Summer Training – BE SMART!


Notice that fewer and fewer high school athletes are “sleeping in” during the summer?  They have determination and a commitment to helping their high school’s team for the upcoming season and don’t mind the sacrifice.  Most athletes see that this type of dedication can provide a special “dynamic” to the team and the workouts during the summer can bring them to a different level.  All wanting to work harder than the year before in order to gain that top spot in the post season! 

The key to a successful summer workout regime is to not just work hard, but work “smart”.  Don’t start day one 100% full-throttle, as your body needs to adapt.  Give yourself a couple of weeks to get used to the heat.  Consider shortening the time, due to the intense heat.  If you typically do a workout for an hour and a half, shorten it to no more than an hour.  If you jump right into intense workouts and you’re not ready, you could risk heat exhaustion, cramping and major fluid loss.

A lot of running and conditioning drills are the focus during the summer.  Outside, you can run as short as 40 yd sprints and as far as 100 yd sprints, which means your hamstrings need to be ready for the long strides.  Be sure to focus on proper stretching and strength training in order to be ready.

A huge misunderstanding is that training during the hottest time of the day helps condition and build more endurance.  This is far from the truth.  The sun is strongest in the middle of the day.  If you choose your workouts during this time, you can be overpowered and risk serious injury or even death.  You should plan your workouts in the early morning, ending it no later than 11:00, or in the evenings, around 7:00 since the sun is going down.

Another thing you should take into consideration is what you wear.  I’m not talking about making a fashion statement, but proper material that helps keep you cooler and allow optimum motion.  You don’t want to wear any dark colored clothing, as it absorbs heat and can really break you down.  Wear any light-colored material made from the sweat-wicking technology, as those fabrics pull the moisture from your skin and promotes keeping you cooler.  The good news is that almost every manufacturer makes this type of gear now, so the price is affordable for everyone.

The most obvious thing to focus on is hydration.  It’s a pretty simple concept, but one that is not properly addressed or simply ignored all together.  If you don’t take in fluids, not just the right amount of fluids, but the right “type” of fluids as well, you run the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Be sure to take water breaks every 15 minutes and drink “water”.  Have a sports drink (i.e. – Gatorade, Powerade, etc) after your training session.  Then drink water the rest of the day until you go to bed.

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