Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot

Running, Tips Add a Comment »

While I was training for the half marathon last year, I was fortunate I didn’t have to experience any extreme temperatures or humidity. The day of the race I think it got close to 70 degrees . . . in December.

This time around I’m having to experience extreme Memphis heat and humidity. It doesn’t matter if it’s 6 am, 12 noon, or 8 pm, it’s always hot and muggy. Even when I’m done with my run and get cleaned up I still can’t seem to stop sweating for at least 2 hours.

I completed a 5 mile run last week and I felt as if I’d run a marathon. Even with all the Gatorade and water that I carry with me on my runs, the hot weather is a formidable adversary.

In order to keep up with my training obligations, I’ve been reading up on how to run SAFELY through the hottest parts of the year. Here are some tips that have come in handy:

  1. For long runs that are held on Sunday, preparation should begin on Saturday. Eat light and drink LOTS of water.
  2. Slow down. When it’s extremely humid outside, sweat won’t evaporate as easily.
  3. If you’re new to running in the heat, start in the hottest part of the day, and start slow. Take a short walk or run a few easy miles a couple of times a week for the first few weeks. “Spending all your time in air-conditioning and then expecting to run well outdoors in the heat is not going to cut it,” says William Roberts, M.D., former president of the American College of Sports Medicine and the medical director of the Twin Cities Marathon.
  4. Wear socks made of synthetic fibers that wick moisture away from your skin to help prevent blisters and athlete’s foot.
  5. Drink adequate fluids 30 - 45 minutes before you exercise and then a cupful every 10 - 15 minutes while exercising. After exercising, drink more fluid than you think you need. Sport replacement drinks are superior to water, especially if you’re running longer distances and times (over 60 - 90 minutes). The electrolytes and carbohydrates in sport drinks will help speed your recovery from the stress of fluid loss and your long distance run. Sport replacement drinks also taste great, encouraging you to drink more than you otherwise might.
  6. Dress lightly and wear light-colored clothes. Avoid cotton t-shirts, which will become soaked, heavy, and prevent evaporation, which is how your body cools itself.

Slow and Steady

Challenges, Running, Tips 1 Comment »

Now, please don’t take my post title the wrong way. It’s not a lack of creativity or dedication to the cause, but rather I believe Scott must’ve read my mind when he published his last post.

My mom’s training for the ING half marathon in Atlanta, GA. She wanted to spend some quality time with me, so we went running last Saturday. Our desired distance was eight miles. I was a little nervous because the last time I ran that distance, I ended up killing myself for the sake of having a better ranking in the challenges. This has been stated before, but I really feel that it can’t be reinforced enough: while it’s good to push yourself, you definitely SHOULDN’T over train.

Read the rest of this entry »

Technique Tips

Injury, Running, Tips Add a Comment »

Danny Dreyer, author of Chi Running, a revolutionary book that focuses on running technique to not only heal and prevent injuries, but also to help you run faster, has started to syndicate some extremely useful tips on Amazon.com. Here’s a couple of tips that Danny has already offered:

Running Form
“The longer the distance you run, the more amount of time you’ll need to spend landing on your midfoot instead of your forefoot (as sprinters do). If you spend too much time up on your toes, the small muscles of your legs will become overworked and/or over trained and you could end up being a candidate for some form of overuse injury of the lower leg (shin splints, calf pulls, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and even metatarsal fractures).”
Danny Dreyer, Chi Running.

Another useful tip from Danny:

Whether to breathe through the nose or mouth
“As for breathing, it is best to work your way towards breathing through your nose as it gets the air deeper into your lungs than mouth breathing. Nose-breathing also stimulates nerve endings in your head as the air passes through the sinus passages, which help to relax the brain. In the winter it pre-heats and filters the air going into your lungs. Practice nose breathing for short periods at slower speeds and you’ll gradually be able to nose breathe at the faster speeds. I can run at a 7:30 pace comfortably with my mouth closed at this point and it’s very relaxing.”
Danny Dreyer, Chi Running.