Training from the mile to the marathon.
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  • Lordy, It’s Hot Out There!

    Posted on June 5th, 2011 CoachGreg No comments
    You'll never beat the summer heat in the Lowcountry but you can alleviate some of the effects by doing track workouts early in the morning.

    You'll never beat the summer heat in the Lowcountry but you can alleviate some of the effects by doing track workouts early in the morning.

    Being hot in the summertime isn’t news in Charleston. Heat and humidity go together here like butter and jam. Last week I was on the track in the evening. Being the smart guy I am, I was fully hydrated when I got to the track and I warmed up in the shade before I started my warm up laps. As I finished the warm up, I grabbed a swig of water and began.

    I was running 400’s. It’s one of my favorite repeats. If I’m doing them as a VO2 workout, I get gassed at about 250 meters but can hold on to my pace until the end of the repeat. Having not done these in awhile, I ran the first one for time and then tried to match the time in subsequent laps.

    Lap 2 was no problem and the first half of lap 3 wasn’t a problem but at about 250 meters, rather than feeling strung out, I began to feel ill. I knew the feeling well - I was pushing too hard and if I continued, I would end up on my hands and knees emptying what little was in my stomach. On this day, I backed off. I took off my watch, ran hard for 100 meters at a time and then recovered.

    In a nutshell, I wasn’t acclimated to that level of heat and humdity. Give me another week of exercising in this weather and I’ll be fine but last week, I wasn’t.

    Keys to Working Out in the Heat

    • Give yourself time to acclimate both seasonally and daily. Take your time warming up every day and give yourself at least two weeks to adapt to the onslaught of heat or humidity.
    • Hydrate. If your urine is any darker than lemon yellow before you start, you’re not hydrated enough to tackle the heat. Read my previous post on hydration.
    • Adjust your expectations. There’s a physiological phenomenon known as cardiac drift or cardiac creep. For the same effort level, your heart begins to beat faster due to the loss of blood volume caused by the decrease in body fluids due to sweating. In addition, your heart will beat faster so that more blood is circulated close to the skin to help keep you cool. When your heart is working harder, you can expect to slow down.
    • Seek to run by effort level. If you always run by the watch or GPS, you will get into trouble in the heat. When it’s not hot, learn what your effort levels feel like for each type of run. When it’s hot and your pace falters, make sure your effort level is consistent.

    What’s the one thing you do when working out in the heat?

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