After all those hours indoors on the turbo, treadmill and in the gym wishing for the sunshine, our prayers have finally been answered! These last few weeks have made training feel like we are abroad on a training camp, beautifullll! The 2018 race season is in full swing and many of you guys are now building up to your final ‘A’ race of the year, therefore hydration is essential during this heat wave to ensure the body is functioning properly whilst both racing and training.
Exercising in hot and humid conditions places extra strain on the body as it tries to maintain your core body temperature. The brain protects the body during exertion in the heat by constantly monitoring the core body temperature and limiting muscle activity to prevent the core body temperature from rising to dangerous levels. So don’t expect or try to perform at the same level on hot days. Instead, maintain your normal level of exertion, just accept the pace will be slower, and expect your heart rate to be elevated more than usual due to the drop in blood volume (fluid loss),as your body is working harder to circulate a more limited amount of blood to cool the body.
Drink lots!! The best thing to do in hot conditions is to take on fluids regularly as your body will be sweating more than usual as a cooling mechanism. Fluid consumption is highly individualised with the intake required by an athlete on an hourly basis varying from 400ml up to 1.8 litres!
It is also really important to replace all lost fluid and electrolytes. Electrolytes, especially: sodium, chloride, potassium and magnesium, are the gate keepers for fluid movement within the body, and without adequate intake the gates lock up which can cause cramping and fatigue.
Drinking during hot-weather workouts will also help your sweating system do its job more efficiently. By drinking throughout each training session you will keep your blood volume closer to normal levels, which in turn keeps your sweat rate high. And since oxygen is delivered to the muscles through the blood, maintaining your blood volume through drinking also enables your heart to deliver more oxygen per contraction, so you perform better than you can if you allow your body to become too dehydrated #simple!
As all triathlete seem to enjoy those tough, intense workouts, simply cutting them out and sticking to easier zone 2 workouts isn’t an option during warm weather. However, trying to perform these sessions early in the morning, late in the evening or indoors can help you to avoid the highest temperatures of the day.
Most of all, get out and enjoy this fab weather because we all know how hard training can be on those cold winter evenings!…just remember some sun cream and lots of fluid! 🙂
Happy training and racing!