Training is never easy when you are targeting a race early in the calendar year and you are based in somewhere as hot and humid as Townsville. I have been put myself through this on a number of occasions, here are some tips which have worked for me over the years.
1. Timing of sessions
Firstly the most obvious, if possible train within the most climate friendly times of the day. Typically early mornings, and evenings. Early mornings may not always be fun, but blowing to bits in the heat and humidity is generally less fun.
2. Splitting long sessions
There have been times in the past when I have gone out to ride 5 hours in hot humid conditions but completely faded coming home tail between legs almost writing off any benefits for last hour or so. However splitting long sessions is one strategy that has really worked well for me. For example doing 3-3.5hr ride on both Saturday and Sunday mornings has paid big dividends.
3. Shorter sessions
The other option is to shorten sessions and increase quality. Now is the opportune time to add an additional threshold or V02 interval session to still get some quality into your training.
4. Hydration in training
When it gets to this time of year, I start driving down to Riverway or Town common for my long run and stash a few electrolyte drinks in the car to ensure I keep myself hydrated during training. Looping back to the car periodically to hydrate properly can be the difference of fading to a walk or completing the training run. Depending on the session I may also store some gels in the car too. Talk to the guys at the Australian Nutrition Center to ensure have the right mix of electrolytes to get you through.
5. Hydration out of training
This time of year I start to include electrolyte tablets outside of training and add very generous servings of salt to my meals. This helps with recovery and ensures I get to the next session ready to go again. Once again talk to the Australian Nutrition Center for help putting together your nutrition.
6. Indoor sessions
Getting to air conditioned indoor sessions such as Veloworx can keep you out of the sun and training at the right intensities for longer. There are some great venues for Townsville its worth paying a visit.
7. Afternoon naps
As you maybe getting up earlier or going to bed later this time of year, it is definitely worth squeezing one in on the weekends or whenever you can. If you don’t sleep you don’t recover and don’t get stronger.
8. More frequent massage
You may notice your muscles swelling up a bit more than usual during the hotter humid climates, and this can delay recovery. I try to get over and see Tri Massage for a massage a bit more frequently during this period to loosen up a bit more.
9. Rolling out muscles
Jumping on the foam rollers whenever you have 5mins spare will also make a big difference. It doesn’t take long but you will notice the difference. Use discount code IRONMURPH10% at www.tryger.com.au for 10% off foam rollers.
10. Accept the climate and move on
Sometimes you just have to accept the conditions you are thrown on any day. There is no point dwelling on it, just accept them as they are, determine out how you are going to make the most of them. This could mean adjusting the session, or changing the route, or swapping the session but to make the most of the situation you need to decide and act. I work closely with Maurice Harvey-Hall from Skilful thinking to help me be a more resilient athlete. Read more about Skilful Thinking or message them here.