Heat Training for Summer Ultras – Danny Westergaard & Jimmy Dean Freeman

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Scott & Don

In the Northern Hemisphere, we are now approaching the heat of the summer.  Make sure you prepare yourself by listening and learning from a couple people that really know how to train for heat.  Jimmy Dean Freeman, SoCal Coyotes joins us with his friend Danny Westergaard.  Danny has run Badwater 6 times and done a triple crossing of Badwater (875 miles).  In seven years, Danny has crossed the Death Valley 16 times!

  • How long should it take to become aclimated?
  • What strategies work best?
  • What advantages will you have if aclimated?

Check out this article: “Heat Training for Summer Ultras” by Nancy Shura-Dervin

Join the discussion

  • I have a question about this podcast.
    Will heat training help with an altitude race when one can’t go out early and get acclimated?

    In the fall, we have a 100 miler here in AR. Some years are hot others not so much (last year hail, cold, lots of wind and rain). In a situation like this, when its unknown what the weather would be on race day, would it be a good idea to use heat training just in case. Would there be a downfall if it turned out to be a cold year?

    This is very timely. I have a 50 miler in Tulsa OK in July! yikes! It does start 1 second before midnight so many miles are run at night.

    thanks for another great podcast!!

  • Is there a certain amount of time one should stop sitting in a sauna before a hot race? I have WS100 this Saturday and was wondering if continuing sauna sitting for today (Monday) and Tuesday would be beneficial or detrimental. I have done several 1 hr long sessions at 160 degrees F. This question is open to anyone with experience.

    • David!
      The HAY IS IN THE BARN. No more heat training. Rest up and eat clean this week. On race day, make sure IF IT’S HOT, to replace those fluids at a higher rate than normal (since you’ve conditioned your body to sweating more fluid out), or you risk getting dehydrated twice as fast. I generally do not sit in the sauna during race week. IF I am conditioned enough to survive an HOUR at 160+, I stop 9-10 days out from the race.

      See you out there! Rock it out at States!


  • How appropriate was it that I was listening to this while out running when it was 80-ish degrees with a heat index of about 87? A heat training discussion was very appropriate. The discussion was good and I got some good tips from it.

  • Maybe I missed the point of this podcast, but it seemed aimed more at people training for Badwater, and less so for the average Joe (or Jane) runner. I live in Phoenix and have been heat training on the trails in the local hills around here. I didn’t hear a lot on this podcast that was applicable to what I’m doing, what could help me, what might be hurting me. But, on the flip side, if I decide to make a run at Badwater, I know where to go for advice.

  • Will sauna training help for “non-heat” events? In other words, are there other benefits beyond just being better prepared for hot weather?

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