Runnergirl Training: Running In The Heat

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Running In The Heat



By Runnergirl Training

Running (walking & cycling) in the heat  are activities that most exercise inclined individuals find themselves performing  in the summer. The temperature climbs while exercise hold tightly onto their sometimes too rigid fitness goals. Wise decisions to change time of day and switching to indoor workouts can literally be health and lifesavers.

Latter (2011) illustrated the dichotomy of hydration in the heat, “Drink as many fluids as you can in a marathon….Drink too much water and you could die of hyponatremia.”  
“Of all the adversities that runners and marathoners face, heat is the number one offender. This is because it can bring on two conditions that can negatively affect your performance… Overheating and Dehydration” stated Solkin (n.d.).

Hanc (2011) shared, “"Heat can kill you," says William O. Roberts, M.D., medical director for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon in St. Paul, Minnesota.” Solkin (n.d.) shared, “Dehydration is the process of losing fluid from the body, in this case through sweat. As you sweat you lose water and electrolytes. That's why drinking a sports drink containing electrolytes, as well as water, is so important.”

Hanc (2011) stated, “Running in sauna-like conditions can throw your internal equilibrium seriously out  of whack. The body normally cools itself by moving blood—which is mostly water—to sweat glands in the skin, says Douglas Casa, Ph.D., A.T.C., COO of the University of Connecticut's Korey Stringer Institute. The glands create sweat droplets that carry heat to the surface of the skin, where it evaporates. "The droplets of sweat are like little containers for the heat," Casa says. When you continue to run, your organs and working muscles compete for a limited blood supply, which compromises this cooling system. Humidity compounds the problem, by hindering the evaporation of sweat, making it harder to cool yourself. And runners performing           intense exercise in hot weather tend to become dehydrated, says Casa. "With less water in the body, you have less blood plasma volume—the liquid portion of your blood—to serve all your needs." Once your body temperature climbs to 104 degrees, you're in the heatstroke danger zone. Continued hard running at this temperature can overwhelm your cardiovascular system. Hit 105 degrees for 30 minutes or more and your body may start to cook from the inside out. The hyperthermia can weaken the heart, cause the kidneys and the liver to shut down, and cause cell damage. Exertional heatstroke has arrived.”

With those serious implications, how does one know the best options for surviving the summer months without determent inflicted onto their fitness level or health?

Hanc (2011) suggested to slow the pace,  reduce the miles, opt for short races.  Long term health damage is not worth attempting to prove super human abilities to beat the heat. Make wise decisions to be able to continue running for many summers in the future.

Hanc, J. (2011). The heat is on. Retrieved from http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267--14027-5-1X2X3X4X5-6,00.html

Latter, P. (2011). Myths about running in heat. Retrieved from http://runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=23360&PageNum=2

Solkin (n.d.).  Running in the heat; respect your body, respect the heat. Retrieved from http://www.marathonguide.com/training/coachmindy/heat.cfm



2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the article..... It's been one HELL of a summer so far!

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Stacey Thank you! I agree...it's been HOT!

    ReplyDelete

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