The world is heating up, and not just metaphorically. July marked a significant milestone in our planet’s climate timeline, witnessing the hottest month ever recorded in human history. The sizzling temperatures touched triple digits across most of the United States and various regions worldwide. This unprecedented heatwave, although alarming, is catalyzing the birth of an emerging sports training industry: heat training for professional sports.
As summer’s fiery embrace continues and the pre-season kicks off for professional football, college and high school sports nationwide also gear up for rigorous training sessions. This year, there’s an amplified focus on outdoor endurance sports. Coaches and trainers from various disciplines recognize the need to adapt. Their solution? Heat training.
So, what exactly is heat training?
Athletes’ heat training addresses a fundamental dichotomy. A significant difference exists between an athlete’s “perception of heat” or thermal comfort and their core body temperature. While the subjective experience of heat may vary, the underlying goal remains consistent: to keep the core body temperature as low as possible. Any surge beyond the ideal range dampens performance and poses grave threats like overheating (something that’s happened even at the top level of sports).
Heat training goes beyond mere adaptation. It’s an intricate regime aimed at enhancing both physical and mental capabilities. As athletes train in this manner, they effectively prepare for scenarios where their core temperatures spike. By understanding and employing their unique cooling techniques, athletes can boost endurance performance and acclimate even to the most oppressive heat waves.
The advantages of heat training encompass a wide range of benefits for athletes. This regimen can enhance their perspiration rate, aiding in a more efficient cooling process for the body. Furthermore, it increases blood plasma volume, promoting better cardiovascular fitness. This training also optimizes athletes’ thermoregulatory systems, rendering them more resilient to extreme heat. Lastly, heat training crucially bolsters the force produced by skeletal muscles, making athletes faster and stronger.
CORE, a pioneering creation by mechanical engineer Wulf Glatz, is at the heart of this revolutionary transition. As someone profoundly rooted in sports, Glatz’s invention is not just another wearable tech gadget. It’s a lifeline for athletes. CORE was meticulously designed to measure an athlete’s core body temperature accurately, even when on the move. This invention is vital as the world grapples with soaring temperatures and their consequent impact on professional outdoor sports.
Glatz’s motivation behind CORE is as touching as it is telling. The distressing imagery of Sara True suffering a heat stroke during the 2019 Frankfurt Ironman was a wake-up call. It highlighted the need to prioritize athletes’ health and safety, especially when competing in searing heat. The urgency to shield and prepare athletes grows as record-breaking temperatures reshape the professional sports realm, from running and cycling to tennis and the NFL’s intense training camps.
Today, the proof of CORE’s efficacy and indispensability lies in its widespread acceptance. Renowned cycling teams, including Soudal Quick-Step, Ineos Grenadiers, and Movistar Team, have seamlessly integrated CORE into their training routines. But it’s not just team sports that are benefiting. Top-tier participants in Ironman, triathlons, and even CrossFit championships are swiftly incorporating heat training into their preparations.
But what does all of this mean for the future of sports?
With global temperatures set on an upward trajectory, the challenges posed by extreme heat won’t wane. Instead, they will intensify. In such a scenario, heat training, enabled by innovations like CORE, will likely transform from an optional strategy to an absolute necessity. The realms of outdoor sports will see an inevitable shift, with more and more athletes donning wearable tech, all in a bid to remain at their peak while ensuring their well-being.