Summer time: The heat is on

Illustration by Alexander Wells - Folio Art
Illustration by Alexander Wells – Folio Art

« As temperatures rise, running doesn’t need to be a total suffer-fest. »


Chaque fois que je regarde le bulletin météo, je pense à vous…. chaleur et humidex sont au rendez-vous dans le sud de l’Ontario depuis quelques semaines! Avez-vous su adapter votre entrainement? Dans quelques jours, je quitterai la région de Calgary, où la température est plus confortable, et serai de retour à la maison. Je me prépare donc mentalement à affronter cette lourde chaleur!

Each time I look at the weather channel, I think of you guys… I know that heat and humidity are part of your summer since the last few weeks. Were you able to adapt your trainning yet to those heavy summer days? In a few days, I will be leaving Calgary region, where the weather is more confortable, and will be back home. So I am preparing myself mentally to face the heat! WE ARE NOW HALF WAY TO RACE DAY (Ou Ouuuu!). PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE REGISTERED ONLINE FOR YOUR RACE. PRICES ARE GOING UP ON AUGUST 24th.

There are many options to adapt your running when weather conditions affect your body. Think about things you can manage:

  • PACE: It’s ok to slow down or have more walk breaks. Since your body will overheat faster in warm days, adjust your pace if your going for distance. If speed work is on your schedule, go a bit below your target pace or give yourself more time for recovery between intervals. Also, take extra time to walk after your run to fully recover. It  will help stabilize your heart beat before your start something else 🙂 Enjoy that recovery time to congradulate yourself, meditate, reflext on your trainning and progresses. And… don’t forget to stretch!
  • DISTANCE: You might want to play safe and cut down km on warmer days, and add it the next day or later in the week, on – hopefully- cooler days. You might as well try to break your distance in two that day (split it between a morning and a evening run). For your longer runs, go slower for the first few km, even if your are already running at a slower pace (LSD = long slow distance pace). It will give your body a chance to adjust to the heat and get stable for the upcoming distance to cover.
  • TIME OF THE DAY: Obviously, weather should be more confortable when the sun is not up yet, but in summer time, it is quite early (before 6:00 am!). Try to stay close to sunrise time, or sunset, if a run in the evening is more convenient for you. Could be a trick to have a lighter diner 🙂
  • GEAR AND ACCESSORIES: Wear a visor, a synthetic hat (carefull with cotton hat; it is too warm) or a bandana, and sun glasses. You will save a lot of energy if you don’t have the sun right in your face! You can soak your singlet, tank top or/and your bandana, before you leave home. It will keep you cool for a while. Run with a belt to hydrate on the way or hide water bottles on your route. Don’t hesitate to pour water on your head or behind your neck frequently while running. Ideally, avoid cotton clothing. Wear wicking fabrics (e.g., Dry-FIT) and light colors.
  • ROUTES: pick a path or the side of the road where are the shadows.

Oakville Start 2015A good thing to train in this kind of heat, is that it forces your body to produce more oxygen, required by your muscles to perform. If we have a cool morning on race day, IN 6 WEEKS, you’ll find it easier to run, since you have trained in harder conditions ;-). I have read once that the best temperature to run a race is around 12 degrees. It was the case last year (7:45 am start for the half-marathon), but on a very sunny day, so temperature doesn’t take long to rise under the sun!

For you, dear friends and colleagues runners, some facts and extra tips to beat the heat:

And you? How’s your trainning so far? Tell us what works best for you to beat the heat!

À bientôt!


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