Summer and motivation – Part 2


In the first part of the Summer and motivation article, you learned about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how and why high temperatures or summer time affect the (un)motivation of some people.

There are many of you who wrote in the comments below the Facebook post that you don’t have any major problems with motivation in the summer months. That you adapt your training to the outside conditions by going out early in the morning or to air-conditioned rooms. Some of you even have more energy than usual in summer.

Of course, we differ from each other, including our expectations, goals and aspirations, primary sport disciplines and fitness levels. However, for both recreational and more serious athletes, the principle that fitness and some general preparedness should be maintained at all times should apply. It would be pointless to stop exercising during the summer months, as it has many positive effects on the body, provided that it is done correctly. It is also much harder to motivate ourselves if we take too long a break. Holiday time is a time when we can try other sports than the one that is our primary sport. Exercise should be low to medium and rarely high intensity, adapted to our well-being and, of course, to external factors. If we don’t have a major competition planned in early autumn, we can use this time to recharge our batteries. But rest and recovery can also be supported by sporting activities.

The best way to get used to the heat is to train outdoors, following a gradual approach.


Exercise is of course beneficial in all seasons, but these seasons also have certain characteristics to which we need to adapt and equip ourselves. In the summer months, acclimatisation to high temperatures is of course crucial, and can take up to two weeks at most. The best way to get used to the heat is to train outdoors and follow the principle of gradualness. It will not help our adaptation if we train in air-conditioned rooms. It will even be to our own detriment, as a sudden large temperature difference would be a real shock to our system. It is therefore definitely best to start exercising early in the morning or late in the evening, when the heat has subsided a little. If we are on holiday in the mountains, we will of course also take advantage of the shelter of the forests, where there is shade, but at the seaside it is usually more pleasant by the shore, where it is mostly breezy.  But you can also find shade in city parks. Exercising outdoors is definitely harder in the summer months, as our blood has to do two somewhat contradictory jobs – transporting oxygen to keep the muscles working properly and also to keep the skin cool. Both exercise and high temperatures warm the body up considerably. This in turn triggers two protective mechanisms: sweating and the circulation of more blood to the skin. Both of these mean less blood for the muscles, which in turn leads to a higher heart rate during intense exercise. If we are in an area with high relative humidity, this puts additional stress on the body, as sweat does not evaporate from the skin. This reduces the main function of perspiration – cooling the body. I tried to see what this means and what it looks like at ULTRA X Sri Lanka.

In Sri Lanka, I was completely drenched and dehydrated throughout the whole competition.  The former was out of my control, as sweat simply cannot evaporate in such conditions.

Because of all this, you obviously can’t run as fast or as intensely in summer as you can in conditions where the temperature is around 16 degrees. So don’t plan any special speed training at this time, because you’ll get too exhausted and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get anywhere near your optimum. It is important to train with the knowledge that this is only a transitional period, when you need to maintain your form or even drop it a little. Don’t worry, you will be able to start ramping it up later. However, you will achieve some positive effects on your body by exercising. First of all, you will stay energised and, as your body adapts to the heat, you will also start to sweat earlier and your sweat will be less frequent. You can read more about the composition of sweat and its viscosity in ULTRA X SHRILLANKA 2022 – part 3. By exercising during the summer months, you will learn to listen to your body, which will also adapt to the occasional lack of sufficient fluids, and you will therefore achieve a lower risk of dehydration. The body will not warm up as much when exercising as it did before adaptation. All of this will help to maintain a lower body temperature and consequently a lower heart rate response. I have also written about the benefits of sun exposure and vitamin D production.


I would just like to add to everything you have read that you should be realistic in your assessment of your psychophysical fitness. The heat can exhaust us, and what seemed easy can quickly turn challenging. Because water naturally cools your body, any kind of activity in it is the ideal choice for hot days. The best alternative is to swim in a lake, sea or other natural water source. Such cooling down is also recommended during or immediately after any other form of land-based exercise. You will also find it much easier to tolerate the heat if you occasionally cool down in a fountain, public toilet or other place where you can get cool water. Soak your forearms, groin, armpits, neck and head in it. I recommend that you have a small sponge or cloth with you. It also helps a lot if you dip your headgear (hat, bandana, parasol, etc.) in the cold water several times during the workout and then tie it on your head.  It will also help if you wipe the parts of your skin where you sweat dry every now and then, so that the sweat evaporates more easily. Taking off your shoes and socks temporarily during exercise and immersing your feet in cold water will also help to break the fever. If you have the option of changing socks, your feet will be very grateful. The sparrows on the roof are already chirping that there is plenty to eat and drink. But anyway, if you need any more information on this, read the following articles:



Dobro hidriran je pomembno biti vsak dan, ne samo na dan tekme

Ne dehidriramo samo v vročini

A great idea of the organisers of the Soča Outdoor Festival is to cross the icy Soča River just before the finish line.


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