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Tips For Running In The Heat

As compared to yesterday, today was a gorgeous, perfect day.  About 80 degrees and little humidity.  It was picture perfect for hanging out with the family and getting in a few miles too!   And through my miles today, I started thinking back to how I adjust to running in the summer.   Here are a few reminders I have tacked up for myself:

1.  Reminder: You don't know everything.   And/Or, (I) have forgotten it over the longest, coldest winter in history.  With the winter we had, I told myself that summer would be a welcome relief and to not cry and whine about the hot weather.  Just get out there.  But hot weather running brings challenges of its own.  I always need a quick tutorial at the beginning of each season.  Here are a few articles that were good reminders of tips to keep in mind.

2.  Take time to acclimate.  I read a tip on a WeHealth article that suggests,  It takes a full two weeks of heat and humidity to “get used to it.” The body has been shown to take 8 to 10 increments of 30 to 45 minutes in the heat to acclimatize."   With that in mind this weekend, I spent a good 30 minutes both days laying in the hammock or lounge chair sipping a beer.  Looks like I still have 6-8 more sessions left before I am fully acclimated.  I kinda' hope to have them in before this weekends race.  I don't know - it may take way more than 10.  It's hell - but you know - I like this type of cross training.

3.  Plan and replan my running.  It is lighter longer, and it is hotter sooner.  Between that and my kids schedule changes for summer, it is time to rethink my training plans for the summer months to find a way to add in my runs at the time of day that makes sense and is comfortable to me.   I have been relying on fitting it runs on the way home from work.  Very soon, that will be one of the hotter times of the day.

4.  Adjust my intensity to fit the conditions.  I seem to do this naturally.  But I do like having this chart handy to remind me what it is really like out there.   

Chart05

I also really like Dr. Prihut's heat index calculator.

4.  Get smart about clothes.   The last few days of 80 degree weather reminded me quickly that there is a reason "performance fabrics" are popular.  They keep you cool, which keeps you running well.  I was also reminded that in the summer, there is no second wear without wash potential and I never seem to have enough of my favorite running clothes ready to go. I now have a great reason to go shopping for some new summer running clothes.  As for reminders/charts, I do like Jeff Galloway's "what to wear" chart for the different temperatures.   

5.  Drink, drink, drink.   This winter, I could easily do 45-60 minutes of running without worrying about having water stashed on the course.  This weekend, I was reminded that my tolerance with no water stops was down to about 20 minutes and those weeny little water bottles were definitely not going to do it.

6.  Protect my skin and my eyes.  My farmer tan is in full bloom already.  It is amazing how I continue to underestimate the power of the sun each year.  After just a few days of nice weather, I can feel how dry my skin is where it has been exposed.  And my eyes too!  I can't decide if I am more concerned about my vision or the large squinting lines that seem to have permanently taken residence on my forehead.

All in all, I am really excited about summer.  It is great to be able to hang out at night at the campfire and be able to do so much more outside.    And heck, with our seasons, we really only have about 90-100 days of the really hot stuff.  About the time I can't stand it I will be complaining the next week about the snow and ice.  

 

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Comments

Bill Carter

Hi Amy

This is such a great post because as runners we focus on the running side of things and forget all the other important considerations. And heat is a huge one. I will never forget the article in Runner's World last year about Kelly Watt. He was a fine high school runner from Charlottesville, VA who was doing a run he had done many, many times before. It was an exceptionally hot day, but he had run in the heat many times and was young and healthy. For some reason his body was susceptible that day and he died. How many of us have gone out on really hot days and never even considered the fact that we may be putting ourselves in great danger?? I know I've done it more times than I would like to admit.

Great, great post and something we should all pay attention to.

BTW, I tried to find a link to the article and it is not on the RW site.

Nitmos

Generally, I forget all of these rules and then pay for it. Good reminders! Now, if we could just get a few warm days in a row to practice them...

Viv

Great tips, Amy! It surely is getting HOTTER around here.

Database Diva

Oh my gosh, you mean I have a legitimate excuse for my sluggish performance in the heat (70s) and humidity of New Orleans, just one week after running in 25 degree temps at Birch Bay? Thank you! I love new excuses! I also loved the Galloway Tips, especially the one about lime green with polka dots.

Swanrob

With this Sunday's half marathon in Highland Park Illinois I had to chuckle on your point # to take time to acclimate. I think it was just one week ago today the temp. at 4:00am was 38 degrees. Driving to work this morning the cars temp. gauge was at 82. Sunday's high is suppose to be 90! Is this going to be somewhat of a repeat of last years Chicago Marathon? Thanks for all your additional tips! I need all the help I can get!

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