Do intense heat and recovery go hand in hand?
We would have preferred to have more normal temperatures again, 30-31 degrees, that would have been perfect […] On the first few days, we would have wished for more comfort for the players, which makes us falter a bit. But in the end we know that the hot weather will be with us in the off-season and at the start of the season. The stages of the Supersevens (in August, editor’s note) take place in very high temperatures. And it’s a safe bet given climate change that it’ll be the same story in September when the top 14 resumes. So we play more and more often under these climatic conditions. Periods of intense heat can be a real asset from time to time in preparing players for these hostile environments.
What are the pros and cons of such weather?
The heat has a positive effect on the speed aspects, it helps in sessions based on it. Conversely, we dehydrate more easily and quickly. It will also be difficult to capture the oxygen in the air, so with all concepts of energy, repetition of effort, you will see players faster with their hands on their hips. It’s inevitable, it’s easy to get out of breath in the heat.
How do these temperatures affect the organization of your days?
It changes the game because we train a little later in the evening to look for “coolness” to be sure not to be on the ground during the hottest hours of the day. Plannerwise, it suits us because it allows us to separate our morning strength training from our afternoon energy sessions. As a result, there are real gains in each of the sectors.
But there are also some disadvantages…
Dehydration will give you some muscle pain and decrease your performance. All of this is harmful, so we try to do things to avoid dehydration on the one hand and, above all, that the temperature of the organisms does not rise too much. If we manage to fight it well by staying hydrated and cooling the guys down well with enough rest time, the temperature has little impact.
What are you doing to achieve this?
There is plenty of water, places where players can cool off by sprinkling themselves or using cold towels. Thursday we also opened the nozzles so they water each other. Either way, you can’t stop the heat. The only solution would be to train very early in the morning, but that would be at the expense of the boys’ sleep… So we arbitrate these different parameters.
Did some players suffer major “climate shocks”?
Many players were on vacation or with families in less hot places. Therefore, acclimatization is difficult here. For those who have had a vacation in the sun, the transition is pretty quick. But for those who have returned to the UK or gone to Australia where it’s winter right now, it’s funny to arrive and find yourself at 37, 38 degrees or even higher. The body has to learn to deal with it and fight against it again.
Does he suffer from small unexpected wounds during these times?
In the heat, the ground is hard, so we have a few blisters associated with it.
If the thermometer continues to panic, can you think of more drastic solutions?
If we were even hotter, maybe we’d reverse it: we’d do field training earlier in the morning and bodybuilding in the cool gym in the afternoon. We are considering whether the temperatures will continue to rise permanently.
The section in Oloron then Orthez
This summer, as in the previous season and throughout last season, Section Paloise will be moving some training sessions to the grounds of other Bearn clubs. So on Friday, July 22nd, the green-whites will head to Oloron before going walking in the Ossau Valley. Then on Friday the 29th it’s off to Orthez.