Not that it is breaking news, but the heat can be a major factor in slowing you down. After flying a few weeks ago running during a cooling severe thunderstorm and struggling in almost 100 degree heat on the same four mile loop, I decided to pull some numbers and investigate. That’s what is below, some data on my last five four-runs (all but the June 5 run were training runs on the same loop; June 5th was a race on a similarly hilly but different route).
|Day||Time||Distance||Run time||Pace/Mile||Temperature||Day’s mean temp.||Above/Below mean||Heat Index||Percent Humidity|
|June 7||9:45 AM||4.06||36:27||8:59||79||80||Below||81||60|
|June 5||8:06 AM||3.95||32:42||8:17||72||82||Below||73||78|
|June 1||5:28 PM||4.02||37:09||9:14||96||84||Above||98||35|
|May 26||6:03 PM||4.06||34:49||8:34||70||75||Below||70||83|
|May 24||7:48 PM||4.03||36:00||8:55||85||78||Above||84||37|
- Weather data from Weather Underground.
My quickest runs came when it was coolest. I remember after that June 1 run, I couldn’t cool off. I literally stood in a cold shower for 10 minutes to try. It was a tough run. As Dr. Joe mentioned earlier this week, you must be careful when it’s hot, but running in the heat and humidity is a necessary part training for the AJC Peachtree. It won’t be cool on July 4, so get ready now. Be smart, too.
My strategy is now to wake up early (at least for me, someone that works afternoons/nights) and get out by for my run by 9:30 or 10 a.m. Not quite like those 7:30 or 8 a.m. cross country practices from my past and I know those out there that get up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. to run are laughing at what I call early, but I am still trying to beat the heat. As you see in the chart, if I get out before 10 a.m., I beat the daily mean temperature. I quickly figured out that is something that’s not possible running at any time in the afternoon or evening, when I typically run. I tried to go a few more times in the afternoon 90s. Things didn’t go well, at all.
Yesterday’s temperature chart from Weather Underground shows that once the temperature tops the mean before 11 a.m., it doesn’t fall below 80 until 9:30 p.m. Heat builds up during the day. The only way to beat it is to run early, just as the Peachtree is on July 4. Hopefully, for me as well as for you, waking up early will be worth it. We shall see.