Running in Hot Weather

I'm packing for a trip to Colorado where I will leave the 3 digit temperatures of Texas and enter the lovely 2 digits (70s) of the Colorado mountains.  It'll be like going from this:

to this:

Ok, maybe not quite the same... but I plan to be doing quite a bit of running, assuming my body will adjust acceptably to the altitude.  So with the blazing heat going on right now, I thought I'd leave you with an excerpt from Runner's World Coach, Jenny Hadfield:

Run by your effort level rather than your pace. Because your body has to work twice as hard in the heat and humidity to keep itself cool, you'll get in a higher quality long run if you go by how you feel or heart rate than your pace. If you run by your normal pace, you're pushing a higher intensity and risk overheating. Plus, the harder the intensity and duration, the longer it will take to recover. Have patience and faith and slow it down. You'll get in the time on your feet at the right effort and assure an efficient recovery. Keep in mind that the heat requires a lot more from your body.

Keep it cool. Pre-cool your body by sitting in an air conditioned car, house or even taking a cold shower before your long run. It will take your body longer to heat up on the path. Use your gears and add a walking minute every mile or every 5-7 minutes. Ultra runners use walking minutes to maintain their effort on technical, hilly terrain and it is just as effective on the roads in keeping your body core temperature lower. The key for hot long runs is to keep your body core temperature at level orange (not red) and you can easily do so by slowing your pace, sprinkling in regular walking minutes and fueling on the move. When the weather breaks, you can resume continuous running without fault.

Run in circles. Plan your route so you tackle 4-6 miles in a loop (shaded is even better). That way you can set up your own personal aid station with a cooler full of ice water, wet iced towels, and cold fluids. Wear a tech visor or hat and wrist bands and dunk them in the ice water every loop. It is a nice retreat from the heat and will help cool you down along the way.

Protect yourself. Lube up with sunscreen's like SCAPE, which are made custom for endurance athletes, will last all day and won't run into your eyes. SCAPE is also breathable like GORE-TEX and aids in keeping your body core temperature lower.

Safe and happy running y'all!

hot, humid, runningLesley Jones