Monday, July 27, 2015

DOG DAYS - How to survive the heat


We are deep in the Dog Days of summer..."when the seas boil, wine turns sour, dogs grow mad, and all creatures became languid, causing mankind burning fevers, hysterics, and phrensies....but causing REAL men and women to bolt out the door, confront the heat, run through it and defeat summer!!!"

OK, some of that is true and some ain't!  But, don't let Dog Days keep you from running.  If you use reasonable judgment you can avoid gaps in your training and arrive into fall in great shape.  Ever notice how a 82 degree day is hot in March, but cool in August?  That’s because you are acclimated to the heat in August, after a summer of running, but not acclimated early in the year.   You say, “yeah, but an 82 degree day is different from a 97 degree day.  True, but you can accustom your body to tolerate more heat simply by being out in the heat more.  But, you have to use reasonable judgment. 

First, run when it’s least hot.  That’s early in the morning.  Second best would be late in the afternoon.  And I say “late” because the hottest part of the day often is from 4-6 p.m.  So, run LATE.  (And, if you run when it's dusk, dawn or dark....please wear reflective and a light.  You owe it to your family!) Wear less, avoid cottons and, instead, wear synthetic (Coolmax) type shorts and singlets.  Hydrate before, during and after the run.  If you drink you won't get dehydrated....but you CAN get heat stroke.  That’s when your body temperature goes up dramatically.  That's the one to watch for, so use good judgment.  If you get dizzy, stop sweating, or feel excessively hot, then STOP RUNNING and head for the shade.  It’s not worth it to take a chance. 

Another alternative is to head for the treadmill.  You CAN train well on a treadmill if you set your mind to it.  A friend told me recently, “I just set the machine on 8.2 and won’t allow myself to change it.” 

Remember, too, that you must replace all those chemicals you sweated out of your body.  The easiest solution for that is to drink up on the “ade” type sports drinks.  (I believe in PowerAde!)  Replacement drinks really do help in that regard. 

One more caution:  you can be fully hydrated and still have heat pay attention!

When the weather is hot you can still get your training in.  Just use good judgment and……LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!  

Kenneth Williams, @MarathonKoach.

To find all my longer “Tips from @MarathonKoach,” click HERE.

And if you’re interested in stories about running the world’s greatest marathon, check out!

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