Runners Tip: Here comes the heat!

I posted on Twitter how difficult my run was this afternoon and got a ton of feedback from followers telling me they thought it was just them!  They were relieved to hear I had a similar experience.

On the east coast, we are experiencing a pretty drastic rise in temps and mugginess.  It seems as if Spring already left.  If you run outside, it’s important to take note of the changes your body feels when the seasons change.  

What Happened:  I went to go for a typical 5 mile run around noon.  It was about 75 degrees out.  After about 20 minutes of moderate paced jogging, I noticed my heart rate at 175.  This is usually my HR when I’m running a fast interval yet I was barely going 10 mph.  I would walk for a minute to catch my breath, and as soon as I’d start running again, no matter how fast, my HR would just back up toward 180!  I decided to finish my run with more walk/run intervals than planned.  My loop turned out to be an extra 10-minutes, but I also burned an extra 100 calories.  Even after I finished, I noticed my heart rate hovering around 95-100 while making lunch.  This was 10-20 minutes after I had stopped running!

What’s Really Going On:  For example, a typical 5 mile run may seem much harder if the temperature is 10 degrees higher than what you are used to.  Your body needs to become acclimated to the warmer weather.  In time, your endurance will feel back to normal but during your first few cardio sessions as the seasons change, take it easy and give yourself some slack.  It’s ok to stop and walk.  I recommend running for 3 minutes, walking for 1 to get used to the heat.  Make sure to drink plenty of water when you get back.  You should drink 16 oz of water for every pound you lose during exercise.  This is a fun trick to do when it’s really hot out, weigh yourself before and after your run.  It’s just water weight but still interesting.

So, if you already went or are planning to go running, don’t feel bad if it feels much harder than you think it should!

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