think about the kind of person you are, do you fare well in this heat? Or would it be more beneficial training in a the gym, where you have air conditioning?
If you gym has wattbikes, or treadmills it may be better for you to head there if you don't fare well in the heat, or have time to exercise when it's cooled down. Sometimes you just have to re schedule rides/runs and training sessions to give you the safest and most effective outcome from training.
Remember you should only worry about what you can control and unfortunately, the weather is an uncontrollable factor when it comes to training.
However. If you are insistent on getting outside. Then there are ways you can make it safer, and more enjoyable than slogging through the heat! This blog will explore this with the aim of making being outdoors a better experience for all involved.
Exercising outdoors is best done either first thing in the morning, or in the evening when temperature's are cooler. Add to that the longer days you actually have a huge window in which you can exercise from during the summer.
The timing of exercise is crucial when it comes to staying away from the heat so plan your runs and rides effectively and prepare to bend your usual rules with regards to what time you like to train!
Also: Think about the amount of time you will spend exercising. Consider making your runs and rides shorter in order for your body to cope with an increase in sweat, salt loss, dehydration and the difficulties of breathing in the heat. Don't be afraid to take more rest than usual and shorten the route with an option to extend it depending on how you feel.
Pick your route carefully, touching on the point made above. Pick your route with extensions and reductions in mind. Also, consider planning a route that is shaded and features less elevation (if possible). Doing this will make the activity faster, taking less time and giving you wind chill if you are riding.
When it comes to exercising in heat, picking the sensible route is key!
Wearing the right clothing can be vital for exercising safely. Remember while clothing can be warm and cause excess sweat. it can also be a shield for the sun. Always wear some form of head protection when outdoors to prevent the sun from shining on you too much, and keep your clothing loose or breathable (or both).
For mountain bikers: Consider a route that is much less "gnarly" and more focused on fun and single-track so you can get away with not wearing a full face, full body armour and such.
What you wear on an extremely hot day is key to being safe and enjoying your time outdoors!
Also: It goes without saying, sun cream is key here!
4: Hydration and fuel:
When warm, you sweat more. This is known, but when you sweat you are dehydrating, and you are also getting salt out of your system. Increasing the risk of cramping up if you don't replace your salt intake while you move.
I have always stated that it is better to have too much water than too little when exercising in the heat as you don't want to run out.
However, when the weather is as warm as it currently is then you should also consider electrolytes, salts, essentially.
If you don't have any tablets then they are easy (and cheap) to make your own with some fruit juice or squash, water and a salt grinder.
Simply fill up a 500ml bottle, add in some fruit juice to add flavour (not too much or it will dry you out) and then top this up with 2/3 grinds from a salt grinder.
This is a cheap and easy way to keep your salt levels topped up while sweating.
When it comes to exercising in the heat. There are a number of factors you should consider, including if you should even do it in the first place. However. If this is something you want to do (rather that than send you to the pub) there are also a number of ways you can make it safer and more effective.
I hope you have enjoyed this article!
Feel free to check out other examples of my work below: