It’s summertime and the heat is on! It can be easy to get frustrated watching your GPS get slower and slower, while your breathe gets louder and louder. The following tips will help you beat the heat and train effectively.
Guard yourself against Dehydration
Focusing daily on hydration will help you perform to your capability. Keep a water bottle at your desk and consistently drink throughout the work day. Maintaining a constant supply of water in the body is essential for optimal performance so that our body does not reach the dehydrated state. When we become dehydrated, our body can no longer cool itself efficiently.
Our body needs more than just water. Using an electrolyte drink like Hydro will ensure that your body properly absorbs water while reducing the likelihood of muscle cramps. Increasing your potassium levels will also guard against muscle cramps. Your goal should be 4700mg of potassium a day, one banana has about 470mg. Other good sources of potassium include potatoes, watermelon, beets, beans, edamame, butternut squash, yogurt, avocado, spinach, and wild-caught salmon.
Perform a Sweat Test
We all have vastly different sweat rates, so it is important to figure out your rate so you can properly hydrate during training. To perform a sweat test, weigh yourself (without clothes) before your run. Then run for an hour, being sure to keep track of how many ounces you drink during the run. Then after the run strip down, towel off any sweat, and weigh again. Subtract your weight from your pre-run and convert to ounces, then add to that number how many ounces you drank during the run. The body can lose up to an entire quart during an hour of exercise! Once you lose over 2% of your body weight, performance drastically declines. For a 150 pound athlete, that is only 31bs. Once we reach 5% weight loss, we are in the danger zone.
Two hours prior to exercise, drink 17-20 ounces. During exercise, every 10-20 minutes, consume 7-10 ounces of fluid. Immediately following exercise, consume 16-24 ounces of fluid for each pound of body weight lost. Your body rehydrates faster with the presence of sodium, so finish a bottle of Rocket Fuel to get your body hydrated.
Beat the Sun
Try to run in the early morning with the lower temperature. If you cannot run before the sun rises, head to some shaded trails. If you cannot get to some trails, then pick a shaded loop where you can stash a water bottle.
Adapt your Training
Heart rate can easily escalate 20 beats in the heat. Your body will be working much harder at the same pace in warmer weather than in cooler weather. Summer is a great time to focus on RPE (rate of perceived exertion.) Focus on learning how hard your body is working instead of being solely focused on the numbers your watch is telling you. Check out this temperature conversion calculator to see how pace should be adjusted. Don’t forget to check the dew point and humidity as this will also affect your pace.
So go easy on yourself this summer and use these tips to stay hydrated to optimize your performance!
About the Author: Kelly Fillnow
Kelly is an amazing person, a twin, a Professional Triathlete, a BASE Sponsored athlete, a coach to Fillnow Coaching, and a great friend. She leads by example in everything she does. Her Twin Meghan is pretty cool too.
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