How to run in 95 degree weather or just hot weather… Part 1 of 2

Here’s the funny part about living in Boston;  When you tell people you train outside during the winter in negative degree snowbound weather, they don’t bat an eye but tell them you went running during 95 degree weather and suddenly you’re crazy. Although our heat wave is slowing down in Boston, summer is by no means over. The 2012 Boston Marathon proved that even in April you’re not safe from blasting hot weather. If it’s cold, you layer up but for heat? There’s a limit to how many layers you can take off…

I’ve heard of some useful tips on training during hot days, or more specifically working your hardest to avoid it.

– Run really early or later in the day to avoid the sun
– Check the weather for the week and adjust your runs to the cooler days
– Run on shaddy trails
– Take your run indoors

These are all good ideas and are good tips for starting out but in the words of Scott Jurek Sometimes You Just Do Things.” Sometimes you just need to train in the heat and there’s no avoiding it. Why?

1. As we learned during the 2012 Boston Marathon Nightmare, you can’t always pick your race day weather and races are rain or shine no matter how hot the shine is.
2. If you’re training for a fall race, summer running needs to be done. Or at least for me, if I don’t practice running, I can’t show up on a random day and run a marathon, sadly I’m just not that talented
3. You can’t always pick your day or time you work out when you have other responsibilities. I’m not an evening runner. If I run at night, I can’t sleep for hours so sunset runs are out. Also as a tiny gal, it’s not the most safest running decision I can make.
4. Studies show that heat training improves performance. One study done be in 2010 at the University of Oregon concluded that turning up the heat might be one of the best things for athletes competing in cool weather since Gu.

The researchers took 12 highly trained cyclists — 10 males and two females — before and after a 10-day heat acclimation program. Participants underwent physiological and performance tests under both hot and cool conditions. A separate control group of eight highly trained cyclists underwent testing and followed the same exercise regime in a cool environment.

The study found performance increases of approximately 7 percent after 10 heat acclimation exposures. “In terms of competitive cycling, 7 percent is a really big increase and could mean that cyclists could use this approach to improve their performance in cooler weather conditions,” said Lorenzo. However, the heat exposures must be in addition to the athletes’ normal training regimen.

Heat acclimation improves the body’s ability to control body temperature, improves sweating and increases blood flow through the skin, and expands blood volume allowing the heart to pump to more blood to muscles, organs and the skin as needed. You can read the full study here with all the technical jargon.

This will conclude part one of my two-part running in heat posts. I talked about why you shouldn’t skip your run just because it’s hot, next I’ll talk about some tips and some hot weather running essentials that I’ve picked up from my experience thus far!

Today I tried to implement the heat acclimation theory and was going to skip the treadmill to do some “heat training.” However it started to rain and I had nothing to protect my phone with. instead I went inside. Luckily for heat training purposes the Malden Y is 200 degrees. So I ran my 4 out of 5 miles there instead. Saturday and Sunday are 10 and a 13 miles for me this weekend as part of ultra training. Hopefully the thunderstorms will hide away in the morning!

I hope everyone has a runful weekend!

9 thoughts on “How to run in 95 degree weather or just hot weather… Part 1 of 2”

    1. agreed! I hung out with a girl from Texas during the Boston marathon. Her response to me looking like I’m about to die just sitting- ehh this is nothing, it’s not even humid!

    2. I am right there with ya! Running in Texas and training for a half marathon. It is 104 all week for me, so I definitely found this blog useful. Heat is not an excuse when it is colder
      in the morning and evening

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