No, no – no need to thank me for inserting that delightful earworm into your head. It’s my pleasure, really. ;)
Really, though, the heat IS on. All over, it seems, but especially so here in West-Central Florida. Summer has arrived and I’ve been working out some adjustments to deal with the heat while training for the Tower of Terror 10-Miler coming at the end of September. Since lots of us will be training throughout the long, hot summer, I’ll share what I’ve gleaned so far in my experimenting…
attention to the many experts who insist that when the mercury rises, it’s time
to slow down. They’re right. It was wreaking havoc with my mind, slowing
down a pace I’d been working so hard to speed up, but after a few runs that
felt nothing less than awful, I decided to listen to the experts and have
found that slowing my running speed really does help. As an unexpected side benefit, it turns out I
can run for longer stretches of time when I slow my speed down – I’m actually
up to 3:00run/1:00walk intervals!
- Drink up. I’m already a big water drinker; it’s my beverage of choice and I take in at least 8 glasses of 8oz. each a day under normal conditions, so I know I’m well-hydrated to start. Which is good. But not good enough. I did a little experiment last week: weighed myself before and after a run to see just how much fluid I lost in a 35-minute, hot, humid run… two pounds. That’s a lot! I’ve begun taking a hand-held bottle of water with me even on short runs, taking a small sip at every other walk break, which turns out to be about 4-5 ounces over 35 minutes. Doing the weigh-in thing again, I found that 4-5 ounces in mid-run sips plus a few more ounces post-run is exactly enough to replace what I lost.
SmartWool socks still rock at 90+ degrees.
Yes, they’re wool, and yes, they’re thick. But they still wick sweat with the
proficiency of a shop-vac: my feet represent the only dry skin on my body after a run.
- No amount
of technical fabric will keep you cool when the temperature is above 85, the
humidity is near 100% and the sun nears Equatorial distance from your
head. Really, this should be the
first rule of hot-weather running: YOU. WILL. BE. HOT. It sounds silly, but now that I've accepted
it as truth, I’m a much happier runner.
Sometimes, I get myself so mentally prepared to broil through a run, I
wind up pleasantly surprised when a little cloud cover and a breeze result in a
- Ice, Ice, Baby. I've become a HUGE fan of the post-run ice bath. I started doing this back in winter, to hasten leg recovery after a long run. But now I’m doing it after short runs, too, just because it feels soooooo good. Mind you, there’s no way to get water anyone would categorize as “cold” out of a Florida tap in late May, and the entire contents of my freezer’s ice maker melts in my tub within five minutes, but the resulting bath is cool enough to take the edge off, at least.
So that’s what I've learned about running hot so far. I’m quite certain I’ll discover more along the way. Meanwhile, let’s share – what’s your #1 hot-weather running tip?