Sunday, May 10, 2015

Finally Heat

Going over the record of blogs, most of them has dealt with winter running. The experience of winter running is a challenge, there's no two ways about it, the challenge is the temperature, keeping warm, surface conditions and light conditions. Winter means shorter days, longer nights and weather that can change very quickly.

I've commented on the number of layers you have to wear when you go out, because while the usual comment of being 'cool at the start', may never be a problem, the issue is keeping the heat in while running. It's too easy to start losing heat due to the wet or wind and that is a concern during a longer run.

Now we come to the other extreme and that is, what happens when you start running in heat and humidity. It's an important consideration because we're seeing weather of extremes, it is either going to be hot or cold. The weather of intermediates seems to be disappearing. renceSo unless the climate controlled conditions of the gym with the treadmill is going to become the norm of your existence, learning to run in heat is important.

The one difference between the two conditions is the amount of clothing you can wear to make you comfortable. If it gets hot you can only go down to so few pieces of garments, unless getting chased by the police is an important part of your training plan. Besides do you really want to run with everything hanging out? That's never a good look for anybody. Okay seriously, you are down to a pair of socks, shoes, shorts and tee. One thing that you will read over and over again, and probably a lesson learned through personal experience, is never wear cotton. Cotton is usually a great material for clothes, it feels good, looks good and when you sweat, absorbs moisture. You will end up wearing a top that weighs a considerable amount of weight, because all that sweat has been absorbed by the top. If the socks are cotton, again, the moisture is absorbed and when it comes to the feet, the concern is blisters. Blisters can be a huge problem, not because you might see it at the end of the run, but rather because it might burst and rub raw during a part of the run. This becomes painful and the risk of infection happens, all that sweat, blood and nastiness. So ditch the cotton. There is a lot of good material that will wick moisture away from the body and not absorb it. Also the material itself will feel lighter throughout the entire run rather then getting weightier as the run progresses. During times of high humidity, this feature might not be as obvious, since the higher the humidity, the less evaporation, there will always some evaporation taking place, especially if there is a wind for example. As well, you will always feel wet and damp someplace on your person. It is the reality, you've just done some heavy work, your body is working as it should and you're sweating.

I came across an interesting article from Men's Fitness. The opening paragraph has this:

Sure, autumn's cool, less sticky weather will make you want to strap on your sneakers and get outside, but pushing yourself in the summer heat could help improve your performance in running, cycling, or other fitness-based activities. So long as the right precautions are taken, hot-weather workouts may give you a boost if you’re training for an endurance event, such as a marathon, Tough Mudder or some other sort of weekend warrior-style event. Hot-weather training may even eclipse high-altitude training when it comes to improving your performance. Here's what you need to know to sweat it out safely. - See more at:

While the opening few days of hot weather can be challenging and feels horrible, to sum it up, it has some positive aspects on training. There has been experiments done that demonstrate training in heat can have very positive affects on overall training. The writer stresses the positive impact may be better then training at higher altitudes. I suggest reading the entire article, but it seems the improvement to the training is quite noticeable. So it might be a suggestion to forget the comfort of the climate controlled gym and treadmill and lace them on and head outside.

It has been pointed out that it takes about 4-12 days of running in summer temperature and humidity to get used to running in these conditions. Although at the same time, the extreme temperature and conditions will have an affect on speed, you will be slower, so don't worry about it, plus there will be likely more walking at the higher temperatures. This is not bad because the ability to walk will give more energy later on in the run. In other words, if you feel totally dogged at the end of the run in the first day of the heat, don't let that get you down, you will get used to it, just like you got used to the extreme cold. Whether or not the word, comfortable can be used, it is something you can get used to, and appreciate it. This will be more noticeable if the weather cools down a bit, which it will now and then, the stamina and strength will be amazing. It will be far better then being in that gym.

An article in Runner's World states that a person can love running in the heat. It concludes with:

In the summer, water fountains are on, bathrooms are open, and long-mileage workouts require less preparation. Take advantage of such conveniences by scheduling long runs accordingly: Plan jaunts with stretches through parks that have plumbing. And enjoy a break from the layering tactics (and resulting laundry) needed in chilly seasons. "Summer is great for folks who like to wear very little," says Mierke–which makes summer equally great for people-watching.

Like the thought of less laundry, although it has to be said, your family members may encourage you do some quick showering, make sure you hang up whatever you're wearing outside and for heaven's sake, don't sit anywhere!. I know the last point from personal experience.

On the subject of hydration, it now becomes important. During cold weather, it's easy not to worry about hydration, plus there is an inconvenience issue, if it's cold, whatever drink you bringing will probably freeze and it's now useless. During hot weather, you sweat and it's important to either start hydrated or make sure you drink along the way. Of course, have some liquids available when you finish and can drink quickly and drink something that's cool. It will help with the core temperature. Also, get ready for the cooler shower when you get home. It will feel nice, almost as nice as those hot showers during the winter.

Summer training will help with autumn races. Just as winter training helps with spring races. As well, there are more opportunities to race in the summer then in the winter. It will be good.

If I can return to hydration, there are a lot of water carriers to use. Also, keep the water nearby after you run to replenish, you will feel a lot better. Plus the more liquid you get in the risk of cramps will become lower, especially those nasty night cramps that get you jumping out of bed.

Get out and run.

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