Marathon Training Week 5 : My Tips for Training in the Heat

24 Jun

14 weeks to go…

It was a hot week last week in Geneva. The days were hot and the nights were hot. Restless nights of sleep were abundant. Early morning runs were dreaded.

I woke up with very blearing eyes on Tuesday morning. I had come back from Crete with a head cold and when combined with hot nights, it was not a good combination for a good night of sleep. I slept through my alarm which meant no early morning run. Hmm.. I packed my gym bag and decided I’d go to the gym during my lunch hour to make up for missing my run. Come 12pm and I decided I’d actually try out the pavement and run along the lake. This would be my first run on the road after training for a few weeks on the grass. This would also be my first run for a few weeks (as you will remember from last week I had only one very small run). It was also around 28 degrees (celsius). I set off at a slow 6:30min/km pace and a welcome breeze off the lake followed me on my 6km run. The run was hard, it felt more like 15km than just 6km, but I was happy that my shins were not too sore at the end.

Regardless of the slight breeze that I enjoyed during my run, I still ended up back in the changeroom dripping in sweat. Yep, I sweat, big time. Always have and probably always will. My water bottle was waiting for me in my locker and I instantly downed half a litre. If you’re like me, you gauge your level of hydration by the colour of your pee. I do this all year round but it’s much more important during the summer months so I was very conscious of monitoring my bathroom activity during the afternoon that followed my run. Another way I can tell if I am dehydrated is if I start to get a headache. I don’t get them very often and usually only when I am overtired or dehydrated. So my first tip for surviving training in the summer is to stay hydrated. Drink water before and after exercising.

I’ve also had to modify my running outfit a little. I’m back to running in shorts and a t-shirt. My gear is not fancy but it’s made of “technical” material meaning that it is lightweight and breathable. I plan to add a running singlet to my gear this summer as this is even lighter than a t-shirt. I have also added my cap and sunglasses to my gym bag, the essentials! So my second tip for surviving training in the summer is to wear lightweight clothing, a hat and sunglasses.

I was feeling much better by Friday morning so I roused myself early (6am) and ran another 6km, this time around the oval. It was about 18 degrees when I headed out on Friday morning, the sun was up but behind the apartment building so I ran in the cool of the shade. Lovely! So my third tip for surviving training in the summer is to run during the coolest part of the day; early morning or late late. My pace was a bit quicker (approx. 6:00min/km) and again the 6km was hard but there was no pain in my shins during or after the run. Yes!

On Sunday morning I again roused myself early to get a run in before church. It was about 12 degrees when I headed out, much more comfortable conditions for running. I had thought to run 8km to make a total of 20km for the week but my stubborn self decided I’d like to do 10km instead. I was at the oval again and after 40+ laps of the oval a bunch of kids arrived on the scene wanting to practice on the field. Crap! I still have 3km to go (about 16 laps) and I could feel them all watching me, waiting for me to finish. One by one the parents started to arrive. Crap! There must be a game on I thought. I checked my watch and it was 8:45am so I figured I had time to finish my last 2km before their practice stared at 9am. With 1km to go, the kids came out onto the field and started kicking the ball around. My pace had increased to 5:30min/km at this point as I was feeling the pressure. I did finish my 10km run in 1:01 and I was stocked! I felt good, my legs felt great, and I suffered no stiffness or soreness during the day at all, which was a bonus since we walked around town all afternoon enjoying the Fete de la Musique.

So with only 14 weeks to go, I ran 22km this week and I am full of positivity!

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