As the Western US experiences unprecedented early summer temperatures FasterSkier reached out to some U.S. Ski Team athletes to get their tips and tricks for training in the heat. (Dehydration is serious. Look out for these signs that your fluids need to be replenished: Extreme thirst, infreqent urination, dark urine, fatique, and lethargy.
We reached Kevin Bolger in Bozeman, Montana (the temperature at the time of writing: 94°F) where he was training before heading to Sweden.
KB: My key tips and tricks are early, early mornings! I’ll look at what the weather and temps look like for the week and schedule my training accordingly- intensity in the cooler mornings, maybe make a session longer in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat. Above all, making sure I’m crushing A LOT of water/sport drink while I’m training but also especially when I’m not, and keeping up with my nutrition. The heat kills your body and burns everything faster, and I’ve noticed if I can stay fueled I feel better. I’ll also try and plan routes near water so I can get wet or jump in a river post-training, as well as smoothies, popsicles, ice cream to stay cool after a session and cold showers before bed!
Hailey Swirbul wrote to us from Anchorage Alaska where she was sweltering from a 70 degree Alaska day.
HS: I would say my best trick is to squeeze one of those soft flask water bottles in your drink belt zipper pocket to make sure you have enough water on a hot roller ski, and eat gummies or sports drink (if you like it) to retain that hydration on your workout!! On a really hot day, it might behoove you to ask a random person at a trailhead for water mid roller ski during an interval set… and sometimes that happens to be FasterSkier’s own Gavin Kentch! True story. Also, ski boots DO in fact dry if you have to dive into a creek mid-ski. No measure is too extreme to beat the heat!!!
Hannah Halvorsen was also in Anchorage when we reached out.
HH: It has been crazy to see some of the temperatures around the country this summer! I have been training in Anchorage, AK since the beginning of June so I have to come out and say with full disclosure that I haven’t been experiencing the brutal temps that a lot of our U.S. Skiers are dealing with. That said, I am someone who really struggles to train in the heat, so if you do as well, here are some things that help me.
First, drink more water. Sounds simple yet dehydration is a common mistake that is easier to make when it’s hot. I bring this point up because nordic skiers are famous for being uncomfortable and “toughing it out”, but there is no gain from dehydration, only a loss. You lose recovery and speed in training, your perceived effort increases, and your mood and sleep suffer. So this is a quick one that’s worth checking yourself on.
Second, put electrolytes in your water. Heat comes with more sweating, and if you’re like me it can be quite a lot. This means that just replacing sweat with water won’t do the trick. Your body needs electrolytes to properly hydrate.
Third, keep an eye on how much time you spend in the sun outside of training. This is something I learned from soccer tournaments. While laying on the beach or your deck might feel relaxing, it’s actually quite draining on your body. I find that if I spend all day in the sun in between workouts, my second session feels more tired and less focused.
Fourth, buy some popsicle molds – we had these growing up and I LOVED it. You can make so many different types of popsicles and it is such a fun little treat. I like blending different fruits with yogurt and pouring them into the molds. You can also do popsicles with peanut butter, matcha powder, or chocolate chips. The popsicle mold is your canvas. I would love to see some new homemade popsicles so if you post them on your story on IG and tag me (@hannah.g.halvorsen) I will repost so we can all share ideas.
Jessie Diggins is training in Stratton, VT and gave us her top tip for beating the heat.
JD: My number one tip is to make sure you have enough hydration with you before, during and after training sessions. I like to use Nuun so I know I’m replacing electrolytes as I sweat, instead of just water in my drink belt. My other favorite way to cool down is to have a cold Nuun slushie in the car for right after my training sessions – a refreshing way to rehydrate that also tastes good and cools me down from the inside out!
Growing up in Washington’s Methow Valley, Ella was immersed in skiing and the ski community from a young age. From early days bundled in the pulk, to learning to ski as soon as she could walk, to junior racing, a few seasons of collegiate racing, and then to coaching, she has experienced the ski world in many forms. Now, as a recent graduate from Dartmouth College, she finds herself living in France splitting her time between teaching English at a university in Lyon, avidly following ski racing (and now writing about it!) and adventuring in the outdoors as often as possible.