Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Summer Heat Slowing Your Run?
The heat and humidity are back! Yes, I feel like I’m running on the face of the sun! But we have goals to reach! Remember that “Run 2,015 miles in 2015?” Yes, we’ve hit 1,000 miles, but we are a little behind our goal. So how should you adjust your training program as the summer heat increases?
In Texas, the heat and humidity seem to descend upon us overnight. One day its crisp and cool, the next day we are living on the sun J Seriously, it would be much easier to get used to the heat and humidity if the temperature rose slowly and we had time for our bodies to adjust to the “new normal”, but sadly in Texas we have very little adaptation time each summer.
So what can a runner do to continue to run while the sun is beating down on us? First and foremost, slow down! You can use a heart rate monitor and adjust your pace with your zones (yes, many times that means you are walking). Many times you need to slow down at least 90 seconds per mile in hot and humid weather! This will not have a deleterious effect on your conditioning! Your body becomes conditioned to the heart rate range regardless of the actual pace. When the weather cools, you will be amazed at how fast you can run and maintain that same heart rate!
What else can you do to survive the summer heat?
1. Run early in the morning.
2. Hydrate all day long and carry a water bottle
3. Add salt tablets or electrolytes to your hydration plan
4. Wear sweat wicking clothing in light colors or run naked (just kidding)
5. Walk breaks are OK when your heart rate is all over the place
6. And last resort, run inside in the air conditioning J
Bottom line, heat stroke is not pretty and will definitely not help your fitness levels. Slow down, hydrate and use you heart rate as a guide to survive summer running in Texas!