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Monday, February 13, 2012

My recipe for a Heat Training

Almost everyone I know hates the heat of the sun during their trainings. It's hot, humid and dehydrates you faster compared to running in the early morning where it is cool. It drains your energy faster as your body compensates to keep your core cool while you continue to battle out the heat plus you're increasing the probability of cramping and also in extreme cases, heatstroke.

So why hate the heat when you can try to embrace and prepare for it. In our country, it's very seldom that we get a nice cool weather so the best way of handling it is by preparing for it! Also, ultrarunners should knows this already as majority of the races that they will join has sessions beyond 10 am (known as the last possible hour where the rays of the sun are still healthy).

Training under the heat of the sun helps you adapt your body to run in extreme heat. It gives you that boost and confidence to maintain your pace even if you are being baked under high degrees. Also it gives you a bonus of the deep brown skin color known as tan (well-done) or black (overcooked). But for newbies, I can share you some of my tips training under the full heat of the sun (most of these are items I also got from the web, thanks for sharing them with us :))

Here is my recipe of a good heat training:

1. Start with a slow-even pace - jumping up the pace early in a heat training will burn you out faster. try to start with a slow pace probably around 50-70% of your normal training pace.
2. Walk when exhausted - if you feel tired, don't push yourself to speed up. Exhaustion due to dehydration can cause major cramps if you continue to increase your speed. Slow down with a jog or walk until you re-hydrated.
3. Bring Table Salt or Hydrites - Sodium helps retain water in your body. Loss of sodium can cause dehydration.
4. Drink a lot of fluids - Since the rate of dehydration is faster during heat training, don't forget to replenish it as soon as you can. For hardcore people, test your hydration plan: set specific distance/time when will you rehydrate. This is advisable for those who are preparing for their Ultras
5. Dampen yourself with water - Pouring water over your body helps lower down the body temperature. This is critical if you're running during the hottest part of the day. Some runners would even take a full dip in a drum of water if its possible to cool down. (Don't pour sports drink to your body for obvious reason!)
6. Apply Sunscreen and wear light colored sleeves - Nobody wants a nasty sunburn and worst, skin cancer!

7. Practice is the key - try to increase your mileage under the sun during your trainings. It will develop your tolerance to the heat plus it can help you plan your strategy for an upcoming Ultra!

I hope this helps for those who want to beat the heat of the sun. Summer is just around the corner, perfect for an awesome heat training :)


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