There’s good and bad news about exercising in the heat. First, the bad news: when the temperature rises above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you’re going to go slower and feel worse than you will at lower temperatures. But, by gradually preparing yourself for increased temperatures and taking action from the beginning of hot weather workouts, you’ll get a welcome dose of the good news. You’ll learn how to hydrate yourself, what to wear and when and how much your body can take in the hot weather. All of this will help you recover faster and exercise better than others of your ability on hot days.
As the mercury rises above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, your body can’t get rid of the heat buildup. This causes a rise in core body temperature, leading to an early depletion of fluids through sweating. The internal temperature rise also triggers rapid dispersion of blood into the capillaries of the skin, reducing the amount of that vital fluid that is available to the exercising muscles. Just when these workhorses are being pushed to top capacity, they are receiving less oxygen and nutrients due to reduced blood flow.
To stay cool above 55 degrees Fahrenheit –
Slow Down Early – for some this will mean training with a slower group on hot day and longer distances.
Wear lighter garments and not cotton – Don’t wear cotton clothes. Sweat soaks into cotton, causing it to cling to our skin, increasing heat buildup.
Pour your water over yourself – our take advantage of the ice at the Metro DC Galloway aid stations.
Don’t wear a hat! – Hats keep your heat from being released through the best vent you have, the top of your head. Don’t cover it up.
Drink cold Water – Not only does cold water leave the stomach quicker than any type of fluid, it produces a slight physiological cooling effect.
Take a dip or Shower – On hot days you can significantly reduce heat buildup if you spend three to four minutes in a pool or cold shower every mile or two.
Don’t eat a big meal – Eating too much, particularly meals that are high in protein or fat, will put extra stress on your system when you exercise
Adjusting for the Heat – As the weather gets hotter, you must slow down your pace from the beginning; 30 seconds per mile slower for every five degree increase in temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.