Monday, June 15, 2009

Successful experiment for coping with heat

Saturday was another day approaching 100 degrees, so it became necessary (at least in my mind) to figure out a way to avoid at least some of that heat. So, I got started early (7 am) and did the first 80 miles outside on the road, completing a little before noon. It was already getting really hot at that point, and I could feel the effects. As soon as I got back, I just got cooled off for a few minutes (less than 10), and did the rest of the miles on the computrainer with the fans going full blast. The CT is always a good workout, so I did not feel at all like I was short-changing the training; but it certainly did help to get out of the sun. When I was finished on the CT, I got on my running shorts and went out for the run portion of the day. It was brutally hot at this point, but I was much better off than if I had stayed in the sun that entire time. I broke the run up into two loops that both ended at my house, so in between I could come in and cool off for two minutes and drink some cold water.

Bottom line was that I was able to complete 100 miles worth of biking and 5 miles of running on a day that full sun and was well over 90 degrees. Without that hour break from the sun at the end of the bike, I'm sure I would have been close to heat exhaustion. I remember full well when I trained for IM FL a couple years ago, coming in after similar days feeling dizzy and just collapsing on the floor. Unless I planned on racing in 100 degree heat, there just is no need for that. It does not help your training (in my opinion), it actually has a negative effect since you slow down so much and take much longer to recover.

The next morning, I felt well enough that I went out and did a 17 mile run and felt pretty good. I did notice that my heart rate stayed relatively low, which often points to overtraining; so it's a good thing that this is a recovery/tapering week. The body knows when it needs rest!

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