Triathlon Coach on Training in the Heat

Triathlon training can be challenging in any conditions, and in an Australian summer it can be both difficult and dangerous. It’s important to take steps to stay safe and maintain your performance while training in hot weather. Triathlon Coach Melbourne Steve Davis shares some tips to help you be safe and efficient in your triathlon training in the heat.

Reduce your intensity

In heat and humidity, your heart rate is naturally elevated as your body works hard to keep you cool. This means that your pace will be noticeably slower at the same feeling of intensity. It is important to reduce your speed and/or power targets by 10-15% so that you are still training in the correct physiological zones. This is the most important aspect of training in hot weather as it will help to reduce the chance of overheating, help your body regulate your core temperature and reduce the chance of heat related medical issues such as heat stroke.

Stay hydrated

This is especially important to maintain your training efficiency in the heat, as dehydration can be a major concern. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your training sessions. You may also want to consider drinking an electrolyte-rich sports drink such as Infinit Nutrition to replace the electrolytes that you lose through sweat.

Adjust your training schedule

In the heat, it’s best to avoid training during the hottest part of the day, which is typically between 11am and 3pm. Instead, try to do your training in the early morning or late afternoon when it is considerably cooler outside.

Wear appropriate clothing

Choose lightweight, breathable clothing that will help to keep you cool and comfortable during your training sessions. Avoid wearing dark colours, which can absorb heat and make you feel even hotter.

Protect yourself from the sun

It’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. The body expends a large amount of energy on regulating your internal core temperature. If you can help to reduce your skins exposure to the sun, this will keep your body cooler. Make sure to apply 50+ SPF sports sunscreen at least 20min before you start your training. Wear a hat, shirt, sunglasses and try to train in shaded areas wherever possible.

Take breaks as needed

If you start to feel overheated or fatigued during your training, don’t be afraid to take a break. Find a shady spot to rest, drink some water, and give your body a chance to cool down. If you ever start to feel lightheaded or dizzy, then stop training and get home to cool down.

Listen to your body

It’s important to pay attention to how your body is responding to the heat during your training. If you start to feel unwell, stop your training immediately and seek medical attention if necessary.

By following these tips, you can stay safe and maintain your performance while training in

the heat. Just remember to adjust your targets, stay hydrated, adjust your training schedule, wear appropriate clothing, use sunscreen, take breaks as needed, and listen to your body. With a little extra care, you can efficiently complete your triathlon training, even in the heat.

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