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Be Cautious Trying To Beat The Heat

Be Cautious Trying To Beat The Heat

Running in the heat of summer is one of the most difficult challenges runners face during training. But it’s not just runners who have to worry. Cyclists and triathletes face similar challenges.

The New York Road Runners Club posted a column with good advice on its blog last month. http://www.firsttothefinish.com/blog/2013/05/ But there are a couple other precautions runners can take.

The easiest remedy to beat the heat is adjust. Pace, length of run and time of day can make a huge difference. If you usually run in the middle of the day, try a few hours earlier or later. And leave the GPS at home. A 30-minute run in heat and humidity is similar to a 45-50 minute run in cooler conditions. Sometimes it’s not even a bad idea to skip a day. A hard workout in heat and humidity takes longer recovery, too.

The toughest hurdle for cyclists in heat is duration. A good two or three-hour ride in heat will require more fuel to re-hydrate and keep going safely. Find stops where you can refill and re-hydrate. And try to find routes that have shade to help minimize the heat risk.
If you’re swimming or competing in a triathlon, make sure you get a proper warmup. The water in Long Island Sound will eventually get into the mid 60s. But that’s not going to be for a while. Without properly warming up, you are jump-starting your heart in cold water. That’s a dangerous combination. A triathlete in his late 50s died last year in Westport during the swim of a heart arrhythmia.

Exercise is great, but be careful. Do things safely, apply common sense. And if you need to take a day off and wait for a better day, by all means do it. There’s no sense to push the envelope needlessly.