Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Heat Training Advice

Here is my personal heat training advice: continue to run easy for about 45-60 minutes per day in the heat.  You'll feel like shit, but it will get slightly easier each day.  It takes about 10-12 days to become heat acclimated.  After this time period, you won't have super-human strength, but you will be in much better condition than just one to two weeks ago.  At this point you can take it up a notch, with caution. The acclimatization will make a positive difference in your running and racing.  Drink plenty of fluids, take electrolyte pills, and keep your pace and heart rate under control. After the two weeks of acclimatization, your body will adapt and you'll have the following positive changes:
  • Lower heart rate
  • Less perceived exertion
  • Sweat sooner (and more profusely)
  • Less salty sweat (body preserves sodium)
  • Lower core body temperature
  • Greater blood plasma volume
Here are two excellent runner-written resources on heat training and one research article:

FellRnr ("Heat Acclimation Training"):
http://fellrnr.com/wiki/Heat_Acclimation_Training

iRunFar:
http://www.irunfar.com/2009/02/heat-acclimation.html

Dr. Lawrence Armstrong article ("Heat Acclimatization")
http://www.sportsci.org/encyc/heataccl/heataccl.html

NOTE: You will quickly lose the adaptation to heat if you stop running (or run in cool conditions). Be careful about the time period utilized for acclimating and how you taper.  It's a fine line...you still want to be acclimated to the heat, but you also want to be well-rested for your race.  We have 11 days until Howl at the Moon 8-hour race...plenty of time to acclimate...and plenty of time to lose your acclimatization.  Hang in there for 10 more days!

2 comments:

ed said...

I can go along with the concepts that are laid out - however I don't have the will power like you to get out & just do it. Plus I'd be afraid I'd find out I was an exception to the norm after all that training.

Sweating more profusely when acclimated?! I would think there comes a point when you sweat so much that no skin is exposed to be "air" cooled. Like when "stay dry" shirts become saturated, they lose their effectiveness.

I wonder how much of the heat acclimation training is negated by staying in A/C the remainder of the day & night?

July, 3rd hottest month ever in Louisville history.

Chris said...

I wonder about the rest of the day too...if I'm in A/C all day at work how much acclimating can I really do? I'd rather not think too much. 11 days to go.