As week three of Fort4Fitness training comes to a close, we connected with Katie, who’s hitting the pavement to train for the 10k, to see how things are going for her. It sounds like, while her run days are going generally well, she’s experiencing a bit of a struggle related to the conditions of the season.
“I love running outside and definitely prefer it over a treadmill, but starting this training program in the middle of summer has been a little brutal. Sometimes the air and humidity seem to affect my breathing. I even feel slightly sluggish during the runs on the really hot days. I’m assuming this is because of the heat as well. My mileage is starting to go up and I want to start improving my pace. Is there anything else I can do?”
We consulted Andrew Delagrange, LAT, ATC, CSCS, Parkview Sports Medicine, who has a good deal of personal experience regarding the topic.
Rise and grind.
“I have completed three marathons in the last two years and mostly train during the summer months. For me, I find that if I do not get my run in first thing in the morning, I struggle to get it in at all.” Running early in the day can mean cooler temps and a great jumpstart to the day.
Dress like a cool kid.
Andrew says runners should avoid cotton shirts, and opt for dry fit material instead for shirts, as well as undergarments and shorts. “That stuff makes a huge difference when training in high humidity. It also allows large amounts of sweat to evaporate. Dry fit shorts also seem to help with any chaffing issues.”
Heat injuries can start as something as simple as cramps. “Every person is different on what they can handle as far as heat goes. If you’re out for a run and not sweating when you normally would be, or you’re sweating substantially more than normal for the temperature, you should stop running and make sure you are hydrated.” Hydration is the foundation for everything during a run. “Within 30-45 minutes of waking in the morning, I am running. So, in that span of time before I begin, I stretch and drink water to get ready for the run. I usually don’t take water with me on a run unless it is more than 10 miles, but that’s a judgement call you need to make. If I do take water with me, I have a Camelback that has pockets for my phone and keys.” If feasible, try to have a bottle of water available at certain distances throughout your run. This will help with hydration as well as preparing your body for hydration stops on race day.
Share your training setbacks and successes in the comments section or by tweeting at @parkviewhealth with #runthefort.