This summer has been a hot one for everyone. Right now at my home in Park City, Utah, most days have high temperatures peaking in the mid-90s which is not ideal for long exercises. I am certainly not a doctor or nutritionist but having lived in a hot climate for so many years has taught me how to handle training in temperatures that I would consider “miserable”. Here’s a quick list of ways that I have learned to make the most out of training when it is miserably hot outside!
Hydration is important for all trainings in all conditions, but it’s even more important when it’s hot outside. Last week, I weighed myself before and after doing an easy 90-minute run and I was shocked to see that I lost 2kgs (4.5lbs) of water weight while running, not including the water that I drank during the workout. It is hard to limit your water loss during a workout because most of the time you’re limited to what fits in your water bottles or water belt, but I always try to drink at least 1-2 liters before starting a workout. During workouts I use a sports drink that is high in sodium, which helps your body retain water. I highly recommend using one bottle of sports drink and one bottle of regular water on workouts when possible. For interval workouts, I’ve started giving my coach a bottle of sports drink so that I can have access to it without having to carry it around on my back.
2. Workout Timing
Getting up at the crack of dawn gets old, but it helps to beat the heat. If possible, I like to start workouts early in the morning (7-8am) or after 6pm. I think that training when it is cooler in the mornings and evenings is more productive and more enjoyable. If possible, it’s definitely worth playing around with your workout timing or encouraging your coach to start workouts early in the morning or in the evening.
3. Drink things other than water
Water is great, and everyone needs it, but drinking just water throughout the day may impact the electrolytes and nutrients that your body absorbs. I met with a nutritionist during my team’s training and testing camp at the NYU Langone hospital, and she recommended drinking not only sports drink but additionally to try and drink juice before or after workouts. Personally, I’ve found that apple juice before workouts helps to hold off the bonk and also tastes great.
4. Drink water before bed
As part of recovery, which I believe is just as important as training, I try to drink at least a liter of water within about 30 minutes of going to bed. Living in Utah’s dry climate makes my body burn through water super quickly, and I find that if I’m able to wake up in the
morning feeling hydrated, that helps me the next day to beat dehydration before it starts. It can be annoying to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but that’s a small price to pay for waking up hydrated.
As I said, I am certainly no nutritionist, but training in a dry, hot climate has made me realize the importance of hydration. Not only does proper hydration enable you to train better, but it is also super important for just feeling good throughout the day. On days where I don’t drink enough water, I get tired, have headaches, and just feel under-recovered. I am a super sweaty guy and know that I lose a lot of water during training, but I try to replenish my water-loss from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. Hope some of these tips help!
Stay hydrated, Jared Shumate