As I have mentioned before--This will be my first summer of running in the Southern heat and humidity in many, many, years!
Yes, Connecticut had some warm temperatures in the summer on occasion, but NOTHING like here in HOTLANTA!
I had a rude awakening when I ran today! I went out around 10:30 AM, thinking that it wouldn't be too bad at that time....after all, this is only the beginning of May! Well, let me just say right now that I will definitely be re-working my running schedule! I will be getting out to run much earlier! I knew that I would have to run really early in the AM once summer rolls around, but who am I kidding--it is already FREAKIN' hot out there!
I'm not sure that I can blame all of my whining about the heat and humidity on the fact that I have been living in New England for so long, because when I think about it, I have to admit that I never WAS a big "loving the run in the heat kinda gal!" When I trained for the Peachtree Road Race, or another summer run here in Georgia, years ago, I would head out by 6AM or wait until after dark, and even then I would drench myself with the water hose before a run! And that was back when I was MUCH younger and MUCH thinner!!
So, I'm sure most of you already know these things, but I'm writing some warm weather info for anyone who might need it, AND to refresh MY memory on running in Hell...um, I mean GEORGIA in the summer!
We not only feel uncomfortable when running in the heat--our heart rates are higher, our breathing is more rapid and our body is just really working twice as hard to deal with the heat!
Adapt Experts say that it takes at least two weeks for our bodies to adapt to running in the heat and humidity and that we should slow down our pace and reduce the intensity of our run during that time. This will allow our body to become more efficient at cooling itself in the hot weather.
Running in the early morning or late evening (as I used to do) is helpful. If you run in the morning, you may have higher humidity to deal with than if running in the evening. The air quality tends to be better in the early morning, so that is a factor to consider.
Of course, you already KNOW that you should drink more when it's hot out there and for runs under 45 minutes--water is fine. If however, you are running longer distances, you need to consume about a cup of sports drink every 15-20 minutes during your run.
I learned this one the hard way, after landing myself in the hospital for 36 hours after my second marathon. I suffered from Hyponatremia, something I had never even heard of at the time. On my release papers from the hospital the doctor wrote--"ALWAYS consume a sports drink when running long distances--especially on warmer days." I was drinking LOT'S of water, but not replacing the electrolytes I lost during the warmer than expected marathon.
For longer runs in the heat--A great way to stay hydrated!
Clothing Wear loose fitting, light colored, wicking material clothing. Also, a hat or visor, along with some good sunglasses are needed on hot sunny days. Oh....and don't forget a good waterproof sunscreen!
LOVE my new sunglasses! No fogging, even in this humidity!
Of course, you need to listen to your body, and if it is saying a walk would be more appropriate...remember that there is no shame in walking!
If there are poor air quality or heat advisories, try to plan an indoor workout instead of risking the outdoor workout. I will be paying close attention to the air quality alerts, since asthma is an issue with me already.
Since I have already been compared to "an old used car".....I guess I can go with the car analogy--Just like a car, if your temperature rises too high, you will overheat!
I can't say that I am looking forward to running in the middle of summer here in the South, and I most likely will NEVER really enjoy the heat--but hey, I AM a Southern gal and I WILL SURVIVE--maybe--hopefully--yeah, I will?!!!!!!