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Last week I stepped outside for a speed workout, and it was much hotter than I had expected. During the warm-up mile, I realized I was not acclimated, and made the decision to adjust the workout for the heat. As I thought about my options, I decided training in heat would make a great blog post.
So, here are my 6 tips for training in the heat.
- Dress appropriately. Wear lightweight, breathable, wicking fabrics in light or bright colors. Believe it or not, color does matter — a black technical shirt will feel warmer than a white shirt.
- Wear a hat or visor to keep the sun off your face and keep the sweat from dripping in your eyes.
- Carry water. I cannot emphasize this enough. It doesn’t matter if you are walking just a couple of miles or 10 miles — carry water. It is better to have it with you and not need it than to need it and not have it. If you have ever had an issue with over-heating or heat stroke, it is even more important for you to have water. I can’t find the article right now, but studies show that once you have had heat exhaustion, you are even more likely to be affected by heat. Being over 65 will also increase the risk of heat stroke.
- Let yourself get acclimated before you go all out. It takes about two weeks for your body to adjust to higher temperatures. So, for right now, get used to the higher temperatures. And if your workout seems too hard one day, make adjustments — reduce your speed or your distance.
- If possible, walk either early or late in the day when it is cooler.
- Take a shady route whenever possible.
I personally think it is important to train outside year round. You never know what the weather will be on race day, and you won’t be ready unless you train in all weather. (If the temperatures are not safe, move indoors to a treadmill, or take it extremely easy.)
So be safe and keep walking!