Cool tips for hot days

Valentin Belz 14. June 2018

For a long time, we’ve been yearning for warmer temperatures and longer days. Now that they are here, our sports activities are faced with a new challenge: the heat is taking its toll and is consequently impacting our training pace.

No wonder! Your body first needs to get used to the high temperatures, which usually takes around five to ten days. Spending time in the heat alone – in the sauna, for example – is not enough. It needs sports activities and an associated increase in the core body temperature. 

As the body adapts, it not only starts producing sweat earlier, but the sweat rate generally increases. As a result, the sweat becomes less salty, which improves evaporation from the skin and thus cools the body more effectively. When you train in the heat, the endocrine and cardiovascular systems also adapt at the same time, which ultimately enables you to gradually increase your training pace and feel better again.

Here’s how to stay cool during training and a competition 

To ensure you still enjoy training in soaring temperatures and can achieve your goals, follow our tips:

  • Gradually get acclimated to the higher temperatures: don’t immediately do your entire training unit in the blazing sun, but acclimate gradually, for example, by choosing a route where you mainly run in the shade and are only directly exposed to the sun for a few sections.
  • Reduce the pace: so long as your body is not accustomed to the heat, slow down and maintain the same exertion level. Those using a heart rate monitor should try to keep the same frequency as in cooler temperatures.
  • Train in the morning or evening: the best time to do your training is when the thermometer is not yet / no longer showing the highest temperature levels.
  • Ensure you have external cooling: by making your shirt and hair wet before you start running, you can delay the rise in core body temperature.
  • Alternative training: avoid the heat by doing certain units on the bike or in the swimming pool. The airflow or water will keep you pleasantly cool.

But what are your options if you are taking part in a competition where both the starting time and route are predetermined? We have also summarised the most important tips here:

  • If you are participating in a competition during the summer months, you should simulate this in training from time to time. Don’t consistently avoid the hot temperatures but deliberately start your preparatory training at an “unsuitable” time and on a sun-exposed route.
  • Stay in the shade before the race and try to keep your core body temperature as low as possible. Refrain from doing an extensive warm-up. It’s better to stay in a cool place.
  • Deliberately fill up your fluid reserves during the final 24 hours. Drink regularly throughout the day.
    Smear a sun cream suited to the sport on your exposed body parts and wear sports clothing suited to the temperature. Clothing tips
  • Don’t tie yourself to a fixed finishing time and try instead to get the maximum out of these extreme conditions by adapting your running tactics and reducing your pace.
  • Be positive, accept what cannot be changed, and make the best of the situation. Your competition will then be a success!