Training and competition tips for hot days

22. June 2022

The weather is getting more and more extreme. We have compiled the most important tips for training and competition.

TIPS FOR TRAINING

  • Choose the ideal time of training
    Be flexible and break habits. For example, run early in the morning when the day awakes and the sun is not yet high. Or start your training unit as late as possible when it will slowly get cooler again. However, try to avoid exposure to the blazing sun if possible.
  • Look for the shade
    If you are not able to switch to the morning or evening , do your training preferably in the shade. Forests are particularly suitable for this. Not only because they provide shade, but also because the trees secrete moisture. The pleasant climate has a motivating effect and the change of scenery does a lot of good. By the way: those who don’t have a forest nearby can make their way there by bike. Which already brings us to the next tip:
  • Switch to alternative forms of training
    Happy is he who can incorporate alternative types of sports into his training. When cycling, the airflow keeps you cool and when swimming, the cool water. It quite clearly makes a lot of sense to not only practice one sport, but to feel at home with several types of sports. This means you can easily switch if the worst comes to the worst.
  • Reduce intensity
    You should always adapt your intensity to the conditions. Since the body requires more effort to cool down in hot temperatures, you cannot train at the same intensity. It is vital to bear this in mind when challenging your running or cycling speed.
  • Keep your fluid balance in check
    The higher temperatures generally mean that we sweat more and thus lose fluids. If we are also doing sports, then the loss can be really big. It is therefore all the more important that we drink regularly throughout the day.
    It is worthwhile carrying an electrolyte drink with you when doing sports. This will guarantee that your fluid balance is reasonably okay in the evening.
  • Protect your skin and eyes
    Those who expose their skin should always wear sunscreen. There are now a wide variety of products that have been designed for sports and provide good protection. You should also protect the eyes to prevent macular degeneration (AMD).
  • Cool your body
    When it is hot, the body temperature rises continuously. Those who take cooling measures before running can delay the rise. It also helps if you make your shirt and hair wet before the run as well as en route.

TIPS FOR THE COMPETITION

  • Get used to the heat
    Those taking part in a competition in the summer should complete one or the other training unit at the same point in time, such as when the race starts. Only in this way can the body get used to the extreme conditions.
  • Protect your body also during your race
    It’s easy to forget sun protection at a competition. This results in magnificent sunburn, not to mention a drop in performance during the race, because additional water is drawn out of the body.
  • Keep an eye on your fluid balance
    In a competition we lose huge amounts of fluids due to the higher intensity. It is practically impossible to cover this loss. We should, however, try ro keep the deficit to a "healthy" measure so that it doesn’t result in a drop in performance. In concrete terms, this means that you should already be drinking regularly before the competition and from the first refreshment station on during the race. Note: You should not drink more than 0.25 litres every quarter of an hour.
  • Adapt intensity
    There is an ideal temperature range in which our body neither has to work to cool us down nor warm us up. If the temperature deviates from this, we need this energy which will then be unavailable to us if we want to run, swim, or cycle faster. This means that we must always adapt our intensity to the external conditions. In addition to this we should also:
  • Select our clothes according to the temperature
    In extreme temperatures we should choose our clothing accordingly. Clothes that are too warm will also raise the core body temperature, which can have very negative consequences. Here you will find tips for the right clothing depending on the temperature and sport: Clothing tips
  • Stay in the shade before the start
    Those who have a hot race ahead of them should do everything possible to avoid the heat before the kick-off. Stay in the shade or in a particularly cool place!
  • Cool your body before the race
    Those who manage to keep the core body temperature as low as possible can achieve a higher intensity for longer. It helps if you can use every opportunity to pour water over your head or tackle the race "cool".
Foto: iStock.com/lzf