Now there is warm weather training and then there is just being daft! It’s not often Britain gets a heatwave, but when it does we seem to sit out in it, covered in cooking oil, burning ourselves. Well some of us do. Others who are being dedicated to their training think, excellent! Athletes do it so it must be good for me!
Training in a heatwave is not a good idea. It really isn’t going to harm your training programmes to take a few days off, or to try something indoors. All too often I see people in this country out running in the mid day heat because they are too scared to miss a session, or think it will aid their training.
Training in very hot weather you are unaccustomed to can lead to many problems. Commonly cramp, headaches, dehydration, and pulled muscles. This isn’t to say all people suffer in this weather. Athletes such as sprinters, enjoy this weather and actually thrive and improve their training. However, they still wouldn’t train in a heatwave if their body is not used to it.
It you are determined to train, make sure you get up extra early, or save it till after 8pm. Hats are essential, as is water proof sun cream. Even at those times of day. Blisters are more likely, so remember to use talc inside your socks to try and prevent them. Also Vaseline in areas that rub such as inner thighs and under arms is also a good idea. Remember to take water, drink plenty and try and find routes that are in the shade. This weather never lasts long in this country so taking a few days off until things get back to normal isn’t going to hurt.
So, we are all focused on our training, it’s going really well… Then boredom kicks in!
It happens to us all. No matter what your training for, it happens to most people about a month to six weeks after you start. Don’t worry, this is totally normal, it’s why gyms are packed in January, and then by mid February they are empty again. People start to realise how much time training takes, and how other things in your life, that you miss doing, have taken a back seat.
This is where changing your training around, or cross training becomes important. Firstly it’s always helpful to pick an event or sport that fits into your routine. For instance, there is no point taking up squash if the nearest court is 45 minutes away – your interest will dwindle very quickly. Secondly as soon as you feel you’re getting bored change your routine. So, find a different friend to train with, or change your routes or even try a different activity for a while. This change doesn’t have to be similar to your chosen sport, it could be something totally different. But what it will do is keep you fit and active so that when your ready to go back to your training plan, you will do it with the enjoyment you started out with originally.
And remember, your training plan needs to be flexible. Don’t worry about missing sessions, or altering something someone has given you. Everybody works differently so nobody’s training should be the same.
So, last week I gave you a few reasons to train in the rain. The rain has now quickly been replaced by lovely sunshine. Which, whilst lovely, brings its own set of issues with it.
Dehydration whilst running is the main cause of a poor performance. It’s as important as all of those speed, interval and core sessions and you will need to practice taking on board fluids and gels before your race day.Whilst some people swear by jelly beans, for others it makes them sick. Some people love gels, but different brands will affect people differently. Others swear by isotonic drinks or salt tablets. All of these will affect everybody differently which is why it’s important to try them to see which works best for you.
Through proper hydration you can still run well, but as soon as you dehydrate you will slow, your legs become tired and cramp, and eventually your head will spin. However, it’s also important not to over hydrate. Hyperhydration can cause the same effects as well as swelling of the brain. This is why it’s important to practice with whichever method you have chosen.
A good way to estimate it is you need 1 litre of fluid to replace every kilo lost during a training session. Once you have worked out this, you will know exactly how much to drink.
So, we’ve picked an event to compete in, Decided to do it for charity to make sure we do it, but some days we still need motivation! As we are all living in Britain, the weather is unpredictable at the best of times, and the ‘it might rain, so I’m not going training’ is an excuse we all use, including myself.
Here are my top six reasons why training in the rain may prove useful!
- You won’t meet as many people, dogs, horses, cars etc. This is great as it means you won’t have to stop quite so many times to let them pass!
- You will train faster to get it done quicker as you will want to get home. Make these sessions your speed sessions as the motivation of a nice hot shower when you get back is more than enough to increase that pace.
- You will warm up properly so less likely to injure yourself. On hot days we are all guilty of going straight out and starting quickly because we are already hot. We might be hot but our muscles aren’t! So on those miserable days when we warm up correctly because we have to we are less likely to get injured.
- You won’t get as dehydrated on the rainy days which is great for your performance as dehydration can actually decrease your performance by 10%
- 5. If it’s raining on the day of your race you don’t have a choice about getting wet. It makes these day good experience and good race preparation.
- Hot chocolate and biscuits at end of the session are more than a welcome and earned necessity