As an athlete, why am I slower on a hotter day?

Advertisement
Advertisement
Heat acclimation is the reason why. Often athletes consider this when traveling to a race in a warmer climate than they are accustomed to, but the same principles of heat acclimation hold true in your own back yard! It takes up to 14 days to fully acclimate to increased ambient temperatures, so give yourself some time to get used to the 40 degree increase in temperature. What you are patiently waiting for in those 14 days is your body to thermoregulate. This is a fancy way of saying sweat more and sweat often. This will help you to keep your core body temperature lower while you are training. Ultimately this means that your blood flow can go to your working muscles to deliver oxygen, as opposed to your skin to keep you cool. While you can’t speed up the acclimation process, you can hinder it by neglecting to take in enough water or electrolytes. Allowing yourself to become dehydrated also increases the risk of heat illness. A simple way to watch that you are not getting too dehydrated is to weigh yourself before and after your workouts. A 2-3% reduction in body weight can result in as much as 10% decrease in performance. No wonder you aren’t feeling fast out there if you aren’t guzzling down those bottles! While you may have suffered like a dog out there last summer, loss of heat acclimation takes place in 18-28 days! The good news is that those with higher VO2max (>60 ml.kg-1.min-1) are reported to acclimate quicker to the heat and lose their acclimation adaptations slower than those with lower VO2max levels (<40 ml.kg-1.min-1). So even when it isn’t beach weather outside, you can still be working hard to offset the slowdown when the sun starts blazing.

Continue Learning about Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Types Of Exercise

Exercise provides many health benefits - from fitness to increased physical and mental energy. In order to prepare yourself for a exercise routine, you need to research which exercise is right for you and how to fit a new exercise ...

e program into your daily schedule.
More

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.