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Results Coaching Weekly Newsletter 94 – Train Cool

As a Coach at Results I am ever searching for ways to enhance the experience of each member and  continue to excite passion for health and fitness.  Please enjoy receiving weekly emails on various health, wellness, and fitness performance related topics.  May this correspondence continue to serve as an outlet for education and a resource opportunity for all those involved past, present and future.

 

Here is to all of you who sometimes wonder why.  Why water?  And when, and how much?  Gosh, some days you just can’t get enough, and others we just don’t get enough in.  Especially with that blast of triple digits swelter last week it is important to talk about how to adjust and anticipate the heat for continual optimum performance, safety, and results.  Sweating is the body’s number one way of removing heat to prevent overheating of our core temperature and brain.  Typically when the body and brain temperature the body reach 104 degrees it will shut down, or will voluntarily choose to discontinue performance soon there before.  Things like heat stroke and heat exhaustion are malfunctions of the regulating systems.  So how is it we manage this fine balance of core body temp given our environment, metabolism, sweat and cooling, dehydration and blood volume?  Surely the external environment factors into just how quickly core temperature rise, and resulting performance is diminished.  Here are more tips to better prepare for keeping up with up and coming hot workouts to make the most of them.

 

The body is proven by science to perform better for longer in cooler temperatures than in hot and humid extremes; not to say by any means that it is unsafe to exercise in the heat.  Number one, you know your body’s limits, be safe.  Don’t let that stop you from living though.  For those of you looking to get out on the weekends and enjoy a bike ride, run along the river, league softball play, wailing on some balls across the tennis court- learn to function best in your given environment and love living this summer.  Proper hydration, as we’ve always heard, is key to regulating the body’s internal temperature when adjusting for rises in metabolic rate and external heat related influx. For those who sweat excessively and have trouble in the heat, hyper hydration methods before exercise may be helpful.  Most intriguing techniques for delaying core temperature rise and performance decline are purposeful pre cooling prior to activity.  Low tech variations are as simple as jumping into an ice bath before game time- research proven to improve performance in heat.

 

Water and Electrolytes:

 

A fine balance of water, salts and mineral are needed to continue to water volume and cell function in the entire body.  Sweat cooling mechanisms will result in a loss of both water and salts.  It is important to have both in place before, during, and after activity.  For those of you active beyond an hour supplementing and replacing carbohydrates and electrolytes is a must.  As always, be mindful of what your demands are for carbohydrates and calories along with those electrolytes.

 

Best hydration before.  When the body sends the thirsty signal, you are already dehydrated. ACSM recommends you drink 16-20 ounces of water, and/or electrolytes 4 hours before and an additional 8-12 ounces 15 minutes before activity.

 

During: Recommended 3-8 ounces every 15-20 minutes when planning for less than an hour worth of work.  Beyond an hour of consecutive exercise it is best to replace not only water but carbohydrates (5-8%) and electrolytes with supplement or drink for your every 15-20 minute mark.

 

After:  Much of the rehydration process depends on the degree of dehydration resulting of the activity.  To get all scientific about it you can weigh yourself before and after to assess sweat loss to calculate fluid demands.  The ACSM general guideline is to drink 20-24 ounces of fluid per pound lost in the following 2 hours for recovery.

 

Too Much Water- Hyponatremia, or water intoxication. While water intoxication is an rare reached extreme, fluid balance of electrolyte and minerals to water ratios can be offset with too much water at one time.  Also, a true hydration is hard met with increases in urination frequency.

 

Alcohol and too much caffeine can also increase rate of dehydration.

 

Moisture wicking clothing will help cool body more effectively.

 

Choose times of the day with lesser temperatures and increased breeze.

 

Below is a very insightful article sent in this week by one of you the people as a curious explanation of how we as humans adapt to heat.  Move core cool my friends!

 

6 Essential Strategies Revealed by the Science of Hot Weather Running

By John Davis

It was nearly eighty degrees in Minneapolis yesterday.  Beautiful weather if you’re just enjoying a walk, but downright sweltering if you are trying to get a run in.  Temperatures were much the same in the rest of the country: it seems we’ve vaulted from a mild winter into the heat of summer, and you’ve probably been feeling the heat on your runs too.

So, today we’ll look at some of the science behind running in the heat and try to divine some recommendations from our findings, or at least figure out how long it will take to get used to hot weather.

The science of running in the heat

Body temperature and heat removal

Why is running harder when it’s hot out? It all comes down to thermal regulation, as demonstrated in a widely-cited 1999 study by José González-Alonso and his coworkers at the August Krogh Institute in Denmark.1

The researchers conducted two separate experiments examining different aspects of heat regulation: body temperature and heat removal.  In the first experiment, seven cyclists performed a ride to exhaustion at a predetermined effort in a hot laboratory.  Before the ride, the cyclists were either “pre-heated” or “pre-cooled” in water baths for 30 minutes.  The experiment was repeated three times, so each cyclist had started a trial with a body temperature of 96 °F (pre-cooled), 98 °F (control: no bath), and 100 °F (pre-heated).  The cyclists then rode at 60% of their maximum effort (as monitored by oxygen intake) until exhaustion, all while having their internal temperature measured using a probe in their throat (positioned there so as to be close to the brain).

As we might expect, the pre-heated cyclists did the worst, followed by the control group, and finally the pre-cooled cyclists, who were able to bike the longest.  Interestingly, they all became exhausted at nearly the same internal temperature: about 104 °F.

In the follow-up study described in the same paper,1 four cyclists (who were notpre-heated or cooled) cycled another trial to exhaustion in the heat while wearing specially-made jackets which had a large volume of water (either hot or cold) pumped through them continuously.  These jackets either increased or decreased the rate of heat removal from the athlete’s core.

Again, as we might expect, the subjects who were cooled by their jacket lasted significantly longer than the subjects who were heated.  But again, whenever they reached 104 °F, the riders elected to stop.

So it seems that the drop in performance associated with exercising in the heat is a form of “central” fatigue.  That is, it’s not so much that the muscles themselves are getting tired prematurely; the body is actively moderating the rate of exercise when it starts to get too hot, probably to protect the brain from thermal damage. But people don’t (usually) suddenly stop running because of the heat—they just slow down.  What’s going on there?

How does the body control heat buildup during exercise – and what happens

Important differences happen in a time-trial setting (as opposed to a work-to-exhaustion setting), as highlighted by a 2004 study by Tucker et al.2  His study examined cyclists completing a 20km time trial in a lab either at 95 °F or 59 °F.

Predictably, the hot conditions resulted in slower times and higher internal temperatures.  Peak internal temperature was the highest at the end of the ride, reaching 100 °F in the cool condition and 102 °F in the hot condition.  But, most revealing was the pacing: the subjects in the hot time trial went slowerfrom the start.  The authors interpreted this as showing that the body has an “anticipatory” strategy for controlling heat buildup—that is, your performance is impaired even before you reach a “critical temperature.”

This conclusion has been criticized because Tucker et al. measured rectal temperature, not esophageal temperature (which apparently can fluctuate more rapidly than core temperature, and is better correlated with brain temperature), but regardless, it proves an important thing for us:working out in the heat is not inherentlydangerous, provided you listen to your body.  The current theory is that, in mostcases, the brain will pace the body (or just force you to give up) to stay within an acceptable heat range, and that cases of heat exhaustion and heat stroke are a failure of this mechanism (which occurs for reasons unknown as of yet).

How long does it take to adapt to running in the heat

That leaves us with one topic unexplored: adaptation.  One of the reasons you’ve probably been feeling the heat recently is the fact that you haven’t been exercising in hot weather for several months.  It’s well-demonstrated that adapted runners handle the heat better, mostly by getting their heat-regulating mechanism like sweating up and running sooner.  But how long does it take to get adapted to the heat?

A 2008 study by Sandström et al.3addressed this issue by monitoring changes in an ultramarathoner’s blood during a 15-day heat adaptation period prior to a race.  The researchers used heat shock protein 70, a blood marker that correlates with heat adaptation.  The ultramarathoner had his blood tested every day of the 15-day taper.  The results showed an initial boost in protein levels during the first five days of the taper, followed by a flat period of a few days, and then a slower, steady increase through the end of the study.

Since Hsp70 levels were still increasing, the researchers concluded their study wasn’t long enough! Full heat adaptation appears to take upwards of two weeks, even though there’s a strong response in the first few days.

Now, this study was only done with onesubject, so your own adaptation pattern may vary, and we’ll have to wait on further studies using this method of measuring heat adaptation.

What you can learn from the science

We’ve seen that heat can be a significant detriment to your performance.  No matter which way you look at it, the body does not do well when its core temperature increases past a certain point.

  • While it’s reasonably safe to go for a run or line up for a race even when it’s hot out, you also need to listen to your body and be honest with yourself. You’re not going to be able to run the same pace when it’s 85 degrees out that you can when it’s 65. To help you determine how much the heat will effect your running performance, we’ve created a simple calculator for you.
  • As you’ve undoubtedly been told, staying hydrated is a critical component to keeping the body cool and replenishing the water and electrolytes you sweat out. To make determining your hydration needs easier, we’ve created this simple sweat loss calculator for runners. For more tips on when and what to hydrate with, you can also read our summer hydration article.
  • If you’re a runner who sweats excessively or who has major issues running in the heat, you can also try a technique called “hyper-hydration“. Hyper-hydration involves using nutritional supplements to store extra water, which will help keep you hydrated longer should you be a heavy sweater.
  • González-Alonso’s two studies give us a clue as to how to overcome the heat too: try to stay cool for as long as possible! Pre-cooling before a race or hard workout is a scientifically proven method to help improve performance in the heat. My college coach used to have the team douse ourselves in ice-water before the start of a hot race—you can do this too as a low-tech alternative to González-Alonso’s water-cooling jacket and “pre-cooling” baths.
  • You can also probably curtail your warm-up a bit on hotter days, since you don’t want to elevate your core temperature prematurely. You can try implementing a dynamic warm-up such as a lunge series or active isolated stretching, which take less energy, but still loosen up your running muscles. You can find these routines as part of ourstrength training for runnersguide.

Finally, you can take comfort in the fact that, while heat adaptation may take a period of several weeks, early evidence indicates that you’ll see a strong boost in adaptation within five days or so of exercising in hot weather.

 

Your Coach In Health, Keali’i

 

-If you are still seeking the drive, the direction, or in need of an outlet to substantiate your vitality, consult with your next sighted Results coach.  Plan for your path to achievement.  Remain faithful to said purpose with every action, every movement, every choice, and with each decision- stand firm.  Take that found passion and now share this insight and lifestyle to include the lives of those you spend most time with.

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