Running 101: Heat, Humidity and Heart – Follow Up


This is the 5th installment of my series, Running 101, where I share lessons learned from my Teaming In Training experience.  Sorry for such a delay in posting a new installment, but I wanted to trial a couple of things before I put anything in writing. HERE’s THE BIG NEW:

I DID IT!!!  6 MILES 

6 Miles is my personal long run record and it only took 82 minutes (about 15 minutes less than my 5 Mile run).  I’m so excited! I could not believe how well it went and how glorious I felt afterwards.  I was surprised we were done already.  I thought for sure we had another 2 miles to go because I felt so good.  And here’s why I think it went so well….

Our latest topic has been running in heat and humidity and what that can do to a body, specifically mine.  It’s not been very pretty in past runs. But Dan Perkins, Ironman Pastor from CA, has given some very good advice in this series and pointed me in the right direction. 

One of the first things I had to do was ensure that I was getting enough water/hydration.  There is a simple method to calculate how much water your are losing during a run, thus giving you the amount of water you need to consume during a run so as to avoid becoming dehydrated.  Here it is:  Weigh before and after a run completely naked. Weighing with your clothes on will skew results because they will increase in weight with your sweat – Ewww! – A smelly fact, but fact none-the-less.  This number is the amount of weight loss or Delta. Add it to the amount of liquid consumed during the run and that gives the total amount of water weight lost.  This is how much you are losing during your run. If you divide it by the number of miles you ran, the results are equal to the amount you should be consuming during a run so as to avoid dehydration.  There, pretty simple.  

While I can’t believe I’m putting my weight out there for the world to see, I’ve posted my results to show you the calculations.  (Yes, I’m still working on that last 12-15 lbs of baby weight to lose – even though they are 3 yo)  So my goal during a run is to consume approximately 10 oz per mile.  This will can go up or down depending on the heat and running conditions.  I think it’s a good average though because the day I ran it was pretty hot. 

Weight Before 138.50 lbs.  
Weight After 138.25 lbs.  
Delta 0.25 lbs.  
       
Convert to Ounces 4.00 ounces (Delta *16)
       
Liquid Consumed 42.00 ounces  
       
Total Loss During Run 46.00 ounces (Delta + Consumed)
       
Loss Per Mile 9.20 ounces (Ttl Loss/Miles Ran)

Here’s the second part of the equation… running to train with my HRM (heart rate monitor).  It’s very easy for me to jack up my heart rate in the 190s. Scary – just goes to show that a Size 4 can be a very unfit person.  The high heart rate is exactly what was causing my performance issues and physical symptoms in my earlier runs.

Since running with the HRM I train to exercise my capacity for longer runs.  I read Bill Wainright’s article on this at http://www.counterpartcoaching.com. Here’s the basic concept: Numerous studies have shown that maximizing the development of the Aerobic system is done by exercising at/or below the Aerobic Threshold.  This means that I’m running at a lower threshold in order to increase my threshold and gain speed over time. The results have been great! 

My goal is still on the high side, but much lower than what I was doing.  I run to keep my heart rate in the 160’s, the lower the better.  During my walk periods I focus on relaxing and breathing to reduce my heart rate to the 130’s.  As I deal with hills, humidity, heat, etc. I have to watch my heart rate because it will increase wickedly fast before I even know it.  While it’s ok run run at a higher rate, it does not allow me to stretch my system and improve over time.  So I have actually had to take my intervals down to 3:1 which is perfectly ok.

This is what training is for, it is preparation.  It is to stretch our systems – cardiovascular, muscular and mental – to prepare us for future runs.  There are a lot of methodologies to training and ways to go about preparing your body for a half marathon or marathon or even an ironman triatholon. I guess the most important thing that I have learned thus far is that I have to find what works for me and go forward.  It’s no one else’s race but mine. Only I know how to prepare my body and mind the best. The only wrong decision you can make when it comes to training for a run is to not do it!

So get out there!  KEEP MOVING FORWARD!!!

Where are you in your training?

Here’s the big medical disclaimer (probably should’ve done this before):  Anything posted here is by no means a medical opinion.  It is all based on my own personal experience, trials and tribulations.  Since we are discussing things of a medical nature…  You should seek the advise of a physician before beginning any physical exercise program. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms that I discuss, please seek a professional opinion.

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One thought on “Running 101: Heat, Humidity and Heart – Follow Up

  1. Amy, you’re doing so well. I’ve never seen anyone who has started with a recreational goal get so into it. You are “getting it” better than most seasoned athletes! Keep up the good work!

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