Commencing Heat Acclimation Phase

Posted on February 16, 2011


As I start my next four week training block I’m going to be adding in a new element to my training. If you track my results from 2010, or from any previous year for that matter, one pattern that emerges is that I have a very hard time racing in hot and humid conditions. Last year I suffered meltdowns in the heat in Australia, the Netherlands, Alabama, and twice in Mexico. I get stomach cramping and have trouble digesting calories, I get dizzy and lightheaded, and the bottom line is my performance suffers big time. As a 31-32 minute 10k runner off the bike I end up running in the realm of 35-38. In order to try to break this pattern my coach is having me do an extra long heat acclimation phase. For the next four weeks, I’ll select one workout per day and wear a ton of extra clothing to simulate uber-hot conditions. I’ll vary the type of workout everyday — some days it will be my quality workout, others it will be an aerobic or recovery workout. If I do this correctly, my body should adapt to the heat and I should start seeing my performances fall in line with what I’m capable of in mild conditions. “As a result of our getting used to the heat, the volume of plasma in the blood increases, sweating begins earlier and is much heavier, and the heart adapts, pumping blood to the skin’s surface faster, thereby releasing heat through convection cooling (NY Times)”. The main idea is that if I suffer a little bit (or a lot) everyday during training, I’ll suffer less on race day. It will be a little over one month before I can test all of this out at the Santiago, Chile Pan-American Cup.

Overdressing for my 2.5 hr ride today added 10 BPM to my average HR

Posted in: Training