Training in the Heat Can Make You Stronger: 4 Ways to Stay Cool During It
Summer is HOT, which means that the AC is on full blast, the oven won’t be turned on until fall, and high humidity is your new best friend. You may also notice that working out in the heat feels dramatically different than in cooler temperatures. When you exercise in the heat, the body has to circulate blood to the skin so that it can be cooled. As a result, the working muscles do not receive as much oxygen-delivering blood while also reducing the amount of blood that the heart can pump with each beat.
This is when your workout goes from just being tough to feeling like it is almost impossible. Your body is sending signals to your brain to “stop” as your blood pressure drops and your core temperature become elevated. So how can you ‘maintain your cool’ during hot weather workouts? The Marc Pro team offers tips to help you maximize summer training and enjoy the season!
1. Take the Time to Acclimate
When the temperatures are on the rise, take the time to start training in the heat gradually, with the goal of increasing your time in the heat as your body learns to adapt. As your body adapts, you will begin to feel more comfortable, even in hotter conditions.
2. Seek the Shade
When you run through the shade, the air can actually feel between 10 to 15 degrees cooler than being in direct sunlight. Consider seeking out some new shade-covered trails for your summer runs and bike rides and embrace the cooler air!
3. Ice, Ice Baby
Tucking ice into your shirt can keep you cool during hotter workouts. In addition, chewing on ice or slushee-type drinks during workouts can help you stay cooler.
4. Cool Off Before You Start Moving
For most athletes, cooling-down before exercising may sound counter-intuitive, however, this method can be extremely beneficial during the summer heat. Decreasing body temperature an hour before your exercises slows the rate in which the core temperature elevates once you start moving. You can even try a cooling vest pre-workout to help keep you cool.
The benefits of training in the heat have been compared to training at altitude, with research illustrating that heat training actually is more effective in increasing VO2 max than altitude training. So while the ‘dog days of summer’ can be tough, know that your training is preparing you for some incredible races for the fall. Plus, if you team all of that training with the ultimate recovery with Marc Pro, the summer is not going to be the only hot season for you as an athlete!