Heat-n-Humidity Prep

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Just Dad, May 13, 2016.

  1. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    So, I got my hair cut yesterday (glad I still have to do it ------and that you’d have to be 6’8” to see the thinning on top). I had to wait, so I picked up a magazine. No Aviation Weekly, Economist, Ski, Car and Driver or Guns an Ammo, so I picked the May 2016 copy of ‘Men’s Journal’, “The Adventure Edition”. I found a short Blurb in an ask and answer section called “Ask Dr. Bob” (billed as the “In House fitness Md.)

    Here's the full text, a longer post, but you won’t need to go buy a magazine…………………….if this hits on an area of interest.


    Question to Dr. Bob:
    “I am running in a half-marathon in Costa Rica this month, and the temperature will be in the 90s. Vermont, where I live hasn’t even hit 60 yet. Is there any shortcut to acclimate?” (Emphasis added)

    Dr. Bob’s Answer:
    “Training in muggy environments triggers the body to increase its blood plasma volume. With more plasma, there’s more blood available to go to the skins surface to dissipate heat, cool you off, and help you push harder longer. There is actually a way to fake these perfect training conditions. Immediately after a training run, get in a hot tub or a hot bath and soak for 40 minutes. Repeat this regimen for one week (or at least 6 times). In a recent study, runner who did this improved their times in hot, humid conditions. I know I’ll be using this strategy before my 50k standup paddle board race in Maui this summer.”


    The context is running, and the metric is “race times” but Dr. Bob looks to be describing a short cut to a broader heat acclimation, (at least that’s my take).

    Looking to avoid my real work a little longer I did a quick Google search to see if I could find the basis for Dr. Bob’s advice. I found lots of stuff addressing benefits of using a sauna after workout to help in heat acclimation. The specific use of hot tubs/hot baths for 6 days is documented in a Scandinavian study. Athletes following the hot bath regime improved race times by 5% and more. "Hot Tub Athletes" also experienced noticeably less physiological/physical discomfort when competing in hot environments relative to control groups.

    I know that the USNA is very aware of the impact of heat/humidity on some plebes. That said, I’ve also seen “heat-n-humidity” described as a primary challenge to plebes from cooler environs, so I am passing this along.

    Note: At one time I bounced between Barber's Point and Pax River as counsel attached to a test program. I usually adjusted over the work week I typically spent back there, but I wouldn't THINK about running distance out-doors (unless I could "draft" some big guy cutting through the ambient moisture in the air).


    (MY DOG PROOFED THIS POST)
     
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  2. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    The Tub requirement is gonna be a tough thing for the kids to come up with, not to mention finding the 40 minutes. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  3. Just Dad

    Just Dad Member

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    You mean plebes DON'T get any spa time? What kinda facility are you running back there. I will make sure to have the kid ask for a 'Comment Card'.

    To be clear, the regimen is intended as preparation before you move into the hot spot, and they used regular bathtubs in the study.
     
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  4. socalfan

    socalfan Member

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    Interesting read. Around here (hot but not usually humid) people tend to try to start training mid day to acclimate vs morning/evening. I think I like the hot tub theory more.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I get the science behind it, but not really something Plebes should be doing. The only prep an appointee needs to do for heat and humidity training is to come to I Day hydrated. Drink a lot of water the week leading up to I Day. Be physically in shape and be prepared to roll with it all. This is done year in and year out by 1200+ kids and USNA knows how to build their acclimation. They do their PT in the morning for a reason. They take wet bulb readings and set flag conditions as the heat and humidity increase to prevent heat injuries. The Plebes have water attached to them all day and are given Gatorade at meals to help restore electrolytes. Actually at USNA when I was there we didn't get Gatorade. When they added it to the mix when I did detail, it cut heat injuries in nearly half. Allowing their own running shoes also made a significant impact on decreasing shin splints and stress fractures. USNA has the hear humidity and USAFA deals with altitude.
     
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  6. md403

    md403 Member

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    If I recall the summer from last year, there were some "black flag" days but not nearly as much as there had been in previous summers. Black flag is when temperature hits above 90. Granted, as some of the others will point out from their time here, most recall PS as the dog days of summer. Mother B has ac but did not get ac throughout Bancroft hall until the early to mid 00's. Remember, with all strain on the units, it wont cool off everyone to the temperature that everyone will want. Im not sure if they sealed the windows or not, but if not, DO NOT sleep on ledge/roof (if you have one) just to get cooler. I know of some in the past that have and what not. I wont go into details, but Mother B got ac a lot faster than was budgeted for back then.

    I agree with previous posters, drink water and gatorade and drink often. Also just because you might have a black flag by early afternoon, does not mean that your detailers cant mash/pt you.. they just bring it inside. Good luck with PS
     
  7. THS

    THS Member

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    DS didn't mention/complain about the heat and humidity during his calls home. But he did mention that he and several plebes in his company got pink eye, and he tore a groin muscle during PS. He had the Hack during PPW. He was a real mess! Also, he mentioned after the I Day oath ceremony during the minutes the plebes get to say goodbye to family, that the canteen the plebes wear can catch on the chairs when they stand to take the oath.
     

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