Ugh, here comes the summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sun and warmth but I can’t bear the humidity. I hate being sweaty before I even reach the office, and the subway in New York City is unbearable. Add to that the extra hassle of hydrating and my pale Irish skin not being able to handle the intensity of the summer sun.
I’m not the biggest summer fan. Give me 12 months of Spring and Fall/Autumn any day (year!).
But, we have to adapt to what we’re given, and he who adapts best wins the race, or at least sustains their training for longer.
Here are seven tips to stay cool in the summer heat:
1) Prepare from the moment you get up. Drink plenty of water first thing in the morning so you start the day hydrated. Get some electrolytes on board pre-exercise. Just like eating, drinking plenty is an important part of breakfast. I keep a water bottle by my bed and drink it is as I get out of bed.
2) Exercise early in the morning before it gets hot. I find this gives me energy for the day. You can also work out later at night when it is also cool, but bear in mind recovery time, nutrition and sleep. Stay out of the midday sun!
3) Another option is to work out indoors, in air conditioning out of the heat.
4) No cotton. No, no, no! Wear dry-fit gear that helps wick sweat away from the body.
5) Freeze your water bottles overnight. As they melt they will provide ice-cold refreshing water! I dare you to pour some over your head – it’ll keep you alert & sharp!
6) Cold showers help regulate your body temperature as well as helping your body recovery after exercise. I love them in the morning to wake me up and I love them after a workout to help me cool down.
7) Protect yourself from the sun. Wear a vented cap and glasses to help keep the sun off but also keep the air flowing and allow heat to escape. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
While the heat sucks and makes each practice tougher, we need to keep training through the tough conditions that we may encounter during a race. With a bit of planning you can manage the heat and minimize the effect on your body.