Weather training is something I did not think of until after the Spartan Championship Race in Tahoe. And that really hurt my performance. I had been training in Sierra City and Davis where it was pretty hot leading up to the race. So, I was not prepared for the cold that I would meet on race day. The water at the beginning of the race surprised my body and prevented me from working at my best. I knew for future races that I needed to take weather training into account.
Cold Weather Training
Just recently I have been incorporating cold weather training into my routine. It is difficult to include if you do not have the correct environment. Luckily, I have access to a pool with a broken heater in Davis. Also, in Sierra City it snows and there is a snow melt river that runs by. If you don’t have a pool or river near by you can always create an ice bath. Assimilating these elements into your routine will prepare you more for a race that will have cold conditions.
For the pool, either jump in right at the beginning of your run or during it. Not only will you have your muscles adapt to running in the cold, but you will also get used to running in wet clothing. And try to jump in more than once. Jumping in multiple times will ensure that your muscles will feel the cold.
Just running outside when the temperature is low will improve your muscle performance in cold weather. Jumping in a snow melt river in cold temperatures may be extreme, but if you take the correct safety precautions it may help your performance. I have not tried this yet and don’t know if I will. If I do, I will make sure to have another person present.
An ice bath is a great way to prepare your body for the cold. You can either use a bath tub or one of those tiny kids pools. If you wanted to incorporate it into your workout it may be difficult to run through your house wet. The tiny kids pool is a great alternative. Just make sure to really fill it with ice. It should be uncomfortable, but always be careful.
Hot Weather Training
Living in Davis and training in Sierra City during the summer gave me a lot of exposure to hot weather. In Davis the temperatures are constantly in the 90s or above. And in Sierra City it gets pretty hot as well. Here is an article that discusses some specifics about heat training. The main takeaways are to get your internal body temp to 101 and maintain it for 60 minutes.
Like running in the cold, running in the high temperatures can improve your performance. In the summer races I believe I did well because of the hot weather I was training in. You can also try to wear more layers if it is not as hot as you want. The hot weather is suppose to have a similar affect to altitude training. Make sure to take it easy at first and build your way up. And always drink plenty of fluids during this type of training.
It is hard to replicate hot conditions indoors. You can blast your heater. Or you can workout next to your drying machine. Like the outdoor you can add more layers as well. I read an article in the past where this guy had multiple drying machines going at the same time. But not all of us can afford that.
Weather training is an essential to Spartan Race training. I can’t say it enough to take the necessary precautions when performing weather training. Your body is getting put into a stressful state and it is important to take it easy at first. I hope these weather training tips can benefit you!