Quote of the Week
Step #1 of training for a marathon: you run
Step #2 of training for a marathon: See step #1
-overheard on the road
Picture of the Week
Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run
The Granddaddy of them all..Steph wins a lottery spot and surprises everyone including herself by PR-ing over 11 hours and having a really good day! Congratulations!
In The News
Willow River Run is this Saturday!
Twin Cities 10 Lottery opens!
Adam "Gumby" heads to Ely MN for a hilly 5K and a competitor he couldn't shake cursing like a sailor! nice Work!
Dave G and Sara hit up Afton 25K
2014 Grandmas Marathon
Montrail Uphill Challenge
The pace crew for Steph at Western States enter the Montrail Uphill challenge which is 6K of the first part of the western states endurance run!
Pullin For Karen 5K
Chester Woods 50K
Western States Training Camp!
Jeff runs the Rochester Marathon
GB Half Marathon
Uffda Trail Run
Wells Fargo 1/2!
Monday: 0 - 3 miles easy
Tuesday: 8 - 11 Intervals
Wednesday: 4 - 6 miles easy
Thursday: 8 - 10 miles tempo
Friday: 0 - 3 miles
Saturday: 3 - 7 miles easy
Sunday: 10 miles - 13.1 race day
Sunday: 10 miles - 13.1 race day
ONE HOUR OR LESS
Three to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. Water is usually fine. For a tough run over 30 minutes, consider a sports drink to give you a kick of energy at the end.
ONE TO FOUR HOURS
Three to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. A sports drink with carbs and electrolytes will replenish sodium. Prefer gels? Chase them with water to avoid sugar overload.
OVER FOUR HOURS
Drink three to six ounces of sports drink every 15 minutes, after which use thirst as your main guide (drinking more if you're thirsty and less if you're not).
Replace fluids, drinking enough so you have to use the bathroom within 60 to 90 minutes postrun. Usually eight to 24 ounces is fine, but it varies based on running conditions.
Tips for Running in Humidity
It's not (just) the heat that matters! How to cope with the muggy weather
By Liz Plosser
Runners often obsess over weather reports, tracking the coolest time of day in which to run. But as anyone who's ever tried to finish a five-miler in steamy conditions knows, it's not just the temperature that matters, it's the humidity.
"Of all the climate measurements we take to assess heat risk for our runners, humidity is the biggest factor," says George Chiampas, D.O., the medical director of the Chicago Marathon. Humidity makes warm summer runs even more taxing because the higher the moisture content of the air, the hotter it feels. An 88-degree day with a relative humidity just under 40 percent, for example, will feel like 88 degrees. Hot, yes, but when humidity reaches 70 percent, that same 88 temperature feels like 100 degrees.
Unless you're lucky enough to live in Paradise, Nevada—the least humid city in the U.S.—here's how to cope when running in steamy conditions.
Why Humidity Matters
When you run, your core body temperature naturally rises, and your sweat glands produce droplets that carry excess heat to the surface of the skin, where it evaporates. But humidity prevents sweat from evaporating, so the heat stays put. "On a hot, humid day with no breeze, you have lost a key way to get rid of your building body heat, which can make running dangerous," says Michael Bergeron, Ph.D., a professor at the Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota.
If your body heats up and gets more and more dehydrated, it goes into survival mode, maintaining blood flow to your essential organs (to keep you alive) and to your skin (to regulate temperature). Less blood will flow to your GI tract, which will make the digestion of sports drinks or gels difficult, and you may feel nauseous as a result. You may also find you are more prone to side stitches when you are overheated—especially if your breathing becomes shallow and uneven. And your heart rate will escalate as your ticker and lungs work overtime trying to deliver oxygen throughout your body, Dr. Chiampas says.
But wait, there's (ugh!) more. If you continue to gut it out, your brain temperature will rise, which makes matters worse: Your ability to assess your own body temperature will become difficult (runners often report feeling chilled or goosebumpy when they're overheating). You can also start to lose control over body mechanics (your form and footing will get sloppy), and your mental abilities may start to break down (you may feel dizzy or disoriented).
"Your temperature can spike in minutes," Bergeron says. "If you're running a 5-K or a 10-K on a hot day, you can jack up your body temperature quickly." Also, it's a myth that newbies or not-fit-enough runners are the ones who suffer in hot, humid conditions. In fact, competitive athletes may be more prone to heat-related illnesses because the faster you run, the more body heat you generate. "As humidity increases, thermal strain and premature fatigue increase exponentially, and so running at your normal pace will feel very difficult," Dr. Chiampas says. It's also important to recognize that feeling sluggish on a sticky day doesn't indicate a lack of fitness or a lapse in mental toughness—it's your body's physical response to a stressful environment.
Of course, some people handle heat and humidity better than others. Body size is one factor—the more body mass you have, the more insulation and load you carry and the more heat your body generates, which makes it easier for you to overheat. Age is another variable—over time, your body becomes less adaptable to heat; age-related changes to sweat glands can decrease sweat production and reduce the body's ability to cool itself effectively. Also, sweat content varies: Some people lose more sodium in their perspiration than others, and that can impact performance and increase risk of cramps if these salty sweaters don't take in enough electrolytes. Where you live also plays a role: It takes generally 10 to 14 days to acclimatize to hot and humid conditions. People who train in humid parts of the country will become naturally used to muggy conditions and probably fare better at, say, an August East-Coast race than someone who travels in from the West Coast, where humidity is generally lower.
You might think the best times to run are early morning or evening, or cloudy, rainy, or not-crazy-hot days. But all of those can be incredibly humid. When you check the weather report, don't pay attention to just the temperature. The Heat Index combines temperature with relative humidity to give you apparent temperature—how it actually feels outside. Relative humidity doesn't become a factor until it reaches about 40 percent—below that, you'll have a comfortable run; above that, it could impact your performance. For example, a 75-degree day with zero percent humidity will feel like 69 degrees. But in 100-percent humidity, 75 degrees will feel like 80. (Though there is no simple formula for calculating Heat Index on your own, it's easy to find on weather Web sites and apps.) The National Weather Service issues a Heat Advisory when the Index is expected to exceed 105 for at least two consecutive days.
In those conditions, if you are intent on getting in a quality workout, your best bet is a treadmill in an air-conditioned room. Otherwise, opt for a shaded path (versus heat-absorbing roads), run close to water (bodies of water offer breezier conditions), and take walk breaks. It's essential to hydrate properly and let go of any time-based goals—run by feel instead of pace. When temperatures go from 75 to 90 degrees, heart rate can increase by 10 to 20 beats per minute, which will make your perceived effort much greater. Add humidity to the mix, and the effect will be even more significant, Bergeron says.
Be mindful of the early warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke: fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headaches, tingly skin, and confusion. Call it quits if you experience any of them—even if you haven't reached the end of your run or the finish line yet.
The good news? You can teach your body to respond more efficiently in the heat. Signing up for a race in the second half of the summer will give you a few weeks of heat training under your fuel belt, so you'll struggle less than you would at the beginning of the season. And any training you do now will only make your fall runs all the more enjoyable.
Is heat training the new altitude?
By Alex Hutchinson.
I'm at the annual scientific meeting of the Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine right now -- lots of interesting talks and fun topics. My favorite from this morning was a talk in the Wilderness Medicine session called "14 Uses of a Foley Catheter," on improvising medical equipment in the backcountry. Did you know that, if you urgently need to rehydrate someone and they can't take in fluids orally, you can shove the tube of your hydration pack up their rectum and create an improvised Murphy drip to get the fluids in through the back door? (I don't recommend trying this without appropriate training, and -- thanks to this new knowledge -- I also don't recommend buying hydration packs second-hand!)
Anyway, one of the best things about conferences like this is the chance to chat informally with people and find out what they're currently up to and working on. One of those conversations led me back to a topic that got some brief attention a few years ago: training in heat to produce big jumps in endurance performance. There was a University of Oregon study back in 2010 that had trained cyclists do 10 days of heat acclimation -- 100 minutes of exercise in the heat each day -- and saw a 5% jump in VO2max measured in cool conditions by the end of study. In other words, heat acclimation doesn't just make you better at dealing with heat; it makes you better, period. The researchers suggested that athletes could use this type of protocol just like they use altitude training camps, as a short-term intervention to improve performance. The study got quite a bit of attention, but I hadn't heard much about athletes and coaches actually adopting the idea.
It turns out there has been more research on this, and elite athletes are definitely using it. A New Zealand study published in 2012 in the European Journal of Applied Physics used elite rowers, and put them through a shorter protocol: just five days, 90 minutes per day. The rowers were in a room at 40 C and 60% humidity, and they rowed at an intensity just sufficient to keep their core temperature at a "modest" overheating level of 38.5 C. The training itself wasn't particularly hard: the goal was to overheat the rowers, not overwork them, and the 5-day acclimation period started two weeks before a major championship competition. The result: a 1.5% increase in 2,000m rowing performance.
There are a lot of different mechanisms that may be coming into play here, but I'm going to greatly simplify some of the practical takeaways as I understand them:
(1) The biggest benefit of heat acclimation may be plasma volume expansion. Just as altitude stimulates your body to produce more red blood cells, heat stress stimulates your body to produce more plasma. The result is a greater cardiac output, and higher VO2 at a given effort level. In the New Zealand study, resting plasma volume increased by 4.5%, even though the the athletes had very high plasma volume to start; in the Oregon study, plasma volume increased by 6.5%.
(2) One of the key signals that tells your body to adapt may be dehydration. So if you do the heat acclimation but are super-careful to stay hydrated, you miss out on the benefits. In the New Zealand study, the athletes were allowed 100 mL of water during the 90-minute bouts -- enough to stave of the feeling of being super-dehydrated, but not enough to stay hydrated. The benchmark some athletes are using: if you're not at least 2% dehydrated, you drank too much; 3% is good; 4% is too much. (Note: this is just for the heat acclimation sessions, not a universal rule for all training sessions!)
(3) This approach can be combined with altitude. Spend a couple of weeks up high to boost red blood cells, then a week in the heat to boost plasma volume, then maybe 7-10 days in normal conditions and you're ready to go.
The more general takeaway I draw from this is the importance of allowing your body to undergo training-induced stresses, rather than making heroic efforts to cushion your body from discomfort. That has been a theme of recent research in a variety of areas -- like nutrition (the adaptation benefits of doing some of your training with low or depleted energy stores), and recovery (the potential for things like ice-baths and antioxidants to suppress the signals that are supposed to tell your body to adapt and get stronger). This suggests to me that, in situations where safety and health aren't a concern (i.e. not ultra runs and not during heat waves!), leaving the water bottle at home may be a good call.
Need some inspiration to get out the door?
The New Richmond Running Club
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