Can you handle the heat?

Summer is finally here, but for some of us, the warm humid weather means more time on the patio.  However, this is a great time to take advantage of a new season/stimulus to help you reach a new level of fitness in for the fall.  Of course, I approve of the odd patio seating for a ‘recovery drink’.

Some claim training in warm weather may lead to similar benefits as altitude training.  Also, warm weather training increases our body’s efficiency at cooling itself, which may help when racing in the cooler fall race season. This is in addition to the psychological benefit of making the cooler fall feel more comfortable.

Here are some findings from a research done on trained cyclists

rejean running in the heat on the sand


Enter my bro-science and tips! I spent three months in Florida during the winter of 2012, which gave me plenty of time to experiment and figure out what worked best for me:


  1. Pace: This is a big one. For both your easy runs and workouts, your pace will feel harder, so slow down. Your body does not know pace, just effort.
  2. Hydration: Yes, you all know this, but one thing I find helped me was having 1 litre a day of water that had some electrolytes mixed in it. Also adding extra salt to your diet may help.
  3. Time of day: Typically the shortest of my easy runs would end up being in the warmest time of day to experiment with maybe getting more of the benefit from the heat (I was doing doubles most days at the time). I found that as long as I kept the pace very easy, and hydrated before and after I was fine to recover from them. For my hard sessions I did them very early morning as I found it would take me way longer to recover from then if I had done them the middle of the day. If you do your workout in the warmest part of the day it is very easy to over do it and not hit the system the workout was intended for.
  4. Type of workouts: Some of us like to hide behind volume and long slow repeats. But summer time can be the perfect time to work on speed before starting your half / marathon build up. Run some short fast repeats with longer recovery in between to keep that speed up.

Follow these tips and there is no reason why you can’t enjoy the benefits of warm weather training, and a nice patio session!

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