By Christina | August 23, 2009
The Cable Organizer Marathon Team is in full force. Our long run is up to 5 miles and everyone is committed to running at least 3-4 times a week. Yesterday was a good lesson in perseverance in the face of adversity. We have been running consistently for the past month. The weather has been hot, but nothing compared to the scorching heat and humidity of yesterday late afternoon.
Training in hot weather will ultimately make the actual running of the marathon easier when the temperature becomes significantly cooler. In the meantime, however, running in extreme heat has a great impact on the quality of the long distance run. Every runner’s performance was adversely affected yesterday not because of lack of conditioning but rather from the weather conditions being prohibitive to intense physical exercise.
Extreme heat can make you dehydrated, sluggish, and unable to bring down your heart rate. Even when you are making sure to regularly hydrate, the oppressive temperatures impede your performance because you cannot regulate your internal temperature.
Some tips that were helpful to our team running in these conditions were the following. Run the long run in laps so that you can stop at any point along the way and not be far from where you began if you were to become sidelined. Try to run in a shaded path so that the direct sun is not hitting you even though the outside temperatures are high. Have water stops strategically placed along the run to force you to stay hydrated. Most importantly, alter your goal from running 5 miles to a run/walk combination instead of giving up entirely.
Wearing a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and light clothing are also a must. If for some reason, your body could not successfully complete the run because the heat became overwhelming, do not let it defeat you or define your ability to continue training for your marathon. Even elite runners cannot run as fast or far in temperatures as punishing as South Florida was yesterday.