The summer months are upon us. This affects our lives in many ways. The beaches are crowded and beautiful. School is out, and the nights are hot. Many of our best memories in life are made during the summer months, when snow shovels and boots are traded in for swimming trunks and sunscreen. However, you are an athlete. You enjoy the summer, but you also understand that your training isn’t a seasonal thing, practiced only when convenient. Like the postman, you’re delivering that tough workout, and neither rain not sleet not 95 degree summers of heat and lightening will stop you. If you’re not taking additional precautions to training in the summer heat, you might find yourself in very bad shape. Let’s check out some tips for smarter training in the summer.
During the summer months, there is often a huge disparity in temperature from the early morning to the 11 am to 3pm window, then the day is at its hottest. Training early morning or late evening will give your body the same gains in terms of strength, stamina and endurance, with far less damage from the extreme heat. Structure your day to allow for early or late training, and try to stay indoors, or at the very least less active, during the hottest hours of the day.
By the time you feel thirsty, you are already facing dehydration. By the time you are looking for a bottle of water, your body already needed one long before. Bring water with you when training outdoors. Drink frequently, even if you aren’t feeling thirsty yet. Sports drinks with electrolytes are very useful in small sizes, for replenishing lost nutrients, but plain ol’ water should be the foundation for your hydration process when training in summer.
Sure, you wear your SPF40 when you’re going to the beach. But do you wear it when going for a run? Many athletes don’t even think about the brief yet consistent exposure to the sunlight they see on a regular basis when training. Remember, even if the sun isn’t shining, you are still at risk for sunburn, whether you’re flipping tires, knocking out 40 yard sprints, or just going for a late afternoon jog.
Use your apps
These days there is an app for just about everything on our smart phones. Use them to your advantage! Traffic apps can help you plan a timely arrival to your training destination. Weather apps will tell you if lightning and summer thunderstorms are sneaking up on you. Even allergy apps can tell you when pollen, dust and ragweed are at a high, for those with an allergenic propensity. Tracking calories, hydration, and distance traveled, as well as many more uses, are available in your device’s application store.
Yes, that all-black training hoodie does look intense. But is it going to help with sweat evaporation? Will it reflect heat? Or will it trap the heat and raise your body temperature? Dress smart and select clothing that is light, loose, and lighter colors in order to diffuse the impact of the elements as much as possible when training outdoors in the summer months.