It seems like everyone is obsessed with being comfortable. I don’t believe anyone ever improved their racing performance or weight loss or body image by being comfortable. It’s when you’re especially uncomfortable, you start to get a training effect. So, who wants to suffer a little?
Here in the Northeast, it’s hot. This is what we were praying for back in January (and February, March and April), remember? It’s finally arrived so let’s not complain and instead, use it to our advantage.
Training in the heat definitely has it’s advantages, especially if a race you’re training for is expected to reach temperatures above 75, which is highly likely if you’re racing within the next three months. If you want to be prepared, you should train in like conditions.
Now, before anyone gets too crazy and collapses from heat exhaustion, know that I’m not suggesting you push past your limit. Everyone has a different threshold for heat so please know where your line is before you cross it.
Be hydrated! You want to feel the effects of the heat and have it supplement your training but you need to go into it well hydrated. Drink generously (water please!) for two to three days before a hot run.
If you’re looping a route, doing hill repeats or are training at the track, bring a bag of ice with you.
Dress appropriately if you’re heat training outside – light colored cap, mesh or light material tank, light colored and light weight shorts, sunscreen and sunglasses.
There was a recent article by Alex Hutchinson, in Runner’s World about heat training producing a plasma volume increase. Plasma is the liquid component in your blood and if the volume is increased, you can send blood to cool your skin without compromising the supply carrying oxygen to your muscles.
The result? You can run faster and/or more efficiently in all temperatures.
Treadmill: If mother nature isn’t supplying the heat you need, either run on a treadmill in a room where the temperature is 75-85 degrees or put on some extra clothing like long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Keep your pace moderate and, only run a distance you are training for or are used to. This is not the workout to increase pace or distance.
Repeat once every three days.
Track: Here’s where the bag of ice comes in handy. Place the bag with your stuff on the infield of the track. Do an easy warm-up for 10-15 minutes and then begin some speed work. Run for up to one mile at 5K pace and then put some ice in your sports bra or under your hat and repeat.
Each time you do this workout, use less ice. Repeat once a week.
Hills: After a mile warm-up, chose a hill you can run up at a comfortable pace in about 2-4 minutes. Run up and jog or walk back down, 4-8 times. Do a cool down walk or jog back and rehydrate immediately.
Repeat once a week.
THE ‘EASY’ WAY
If you have a race coming up and know the temps are going to soar, you can do what four-time Olympic champion Lasse Viren did and hit the sauna post-workout. Research has shown that four, 30-minute sauna sessions after a workout can have the same plasma effect…just don’t hit the sauna the same day as a hot run!
Obviously this is extreme training for some but, runners of all levels can benefit from being a little uncomfortable in all types of weather conditions. As long as you’re safe, don’t fear the heat and go outside and run!
Is it hot where you are?
What do you avoid doing in the heat?
Great tips for the warmer weather and working out. It is most definitely getting warmer here now and I think you know though that I love this weather and so I am definitely not complaining as I would take 90 degrees over 30, freezing and snow any day of the week!!
Same here!!! Enjoy the sun 🙂
These are great tips for running. Honestly it’s important to approach running in the heat very cautiously. It’s better to be safe than sorry right now.
Very true, which is why the disclosure :-0
Awesome info for all runners Allie! I’m ok with running in the heat but if the weather man adds humidity my asthma is not very happy.
Have a fantastic weekend!
Oh yes, it’s all about the humidity percentages. Thanks Jill 🙂
OMG sauna after a workout?! I can’t imagine. It is hot and humid but I’m not complaining (or trying not to at least!). I do have to remind myself that it will take my body a little bit to get acclimated to the heat and humidity, especially after a long layoff too!
YES! And I sometimes go into the sauna before a swim so I can warm-up and stretch but I’m not so sure I will enjoy it post-workout!
Yes! Allie this is right on! As much as I am not looking forward to it, I have many repeats headed my way very soon, and they are gonna put me in the hurt locker quick, but its good isn’t it! What you do not want to do, is often what you need to do the most! And yes, it is hot here too, and trying to keep what you said in mind; we asked for it! So far I am enjoying it though! Have a wonderful weekend friend!
Exactly and “hurt locker” is the perfect description! I’m actually looking forward to getting back to some speed work and I am loving the heat for open water swimming 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Of course Lasse Viren was Finnish. They think a good sauna will cure all. I can say this because my husband is Finn! 🙂 And I am not complaining at all about the heat. I’m embracing it and can’t wait till I can look like I ran through the sprinklers on my next run!
..and maybe even actually run though some!
And, I think the Finns are onto something or maybe it’s just the act of sitting and just being for a little while post-workout. There are meditative qualities to a good sauna sit. Ohmmmm.
I’ve been running in hot humid weather for years. It usually takes me a few weeks to readjust after the summer. I always run with my hydration vest. I freeze it the night before so then it’s like ice on my back and keeps me cool.
That sounds awesome!! I really think it helps to get cold before heading out, which is why I use the ice trick. By mid-June we’ll all be acclimated 🙂
I loathe, and I mean really, truly loathe running in the heat. Despite growing up in South Florida and living in central South Carolina for the past 6 years, I just never run well in the heat and humidity that seems to plague us for most of the year. I don’t cancel my runs because of heat, but I definitely have to modify my workouts. I’m a major over-sweater and can never get my body the hydration and electrolytes it needs without making myself sick during a long run from taking in so much fluid. It sucks, but I’ve just kind of accepted that summer is not my best season and early fall marathons are not a great idea for me. I’d rather run in the cold any day!
I have no clue how people run in Florida or the deep south! You’re dealing with heat AND the dreaded humidity. If memory serves from trips taken down south, you can’t even beat the heat at 5am. I think I would be facing a lot of treadmill runs if I lived there!
I love the heat. It totally doesn’t bother me. However, here it does get to above 30 degrees celsius, which is freakin hot! But I’ve noticed that we’ve all adjusted since living in a warmer climate. Now when it is 60 degrees, we act like it is 40 out! haha.
Seriously! Isn’t it funny how quickly you adapt? I was just looking at the temps for San Francisco and it’s mid-60s. Brrrrr!!!!
Great advice Allie! I’m usually no good in the heat so this will definitely help.
Just start with quick workouts and then add time. I think the key to some of the heat workouts is mentally knowing you don’t have to be out there very long!
Yes it is hot and humid down south! Our summers are pretty ridiculous in the hot and humid department. but I’ve adapted to the heat and feel fine as long as I go early. Or late but prefer early. I sort of like the heat, it makes me feel alive to seriously sweat! That hot sauna training sounds like another level of crazy though lol. I can make 20 minutes but 30, whoa! However they are really relaxing, especially when it’s cold outside:-) happy Friday!
Agreed! I too prefer an early morning run to evening…nighttime is unwinding time!
The Finns know what they are doing! My husband’s company is based there and I also have a transplanted couple here from Finland who are absolute super studs–they are regulars in the sauna! Evaporative cooling is the best thing to do on a hot day/race–keep dumping that water over your head/onto your shirt. And while racing in heat isn’t my favorite, I always wish summer could just slow down and stay. I always feel at my fittest by end of summer when I’m totally acclimated and can handle any temperature.Winter is for the birds!
I think the answer is to move to Finland. Too drastic? I do agree about summer and being in superior training mode. I also just love being able tot throw on shorts and a sports bra and go!
We have wacky weather right now – cool and overcast in the morning, and cool/cold at night. Days are warm, not hot and zero humidity. I have run in humidity before and it can be brutal, but great for the skin! 🙂
That sounds like weather perfection! Enjoy it while it lasts.
It’s finally warmed up in New Hampshire and we are loving it!!!! I love running in the heat. All the sweat! And I actually love the good ass kicking workouts the best!
A girl after my own heart. I love it too and feel like I’m in so much better shape by summer’s end!
the child and I are ALREADY LAUGHING too how we longed for this in february.
Our walk to school is l——o—-n—-g and hilly and hot.
I swear it could count for training.
now just to figure out what 🙂
It counts for ALL things! Keep it up mama!
omg this is so perfect. I have bookmarked and pinned because I know I am going to need ALL of this for marathon training. The ice is an awesome idea except I don’t drive to my track I run to it (about a mile) maybe I’ll have my mom drop some off for me, she is closer to the track than I am!
I’m SO glad and YES you will need it to train during the summer. Have your mom bring the ice! Not only does it help keep you cool, it motivates you to keep going because you know you’ll be getting more ice soon!