The Heat is On

“The heat makes a big difference. You get in there initially and think it isn’t too bad, but you start to exercise and it hits you and it feels as if your head is about to explode.”

Helen RichardsonSo said Helen Richardson on experiencing the English Institute of Sport's (EIS) environmental chamber in Bisham recently, before setting off for the real heat and humidity of New Delhi.

Watch the girls experiencing the environmental chamber by clicking here (you will be redirected to the BBC's site)

Strength & Conditioning Coach Andy Hudson from the EIS commented: "There are a couple of options that have potential for improving an athletes climatic acclimatisation. One is to go early and allow the body to fully adjust to the new environment it’s in, the other is a go through a process of acclimatisation such as the use of an environmental chamber, which allows them to train in a falsified hot and humid environment.”

Other EIS members of staff who look after the team's nutrition and psychology also believe in using the environmental chamber to help prepare them for not only the different physical environment but also a possible different 'mental' state.

Dan Kings, Nutrition told us: “For the girls to produce their best performance we have to prepare them as best as we can. From a nutritional perspective using the environmental chamber gives them an awareness of how they are going to feel, whilst it gives us a chance to look at how they can best deal with the extra calorie burn and hydration issues which come from playing in those conditions.” 

And Psychology Coach Tom Cross added: “Training in the environmental chamber gives the athletes an insight into the types of conditions they’ll face in Delhi, the type of physiological feelings they’ll have and therefore an understanding of how they can psychologically deal with it.”