Heat Training: How to Acclimate to Warmer Climate Races
Or a better title, more suitable to my current form of heat training, would be 'Heat Training - How to be Lazy While Still Going to the Gym'. This morning I went to the gym for the sole purpose to do a bit of heat training. Otherwise known as, bring a book and sit myself in the sauna for at least 15 minutes, shower, and leave. It's the best training ever!
Okay, so technically I'm not doing it right (here's an example of 'real' heat training) but at this point I'm just trying to get my body acclimated to warmer temperatures. It's going to be a bit of a change when I head down South for this marathon and temperatures are closer to 70 than what I'm used to - hovering around the low to mid 30s the past few weeks of training. Wearing layered clothing while running isn't going to cut it - I'm already as layered as I can get and I'm still freezing! Training during the 'heat of the day' is also not going to work when the high is maybe 45. So, I'm hitting the sauna.
I'm definitely seeing a difference. When I first started (going in on rest days) I couldn't stand being in there. I would get so uncomfortable just sitting in sweat and I couldn't breath all that well. But, over the last couple of times I think my body has adjusted slightly. I find myself getting caught up in a book and realizing it's time to get out before I pass out (maybe not a good thing). I think the next step for me is taking a few pointers from folks that have done this kind of thing before - incorporating little exercises while I'm in the sauna (an example would be minimal core work), or doing an easy run on the dreadmill after the sauna. Both sound exhausting but most likely useful.
Let's be honest - I'm not doing the Badwater Ultramarathon so I don't have to get too crazy but I'd like to be as prepared as possible. Another caveat, I'm not really going about this in any researched and scientific way. I honestly thought it was just a good idea to incorporate some heat into my training since we're lacking the proper weather conditions in the great Pacific Northwest. I'll let you know at the end of January if this helped at all - although that too will all be subjective so make of it what you will.