Thursday, June 23, 2005

Five Rules for Running in the Heat

Yesterday was another hot day in Germany, not quite as bad as the beginning of the week, but still 31C/88F. I had several people ask me if I still run in “this heat”. Of course is my standard answer, why not? In the military I ran in temperatures up to 45C/113F, it is possible if you are correctly acclimatized.

I do not recommend running a race in the heat of the day if you have trained exclusively in the cool of the morning or night. I’ve been running my normal 14K/8.7M runs at almost the same time of the day (4:30 p.m.) for over 2 years in all weather conditions. I also follow the “Five Rules for Running in the Heat”:

Five Rules for Running in the Heat

1. Dress lightly: Wear clothes that are light in color, lightweight and breath (vents or mesh). Don’t forget the sunscreen.
2. Avoid things with dehydrating effects: Caffeine, alcohol, antihistamines, and antidepressants can all have a dehydrating effect.
3. Start with a full tank: Top off your fluid stores with sports drink an hour before you head out. If running at night, drink throughout the day to maintain hydration. Sports drinks beat water because most contain glucose and sodium which increase your water absorption rate and replace the electrolytes you lose in sweat. If going on a long run bring liquids with you or stash along the way.
4. Be flexible: Don’t do long runs or higher-intensity runs during the heat of the day. At least find a shady route and run slower than normal.
5. Keep track of your weight. Weigh in before and after the run. Rehydrate according to the amount you lose when your run. Bob Cooper (Running World) recommends rehydrating with 16 to 24 ounces of sports drink for every pound of body weight you lose during exercise.

It is still challenging as temperatures rise, but I have not experienced any heat related problems thus far.

I have a half-marathon coming up on July 16th, starting at 5 p.m. – last year it was “only” 28C/83F so it wasn’t too bad, the year before was 35C/95F – thus I am trying to get used to running up hills in this temperature range.

Yesterday I drank approximately 2 liters of water in the afternoon (until the pee was clear), had a sports bar about an hour before the run and a few sips of water right before running.

I ran the hill route which begins at our garden club and can be broken down as follows:

- 4 minutes across an open field (asphalt road) to a forest/swamp.
- 9 minutes through shaded forest (gravel/dirt trail).
- 5 minutes across an open field (cobblestone/asphalt path).
- 12 minute steep hill climb on a shaded asphalt road.
- 30 minutes up and down rolling hills gravel/dirt trail through shaded forest way.
- 7 minute downhill (gravel/dirt/asphalt) – mostly shaded.
- 6 minutes across an open field (dirt/asphalt path).
- 9 minutes through shaded forest (gravel/dirt trail).
- 4 minutes across an open field (asphalt road) back to start.

Normally I would circle around and do a few hill repeats, but I have my limits in this heat.

Summary of Last Night's Training:

1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
14K/8.7M run; total time 1:25:10 - hill training.
1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
Cool down.
Conditions: 16:45; 31C/88F, sunny, hot!
Feeling after training: Good!

Please send some of your motivation my way! Could you pack a good night's sleep in there too? :-) Glad it's going so well for you!
Good advice, Jack! I ran in 88F this AM and it was just a killer. I bring my drinks with me in my Fuel Belt. Its definately worth it to folks who have to run in the heat. I might be upgrading this summer to the 6 bottle version.
Good tips...I should have read them before my long run last Sunday afternoon - in the heat(no shade), not enough sunscreen and oops I lost 2 pounds. At least I was well hydrated and dressed lightly.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?