The weather is heating up, and it’s time to start actively training for the summer race season. Whether your race calendar is stacked with trail runs, road races, triathlons, or cycling events, getting your body in peak condition will not only ensure that you survive the summer race season, but thrive in it. Here are our best tips for thriving during training and racing this season.
This might seem obvious, but for many athletes, drinking enough water for their training regimen is harder than you’d think. The average adult needs around eight cups of water per day. This is a rough estimate, as some people will be fine with less water and some people will need more. Athletes who are training for a race season and exercising in the heat will likely need more fluids throughout the day.
Excessive sweating results in a depletion of electrolytes, which can be replenished with sodium supplements or sports drinks such as Gatorade. If you’re one of those people who can’t stomach drinking large quantities of water, there are a lot of tricks out there to help stay hydrated. Try adding sliced fruit or a flavor packet to your water, or setting a timer to drink a certain amount of water every few hours. Making it a point to drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up and right before bed ensures you’ll get those extra ounces without having to try too hard.
Get Enough Rest
Rest is critical for everyone, but it can have a real impact on training and race performance for athletes. Maintaining a pattern of quality sleep is more important than just getting enough sleep the night before a race—try to go to bed around the same time every night and wake up around the same time every morning—yes, even on weekends.
As far as quality sleep goes, choose bedding that works with you. Bedding made with 37.5 Technology is continuously adjusting to help maintain your optimal temperature for sleeping. The materials help evaporate sweat and keep you in a deeper sleep throughout the night. Activcor mattresses and Pottery Barn’s Sleepsmart line are two great options that use the technology to capture and remove moisture vapor as you sleep.
Gear Up Correctly for Training in Heat
What you wear can make a big difference when training in the heat. Keeping your body at its ideal core temperature will help you perform at your top level throughout the season. Clothing made with 37.5 Technology has active particles embedded into the fabric that work to mitigate the effects of heat and humidity. The technology removes sweat as a vapor before it has a chance to turn into liquid, helping keep your body at the optimal core temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius.
Choosing clothing built with this technology will keep you cool longer and aid in maintaining that optimal temperature. The Salomon S/Lab Sense Tee, Katusha Superlight Jersey, or Mission Workshop Base Layer – SS Crew are all good choices to train hard (and race) in throughout the hottest months of the year.
Train Smarter as the Weather Heats Up
Training smarter doesn’t always mean training harder. At the beginning of the season, evaluate your goals. As the season heats up, consider how your body is reacting to the intensifying heat, and don’t feel like you need to stick to your mileage or intensity goals for each session. Plan your outdoor runs and workouts around the weather. Do your workouts early in the morning or in the evening. There is only so much your body can handle in the heat, and as the temperature soars, a lunchtime run on blacktop probably isn’t the smartest choice.
It’s also important to note that hotter training sessions will feel harder than training in moderate temperatures, and your times might be slower. Don’t get discouraged—your body is working just as hard even if the stopwatch says otherwise. Gauge your training session based on the effort expounded as opposed to your pace.
On Race Day
If the forecast shows a blazing hot race day, never fear. You’re ready for this. Wear the clothes that will help optimize your body’s microclimate, start hydrating early, and be proactive with replenishing electrolytes lost through sweat. Listen to your body throughout the race, and know that you’ve been training in the heat, and you can handle whatever the day throws at you.
Written by Matcha for 37.5 and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image provided by Rob Wingate