Saturday, June 20, 2009

Turning up the Heat!

The times when our motivation is taxed the most is during the cold days of winter and the hot days of summer. These are the times we have to train for being tough. It's much easier to go out walking or running on a pretty spring morning or a pleasant fall evening. But it's the days that are the hottest and coldest that build us as athletes.

We are approaching the hottest most humid days of summer. Most of us do races during this time of year so we should be training for the conditions as well as the distance. When it's already hot and humid at 6am when we head out you need to Panda Up, get your Grrrrr on and get it done. You will have an edge when you race because to you the heat won't be a problem.

The secret to hard workouts in the heat is number one staying hydrated. Just drinking while you exercising and after you finish won't get it done, you need to be drinking water all day long. Even at work keep a water source close so you can have a cup or two every hour. I work with people that will keep a large soda or coffee handy to drink when they are thirsty. This won't get it done either, no caffeine or high sugar and chemical mixes work for staying hydrated. Water, flavored water, a sports drink or caffeine free herb tea are all good choices.

Dress for success. Wear light weight tech materials with good ventilation. Leave the hand weights at home. I see people out all the time with those little hand weights, swinging their arms and thinking they are doing themselves good. Wear a cap to shade our face and eyes. Sweat doesn't evaporate in high humidity so cool materials are a must.

Look for routes with shade if you can. A wooded park is a better choice than along a highway. But if along a highway is all ya got then go with it. Keep your speed a little lower till your body gets acclimated to the heat, that can take a week or two. Also keep your distance shorter till you can handle the heat better.

Using a little caution and some common sense you can learn to perform very well in hot humid conditions. You might find that you are beating people who used to beat you.

Thanks for reading.

Rambeling Panda

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