How does the heat affect your running?

Heat is tough, VERY tough

Last week, I did a workout in some extreme heat and humidity on Tuesday, then bounced back with an up tempo run on Thursday in relatively cool weather.

I thought a comparison of paces between these runs was an interesting study in what the heat can do to a runner so I figured I’d share the comparison between these runs with you. It’s not meant to be a study of exactly how one can compare splits in the heat but more an illustration that, yes, it can significantly affect your running and the best thing you can do in the heat is accept slower paces.

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Summer running

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It’s starting to feel like summer!

With the crazy year or so we’ve just come out of, hopefully most of us are training hard and looking forward to some racing getting back in our schedules. It’s going to be an interesting summer, to say the least.

We all think of winter as the challenging and dangerous season for runners but there are challenges and safety considerations we need to keep in mind during the summer also. As well as the adjustments that we need to make not for our safety but to ensure we’re getting the most out of our summer time training.

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Racing is a skill – practice it

It’s been a while

I was just talking with a runner I coach about racing plans for this year. She’s not into racing frequently, instead picking and choosing races when she will be ready to really get after it. The easy call for her was to target a race this fall, build up to it over the summer and be in real good shape.

However, in talking, we commiserated about neither of us having run a real race in over a year and a half and I immediately thought she needs something else.

I told her to definitely pick out that target race in the fall but also think about finding something in the summer. Know she’s going into it not fully ready to race but practice the act of racing.

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Don’t get lost in science

Some time ago, I was listening to a podcast interview of a high school coach with a PhD in exercise physiology. He pointed out that his athletes could be using watches that measure heart rate, oxygen saturation, cadence, ground contact time, and a crazy number of other values. However, while some had these watches, he didn’t have them paying attention to those values while running. His runners learned how to run by feel.

I wrote down a few notes from that interview and came across them last week, which prompted this post.

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How much should you emulate the elites?

His marathon is a completely different race than yours

Last week, in discussing strength training, I pointed out why I think most runners should probably not do what the elites are doing. I wanted to expand on that thought some this week because, while it’s good to look at them to get an idea of what works, it can be risky for several reasons to simply replicate what they do.

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Strength training for runners in 2021

I’m going to tag the date on this because our knowledge changes and I’ll probably post an update every once in a while. Hopefully, more than once every 20 years.

I’ve been having discussions with a few runners on strength training recently and I’ve realized that my very old post about strength training, while not entirely invalid, is outdated. Of course, I wrote that somewhere around 20 years ago so what should we expect?

So it’s time for an update. Is strength training good for our running and, if so, what should we do?

The answers are yes and it depends.

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What competitions matter to you?

What is the primary goal?

Strava is a wonderful tool. It’s a great way to share your training with friends as well as keep up with what your friends are doing. It’s loaded with great ways to challenge yourself and your friends. It also has kudos. Who doesn’t love getting that little virtual pat on the back for a run well done?

Garmin Connect and others also have great ways to challenge yourself and your friends, from pre-built challenges you can join to the ability to create challenges with friends.

However, there are things to be careful about with these tools.

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Compare yourself to your current self

This past week, I got in some very solid training. I had my highest volume week in some time, I put up three consecutive days of double digit mileage and I had a good workout earlier in the week. What a way to end a very solid block of training.

The only problem was that, by the end of the week, I found myself thinking a lot about what I was doing 15-20 years ago.

“This is a challenge? I used to knock out twice this volume at a pace 2-3 minutes per mile faster and call it an easy day.”

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