By: Coach Joe Beckerley USAT1, USAQ-SP, CPT
Excessive Heat Warning
Last year I raced in record heat at Ironman Coeur d’Alene with the temperatures reaching a very dangerous 105 degrees during the run. Sometimes as athletes we have to train or race on very hot days – like those we are experiencing right now in San Diego County.
Here are some tips help you beat the heat.
- Be safe. Running in very hot temperatures can be dangerous. An easy long run on a hot day typically increases your body temperature from its usual 98.6 to 101 to 103 degrees – with heat stroke occurring when your body temperature rises above 104 degrees. Heat stroke is when the body can no longer cool itself and can lead to death!
- Beat the heat. Start your training early when the sun is rising (or better yet, before!) and get your run in early. Wear lightweight breathable clothes and a hat.
- Make sure you are hydrated before starting your training session. This means a lot more than having a glass of water before you start. Plan your run ahead of time and drinking plenty of water and electrolytes the day and night before. Also bring extra water on your run.
- Know heat effects performance. Take it easy, slow your pace down. If you have a heart rate monitor wear it and make sure you are staying at or under your aerobic threshold. If you feel weakness, nausea, headache, dizzy or vomiting, STOP and walk, find some shade, take a rest.
- Shorten your long run. Consider an early morning track workout that you can fit in early in the morning, or a short morning trail run. Trails absorb less heat than pavement or a track – so may help you feel cool. Above all be smart. I know you want to PR your next race, but you don’t want to risk your health to do so.