Wow. It’s hot outside. But, it could be worse…remember this???
|Chase Your Shadown 5k in February--YUCCCCK!|
Yes, although it could be worse, it’s still important to remember the challenges that come with extreme heat/humidity running. Here’s how I attempt to overcome those challenges:
(1) It’s best to get out early. If possible, before the sun rises (which never happens for me). If not super early, as early as you can. In addition to skipping out on the hottest part of the day, it helps prepare you mentally for the racing since most races are pretty early.
(2) Wear light clothing that is wicking. Stay away from 100% cotton. I usually stick to a light singlet and running shorts. I haven't been running with just a sports bra, which would probably make the most sense. Why not? Well, the more I run, the faster I get, the better shape I get in…and the more self-conscious I become of my body. Weird, right? I always rocked the sports bra look back in my college jogging days when it was toasty out and didn’t think twice about it. Now, I’m a bit more conscious. That being said, I always wear a singlet when I run. I feel more confident and focused on my running, and less focused on my belly jiggle. LOL. Yeaaaaaah, I feel a follow-up post will be in the works about this issue…
(3) Hydrate. When? ALL THE TIME. That means the day before your run, the morning of, during, and after. I always throw Gatorade in the mix to ensure I have the proper balance of electrolytes as well.
(4) Eat light before your run. Stick to simple carbohydrates. Just think of Will Ferrell chugging milk on a hot day, and you’ll get my point.
(5) Wear a hat/visor. I’m not a big fan of wearing hats while I run, but they do keep the sun out of my face which helps me run more relaxed and less stressed from the intensity of the sun.
(6) Wear sunscreen. This is where I get lazy, but it’s REALLY important. Even areas on your body that are covered with clothes are exposed to UV rays. SO, put it on everywhere!
(7) Be realistic and flexible. Don’t have expectations, whether it be in a race or training run, that are unrealistic for the conditions. There’s no need to berate yourself for missing a P.R. when it’s 90 degrees out. Plus, listen to your body. If you’re dizzy, feeling bloated, getting a headache, etc, STOP. If you really want to push yourself, get to a treadmill. It’s not worth risking your health!
(8) Get in the A.C. when your run is done! If you’ve put your body through the stress of a run in the heat, it’s essential to let your body relax and cool down. As you've been pushing it to get in your run, it's been working over time to prevent overheating in ways more complex than you can imagine. Your body is an intricate and delicate machine, so treat it well!
(9) Use common sense.
(10)Remember that running in the heat is better than running on wintery ice! So don’t let the summer sultry days get you down; it will cool down before we know it! Stay positive!! :-D
SO, here’s what my hot week has been like so far:
Monday: I had 4X800 on the schedule, and was feeling sore and depleted before I was even out the door. I’m not sure if the heat has taken its toll on me or what, but I have just been lacking in enthusiasm to push it as I should. I took a light jog before I began my repeats, and my Ipod froze in the midst of it. Although I’ve been committed to racing Ipod-less since last summer, it’s snuck back into my training runs. Running with an Ipod has benefits if you need the motivation to get out there, but I’m very committed to my training schedule which is enough of motivation for me. Sticking to my plan (anddddd modifying it when necessary) is what will help me reach my goals of becoming a faster runner. So, time to ditch the Ipod all together once again! This way, I can focus on my pace and breathing, and simulate race like conditions more through my training since I race Ipod-less anyway. Plus, running is much more cleansing and therapeutic when my thoughts aren’t drained away by the lyrics of loud music blaring in my ears. SO, despite feeling slightly under the weather during my warm up, the speed work out turned out to be awesome! I pushed a 6:10ish pace per interval and made it hurt when it counted. I left thinking I need to get my 5k P.R. down (currently at 19:34), and that it’s not unrealistic to run a sub 19:00 before the summer’s over.
Tuesday: My cross-training day, which perfectly turned out to be a rainy day! Like Monday, I was not feeling 110% “on” so I decided to get some things done in the morning and early afternoon. When I got to the gym, I was contemplating on how hard I should push with the possibility of running a 5k the next day. The 4th of July on a Wednesday not only made it tricky for the work week, but also my training schedule! I did a one mile warm up, 30 minutes on the elliptical, and 30 minutes on the bike. I left feeling confident that a 5k the next day would turn out to be a bust, and so decided to hold off until the weekend.
Wednesday: 4th of July! I had a 30 minute tempo on the schedule and it was WAY hot and humid—even at 9:30am! As soon as I stepped outside, I sucked in the humidity and my attitude SUCKed from that point on. I should have got out earlier, but shoulda, woulda, coulda! I did my 10 minute warm up, 15 minutes at “10K pace”---although I could barely hang on to 6:50, so I guess it was more “1/2 marathon pace”—and then a 5 minute cool down. I only managed to cover 3.70 miles. HA! I was P.O.’d when I finished, but glad I didn’t attempt a 5k. My attitude wasn’t where it needed to be to suffer though the heat, and I was too filled with excuses to have made a race worth it. Oh well. At least I can scratch this one off the training log.
|My lil nephew enjoying America's birthday!! :0)|
Thursday: I had a 6 mile pace run on the agenda. Since I’m re-doing my first few weeks of training with my switch to the Columbus Marathon, I had to re-think my plans for this workout. I’ve run two pace runs in the past two weeks, and if I were to have continued on with my Tow Path training this would have been an easy run. Plus, I woke up this morning with tight butt muscles (??? LOL???) and haven’t been on my “A” game for what feels like a while. So, I made it a 6 mile easy run and REALLY enjoyed it! I took it easy, and held back when I had the instinctual feeling to pick it up. I figure I might as well hold off until the 5K Saturday. I finished in 48:27, 8:04min/mi. At this point,I decided to participate in the Run For Pirogies(*sp) in Parma Saturday morning.
Friday: HOT day of rest! I went on a half hour walk in the morning, and clearly the forecast was not a joke. It was toasty out there, and expected to be even toastier tomorrow. Perfect timing for my scheduled 5k (NOT)! I still plan on doing it, and want to run it strong (and realistic) despite the extreme heat and humidity that will be accompanying me in an attempt to reach my goal (a P.R.!) Although I want a sub-19:00 at some point this summer, my goal for tomorrow will be a sub-19:30. I need to be realistic here! I want to run a steady race and have fun since I will be missing out on two great races next weekend. Yep, I will be sitting out both the Shot in the Dark and the Johnnycake Jog. Well, I shouldn’t say sitting out—dancing out!! I am way excited to celebrate my friend’s bachelorette days with great company, but am REALLY sad to miss the Johnnycake Jog. It’s a great 5 mile race with a competitive field which always serves as a good spark of motivation to remind me that I have a lot of room for improvement. So, that being said, if you’re looking for great races next weekend, chose the Shot in the Dark if you want to have a fun time (the Spazmatics are playing!) despite running a race at the worst time of the day. It tends to be brutal and HOT, but still fun. If you want to get your butt kicked but learn a lot from it, chose the Johnnycake Jog!
Saturday: Run for Pirogies (*sp)! Race recap to follow
Sunday: The forecast says were supposed to get down to the low 80s! I only have 8 miles on the plan, so it will be a good recovery from the race Saturday.
Stay cool and stay tuned for my Run for Pirogies race recap!!