It's mid-summer now and those memories of bone chilling cold last January/February are long gone, replaced by workouts in the heat, and humidity! A little bit of whining is okay, but the support we get from our fellow Renegades makes those tough runs on hot, humid days much more bearable...
It's also the time of year when we are switching gears, and are now working on training plans targeted for fall races. Everyone should have their plans updated now but if you have ANY questions, please talk to Coach Scott or I at one of the runs, or send us a quick email. As you ramp up your training, one of the things we're going to be constantly reminding you, is to LISTEN TO YOUR BODIES! We do the best we can to increase intensity of your plans slowly, but you are the final judge of how your bodies are handling the workouts. If those little niggles stay around for more than a couple of days, or start to feel worse, please back off and let us know. Catching these small things in the early stages will prevent them from becoming serious problems that will cause you to lose training later!
This blog is going to cover a few different topics so be prepared for a bit of rambling! One of the most exciting events in running is the World Track and Field Championships in Beijing this August. There are many 'stories' at these games but one of the most exciting is going to be the match up between Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin in the 100m. Bolt has owned the 100m for the last 8 years, setting many world records in the process. His recent performances in the last year or so haven't been that great and he's looking a lot more 'human' and beatable! Gatlin has a checkered past, having been one of the worlds top sprinters, but also serving a two year suspension for doping. He's now back, clean, and racing the best he has in his whole career and looks to give Bolt all he can handle! He'll be a long shot with these guys, but we're also hoping that Canada's Andre DeGrasse is going to be in the mix.....this is gonna be fun to watch!
Although it's already August, there's still likely lots more hot weather ahead so here's some info about dealing with the heat. Studies have shown that it takes your body about two weeks to adapt to hot humid weather. The problem we have here is that it's rare to get this much hot weather consistently so our bodies never truly adapt. To cope with the hot weather, we should always stay hydrated, wear sunscreen as appropriate and modify your pace. On this last point, we always get asked about heart rate training in hot weather. Your body is pretty smart when it comes to dealing with heat. In hot weather, your brain diverts more blood flow to the capillaries / blood vessels closest to your skin, in an effort to dissipate the heat being generated by your exercising muscles. Since your muscles still need their share of blood flow to supply them with oxygen so they can keep on working, your brain has no choice but to make your heart beat faster to keep up with these added demands....this is what causes your heart rate to rise in hot weather. The takeaway here is that in hot weather, SLOW DOWN and try to keep your heart rate in the target zone for the type of training you're doing. Here's a good video by Sage Canaday with some tips for training in hot weather. It's about 8 minutes long but well worth the time....he does a really good job of covering all the aspects of hot weather running.
On a little lighter note, check out this link where some top runners talk about their race day habits for eating. For many, your fall races are a long way off, but listen to the advice these runners offer, and PRACTICE this on some of your long runs or your tougher Saturday workouts. The best advice we can offer you here is find what works for YOU! These type of things are highly individual and the only way you will learn what's best for you is to experiment!
As a closing thought, I really like the last line of the graphic above.....RUN for more than the finish line!