Six Tips for Hot Weather Running #running #runner #fitness

running-advice-bugTemperatures are up out there runners and they seem to be staying that way this summer. Running in the heat can be challenging, even dangerous. If you take the proper precautions and the right expectations, you can run smart and keep the heat from hurting you. Today, six quick tips for runners to deal with running in hot weather.

6 tips for Hot Weather Running from

6 tips for Hot Weather Running from

1. Slow down — running in hot weather is very much like running up hill. Just as running up a hill requires more effort, running in hot weather also should slow you down. And the hotter the weather, the steeper the hill. The problem is that we runners want to hit our pace goals. Comparing a hot weather run to a cool weather run is not an apples to apples comparison. Slow down as the heat goes up. Trying to run at a similar effort level that you would in cooler weather.

2. Dress in loose, light clothes — wear light-weight, breathable clothing, rather than tight form-fitting fabrics. The body cools itself when air moves across the skin and comes in contact with your sweat. Loose, flowing, fabrics aid in cooling much more than tighter fighting clothes. Tight fitting clothes are fine for the gym or running in cooler weather, but when you’re braving heat that feels like the Sahara, dress like you live there.

3. Cover your head — keeping the sun off your head both cools you and keeps the sun out of your eyes. The later relaxes your shoulders and upper body. Hats are also handy because you can dunk them in cold water or even put ice in them as you run. The cool water will drip down your neck, providing even more cooling power.

4. Increase your fluid intake — You need to be consuming as much fluid as your sweating. If you sweat a ton, then you need to drink a ton. We’ve written plenty on this topic. Here’s one of our videos where I talk about hydration with a sports scientist from Gatorade.

5. Drink your electrolytes — plain water only does half the job. You need sodium, potassium and magnessium as well. If you are a salty sweater (someone typically with a white ring on your forehead or white lines on your clothes after you dry out), that is a visible sign of the sodium that you are losing. Use a drink like Nuun that contains electrolytes, but doesn’t contain sugar that may upset your stomach. Click here to view or buy Nuun on Amazon from our Amazon store.

6. Run early — run when you are fresh, the sun is less intense and temperatures are relatively cool. Afternoon workouts in the heat are tough both physically and mentally.

Stay safe and healthy out there runners.

Coach Joe English, Portland, Oregon USA and RUN Time


Training — Why Did I Bonk Early in My Race? Three Factors Revisited

running-advice-bugMarathon runners know that they can “hit the wall” or “bonk” in a long race. The “Bonk” as we call it normally happens when either our muscles or the brain runs out of energy. But sometimes the bonk comes hard and early in a race. If by mile four or five, you’re out of gas then something else is amiss. Today I handle one of my athlete’s questions to illustrate what kinds of factors can cause the early or “Pre-mature Bonk”. First, the question:

“My half marathon yesterday sucked. I finished in 2:07 and I was going for a PR of 1:58. I had to stop and walk a few times. Then I would get bursts of energy just like you described. . . .But I was completely tanked. I didn’t have any digestive problems at all, just a total lack of energy. . . .I felt so depleted. I finally pushed through at the “1/4 mile to go!” marker but nearly dropped after stepping on the finish mat. Oh, and did I tell you it was 85 degrees yesterday?”

Post-race Fatigue at WMA 2011

There’s a couple of things that I want you to think about here in regards to why you might have bonked so hard and early in your race, keeping in mind here that we’re talking about a half-marathon so your bonk comes even earlier than your longest workouts. Here are three things that I want you to focus on:

First, is the impact of your training itself on your energy level. The fatigue you’re describing can be a symptom of what you’re doing in your workouts leading up to the race. The amount of recovery (or lack of recovery) is a big factor in how you feel during any particular workout. So if you think about your muscles as having a fuel tank, those tanks may not be getting refilled after your workouts and leading up to the half-marathon. One of the key differences between an “A” race and all the others (meaning one that you’re really training for rather than one that is just on the schedule along the way) is the taper period that comes before the race. This is a period of weeks that comes right before the race in which the body gets a chance to fully recover. What you’re describing below sounds typical of what happens when you run a race without a taper (or rather without recovery from your workouts right before it.) This isn’t actually a bad thing. It puts a level of stress on the body that ends up being helpful to your training in the long run, but it doesn’t feel great.
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Training — Dehydrate A Muscle and Lose Performance

running-advice-bugOne of our sharp-eyed readers watching the film Moneyball (perhaps on their new iPadHD) picked up on something on a wall and asked me a question about it. The movie relates to baseball and on the wall behind one of the players talking in the film there is a piece of paper with some statistics about dehydration on it. Apparently this would have been the Athletic Trainer’s way to remind their players to drink more fluid. The question that I was asked is whether the statements were true or if they were just Hollywood props on the wall of a movie set.

First, here is what the piece of paper actually said:
“Dehydrate a muscle by 3%
10% loss of contractile function
8% loss of speed
Performance dries up.”

Well, here’s my answer. First, many times Hollywood film-makers use consultants or do pretty good research in dressing out spaces and this is one of those cases. The facts that on the paper are correct. In a really good article on the website of the National Council of Strength and Fitness on Maintaining Proper Hydration those same statistics appear. The article starts by defining dehydration as a loss of 1% or greater of body weight due to fluid loss.

Here’s what the article has to say about those claims on the Moneyball poster: “Training in a state of dehydration can have dramatic effects on performance. Dehydrate a muscle by only 3% and you cause about 10% loss of contractile strength and an 8% loss of speed.” This is most likely the source of the poster on the wall.
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Video – Season 2 – Episode G1 – Hydration and Marathon Runners

running-advice-bugWelcome to the next episode of our Running Advice and News series for marathon runners! Today we have a special episode with a very special guest. I was invited last week to come to the Boston Marathon race expo to undergo testing by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute and afterward I sat down with Scientist Kim White for a chat about sports hydration issues.

On this week’s episode:
— why is it important to take in carbohydrate while running?
— how should we handle it when a race course provides a different sports drink than we train with on a daily basis?
— how much carbohydrate should we try to take in during exercise?

Thank you to Kim for talking with me and thank you to Gatorade for inviting me for their testing program.

To visit our video pages with links to all of the episodes in the series, go to:
Season 1 Video Page

Season 2 Video Page

Running Advice and News


Training: Ten things you need to know about hydration

Hydration is one of the most important training topics for runners and triathletes. If you don’t properly hydrate, your performance is certainly going to suffer – and there are worse problems (like heat stroke, heat comas or even death) if you seriously get dehydrated. On the flip side, drinking too much fluid is not good either. Hydration is a careful balance of drinking the right amount and replacing what you need.

10 Hydration Tips for Runners from

10 Hydration Tips for Runners from

There is a ton of good information on the Internet about hydration, but a lot of it is quite technical. I thought I’d put together a simple, non-technical, 10 point list to cover the basics of hydration. I realize that there’s so much to write about on this topic that my 10 point list has 11 points on it, but these are things you should know.

So, while this is not supposed to be exhaustive or contain lots of technical guidelines, this list will give you a basic background on the issue. Think of this as a “hydration for dummies” list, rather than a technical manual.

Ten things runners and triathletes need to know about hydration

1. You need to be well hydrated before you start your run or workout. If you start partially dehydrated, it only gets worse from there.

2. The color of your pee should be pale yellow, rather than clear or dark yellow. It should look more like lemonade than orange juice.

3. How much you need to drink depends on how heavily you sweat. The more you sweat, the more you need to drink.

4. Electrolytes are lost along with fluid when you sweat. You need to replace these electrolytes through an energy drink, electrolyte solution or electrolyte tablets.

5. If you don’t replace electrolytes, particularly sodium, you won’t be able to absorb the fluid you’re drinking. This means that you could be drinking plenty, but not re-hydrating.

6. Dehydration leads to a loss of performance, cramps, digestive problems, and ultimately an inability to cool the body. These progressively worse problems will eventually stop you in your tracks.

7. Drinking too much plain water can also be a problem. Drinking lots of plain water can dilute the sodium level in your blood, leading to a problem called hyponatremia. This is why it is important to use a hydration product to replace electrolytes.

8. The term “drink to thirst” means that you should not drink just for the sake of drinking. You need to drink an amount of fluid that replaces what you’re losing in your sweat.

9. You may not actually feel “thirst” while running or racing. If you don’t ever feel the sensation of thirst, don’t make the mistake of stopping drinking completely. Continue drinking fluids in a moderate quantity to make sure that you’re getting what you need.

10. You should constantly be working to find the best method of hydration for you in your training runs. You need to learn how much you need to drink; what energy/fluid replacement drinks work best for you; and what it feels like to be well hydrated.

11. On race day, do what you’ve practiced in your training runs. Don’t try anything new. If the race supplies a hydration product that doesn’t work for you, make sure to carry your own drink in a fluid or powdered form so that you have what you need.

Feel free to ask questions by commenting on this page.

Coach Joe English, Portland Oregon, USA
Running Advice and News

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