This week we can’t not talk about the heat wave that is gripping the European continent and sending temperatures soaring past 100 Fahrenheit. It’s an understatement to say that training in this weather is, shall we say, challenging.
There are plenty of online articles for you to scroll through with the same advice: hydrate, hydrate and hydrate some more. Runners are changing their usual habits by getting up at dawn to fit their training sessions in during the cooler morning hours . Others wait until dusk, but having to add in a humidity factor that you can cut with a knife. The one mistake everybody seems to be committing is in not lowering their performance expectation.
This first month of summer heat has a profound physiological effect and it takes time to adapt. Fundamentally you just have to know that your times will be slower and that this is perfectly normal.
What Betina’s going to do: Betina Habuda lives in Paris, France, which is one of the European cities with the highest temperatures this week. Thank goodness Betina is a morning runner! She is still running three times a week but next week will need to shift to four for her Venicemarathon preparation. She’s a good swimmer and participates in triathlons so I’m going to encourage her to substitute a swim session for one of her runs if she feels too hot. It’s still early in her marathon preparation and going a little off plan won’t effect her race four months from now.
What you can do: Lower your training and performance expectations during the summer months. While your body adapts to the heat (it can take up to a month for that to happen), don’t worry about speed or even distance. Your main focus needs to be on adaption and recovery. Recovery is probably even more important after you’ve put yourself through a running sauna. But everybody is saying: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!