Heat Acclimation For The Marathon des Sables

The Marathon des Sables is perhaps the ultimate test for the endurance athlete. 250 gruelling kilometers through the Sahara are not to be underestimated. When temperatures can approach or even exceed 50 Celsius, it’s not only the running you need to prepare for, but the heat.


What Is Heat Acclimation?

Heat acclimation is the process by which the body adapts to the heat. While the exact mechanisms of heat acclimation are numerous, in short they are all aimed at reducing your exercising core temperature so that the heat has less of an impact on your performance than it would otherwise. The adaptation happens naturally over the course of a few days, but leaving it to the natural acclimation gained during MdS means leaving it too late. When heading to the desert, we want the acclimation to be in place before your feet hit the sand.

How Do We Do It?

Our heat chamber in London replicates the conditions you will find in Morocco. By training in these conditions, your body will adapt. However, there is somewhat more nuance to it than that. While some facilities and other athletes would simply look to get you as hot as possible (usually ‘around 38.5 C’), we use continuous core temperature monitoring, lending a greater level of precision to your heat training. Your first session will commence with a heat tolerance test so that we can determine your level of tolerance to the heat, and identify your individualised heat training zone. This means we can implement a completely individualised strategy that accounts for both the overall amount of heat training required based on your baseline tolerance, and the optimal range in which your core temperature should sit during heat acclimation sessions to trigger the required adaptations, without inducing undue fatigue.

When Should I Do It?

The timing of heat acclimation sessions is, again, very individual, however in general the sessions should be conducted as close to departure as possible. In general, we would recommend between 5-10 heat acclimation sessions in the 1-3 weeks prior to departure. We will be happy to discuss your individual schedule further!

How Can I Get Involved?

For futher information, please get in touch with the team using the form below, or give us a call on 02071931626

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