Posts Tagged‘10 Tips for Running in the heat’

10 Tips for Running in the Heat

by Shona Stephenson on November 4, 2014

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Shona Stephenson March 2014 - 005

Ultra Trail Runner Shona Stephenson 10 Tips for training in the heat.

10 Tips for Running in the Heat

70% of your power, strength and endurance can be lost if you are overheating. Your body will send blood to your skin to produce sweat for evaporation rather than to your muscles. Overheating and dehydrating can head to muscle melt down and even death. Here are my 10 Tips for Running the Heat.

  1. Wear a Singlet.

Air flow to your armpits  is essential to cooling your core temperature. Our armpits sweat and the evaporation from the sweat off our skin on our armpits cools our skin. Our armpits produce the most amount of sweat in our body. Keep this area free and exposed so air can flow over our armpits and cool your body down. Keeping your armpits exposed will also allow for your core temperature heat to escape.

2) Wear a VISOR  NOT a Cap. 

Wearing a visor will protect your forehead from direct sun light and heat. It will allow for heat to escape from the top of your head. Your visor will also keep your face shaded. A visor can also be dunked into steams, creeks, rivers, ocean whilst on the run and used as a cooling your head.

3) Stay Hydrated with Electrolytes.

Staying hydrated will prevent the body from over heating. If your body is over heating you will lose up to 70% of your power, strength and endurance. Being hydrated is one of the best ways to keep your core temperature under control. Drinking Plain Water can be extremely dangerous and can lead to Hyponatremia or death.  It is essential that electrolytes are consumed with or in your water. A good product is Hammer Endurolyte’s. Your electrolytes are important for your muscular and heart function. Magnesium help your muscles relax, calcium contract, potassium is for the communication between the nerve endings and your muscles including your heart and sodium is to help prevent muscular cramps.

Have  fresh clean water on hand for when I feel like my mouth needs some plain water when racing a marathon or ultra. Consume Electrolytes every 30-min to 1 hour when training or racing.

4) Drink Regularly and Check your Hydration

The best way to find out how much you should be consuming per hour is to perform a sweat test. As a general rule about 400ml-600ml can be consumed per hour during exercise. 500ml per hour is a good place to start. Drink to thirst.

Check your hydration by monitoring your urine.

Clear Urine No Odour- Too much water you are in need of electrolytes.

Light Urine Yellow No Odour- Perfect hydration.

Dark Urine Yellow Odour- Dehydrated Drink Fluids.

Brown Urine- Kidney Failure Go Straight to hospital.

Other Signs of Dehydration

Dry Mouth, Spittle on Lips, Headaches, “Heart beating out your ears”, Dizziness, Nausea, Lethargy, Cramps, Muscular Tears and Sore Muscles

5) Drink Chilled or Frozen Electrolytes

Fluid chilled to 4 degrees Celsius has the fastest absorbing rate into your stomach. When racing or training in hot conditions freeze hydration bottles in the freezer over night then wear them in a vest like the Inov-8 Race Ultra Vest. Cooling your body down from the outside with the frozen bottles and also internally by drinking the melted fluid from the frozen hydration bottles. Hydralyte Icy Poles are also great to have handy for during or post training or race. Whilst racing. Place the Icy Poles down your bra or in your hydration pack. Add ice to your bladder too.

6) Tip Water Over Your Head

As your arm pits work to sweat to keep your body cool, tipping water over your head, neck, chest will also cool your body down. The initial cold water on your skin will lower your skin surface temperature. The extra moisture on your skin will add to your sweat and increase the evaporation of water off your skin. Long hair will work as a wet brush on your shoulders and back constantly providing a cool wet surface on your skin.

7)Underdress not Over Heat.

Wearing the least amount of clothing is the best way to help your skin do it’s job by providing the most amount of surface area for sweat to evaporate from. Your clothing should look like this.

Visor

Singlet or crop top for women.

Above Thigh Shorts

Crew Socks

Shoes.

8) Wear Sunscreen.

Avoid getting sunburnt and wear a light sports sunscreen that allows your skin to breath but still protect you from getting sunburn, thus sun stroke. Wearing Sunscreen will also protect your skin from skin cancer.

9) Adjust Your Pace

Running at 32 degrees in over 75% Humidity is like running at altitude at 2500m. No wonder we all suffer in the heat. Just like if you were running at altitude you’d run slower and adjust your pace to accommodate the lack of oxygen in your muscles. You will also need to do this in the heat. As noted above, if your body is not fully acclimatised to running in the heat 70% of your blood flow will be in your skin and not your muscles, that’s why it’s so hard. Slow down. Monitor your vital signs. Check your hydration with a urine test, make sure you are not over heating, take Enduralytes, have a cold drink or an Icy Pole, Wet your Visor.

10) Acclimatise

Just as you would need to acclimatise to altitude you will need to acclimatise to racing and training in the heat. If you are planing on racing in hot conditions it will take at least two weeks to acclimatise to the hotter temperatures .

Your heart rate can be elevated to more than 10 beats a minute more than exercising in cooler temperatures. It takes 1 week for your heart rate to return back to normal BPM and the second week is for your sweat glands to acclimatise to the hot conditions.

 

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