Elite runners train in high-altitude environments, knowing that running in oxygen-deprived environments will make running everywhere else a bit easier. That’s kind of how I’m choosing to view my last few training runs in Florida, where I’ve spent the past several days on a mini-vacation.
I’d intended to get in a few more hard training runs before the ZOOMA Annapolis 10K this weekend—a speed workout here, a long tempo run there. As it turned out, the heat and humidity made the runs hard, but in more of an I-hope-I-don’t-have-heat-exhaustion kind of way. In their wake, I offer the following list of hot-weather running resources and tips from places like Runner’s World, Running Times and Olympian and running coach Jeff Galloway. An important bottom line: If you feel lightheaded, dizzy or nauseous, STOP.
A few of the best, if most obvious, tips:
- First, I was thrilled a few weeks ago to find a new hot-weather coping mechanism in the New York Times that justifies Slurpie consumption. A New Zealand endurance athlete and exercise researcher says people who drank a slushie before exercising in the heat lasted for longer than their non-slushie-consuming peers. Low-calorie Gatorade and ice in a blender, anyone?
- Go easy at first to let your body acclimate to the heat. Galloway says most runners begin to slow down at 55 degrees and start suffering at 65 degrees—cut yourself a break accordingly. He suggests slowing down a full two minutes per mile slower than you could have run that distance that day.
- Drink Up. The rule of thumb is to aim for 16 to 32 ounces of fluid per hour of exercise, or three to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. Sports drinks can help replenish sodium stores.
- Run early or late, when it’s coolest.
- Do speedwork on the treadmill.
- Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting technical gear.
- Cool down after. Have access to a pool? Use it! Don’t have access to a pool? At least that post-long-run ice bath will be a bit more tolerable.
Seasonal Running, Jeff Galloway (this is a great list offering suggestions for what to wear in certain temperatures, how to adjust your goal race pace for certain temperatures and other helpful tips)
What’s your best tip for beating the heat while running? Let me know by posting a comment below.