Heat Training – how to run when the temperature rises?

Hey ATRC folks,

It’s getting hot. You might have noticed. It apparently hit 93 degrees in Round Rock on Saturday while I was running deception, a mountain biking trail that’s just off a popular hike and bike trail. I was told by my coach to run for 3.5 hours that day. I had a store-led hike scheduled that morning, so I ended up at the trail head just as the heat of the day was arriving.

(image: Very pretty, but also very hot)

Now, I had other options besides starting my run in the heat of the day. I could’ve ran at night, or at least after the sun went down. I could have ran in a place with more frequent water stops and water fountains. But If I’m known for anything, it’s certainly not for having any kind of common sense, so I decided to run anyway.

(image: Can you see how much I’m enjoying myself???)

For those of y’all that train for summer or early fall races, I’m sure you know what running in the heat feels like. It’s like running through an oven filled with jello. You start to get light headed, and you’re constantly thirsty even though you’re getting water logged and you start to feel sick. You pop your salty snacks or salt pills and you still bonk. At least that’s how I felt. I just kept plodding at the approximate pace of a tortoise with gout, my dizziness only getting worse as I unwisely listened to psychedelic rock music (Jefferson Airplane, in case you were curious).

I’m sure some of y’all are much better at handling heat than I am, because I’m a total wimp about it. I tend to whine profusely while running by myself, and it only gets worse as the temperatures rise. I accidentally turned my ankle on a particularly technical stretch of trail, immediately after which I unleashed a couple of profanities (luckily I was by myself!). I started getting a headache, and I started getting nauseous. I might have gotten into some serious trouble, but a couple of water fountains and a quick dip in a creek saved my butt. I’m going to continue heat training, because I hate morning runs and I have no sense of self-preservation, but I’m going to be more careful about it next time I go out in high temps.

So my question for y’all is: Have y’all had close calls while running in the heat? How do y’all manage training when the temps rise? I look forward to your responses.

Thanks for reading,

Philip