Tuesday, June 17

It's not the heat...

I'm a Californian. The temperature of my runs is largely dictated by which direction I go from the house--toward the ocean will likely be cooler, inland will be warmer. Humidity is rarely much of an issue either way, unless I happen to be out in the evening when the dew is falling. Normally I check my pace on my wrist GPS about every half mile during a run.

I recently signed up for the Chicago Marathon in October. We all know how that went last year. It's been a long time since I did much running in the midwest.

This past week, I've been staying in Oklahoma, visiting family. The humidity has been dragging me down considerably--my pace hasn't been too far off of normal, but my runs just feel a lot longer and slower. Basically, I've been checking my GPS every third of a mile, and it always feels like it's been a half mile. So the seven mile run I did the day before yesterday was feeling pretty long even before it started raining. This is starting to concern me because I don't want my 26.2 in October to feel like 39.3.

Assuming most of you live in the Midwest somewhere (Missouri, Ohio), how do you deal with the humidity? Does your body just adjust to it at some point, or are there things that I could be doing to feel better?


Blogger bl said...

i'm a big fan of splitting a run into two during the summer. run in the morning and in the evening.

and there's always less humidity, i think in the evening. jim evans can confirm that.
so if it doesn't disrupt your sleep patterns too much, run after 7 or 8.

however, i also definitely enjoy getting up at the crack of dawn and running before the sun has gotten too high up in the sky.

June 17, 2008 10:27 PM  
Blogger R said...

Maybe I'll try splitting up my run tomorrow... I have a friend in California who runs twice a day, but honestly, I wonder about how much extra water I would use if I did that. And if I didn't shower the extra time, would that be gross? I'm sure I would get used to it, but am not sure it would be fair to ask other people to!

I'd been thinking that running after sunset in a town I'm not that familiar with as a pedestrian might be a bad idea (I know my way around in a car), but it doesn't seem like sunset causes as dramatic of a drop in temperature here as in CA (probably due to the higher humidity), so running at around 7 or 8 might be okay...

Also, honestly, after yesterday morning's run, I'm realizing that neither heat nor humidity hurts as much as a good sleep deficit.

June 19, 2008 1:59 PM  
Blogger Jim Evans said...

Heat, especially with humidity, destroys my performance. I cannot finish a marathon if it is warmer than 70 degrees with high humidity. The only thing I can do is slow down to compensate. My marathon time in 75 degrees versus 40 degrees is at least tem minutes longer. The only way to adapt to the heat is to adapt by simulating the race environment. If you cannot train in high humidity just wear a 100% waterproof rain jacket when you run. Wear too many clothes to simulate heat. No matter how much your try to condition your body you will never perform as well when the conditions are outside your body’s ideal performance conditions parameters. Adjust your pace to compensate.

June 20, 2008 8:39 PM  

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