Training HOT

Global warming is in full force this year. These last few weeks in Palo Alto have been in the 90s, which is really unusual as Palo Alto tends to be much cooler than San Jose. This morning, I got to Rancho San Antonio by 830a and it was already 82 degrees by my car’s thermometer. By the time I finished my run 1.5 hours later, it was showing 88!
In years past, I have avoided training in hot weather. I would go do treadmill runs in air conditioned comfort, or train in the early mornings when it was cooler. I’d almost never be out midday when the temps run much higher (California weather is very much like desert weather; it can be in the 50s in the early mornings and it shoots up to the 90s midday). It was just too hard to train then.
Lately I’ve changed my opinion about training in hot weather. I’ve done 4 Ironmans and numerous smaller races. The longer the race, the more likely us racers will experience the hot temps of the midday sun and that’s where our spirit and our bodies break down in the face of heat.
With global warming playing havoc with our weather systems, I think we’ll be forced to race in overly hot conditions more and more. Acclimatization will be key.
So now I skip the comfort of air conditioned gyms and early morning cool temps in favor of training midday under the blazing sun. The more I condition my body to produce effort in those temps, the better off I will be come race day. I have already had my body shut down due to high temps and high humidity. I’m not normally a person who can function well in those conditions. But I hope that this year, by training more in hot weather, I will be better prepared for a hot race day which will still be hard, but hopefully I’ll also be able to perform in case race day is cool.
No more air conditioning in my home – I just sit and swelter in my room to help continue the acclimatization outside of training (it saves on my electric bill anyways). And I schedule around training outdoors in the middle of the day.
I love to sweat now, and enjoy the pain of forcing my body to perform when it feels like collapsing. I risk heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Nice. All in the name of Ironman.

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