Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann, special to wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Running in the D.C. heat and humidity feels more like a sweaty swim, rather than an exhilarating run, which prompts many to take their run indoors through the summer months.
Instead of avoiding the outdoors all summer, embrace the heat by following these training and racing tips:
For those who only run indoors, acclimatization will take longer. The best means to adjust to exercising in warm temps and humidity is to exercise in those conditions consistently. Be patient and know that your body will adjust if you stick with it.
As a general rule of thumb, a runner’s pace slows by 10 seconds per mile for every 10 degree increase in temperature above 60 degrees. For example, if a runner can comfortably run a 10 minute mile in cooler temperatures at 60 degrees or below, his/her pace on a day on which the temperature is 80 degrees would likely hover around a 10:20 minute mile.
To avoid ending up at the medical tent instead of the finish line, listen to your body and understand that your tolerance to the heat may be different than the runner you are chasing on the course.
Take advantage of the water stops, and if ice is available, place some under your hat or bra for extra cooling. Race smart and stop if you experience signs of heat exhaustion, including: chills, excessive sweating, dizziness, nausea or weakness.
To prevent cramping and to replenish electrolyte loss, particularly for longer workouts/runs, take in some salt tabs to replenish the sodium from sweat loss and an electrolyte drink, such as Nuun or Gatorade. Keep a water bottle with you during the day as well.
If you are like most and have a hard time jumping out of bed at o’ dark thirty, make arrangements to meet some running buddies to make yourself accountable to others.
Lisa Reichmann and Julie Sapper, regionally ranked runners and co-founders of Run Farther & Faster, provide personalized group and individual coaching to runners of all levels in the D.C. area and beyond. Check out more of their tips on Facebook and Twitter @Runfartherfast.