Beating the Heat: Tips for Endurance Athletes In Warm Climates

Adjust Your Intensity With the Temperature

High temperatures will always affect the quality of a workout or race. Athletes will be slower regardless of their hydration tactics, says Loyola University's Jonathan Dugas.

"On a very hot day no amount of drinking is going to change the fact that you're going to go slower," Dugas says. "You can drink up to 100 percent of your body mass and it won't keep you from running slower."

To accommodate the realities of increased temperatures, begin activities at a slower pace, carefully monitor your body and adjust accordingly.

More: 30 Ways to Become a Healthier Triathlete

Have an Acclimatization Strategy

As temperatures rise, performance decreases. With an effective heat acclimatization plan, however, you can reduce the negative impact that heat has on athletic performance. With the proper amount of time, generally 7 to 14 days, athletes can gradually acclimate to higher temperatures.

Ease into to your workouts, building duration and intensity as your body adapts to the climate. Be sure to hydrate well during and after exercise. You can also mimic higher temperatures while training indoors. For example, perform trainer or treadmill workouts with added clothing or increased indoor temperatures.

Know Your Boundaries

Fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headache, tingly skin, muscle cramping and confusion are all signs that you may be at risk for heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If you experience any of these symptoms while training or racing, take appropriate and immediate steps to cool the body. These steps range from easing the intensity to seeking immediate medical attention.

More: 9 Race-Week Nutrition Tips for Triathletes

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About the Author

Karen Buxton

Karen Buxton is Level-III USA Triathlon certified coach with over 25 years of coaching experience and author of The Triathlete's Guide to Off-Season Training. Coach Buxton works with athletes of all abilities online and in person. Find out more about Coach Buxton at www.coachbuxton.com or contact her at karen@coachbuxton.com and take the next step towards targeted training for maximum benefits.
Karen Buxton is Level-III USA Triathlon certified coach with over 25 years of coaching experience and author of The Triathlete's Guide to Off-Season Training. Coach Buxton works with athletes of all abilities online and in person. Find out more about Coach Buxton at www.coachbuxton.com or contact her at karen@coachbuxton.com and take the next step towards targeted training for maximum benefits.

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