Preparing For That Chile Heat!  

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By David Sheldon

In preparation for the 2023 FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup in Santiago, Chile in December, where temperatures regularly exceed 30oC, EDCAP Scholar and goalkeeper Evie Wood has been following a heat acclimation protocol. The protocol was carefully drawn up and supervised by exercise physiologists Dave Sheldon and Dan Lothian, as part of their dual roles between UB Sport & Fitness and the GSSPP. 

Using a mixture of active and passive heat exposures across a number of weeks, Evie completed weekly 90-min bike sessions in the SportExR environmental chamber, supplemented with regular 30-min post-exercise sauna bathing sessions as a practical alternative, thus enabling her to better manage her training load and complete her usual hockey-specific training alongside this.  

Chronic exposure to such environments drives several adaptations, resulting in a multitude of positive thermoregulatory responses. These include a lower resting and exercising core temperature, heart rate and perception of effort, as well as an increased sweat rate and thermal comfort, to name but a few. All of which meant that Evie was well-equipped and ready to take on that Chile heat! 

More information on the Elite Dual Career Athlete Pathway (EDCAP) can be found here.

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