It is getting hotter across the country which will make many of us go to great lengths to avoid training in the heat. Instead, I want you to embrace it. We all know the benefits of altitude training which increases red blood cells enabling us to carry more oxygen to working muscles, but accessibility is an issue for many of us. Luckily, training in the heat or spending time in the heat immediately following a workout can have a lot of the same benefits as altitude training.
When you train in the heat, your body increases blood volume levels and your left ventricle is strengthened. Both physiological adaptations lead to increased oxygen to your working muscles, much like altitude training. In addition, heat training has the benefit of increasing your sweat rate making you more efficient at cooling yourself and teaching you to be more resilient thus having psychological benefits as well.
For 90% of us, heat training is simply more accessible than altitude training, especially now. Even if it is not hot on a particular day, you can jump into a sauna after a tough workout and receive many of the same benefits. This is actually my recommendation for speed work when hitting a certain pace is crucial. Leave the heat training for easy or distance training when pace is less crucial.
So, embrace the heat and watch your fitness increase.