It’s about that time of year for our annual post on training safe in the summer months. Check out this oldie but goodie from our friends at The Good Kitchen:
In case you haven’t noticed from your post-workout pool of sweat, the summer heat is well upon us. And while the warm summer sun is perfect for pool days and boating, it can have a disastrous effect on training.
To keep you moving safely all season long, here are a few tips to training safe in the summer heat.
Stay hydrated – this doesn’t mean just drinking water after your workout, this means drinking plenty of water throughout the day – before your workout, during your workout (if it’s a longer WOD or strength session) and then replenishing your electrolytes after your workout (try coconut water!).
Dress appropriately – the summer heat in the Carolinas can be pretty intense, so please note that this is not the time to sport those extra layers to “sweat it out.” I promise you will sweat enough in shorts and a t-shirt. Wear wicking fabrics if you have them. Unlike a traditional cotton t-shirt, a wicking tee will draw sweat away from your body, allowing it to cool off properly.
Prepare for the potential “summer slump” – you gave “Helen” everything you had, pushed harder than you did the last time you tackled the WOD, but somehow your time was 30 seconds slower? What gives?
Well, your body is working overtime to try to keep itself cool and more importantly, protect yourbrain from overheating. So keep in mind, when training in the heat, PRs are relatively low on your body’s priority list, but if they are high on yours, consider my next tip…
Workout early – by avoiding the mid-day heat, you not only lower your chance of falling victim to heat illness, but you can also push yourself a little harder in your training when your environment is a bit cooler. I know the thought of rising early enough for a 5, 6, or 7am class may not sound all that appealing… until you are on that third 400m run beneath the noon sun and you could swear that your shoes are melting into the pavement…
Listen to your body – In just the past couple of weeks, I have had a handful of people tell me how dizzy, weak and exhausted they have felt mid-workout. For newcomers and competitors alike, my response every time has been and will continue to be, “stop.”
If you are feeling lightheaded, nauseous or extreme fatigue, that is your body’s way of telling you to sit down and cool off immediately. Heat stroke is not something to fool around with. You can check out the physiological effects of training in the heat here.
Happy Summer. Train smart. Train safe!