I’ve always hated running in hot weather. I sweat a lot and running in the heat forces me to slow down. Recently, I’ve been purposely trying to run during the hottest parts of the day. I’m trying to become acclimated to the heat, rather than avoid it.
Recent research has shown that not only does training in the heat help you run faster races in hot weather, it also can also help you run faster in cold weather.
Researchers at the University of Oregon conducted exercise tests on 12 highly trained cyclists — 10 males and two females — before and after a 10-day heat acclimation program in a 100 F (38 C) chamber. A control group of eight highly trained cyclists followed the same exercise regime in a cool (55 F or 13 C) environment.
The study found performance increases of approximately 7% after 10 heat acclimation workouts of 90 minutes at 50% of VO2max, a huge improvement. Heat acclimation improves the body’s ability to control body temperature, improves sweating, increases blood flow to the skin, and expands blood volume.
Do you exercise in hot weather, or do you seek out the coolest part of the day? What effect does it have on your racing? Tell me in the comments.