Summer and training in hot weather
Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Here are a few tips for training in hot weather, reposting some of them from a similar post from last year. If you've got some more, comment below!
respect the conditions
There is no shame in skipping or postponing training sessions due to environmental factors like heat and air quality. It doesn’t make you less ‘tough’, and it doesn’t mean you’re any less dedicated to your training. Remember, etre et durer, to be and to last. Extreme hot weather is not an obstacle to overcome; it’s a danger to respect.
Start earlier, or later
Avoid training in the hottest parts of the day. Move your training sessions to earlier in the morning or later in the evening.
SLIP SLOP SLAP SEEK SLIDE
- Apologies to non-Australians who may be reading this, I'm sure it's very confusing. It's part of a public health campaign that any school kid in Australia can parrot at you. (Basically it means slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek out shade, slide on sunglasses.)
- Always be sun smart - use sunscreen, wear sunglasses and a hat. Avoid exposing too much skin to sun damage (keep your t-shirt on, at least in the middle of the day!), and seek out shade when you can.
- What you wear can really help keep you cool. Aim for light, loose fitting clothes, and natural fibres like cotton.
Stay hydrated. In these conditions, you may need to carry more water than you normally would. Make a mental note of the drinking fountains in or close to your training areas.
A good trick is to freeze a second bottle of water and throw it in your bag. If you're out for a few hours, you'll have a nice cold drink ready for when you've finished your first bottle.
Sip, don't gulp, and don't over do it. There's no need to slam down a litre of water at a time, or to drink past satiation.
Consider using products like hydrolyte and gastrolyte, but avoid ones like Gatorade or other sugary 'sports' drinks.
Cold showers and ice baths
I do tend to suggest these for everything and all the time. But in summer, they are actually comforting! If you're feeling the heat, the quickest way to cool down is with water.
If you're new to ice baths or cold shower, start with cool water. You can always work up to cold or icy if that appeals to you.
Stay informed and be aware
- Always make sure you have your phone on you when training. Use it regularly to check for changes in the local conditions, or for any emergent dangers, and to call for help if need be. Download the VicEmergency app, our use the website - http://emergency.vic.gov.au/
- Make sure you know the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and what to do in each case. When out training with others, keep an eye out for these symptoms. If you don’t already, consider carrying an instant ice pack in your first aid kit. As you can see from the graphic below, you should always be carrying water for the treatment of both.
FIRE DANGER and air quality
(Please note, this is only intended for people intending to train and exercise outdoors. Information regarding fire danger and emergency plans for people who live in high risk area can be found here.)
- Know the fire danger ratings and what they mean.
- If you aim to be out training in bush or rural areas, and even in the suburbs, always make yourself aware of the local fire danger ratings. Don’t assume that urban areas are safe.
- Don’t assume you’re safe in high risk areas just because you can’t see or hear fire. Bushfires can travel and change direction at astonishing speed, and even just the radiant heat from bushfires can be dangerous, or fatal. Ember attacks and spot fires can occur up to 20 kilometres ahead of the fire front. On days of Code Red/ Catastrophic or Extreme Fire Danger, do not travel into higher risk areas, and consider leaving early in the day if you live in those areas.
- Similarly, check on air quality and smoke levels. If the air quality is very poor or hazardous, avoid training in that area. There may well be days when you should avoid training outside at all. In that case, you could go to a local gym, or work on flexibility and mobility indoors.
- If your maximum visibility is 1.5 kilometres or less, your air quality is in the hazardous level, and you need to limit your time outdoors, limit exercise and follow any treatment plans.
- Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call Triple Zero (000). If you have concerns about your health you should seek medical advice or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
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