Embracing Humidity Running: Accountability Monday

I have shared before that the first summer we moved to Miami, I came home in tears telling David we had to move back because I couldn’t train there! It wasn’t the heat, I loved running through 100 degree afternoons in Kansas City, it was the humidity.

I fought the humidity for the duration of our time in Miami; running in it but feeling miserable much of the time. Now I’m fully embracing it in Orlando…where we have no ocean breeze and higher temps! Truth be told this could be because I am feeling better and thus my body is better able to handle it, but I also know that it is a shift in how I am looking at the training.

Last week I put out the question “what do you like about summer running?” This was caveated by the fact that I listened to people whine about winter for months, so surely something must have appealed to them about the new season…I got one response that I admit has just stuck in my craw: “Nothing”. When prodded to find something positive because well I believe that would at least make the summer bearable for this person, it just turned in to an ongoing debate of why summer is awful.

Here’s the thing..you can’t change the weather, you can’t change your location, being outdoors is all kinds of good for us…so why not just get down and dirty with it. Sweat your buns off, come home dripping, run through sprinklers and realize that wishing for another season means you are always missing out on what’s hererunning in humid weatherTIPS FOR RUNNING IN HUMIDITY
Honestly there’s nothing that’s going to make it better other than your mind. It’s hot and wet your body can’t dissipate heat, so you just have to hydrate, slow it down and smile your ass off. How’s that for coaching, ha ha!! But here are a few more tips that can help:

  • Don’t underestimate a breeze – While morning running may be your choice if the evenings carry a breeze it may be worth flipping your schedule. This was the case in Miami…though I was too stubborn to change my schedule.
  • Ice – Because the humidity prevents your body from releasing heat you need to get creative with your core temperature down. This could mean running with a cold towel on your neck or carrying a handheld with ice water {I use a Camelbak Chill hand held}, other folks have great sherpas that bring them iced sponges.
  • Visors, not hats – Back to your body needing to release heat, don’t further trap it under a hat. If you like shading your face try switching to a visor.
  • Ice hat – Caveat to the above is if you soak your hat in water then place it in the freezer overnight. Take it out 5-10 min before your run and let your brain soak in the cool.
  • Heart rate training – While I have not yet fully gone in to my results, what matters here is that you will be training at a consistent effort. This will help to alleviate the concerns about pace because you are still doing the same amount of work and reaping the benefits.
  • Shade – Try to plan out routes that have as much shade as possible if you are doing longer runs or go before the sun comes up. While the temperature may not be any different the feeling of that sun beating down on your already overly hot arms, legs and face can make a tough run worse.
  • Smile – Seriously!! Studies have shown that smiling will make you feel better because it’s hard to have both positive and negative thoughts at the same time….plus no one is making you run! You GET to run.
  • Bonus Tip – don’t forget the importance of electrolytes

For a more humorous take on embracing the humidity here is Prof Spiker of Runner’s World.
For more details on how humidity and heat effect your hydration and heart rate check out this from Run Addicts.

All right I’ll stop with the specific goals…as really it’s all about following the plan and getting to NYC feeling amazing.

July 15
AM: 35 min run (parking garage and running drills) + 20 min walk
PM: 30 min bike trainer + 30 min yoga +core
— trying to get back on my normal planned days after swapping long run to Saturday

July 16
AM: 90 min run avg HR 141 (fartleks 9x 30 sec) + 20 min walk
PM: Stretch and blogger meet up!
First run testing out the Polar RC3 GPS – I loved the HR features but couldn’t ever figure out the GPS.

July 17
AM: 8 miles + 20 min walk + 20 min stretch
– Probably a run I should have called quits as I had a sore throat and runny nose. I couldn’t get my HR up or my legs to move, but I knew Thursday was a rest so…I did it!
PM: Upper body + Core

July 18
AM: 30 min bike trainer + 40 min yoga + 10 min core
PM: Yoga for cyclists from Sage Rountree <<nice easy practice to open tight hips

July 19
AM: 10 miles with 6 miles at MP + 20 min walk
— took a nasty spill at mile 2 on our brick lined streets, but decided to keep going. Glad I did because after cleaning up I realized how much everything hurt! I wouldn’t have made it back out to finish.
PM: Core workout + stretch
July 20
AM: 30 min walk + Core workout + 30 min yoga

July 21
AM:  16 mile run + 10 min walk + 20 min stretch
— wohoo no pain from the tumble and continued LHR improvements!
PM: stretch

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