Surviving the Two-Week British Summer
It’s finally happening!
No, not the potential to win a World Cup. Something even rarer – a consistent few weeks of the kind of weather that shocks Brits to the core.
We’re not set up to deal with it, so it hits us hard. Especially those of us who train and want to at least stay consistent in this weather.
Our gym is essentially a big metal shed, so there’s only so much we can do to keep the building cool in this weather (we have fans and cold drinks!), but having trained in David Lloyds and Virgins over the years, even their thousands of pounds of aircon doesn’t really make a dent when we hit these temps either.
So, what to do? Here’s a quick run down of how to make it more bearable.
- Adjust your expectations
It’s unlikely you’re going to hit new PBs, certainly in terms of reps or volume work, in this weather. Drop your expectations and accept that doing broadly what you did last week is OK progress when Nature seems determined to kill you. This will be great news to a certain type of powerlifter who sees more than 20 reps in an entire session as cardio.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Before, during and after training! It’s perfectly possible to lose a kilo or more in under an hour even training half-assed in this weather. And not good weight either; you’re simply losing water and salts. Over a couple of days this will leave you sluggish, tired, grumpy and in worse cases, decidedly ill. Pick up some electrolyte tablets; sometimes, even just drinking more water isn’t enough as that doesn’t replace the lost salts. Hydration is probably the most undervalued factor in training at normal times, let alone now.
3. Keep cool during training.
Wicking T-shirts rather than tight fitting. Vest tops rather than T-shirts. Even a freezer ice pack that you can cool your neck and wrists down with between sets makes a huge difference. Failing that, a small towel soaked in water around your neck can bring your temperature down enough to make it more bearable.
4. Keep your calorie intake up
It’s easy to drop your calories in this weather; not many of us feel like eating bigger meals. But, your body is working hard to keep cool and is burning calories at a high rate. Not replacing those can mean the training session you’ve just sweat through serves no real goal as you’re not repairing after it.
5. If you feel like crap, take a day off
There’s no prizes for the “team no days off” idiots. No one cares that you’re that hardcore; we have 50 weeks of the year where the weather is perfect for training. Half-killing yourself in the heat when there’s no real need impresses no-one.
Did I mention hydration?
Drink, drink, and drink some more. Ideally not beer, but given the way this World Cup is working out, I can’t promise to take my advice here.