Running for 1 hour in 100 degrees

by nomeatbarefeet

So for those of you who have been living in Canada or maybe Antarctica for the last few weeks or months, the temperature has been hovering between 80 and 90 in most of the country. Albany is no exception, and with the HMRRC Hour Race looming I feared that the heat would still be here. Why did I have to be right? The temp was about 75 when I went to work at 5am, and by the time we re supposed to leave it was 100.

We all know the dangers of running in excessive heat. Normal interal body temp is 98.6. when running in the heat it gets up to between 101 and 103. Wen it hits over 103 you can start to feel fatigued and light-headed. When it gets to 105 for 30 minutes or more your body may start to cook itself rfrom the inside out.

Why would anyone (and for the present lets not include the crazy people who run things like Badwater) run in this kind of heat???? Well, I don’t know. And neither did Katie when she asked me, “Are you really still going to run?” and I replied, “Yes.” Maybe it was because I had psyched myself up all week, or maybe it was the cup of coffee I had polished off a hour earlier; either way I felt really good and I actually WANTED to go out and run. Under the sun. In 100 degrees. So, Katie reluctantly geared up with me and we headed over to the track to hopefully not pass out from heat stroke.

Oh by the way the race was to be run at a track. No scenic trails or beautiful atmosphere. Just the monotonous red lanes of the hot track. The race was simple: clock starts, count your laps, clock stops at one hour. Simple enough. Except brain functions seem to leak out of you after only a few laps, leaving you replacing 1s and 0s and mixing everything up. The one thing that, at least for me, made things better in terms of hydration was that we wore our packs. Not having not worry about cups, unless your wanted to douse yourself (which we did numerous times). Long story short, Katie managed 17 laps (4.22 miles) and I put in 28 (6.96 miles). (All the results can be found here.)

Another important tip that Katie has helped we realize and implement into our running is the use of walk breaks. Let me say this explicitly: DO NOT BE AFRAID TO WALK. This does not apply only when it is hot outside. When running longer distances it helps, physically and mentally, to walk (even if it is only for a few seconds). Some implement a 4:1 ratio, running for 20 minutes and walking for 5 (or whatever). try it. I will help. I promise.

So we survived, and even though I will not be running in 100 degree weather again I am proud that we are fit enough, and have learned to hydrate properly, to be able to run in hot and humid weather. I hope that the rest of our summer runs will not be in this type of heat (I am thinking of e 15k next week!).