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I live in the Central Valley, CA. I have been training (running) in 95-106 degree temps for a marathon at the end of August. The marathon will be in much cooler climate in the Bay Area. The temperature at the race will be anywhere from 50-75 degrees, most likely.
Will running in this hellish heat and humidity HELP me for my marathon? Does it benefit me to train in these harsh conditions? Would running in 100 degree heat make me stronger physically for a race on a cool 60 degree day? How about training in a smoggy polluted climate and then running the race in a clean and crisp air?
I already know that training in this heat will prepare me mentally. Come race day, the Bay Area will feel like heaven on earth! Even driving out of the Central Valley I can breathe sooooo much better. Hell, coming down Pacheco Pass or wherever your coming down from, you can see the nasty 'blanket' of pollution hanging on the Valley floor. It looks like your driving into a soup of smog.
Anyways, if there are any Valley marathoners or experienced runners thank know the deal with heat training, please leave a response. Thank you!
Hi Volcanogod, I'm originally from Sacramento, so I know about the heat that you speak of! I've since moved to Southern California, which has its own issues with heat and humidity. Anyway, my recommendation is that, as long as you can continue training in the heat safely, keep doing it! There are several benefits to heat training that you will see in your cooler marathon:
1.) Decrease in sweat volume/salt concentration: as your body becomes acclimated to the heat, it will be able to regulate your temperature better, which will in turn translate to decreased sweat volume when you run your Bay Area marathon. In addition, heat acclimation will reduce the amount of salts in your sweat, so you will be at much lower risk of electrolyte imbalance issues come race day.
2.) Oxygen utilization: It's been said that heat training is akin to elevation training, as the heat decreases the available oxygen in the air (hotter air = thinner air, thinner air = less O2/Liter). So, your body is being trained to run with less available fuel. On race day, the cooler temperatures will cause the air to have more O2/Liter than you're used to, thus turbo-charging your aerobic engine.
3.) Confidence: You said it yourself; if you can train for a marathon in the heat and air pollution, you're going to run an awesome marathon in the clean and crisp Bay Area environment!
Best of luck, and keep at it!
yuck... all I can say is I live near Boston and the recent heat wave and humidity has been KILLING my running enjoyment and enthusiasm, and we're only up to 85-90 degrees! I definitely think that if you train in those conditions and then run in more ideal conditions, you'll be pleasantly surprised by how much you enjoy the race!
I write a running blog geared towards other new runners at http://www.iamrunningthis.com!
Couch to 5K graduate, September 2012
First 10K, June 2nd, 2013
First Half Marathon, September 2013
Hey, great reply!! Thank you so much. You lifted my spirits here in the humid valley! I am really excited about my first marathon at the end of August. Thank you for the great information!