Summer heat/humidity - training

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Run4ms
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Summer heat/humidity - training

Post by Run4ms » Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:08 pm

Hey guys,

So, I am from the Midwest (south of Chicago) and my times for my speed work, tempo work and easy runs have significantly slowed with the influx of this heat and humidity.

Will this have a pretty negative impact of my overall preparation for my Fall marathon? How do I still maintain and increase my fitness??

I would love to hear all of your suggestions or advice.

thanks.

Jeff_D
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Re: Summer heat/humidity - training

Post by Jeff_D » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:31 pm

I think listening to your body (which you have done) is the smartest thing to do and just adapt. Tinman has created a very helpful and accurate set of Heat Index Training Charts which should help you adjust your pace. Although if you are worried about 'denaturing' the workouts by not running at a fast enough speed (say 20s/mile slower) then you could always break up your workouts into smaller intervals. Turn tempo runs into tempo intervals, turn long CV reps into 600s, etc. You get the idea. This will allow you to run closer to what you would run on an ideal day without adding undo stress to the body as well as mentally easing the load. It can be daunting to go out and run a 30 minute tempo on a 90 degree day but if you only have to do 2 x 15 mins with a 2 minute break, well that's not so bad! 15 minutes is up before you know it.  This also relates to the really important concept of not overdoing it mentally. It can be really taxing to get out and do quality training in the heat and it can be extremely draining. If you find yourself feeling drained and lacking motivation, step off the gas - scale back workouts, skip one, ease the pace, run timed fartleks instead of intervals. Be smart, a fall marathon is a long way away and while quality training is important, it is equally important to find the balance between good training and arriving at the starting line mentally ready to attack the race!

Further, I think drinking water frequently is really important. My team will run laps of our trail (2.25 miles) and stop for water in an air conditioned building every lap or every other lap on extremely hot days. There is no shame in stopping to get some cool water and cool air. if anything it will only help improve your training (although not your ability to run in the heat).

Additionally, moving workouts back a day can help if the weather is supposed to break. If you are doing big workouts then sometimes it might be better just to plan them so they fall before or after heat waves. Sometimes just a day can make a 20 degree difference!


Finally, another obvious solution is to change what time you are running. I would reccommend starting runs at 7 am or sooner if at all possible. You may find that having a small snack (i.e banana or granola bar and some sports drink) before heading out could help make this more feasible. Or waking up and eating an hour beforehand. I would advise against running late at night as that sort of routine can be difficult to maintain and make it difficult to get to sleep at night.

Final tip - pick the right clothes! appropriately fitting (not too tight, not too loose) synthetic materials can be best and a nice white running hat is a great investment. Don't skimp out on a few pair of good socks, shorts and shirts. You will appreciate the moisture wicking and ability to vent heat of a good running outfit.

Run4ms
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Re: Summer heat/humidity - training

Post by Run4ms » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:08 am

Jeff_D

Thank you so much for the very useful and elaborate response.  I will use everything that you laid out for me and other runners out there running in the Midwest!

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