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Summer training tips

With summer just beginning we tend to become more active and with longer days, the temperature rising and, if you live in the northern states, so too the humidity which can have a great impact on your day to day health and performance.

In this article I wanted to share a few considerations for optimising your training in the heat.

1. The major factor to consider is obviously the heat and humidity. Training in hot conditions can lead to an elevated heart rate of 10 beats or more and higher physiological demand for the same perceived exertion or effort. This is due to the fact the heart is working harder to pump blood to the working muscles and to the skin, which is our body’s main cooling mechanism. Therefore if you train to heart rate zones you will need to be aware of this and adjust your intensity appropriately. 

2. The second factor is hydration. Excessive exposure to hot and humid conditions can lead to dehydration, dizziness, cramps, heat exhaustion and in extreme cases heat stroke. Dehydration of just 1-2% of body weight can affect exercise performance due to reduced blood volume and an elevated core body temperature. It is therefore essential to ensure you are hydrating appropriately before, during and after training. If you are training early in the morning consume a large glass of water with a pinch of salt and lemon juice before heading out the door. Consume sports drinks/ electrolytes as required during sessions and rehydrate afterwards and continually throughout the day to ensure you are well hydrated prior to your next session. If you have a high sweat rate consider adding a pinch of salt to your water throughout the day.

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3. If possible train early out of the heat of the day, wear light breathable clothing and it might be appropriate to train indoors or in shaded cooler areas such as trails, air conditioned facilities or the pool. You may need to be flexible to adjust session times and/ or locations depending on the weather.

4. Allow yourself some time to stretch and cool down and rehydrate post session. This is a perfect time to spend 5-10min on some mobility practice as your body is warmed you will be able to move through a greater range of movement and this can also help with recovery and reducing stress and injury. 

Finally you might like to try this honey-lemon sports drink that I have been using successfully for the last few months. Its quick and easy to make, natural and you can adjust it according to your own taste.

·       1-2 Tbsp honey (20-40g carbohydrate)

·       ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt

·       Lemon/ Lime juice

Mix the honey and salt in a glass of warm water. Add to your drink bottle and fill with cold water. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice and leave in the fridge overnight ready to go.

***Full recipe adapted from this website

I hope these tips will help you to train effectively this summer. For any questions, as always just send me an email to get in touch.


Aaron Ashdown