As of Sunday, we have been in Texas for one year. My body has acclimated a bit to the heat- but running in these temperatures is always a challenge. Temps have been over 100 for several days in a row this week, and even the early morning “low” is uncomfortably warm and humid.
Since signing up for the sprint triathlon on a whim, I’ve realized what perfect timing it is. Both the outdoor bike rides and swims have felt much more comfortable than running. I got in my first open water swim this week…
So the secret to running in the heat? Train for a triathlon! If that’s out of the question, the next best thing is research that makes you feel better about yourself and a few handy calculators.
1) Did you know that training in the heat can actually improve your fitness level? One study of cyclists found that acclimating to the heat improved aerobic exercise performance.
2) Pace calculators. Obviously, the heat can slow you down, and I learned this the hard way in my recent 10k when my legs could not maintain my pace in the second half. Here’s one of the calculators that can help estimate how your time changes with the heat (or elevation), and I was encouraged that mine matched exactly the goal pace I was aiming for in that race.
3) Hydration calculators: Replacing both water and electrolytes is crucial when exercising in the heat. I learned this one the hard way, too. After my 15 miler last weekend, I had a headache the rest of the day from dehydration. Despite running with my fuel belt and finishing all four bottles, it wasn’t enough for a 2+ hour run. I came across the Portman Calculator to help determine how much you should drink before/after/during a run in the heat.
Any other calculators you like?
Have you ever done an open water swim?
I’m linking up with Jill for Fitness Friday- stop over there to check out more posts!