Hi there! I'm getting back in to running after many years. I've been running at a very slow pace (I know many that walk faster but everyone has to start somewhere). I'm frustrated because I can't go faster. Not because my lungs are holding me back or anything hurts but I'm simply too flippin hot. I'd like to increase by speed but feel stuck that if I push more I'll have a meltdown. What am I doing wrong? Any direction would be appreciated! I'm doing my first 5k in a long time this weekend. Thanks in advance!
I too am fair skinned and sweat a lot (43 years old, male). I do most of my running in a company fitness center (cool and dry) but also run every 5K race near me I can.
What I do is get up extra early the day of the race and after a good breakfast, I sip water (maybe 2 glasses total) all the way up to the time I leave for the event. Obviously I need to visit the restroom when I arrive at the event, but my body is more able to deal with the heat and the sweating. Also, don't feel ashamed if you stop and drink a cup of water on the course. I say stop because it really difficult to run and drink water at the same time. Come to a complete stop, drink the water and then get your pace going again. If you just chug down a big glass of water before the event your body will use what it needs at the time and pass the rest.
I ran a 4-miler last year and it was hot. I refused to stop for water and became quite dehydrated. I don't let that happen again.
Tinran is right, hydration is critical in the heat. Also try to run during the coolest part of the day, usually early morning. Heat affects us more as we age so take that into account too. Do your best to maintain a good state of hydration all day, every day. That way your runs will be easier, though you still have to hydrate during your run and after your run to make sure you get back to a well-hydrated state. The simplest test is your urine color should be a pale yellow / lemonade shade.
A hint on drinking on the run: squeeze the cup into a vee and drink from the point of the vee. It works well with paper cups but is harder with plastic cups.
Len brings up a good point with the urine color. I was sure if I should go there.:D
After the 4-miler in the heat and humidity I ran last year, I didn't have to go for almost three hours and it was orange. Bad news.
I am fair skinned and over heat easy. I drink a lot of water and gatorade through out the day, and to cool off poor some water on you it will help you feel better for a little while.
I'm more medium-complected but I have pretty serious problems with heat. Even if the day is not that hot, the sun beating down on me gets my skin hot and my heart racing and then I get the feeling that I'll never be able to catch my breath. At least 3 times this was enough to trigger pretty bad panic attacks in which I was sure I was going to pass out or even die (literally). Besides staying hydrated, the only way I've been able to avoid this happening is to run only when/where it is cool. If I'm outdoors, early morning is my only option and even then a shady course is best. Also, my running coach turned me on to these electrolyte replacements called ShotBlocks by Clif. They're gummy squares that are 95% organic and come in a variety of flavors. They won't cool you down, of course, but somehow they make me feel better and when you suffer from anxiety, that can make a big difference.
Thank you everyone for your responses! I really appreciate it! I usually am one to drink a lot of water during the day so it never dawned on me how easily I dehydrate while running. I tried again today and did much better and feel pretty darn good. I'm still slow but sipping more made a big difference for me. I also wet my hair down before leaving (it's 78 and sunny here in MN). I was able to keep going the entire time without stopping and it didn't feel like such a struggle. Now if I can just work on the pace. I'm hoping it will get easier with time! I'm surprised I seem to have enough left in the tank to keep going but I stop myself so I don't over do anything. I'm enjoying each little hurdle I conquer. Thanks again!
I just wanted to say that I am glad you asked this question, because I, too, get HOT. Not only do I get lobster-faced, I also get migraines from the heat. Ugh. It takes forever for me to cool down.
When I lived in MN, I used to have a hard time overheating as well. The humidity was bad even if I ran at 5:30am. I used NUUN tabs in my water and made sure that if I was on a long run, that I was drinking every 20 minutes. A good trick that I learned for really hot days was running with a plastic baggy with a few pieces of ice in my hat. Sounds silly, but boy does it feel good.
Good luck & keep on truckin!
Hi everyone! Just wanted to thank all of you again for the advice. I worked hard to make sure I was well hydrated before the run. It was a hot humid morning! I also tried a chocolate Clif Shot too! Not bad! I finished the 5k in 34:25 which I know is a snails pace to many of you but to me was a huge accomplishment! Especially considering just 4 months ago I was a couch spud that smoked almost a pack a day! Baby steps!
Now I'm going to work on picking up the pace and going further. 9/21 I'm participating in the Iron Girl in Bloomington, MN. Again andy suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
- Keep drinking after you finish your run. Continuing to hydrate after your run helps fight off those headaches.
- Working on pace now is OK, but don't expect great results right away. On the other hand, you will be pleasantly surprised how much faster you are when the weather really cools.
I read your initial post and I do believe it may be more than just "fair skin"...
Most people who start a crash course running program to get ready for a race that is quickly coming up forget to have enough hydration in their body. Even if you think you are drinking enough H20 just drink a little more. Even in the middle of your day slam a couple Gatorades if you know your going to run later.
Your body is sweating and using the toxins in your body to sweat rather than H20. Your body needs more and more H20. I doubt you will over hydrate your body if you are getting serious workouts like you describe.
In addition, take a look at your daily diet intake. Especially on the days when you are running. Lots of greens and fruits on these days. Stay away from fatty meats and fried food. Especially fast food stay away please.
For the race this shouldn't be a problem because it will be in the morning, but take a notice of the temperature when you plan on running a workout that day. Always run when it is most ideal temperature (morning + evening)
Plus in increase your stretching before your run especially, but even at the end of your run too. If your not properly stretched then your body has to work overtime to compensate which in result is kicking up your overall body temperature. So get a solid stretch in before you take off.
I did IronGirl Bloomington 2006 & 2007. What you need to know about this race, is that it can be pretty chilling the morning of the race. I believe last year it was in the 40's when I showed up to the transition area to rack my bike.
The first run should be pretty easy. You will need to save your legs on the last loop of the bike ride. Those hills on Normandale are killer if you do not have a road bike (and still tough even if you do). My suggestion would be to train with the MN Tri club. Each year the ladies participating in Iron Girl have gotten together every Saturday in August and first weekend in September to ride the course as a group early in the am. This is a dangerous course to ride anytime except REALLY early in the morning. So, it's best to be with a group.
The last run it may be getting toasty and humid. You will want to make sure you drink a little before you leave the transition area. The water stop is not for a mile into the run. You should be okay after that.
Nutrition wise, take a gel after your first run and before you head out on your ride. Bring a gel pack with you on the ride. Bring a water bottle that has electrolyte replacement and a water bottle with just water.
This is a great course and such a fun race! I was wish I was still living in MN to do this one! Good luck and let us all know how you do.
Wow...and thanks again! You guys are the best!
I am really paying attention to staying hydrated before and after. Had my first taste of a killer post run headache after running is some wicked heat (I know that's a no no but it was my only opportunity for the day so I had to grab it) and don't care to repeat that. I am also doing a better job of stretching and a warm up and cool down. I'm learning a little more each day and am really enjoying it!
Thanks for the diet suggestions. I'm pretty much a raw foodie so there's plenty of good things there. I can't remember the last fried food I ate and am not one to eat fast food! I will eat a little meat once in a great while but just prefer very light foods. My weak point is a little bit of "reward" chocolate but other than that I'm pretty much a veggie grazer.
Gretchen, thanks for the Iron Girl info! I'm so excited about it. Cycling is in my blood! I do ride a road bike frequently and am comfortable with hill work and distance. It's just the running that is new to me. I'm just looking to finish as a personal goal, to have some fun and to raise a little money for a cancer fund. It will be a great experience and hopefully a great starting point for me for many more to come! I'm by no means a hardcore athlete of any kind. Just looking to experience it and see how much I can push myself. I'll make sure to have some gel and electrolyte replacement in my water bottles!
Thanks again for all the support! You are all such an inspiration! And very friendly bunch.
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