Jockology: exercising in the heat


As of September 2017, new Sweat Science columns are being published at Check out my bestselling new book on the science of endurance, ENDURE: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, published in February 2018 with a foreword by Malcolm Gladwell.

- Alex Hutchinson (@sweatscience)


This week’s Jockology column in the Globe and Mail is a round-up of a few recent studies on exercise in hot weather: how the brain slows you down more than the body; how acclimatization does (and doesn’t) work; and how cooling your palms can make your workout feel easier.

[…] “Slowing down in the heat could be a subconscious regulation to protect us from damage, such as heat stroke,” explains University of Bedfordshire researcher Paul Castle, the lead author of the study.

In other words, you don’t slow down because your body has reached some critical temperature. Instead, your brain slows you down to prevent you from ever reaching that critical temperature. It’s a subtle difference – but as the cyclists in the study discovered, it means that our physical “limits” are more negotiable than previously thought… [READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE]


One Reply to “Jockology: exercising in the heat”

  1. I’m in agreement with the findings and your conclusions Alex. I am chucking ice down my shorts (femoral artery cooling, lol), holding ice cubes in my hands and manning up of course as the temps rise in a race. 🙂

    The main problem for me, when acclimatized, is that I have such a high sweat rate that I actually have trouble consuming enough liquids (or carrying enough) on a long run (anything longer than 2hrs) not to get at least mildly dehydrated slow usually have to be conservative with my pace for that reason. 85kg and 30+degrees C even at 8% BF is a nightmare for me in terms of finding my race pace. Before anyone says it, yes losing 15kg would help I know.

    Keep up the excellent blogging.


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