Dealing with the elements

Women's winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya, left, and men's winner and compatriot Wesley Korir kiss the trophy at the finish area of the 2012 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 16, 2012. / AP photo

Women's winner Sharon Cherop of Kenya, left, and men's winner and compatriot Wesley Korir kiss the trophy at the finish area of the 2012 Boston Marathon in Boston, Monday, April 16, 2012. / AP photo

Hills and distance were only two of the challenges runners doing the Boston Marathon on Monday had to contend with — unseasonable heat threw another hurdle into the mix. Temperatures reached 87(!) degrees, scaring away more than 4,000 runners who had registered for the race, and causing 2,100 who did run to be treated for dehydration and exhaustion.

Which begs the question — how prepared are you to run in extreme weather? The temps for last year’s Peachtree Road Race were 74 degrees at the 7:30 a.m. starting time, and it only got hotter. For PRR first-timers who haven’t run in humidity, make no mistake — it was sock-drenching, T-shirt soaking humidity. I don’t say that to scare you, but to prepare you.

The treadmill may be tempting on days when it feels like the air is so heavy, it might knock you over. But I challenge you, at least once a week, to go for a run outside as the weather starts to warm up. Even if it’s a mile, being outside and in the heat will prepare your body for what it might be like on race day. On the same token, don’t pass up an opportunity to go for a run in the rain (lightning not permitting). There’s always a possibility it could rain on race day, and if you’ve done a training run in the rain, it’ll be a cakewalk come July 4.

I’d say do a run in the snow, too, but if we get snow at this point in the year, we likely have bigger problems than preparing for a 10k. If you’re a vet, do you have tips for newbies to prepare them for the heat?

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