Saturday, May 3, 2014

Mama on the Run: Bring on the Heat

Crazy how just two days ago I was digging out my winter gear (again). And how I was fighting the urge to turn on the heater, but couldn't justify it due to it being May 1st (besides the fact that there's something seriously wrong with turning on the heater exactly one month away from my summer birthday).

What's even crazier is the fact that on Sunday, several of my fellow running mamas and friends will be running Prairie Fire Half Marathon in Wichita and race organizers have issued heat warnings, as it's supposed to reach a daytime high of 88-95 degrees, which is pretty steamy for May 4th in this neck of the woods.

I believe this week will be a great test and practice for the hot and steamy weather that Hospital Hill race week will most likely have - a mix of 80 and 90 degree weather with humidity.

It's good to get in some weather that (might) simulate what we'll expect in one short month. I find the hardest transition in my own training and race regimen is going from winter/spring to summer. Maybe it's because the last few years have "featured" winters going way too late in the spring (late April into early May) and then jumping straight into summer (entire month of May) without any real consistent relief or beautiful spring-time temps from the good-ole days (60s and 70s with some nice sprinklings of rain mixed in there).

It's not that it's super duper hot outside right now. It's just that when we morning runners go from the 20s-30s straight to the 60s, 70s, and 80s, it takes the body a lot more adjusting to the elements.

Take, for example, my full marathon last year. I spent the entire winter training for my third 26.2 mile adventure - one that I specifically picked in the spring so I'd have cooler weather to train (and run) in! That didn't happen. What did happen is that I did train in extreme winter elements for four months - ice, sleet, snow, sub-zero temps more than I would have ever wanted - until race day came and unseasonably warm temps had many of us at the Cleveland Marathon throwing out any type of PR to simply finish. Temps were in the low 70s and muggy from the race start and by Mile 16, there was no shade as the sun beat down on all of us for 10 long miles of temps in the upper 70s to lower 80s by race end.

You can't change the weather or the crazy ups and downs it's giving us.

You can, however, prepare as best as possible. I'm slowly learning as I mature in my running that it's okay to slow down and take it easier as the temps rise and I'm getting used to the heat again. It's also important to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate before, during, and after the run (meaning: all day long!). I sometimes like to break up my run, too - running a few miles in the morning and then doing 2-3 with the kiddos in the BOB after naps to acclimate my body to the hotter afternoon temps and sunshine.

What are some of your tips to adjusting from super cold temps to warmer than average temps? I'd love to have you share your hints, tips, or questions via email at or by commenting below!

The temps this week are definitely climbing, but I'm not complaining. I'll simply adjust as needed and look forward to the first few hints of summertime running that's about to come. Have a great week running, everyone!

Half-Marathon Training Plan
Monday: Run easy 45 min with strength training
Tuesday: Speed C workout (warm-up of 5-10 min; 5 min hard (80-85%) with 2 min easy * 5 times; 5-10 min cool-down) plus core work/stretching
Wednesday: XT 40-45 min with strength train
Thursday: Run 50 min with 4x striders
Friday: Run 40 min easy
Saturday: Scheduled is a hard 8-miler - I may do this, or I may opt for a longer 10-12 miler - depends on how the week goes!

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