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How to adapt intense runs to the summer heat

The summer heat is a challenge for everyday training. This applies especially to intensive training sessions. Here it is important to keep the intensity high despite the adverse conditions in order not to lose training quality. In this article, we will show you what to keep in mind when training intensively in hot temperatures.

Effect of heat on the body

While in normal cases a large part of the heat can already be dissipated through the ambient air (e.g. airflow), heat dissipation at high temperatures must be regulated primarily through sweat. If a high air temperature is combined with high humidity, this makes heat dissipation even more difficult, which increases the risk of heat exhaustion or collapse.

Sweating

The loss of fluid through sweating has several effects on the body. It leads to a reduction in blood volume and thickening of the blood. This can affect the capacity of the heart, which in turn reduces our performance. The low pressure in the veins can affect the filling of the heart chambers and lead to a further increase in heart rate. When the body temperature rises above 39.5°C, symptoms of heat stroke may appear, such as dizziness, extreme fatigue, a decreased ability to sweat, cramps and vomiting.

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Effects on intensive training

Since the body has to work harder during high exertion to counteract rising body temperature, the effects described above are amplified during intense exercise.

In terms of training performance, this means that at high temperatures, more energy flows into cooling processes and accordingly, at the same power output (e.g. in the max pulse range), less fast times can be run than at lower temperatures.

Learn more about this here.

Tips for performing intense workouts on summer days

  1. Give your body time to adapt to the high temperatures: It usually takes about 10 days for your body to get used to heat. After this adaptation period, you can gradually increase the duration and intensity of your training. This will allow your body to reduce heart rate, lower core body temperature, and increase sweat production.
  2. Exercise in the early morning: This way you can avoid direct sunlight as well as the temperature peaks. A nice side effect is that ozone levels are still low in the early morning.
  3. Adjust your training: As explained above, the load on the body is higher at the same pace in hot weather than at low temperatures. Accordingly, you can set an intense training stimulus already at a lower pace and certainly don’t have to try to attack your 1000m PB 😉
  4. Light clothing and humidification of textiles: The advice is to wear light and bright clothes that fit loosely and allow air circulation. Dark colors should be avoided as they absorb the sun’s heat. This allows air to flow over the skin and provide a cooling effect. If you also humidify the clothes at regular intervals, you can create an effect similar to sweating and relieve your body from sweat production for a short moment.

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