Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Heard recently in Miami, "AAAH it's soooo Hot outside!"

Is it a bad joke to talk about it being hot in Miami, Florida?

Maybe. But I'm doing it anyway. I'm a contrarian like that.

Yesterday I woke up and walked outside. I was met with summer. Which is to say that at 7 in the morning it was already 80 degrees and very humid. There was a breeze so it wasn't totally unpleasant but experience told me that later in the day it would be.
almost 5 pm and 70% humidity. Notice the feels like. Oooh Pleasant.

It was. The sun is so strong that during the day you can literally feel it baking your skin during the middle of the day.

I think training in the tropical heat is a specialized thing. I'm certainly not an expert or a doctor or anything so I won't give you actual science. I will say this. In my opinion it only makes sense to listen to people who are in a similar experience as you. So if you live in Miami (like I do) don't take hydration advice from people who live in Zimbabwe.

Miami running lore says it takes about 2-weeks to adjust to the sudden increase in heat and humidity. It's not a pleasant 2 weeks in my experience. That adjustment for me probably started yesterday.

Since I'm training for Ironman Chattanooga which is in September the bulk of my training will be over the summer in what is normally called "extreme heat."

Some Amy tips for running in the heat:
  1. Drink a lot of cold water. If you happen to be a follower of the whole "drink to thirst" thing. Well, I hope it works for you. I think it can get you in serious trouble. Most folks will carry fluid even on short runs in South Florida. 
  2. Wear technical fabrics and let as much of your skin expose to the air as you can stand. 
  3. Plan for chaffing. Glide is your very good friend.  
  4. Run early/or late if possible. Avoiding the direct sun is impossible but most people will try to run or ride early in the day to avoid the hottest part of the day. 
  5. Visors not hats. I normally run in a hat but during the summer I stick to a visor (I put sunscreen on my scalp) to allow whatever heat can escape through my head to escape. 
  6. Change to dry clothes (including socks and shoes) as soon as possible after your workout. Heading into air conditioning after running in the heat in sweaty clothes is super uncomfortable.
  7. If you are a heavy sweater you will want to rotate your shoes because they will be wet from sweat. Some heavy sweaters will change socks halfway through long runs.
  8. Salt may be your friend. I like to eat more salty things in the summer. Don't go crazy but it does help me. Many folks down here take salt tabs which include good mineral stuff. Be cautious you don't get too much potassium because that can cause your heartbeat to become irregular. Because I use Infinit on the bike which has a lot of potassium I no longer take salt tabs.
  9. Seek shade. In Miami it can be as much as 10 degrees cooler in the shade. 10 degrees. Ahhh sweet sweet shade.
  10. Don't use spray sunscreen. I think these make it harder to sweat. This is totally anecdotal - I have no proof. But I am much more comfortable when I wear cremes. Plus they actually keep me from getting a sunburn which the sprays don't seem to do.
  11. End your run at the beach. I like to swim briefly after my run almost totally to cool off a bit. It's so great and it's also just a terrific perk to living near the beach :-)

Speed in the heat
I run with folks who can maintain their speed when it's hot out. I am not one of those folks. I slow down a lot when it's hot outside. A LOT. I have learned to expect this and not panic.

When to stop
If you are light headed. Stop. If you are dizzy. Stop. If you stop sweating. Stop. Do not question yourself and most certainly do not feel like a wimp. People do get in very serious medical trouble pushing the limit with the heat.

And that's it. Run safe. Embrace the heat :-) It's summer here.

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