Most significant championships take place in warm conditions. Hot weather is ideal for increasing attendance numbers and for power-based sports performances, but not so great for endurance athletes.
Although you may not aim to compete at a championship level, you can still take an example out of the techniques used by top-class athletes to improve performances.
If you compete in hot conditions, offer yourself opportunities to perform at your best by following some of the simple hints listed in the following article. We'll cover the essential aspects, from preparation to hydration to electrolyte replenishment.
TIPS TO OPTIMISE SPORTS PERFORMANCE IN THE HEAT
We should probably start by mentioning the obvious risks you run when performing in hot weather conditions.
If you compete in the heat, you will lose more fluid than during cooler months. When you lose over 2% of your fluids, you'll experience increased fatigue, reduced endurance, reduced motor skills and a decline in motivation. Research also indicates an increase in the heart rate by 3-5% for every 1% dehydration.
We have some tips, tricks, and products to recommend to avoid this.
Check the weather forecast!
Analysing the average event conditions of past years can help you understand what you are presumably going to face. Take into consideration the numerous aspects that impact body temperature and how well you will cope with the heat. These aspects include humidity, direct sunlight, clothing, road surfaces, wind speed and expected outside temperatures.
Outdoor temperatures are generally measured in the shade, so keep in mind that the actual heat perception can significantly change depending on your position and your resistance threshold.
Adjust your pace to the conditions.
To remain strong during the later stages of the competition in the heat, a piece of good advice is to run within your limits in the early stage. Heat is accumulative and can highly affect your "rhythm", so always be conservative and dose your energy output properly no matter how fit you are.
Keep your fluids and electrolytes up
Drinks with electrolytes such as sodium and magnesium are a crucially beneficial choice over water, particularly in events lasting more than 90 minutes. Drinking just to quench thirst is advised during events below 90 minutes in length, in low-intensity training sessions, and in cooler days of the year.
But it's another story in long-lasting competitions. Enter a race well hydrated and do your best to remain as hydrated as possible during a race. We can recommend some Hammer Nutrition Products dedicated to electrolyte replenishment, and further hints on the electrolytes subject.
Get accustomed to the predicted weather conditions
A crucial strategy to adopt is to train in the heat to get used to the adverse effect. In other words, there is no better way to prepare for heat conditions than experiencing similar efforts in advance. Commence heat-adaptation training two weeks before the competition to acclimate your body to heat stress.
Adhere to a hydration plan
Tailoring a plan to stay hydrated should take place long before the target event.
Looking after hydration during competition is pivotal in hot conditions, and creating a hydration plan can make the difference. Competing in a warm environment will cause tremendous sweating, leading to progressive dehydration and disrupting performance and health.
That's why we encourage athletes to stick to a plan. Hydration needs differ from person to person, but 13,7 cl of water per 450 g of body weight, in addition to the average half a litre per hour you should drink during exercise, can be considered a good rule of thumb.
Everyone's habits will differ, but it is essential to take on fluids before, during and after exercise. Sports drinks should definitely include a balanced blend of sodium chloride, potassium, calcium, and magnesium for hot-weather training and competition to ensure all body systems' proper functions. Endurolytes is here precisely for this purpose.
Athletes can undertake various measures to impact their performance, but altering weather conditions is beyond even the most talented athlete. If you're competing in an event during hot weather, embarking on some of the simple strategies listed above could assist your preparation and performance.