Beat the Heat or Power Through?

For anyone who’s on the West Coast, you’ll know first hand what I’m referring to as we’ve been in the midst of a mega heat wave for the past week.

Should you simply mind over matter it, or err on the side of caution and skip training in the heat?

Several factors are worth considering:

  • Have you already been acclimating yourself to heat training?
  • Do you have an event coming up that will be held in a hot climate?
  • How have you handled the heat in the past?
  • Can you make a ‘Plan B’ in the event things get too hot and you need to cut the workout short?

If you’re someone who does not handle the heat well, or can easily get your training in earlier on the day or even indoors, then it may be the smarter thing to do.

On the flip side, if  you’re fit and healthy and you’re about to race an Ironman or marathon in the heat, then you need to be the best judge of whether it’s a good training and test day versus simply a foolish idea.   Speaking for myself as an endurance athlete, I will admit it can be a fine line and I’ve definitely gone too close to crossing it in terms of always approaching my own training from the smartest perspective on occasion.

If you are going to go for it, make sure to strategize ways for keeping as cool as possible, as hydrated as possible, staying on top of fueling and  replacing your electrolytes sufficiently.  Being remiss about any of those considerations can put you in the hot seat, literally, and in a dangerous way. 

In addition, stay tuned in to how your body is feeling.  If you start feeling thirsty, you’re already  beginning to get dehydrated.  If  you’re dizzy or getting the chills, that’s another warning sign that you’re better off turning back early and calling it a day, even if it means cutting your long workout a bit short.

Heat exhausting and heat stroke are not things we should take lightly and consider powering through.

Train smart, train Paleo… and have fun!