Do you train in the heat and humidity? Heat is a tough condition to run in. How do you modify your training so that you stay safe while working towards your goals?

Stephanieruns Fitness

July 8, 2018 Newsletter

Can you run in this heat?

Remember how cold this winter was? Flash forward to today and it's clear that summer is here! It always seems like summer is gone in the blink of an eye. Back in May when I was wishing for summer weather I sent out this newsletter on running in different weather conditions. Today, as I sit out on my deck in the heat typing this I want to talk about running in the heat and humidity and how you can adjust your training.

This week on social media I shared information on dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. All of these are serious conditions that you have to watch out for when you're training in the heat. As runners we all know that dehydration is bad and that it reduces our performance, but have you ever tested to see how much fluids you need when you run in the heat? While it probably wasn't warm enough back when I wrote this newsletter I explained how you can use the sweat test to estimate the fluid level you require when you're running in the heat. I strongly believe that knowing how much fluids you need to intake, listening to your body and making training adjustments when required can help you continue training well into the summer months and beyond.

I'd like to share my top tips for adjusting your training when it's hot and humid. Of course if you're training for a race in hot conditions then I'd recommend working on acclimatization. These tips are for continuing your training when your goal race isn't in hot and humid conditions.

1) If you're running outside consider running in the early morning or later at night when the heat won't be at it's peak. I know it's hard to get up early or run late at night, but running when the heat is at a peak means you'll have to adjust your run.

2) Consider taking your run off the streets and hitting the trails. The trails will give you shade and will be slightly cooler than the roads. The trails also don't have cars driving beside you which adds heat to your run.

3) Plan a smart route. Is there a kid's splash pad near where you run? Consider planning to run through it during your run. Also consider if there are water fountains on your route.

4) Plan a shorter run. If you're not training for a hot and humid race consider doing your shorter runs outside and your longer runs on a treadmill. Yes I know many runners hate the treadmill but download a new podcast or put on netflix. You'll make it through.

5) Reduce your pace. This seems like common sense but you can't run at the same pace in the heat as you can in cooler weather. You need to adapt your run and go at a slower pace. You'll probably notice your slower pace is at the same intensity that you usually run because of the added heat and humidity.

6) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. When you're running in the heat even on your short runs you'll need water. Always carry water with you so you can make sure you have it when you need it.

7) Listen to your body. Your body is designed to give you warning signs when something's not right. Listen to these signs. Don't push through especially in the heat.

8) Be easy on yourself. Running in the heat is hard. Adjust your expectations and reward yourself for getting your run done.

We run to add value to our lives. Running alone is not our whole life. It's important to remember that when you're running in the heat. What's the point of a run if when you come home you feel like garbage and are out of commission the rest of the day? You have many years left to run remember to train smart so you can keep running!

Weekly Challenge: Running in the Heat

This week i'm challenging you to make a plan for running in the heat. You should never just go out the door and run. You should have a plan in place and maybe a back up plan in case things don't go well.

Sit down and make a general plan for your runs in the hot weather. Plan a smart route, is there a shady route close by? Maybe you have a 1km loop by your house where you can leave water, or cut your run short if it's not going well. Plan how you're going to carry your fluids and how much you'll generally need. Plan who you'll tell that you're going for a run. Are you bringing your phone with you to call someone if it's not going well? Or maybe money for public transit.

Planning sets you up for success. Spend the time making a solid plan that you can adjust before you head out the door. Send me a message and let me know how this goes. Also reach out if you need help or have any questions.

What is heat acclimatization?

What is heat acclimatization? It's training your body to adapt to running in the heat. You could do this because it's winter and you're planning to go south to run a race, or you might have a race in the middle of summer and need to train your body to run in the heat.

Usually you would be looking a seven to fourteen days to adjust to running in the heat and humidity. This allows your body to better deal with the heat stress when you run and improve your performance when running in the heat. I would strongly encourage anyone who's considering heat acclimatization to seek out a professional to help with the process to help ensure it'd done safely.

Would you consider working on getting your body ready to handle heat stress better? It's not for everyone but if you're going to run a race in the heat you should have a plan to help your body perform better.

Let me know if this is a topic you'd like me to write more about.

Please send me a quick e-mail and let me know what topics you want me to cover in this newsletter. I want to make sure I'm creating content you want to read!

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Let's keep the conversation going all week on social media! 


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Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.