ALLIE BURDICK UPDATED A PIECE THAT ENCOURAGES RUNNERS TO USE SUMMER HEAT TO BECOME BETTER AT RUNNING IN ALL TEMPERATURES in “Why Runners Should Train in the Heat” for podiumrunner.com.
She references a scientific acclimation study to back up her assertions.
Those who have attempted to move athletically, whether running, hiking, cycling, or playing another sport, when the weather suddenly becomes hot with a change of season know how being unaccustomed to heat can adversely affect the performance and enjoyment of an activity. And, likely have noticed a gradual lessening of this negative effect as acclimation occurs.
Particularly discouraging situations involve expectations of peak performance in the face of sudden weather swings, as when an early spring race must be competed at 75°F after a winter of training days in which temperatures hovered near the freezing mark. I mostly noticed this effect when lucky enough to travel south during spring break. Expecting to run like the wind unencumbered by heavy clothing and protective gear, I am dismayed to be slowed by deliciously warmer and milder humid air.
However, training in uncomfortably warm conditions has advantages Burdick explains.
Her article covers how to prepare for such training and suggests several types of hot weather workouts, including one that simulates the condition. The short piece addresses safety issues and urges that attention be paid to hydration and body changes that signal the onset of heat exhaustion.
There are three prescribed workouts: treadmill, track, and hill repeats. The indoor simulated setting doesn’t involve the use of ice for cooling, but an ice bag is recommended for the outdoor sessions.
Burdick doesn’t mention it, but each of her 3 suggested workout settings potentially have a built-in safety element: proximity. In a gym or on a running track or short hill course, an opportunity to cool down and access fluids is likely to be nearby. A car can be parked within a short distance of a track or incline and be stocked with additional water and ice, or those items can be stashed in a place within eyesight.
Safety is emphasized in the piece and should be a top concern. Appropriate clothing and gear are suggested. Venue choice is also important; isolated locations are not the best for heat training. Support items that can be doused with water for quick cooling, like a visor hat and shirt with sleeves are a good idea. Access to a shaded spot is optimal.
Jonathon Beverly, editor of PodiumRunner.com introduced the topic of heat training in an emailed newsletter that included a link to the Burdick article and another about hot weather racing. He explained how he previously hated the running in the heat but that a change in perspective helped him see it as a training element. “I’m learning to put heat in the same category as hills, wind or speed”. Great advice!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
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