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Tips for Running in Extreme Heat....

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
The South East is in an 800 year drought, the worst on record, and around the country temperatures are breaking records. Those of us who enjoy conditioning and running all year probably have special routines and strategies for dealing with extreme temperatures. I have been running since my early teens, and am not about to stop now due to the weather.

My present schedule only allows for midday running.....when the heat is scorching outside. As I write the temp is 100F in the small rural town I reside in.

Here are several of my ways to beat the heat:

I run half mile to mile segments and take a short break. I of course have to stop at busy intersections, and that helps. Running shorter segments is also easier on joints.

I try to run streets with trees...a little shade is a tremendous psychological boost in 100 degree heat.

Running on a dirt track or grass is always cooler.

Light mesh tank tops are it! I also use New Balance running shorts.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainiac View Post
...Those of us who enjoy conditioning and running all year probably have special routines and strategies for dealing with extreme temperatures. I have been running since my early teens, and am not about to stop now due to the weather.
Bravo! You're my kind of runner. Not just a fair weather one. I live in the Mid-Atlantic region, where we get heat, humidity in the summer and the occasional wind, ice, snow, and freezing temperatures in the winter. Just have to know how to "dress" properly for the weather and one will discover that the human body is such an amazing marvel which can tolerate and acclimatize to almost any difficult climate. However, autumn is just around the corner, which rewards those of us who run consistently during the hot summer months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainiac View Post
My present schedule only allows for midday running.....when the heat is scorching outside. As I write the temp is 100F in the small rural town I reside in.

Here are several of my ways to beat the heat:

.....

Light mesh tank tops are it! I also use New Balance running shorts.
I'm a long time New Balance user myself, from shoes, high tech tank tops to running shorts. With that said, what is so special about New Balance shorts? I run in other brands and have not discovered any special advantage to NB shorts, either in the summer or winter. Similarly for NB tank tops, although I must say that NB shoes (990 series) are, for me, just right (I have a wide foot).

I know that you probably inadvertently left out "lots of water" during the run and AFTER, thoughtout the rest of the day. I've also found that a straw hat helps in extreme heat and sun. Hope the temperature starts to drop where you live. It has been dropping a bit here in the DC area, although still awfully warm and muggy for my morning run of 9 miles today.

Run long and prosper and may the wind be always at your back.

CP
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieP View Post
I'm a long time New Balance user myself, from shoes, high tech tank tops to running shorts. With that said, what is so special about New Balance shorts?
Thanks! I get New Balance shorts cheep from Sierra Trading Post!

BTW I use Reebok Premier Raod Plus running shoes.....and when I can run barefoot, like at the beach, I run 3-5 mile segments.
post #4 of 12
Mainiac,
I don't run much now but I used to run A LOT! 20 years in the Marines does that to you. Anyway, I've run far and hard in the extremes of Barstow's desert - low humidity but almost always over 100 1/2 the year and sometimes above 110 when I ran. And the other extreme of Okinawa Japan. In the summer it would range from over 90 to the low 100's with about 95% humidity. Even the 0500 runs would have us drenched with sweat before we started.

Here's what I learned:

Keep your shirt on. Once you start sweating it acts as a swamp cooler to help keep you cool.

As already stated stay hydrated before, during, and AFTER.

Sunblock is always good and sunburns dehydrate.

I had very short and eventually thinning hair so hats were a must.

sunglasses prevent squinting which keeps you from twisting your ankle or stepping in dog poop.

A running partner is good for way to many reasons to not have one. I know it isn't always easy to get one and I usualy didn't have one, but it is a very good idea.

Heat exhaustion sneaks up on you -
One of the best runs I had in the desert did me in. I felt great, left my running partner in the dust and did a great time. The problem was it was 108 deg when we started and 112 by time we got back from an 8 mile run and we did it in 58 minunder 60 mins. The rest of the afternoon I felt pumped. The problem was that I felt pumped because my heart was pumping fast when it should have calmed down ( I was in very good shape then). Even into the early evening I was full of energy.

The next morning I could barely move. I needed the assistance of one arm to lift the other arm. My body felt like it had ran a marathon or two. A trip to the aid stations and I was diagnosed with heat exhaustion. I could have prevented it by not running so fast and upping my hydration effort.

I learned the hard way that when I get the little tingling on the back of the neck, if I don't slow down, I'm either going to throw up or pass out. It's good to know your limit but it can be dangerous to find it.
post #5 of 12
If you loop back near your house/car, or someplace else you can leave water or ice, you can poor a cup on your head. It will drop your core temp quickly. Handing out cold sponges is a common method to keep triathletes cool during long distance races in high heat.
post #6 of 12
Move
post #7 of 12
Hey all,

I live in Birmingham, Alabama...yes it's as hot as the surface of the sun here. Last summer in August we had 21 days of 100+ degree heat. My running log shows that I did over 200 miles during august last year. That included two 20+ mile runs on consecutive Saturday mornings.

I'm not a morning person so at best, I can only haul my butt outa bed for an early run twice a week. One of those is the Long Run day.

That means that the rest of my runs are at lunchtime, late afternoon and at dusk. The heat and the humidity are horrible. Heat indexes over 100 and humidity in the 85 - 95 % range.

To a certain degree the body will adapt to the these conditions. I can tell when I've adapted because my average heart rate will go do for the same pace.

Fluid consumption is one of the keys. Like someone posted, we do supported long runs with my training group where you hit a water/gater ade stop every 2.5 - 3 miles.

Also, I've been carry fluids with my using a Nathan Speed 4 fluid belt. I like this better than a waist or shoulder camel bak for running.

Good luck out there in the heat. It really pays off when the weather turns cooler and you can post some smokin fast race times. I knocked 22 mins off my marathon PR last october.
post #8 of 12
I'm a 50-year runner who's lived and trained in Florida, California and New Jersey. For me, the humidity is a much greater threat than heat alone. Together, they can be killers.

You can probably adapt to heat alone by backing off for a day or two and getting back to your previous level of effort over a week's time. Humidity takes 2-3 weeks. You need to stock up on potassium, which the body doesn't store. Bananas are a great source; so are dried apricots.

Do not consume sweet drinks, like soda, as an immediate fluid replacement. I made this mistake on a 60 deg. F./75 %humidity day in NJ (the first humid day of the spring), passed out and seized (if you faint in a sitting position it can stimulate the vegas nerve, which causes a convulsion).

Gatorade (I had the pleasure of observing the late Dr. Bill Cade testing it in the late 1960s at the Univ. of Florida - in its primitive, non-commercial stage of development, it tasted like sweat) is a good fluid to try. I advocate drinking as you feel the need. You don't have to force yourself to dring during your run if you don't want to.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post
Mainiac,
I don't run much now but I used to run A LOT! 20 years in the Marines does that to you. Anyway, I've run far and hard in the extremes of Barstow's desert - low humidity but almost always over 100 1/2 the year and sometimes above 110 when I ran. And the other extreme of Okinawa Japan. In the summer it would range from over 90 to the low 100's with about 95% humidity. Even the 0500 runs would have us drenched with sweat before we started.

Here's what I learned:

Keep your shirt on. Once you start sweating it acts as a swamp cooler to help keep you cool.

As already stated stay hydrated before, during, and AFTER.

Sunblock is always good and sunburns dehydrate.

I had very short and eventually thinning hair so hats were a must.

sunglasses prevent squinting which keeps you from twisting your ankle or stepping in dog poop.

A running partner is good for way to many reasons to not have one. I know it isn't always easy to get one and I usualy didn't have one, but it is a very good idea.

Heat exhaustion sneaks up on you -
One of the best runs I had in the desert did me in. I felt great, left my running partner in the dust and did a great time. The problem was it was 108 deg when we started and 112 by time we got back from an 8 mile run and we did it in 58 minunder 60 mins. The rest of the afternoon I felt pumped. The problem was that I felt pumped because my heart was pumping fast when it should have calmed down ( I was in very good shape then). Even into the early evening I was full of energy.

The next morning I could barely move. I needed the assistance of one arm to lift the other arm. My body felt like it had ran a marathon or two. A trip to the aid stations and I was diagnosed with heat exhaustion. I could have prevented it by not running so fast and upping my hydration effort.

I learned the hard way that when I get the little tingling on the back of the neck, if I don't slow down, I'm either going to throw up or pass out. It's good to know your limit but it can be dangerous to find it.
L&AIRC 0500 runs drenched with sweat...fun way to wake up! Great example of heat exhaustion....I'd be reaching for the beer before I did that....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timr1 View Post
Hey all,

I live in Birmingham, Alabama...yes it's as hot as the surface of the sun here. Last summer in August we had 21 days of 100+ degree heat. My running log shows that I did over 200 miles during august last year. That included two 20+ mile runs on consecutive Saturday mornings.

I'm not a morning person so at best, I can only haul my butt outa bed for an early run twice a week. One of those is the Long Run day.

That means that the rest of my runs are at lunchtime, late afternoon and at dusk. The heat and the humidity are horrible. Heat indexes over 100 and humidity in the 85 - 95 % range.

To a certain degree the body will adapt to the these conditions. I can tell when I've adapted because my average heart rate will go do for the same pace.

Fluid consumption is one of the keys. Like someone posted, we do supported long runs with my training group where you hit a water/gater ade stop every 2.5 - 3 miles.

Also, I've been carry fluids with my using a Nathan Speed 4 fluid belt. I like this better than a waist or shoulder camel bak for running.

Good luck out there in the heat. It really pays off when the weather turns cooler and you can post some smokin fast race times. I knocked 22 mins off my marathon PR last october.
Yes Timr1 I have the need to run in the summer....I really work out at the beach (when I'm there) in the morning...easy on the joints.....I do the Cooper River Bridge Run at Charleston.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorJersey View Post
I'm a 50-year runner who's lived and trained in Florida, California and New Jersey. For me, the humidity is a much greater threat than heat alone. Together, they can be killers.

You can probably adapt to heat alone by backing off for a day or two and getting back to your previous level of effort over a week's time. Humidity takes 2-3 weeks. You need to stock up on potassium, which the body doesn't store. Bananas are a great source; so are dried apricots.

Do not consume sweet drinks, like soda, as an immediate fluid replacement. I made this mistake on a 60 deg. F./75 %humidity day in NJ (the first humid day of the spring), passed out and seized (if you faint in a sitting position it can stimulate the vegas nerve, which causes a convulsion).

Gatorade (I had the pleasure of observing the late Dr. Bill Cade testing it in the late 1960s at the Univ. of Florida - in its primitive, non-commercial stage of development, it tasted like sweat) is a good fluid to try. I advocate drinking as you feel the need. You don't have to force yourself to dring during your run if you don't want to.
GatorJersey I do take a couple of days between hard runs....at 52 I need to! That's neat you saw Bill Cade...Gatorade makes good heat cocktails too! Thanks all for the great input.
post #10 of 12

Enough

My biggest failing, Mainiac, is not knowing when enough's enough. Perhaps that's why I hadn't run since March, due to a strange neuromuscular condition in my left calf that has defied my efforts at therapy. Now, on top of that, I went and tore my quad tendon completely off my kneecap (maybe my tumble down the steps of my deck was related to my fanatical overuse of my elliptical and too much of an effort to strengthen my calf muscles through resistance exercises; I was plumb tired when it happened). This is a terrible injury which will probably take a year to fully recover from. Don't follow my example. Back off when you feel the need!
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatorJersey View Post
My biggest failing, Mainiac, is not knowing when enough's enough. Perhaps that's why I hadn't run since March, due to a strange neuromuscular condition in my left calf that has defied my efforts at therapy. Now, on top of that, I went and tore my quad tendon completely off my kneecap (maybe my tumble down the steps of my deck was related to my fanatical overuse of my elliptical and too much of an effort to strengthen my calf muscles through resistance exercises; I was plumb tired when it happened). This is a terrible injury which will probably take a year to fully recover from. Don't follow my example. Back off when you feel the need!
Ouch! It's heartbreaking (no pun) to slowly have your body break, through age and sport/exercise use. You then begin to have to fight for your health through research and lifestyle changes. I really tapered off about a decade ago when my back started giving me trouble......my physician said running was part of it. Weight lifting, extreme swimming, and those long runs are in my past. I still have my knees and ankles, though, and part of my back. From decades of running and swimming, Med. (lots of fish) diet, I have huge lungs, and a rather low heartbeat, and generally, pretty good health and surprising endurance. Moderation and relaxation are now a component of my regime, as well as quaffing beer and ale.

Comically, I consider skiing a non contact sport. If you know terrain, you will not get whacked. That's partially why I'm here, and not on a runner's forum. Keep the faith in you body, nurse it, and it will come back.
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainiac View Post
Moderation and relaxation are now a component of my regime, as well as quaffing beer and ale.
Sept 12, 2008

According to all the "gentle" running authorities, Joe Henderson, Dr. George Sheehan andJeff Galloway to name a few, as we age, we should insert more recovery days into our running schedule. It is well known that George Sheehan at age 60 ran 6 days a week 5 miles each time he went out. He was feeling aches and pains and more importantly, his race times (for him all important) began to suffer. He started by cutting one day out of his running but made up by running one more mile each time he ran. Under this schedule, he felt and raced better. He also recovered quicker. Being trained as a physician, he probably reasoned "If one day of rest does so much, why not insert another day". He cut another day of running but made up by running even further. Finally, he ended up running only three days a week but 10 miles each time for a weekly total of 30 miles. At the age of 61 he ran the 1979 Marine Corps Marathon in 3 hours 1 minute for a life time PR. He did most of his running in hot muggy New Jersey and didn't move.

CP
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