With the Marabana just a few months away, we are aware that preparation for a summer marathon is very tricky, which is why we will give you some advice to train in hot weather conditions and make your training sessions over the next few weeks more bearable.
Your body adjusts to heat gradually. If you have already been training on sunny days this spring, your body will have started to get used to the heat and it will be easier to adapt to high temperatures. Avoid the hottest hours in the day (midday is the worst option), while early morning or the evening are more advisable. Places with shade such as woods if you are near one, or parks with areas out of the sun are the best options to avoid direct contact with the sun’s rays.
Before starting, drink some liquid and continue to drink through the day when you are not training. Your body needs to be completely hydrated to take on the effort before going outside. It is also essential to drink during a training session, and particularly before you start to feel thirsty. Indeed, if you do long training runs or races, your body will lose minerals as well as water, so you need to offset this loss of electrolytes to keep your strength up by taking a sports drink (with 50 grams per litre of carbohydrates).
Clothing is also a key factor. Choose light, breathable and loose-fitting materials, which will help to evaporate the heat and allow your body to sweat sufficiently. Wear a cap to keep the sun’s rays off your head. It should also allow your body heat to escape through your head (perspiration). Also apply solar protector on the parts of your body that are most exposed, such as arms, legs, face, etc., to avoid sunburn.
It is also important to mark out a training programme that is shorter than the one you use in the winter. Heat makes muscles warm up quicker, so do not do excessively long runs and ‘listen’ to your body to get a feel of how it is functioning.
Nobody knows your body better than you, so don’t overestimate your ability and listen to your body. Heat and humidity are the main factors in increases in body temperature. The main symptoms are disorientation, excessive tiredness, headaches, and nauseas… At the first sign of heatstroke, stop! There are many days left on which you can train.
Finally, when you finish your training session, take a shower, but not immediately. Let your body temperature drop gradually… that will be exactly the right time to take that shower.