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'26.2' - The Marathon Training Website: Running Fundamentals

Hot Weather Running

How to beat the heat!

In our marathon survey, the top reason people gave for not meeting their time goal was 'adverse conditions'. Hot weather was often cited as being the main cause. The article below looks at some key things everyone training for a marathon should do on long runs in summer.

It's important to remember that over-exertion in hot and humid conditions can be dangerous. You need to be aware of the potential heat-related issues that can affect you.


Check the weather!
If the forecast calls for humid conditions with a high over 85 F you need to think very carefully about:

·        your previous hot weather training & conditioning

·        your own susceptibility to heat

·        what to wear

Susceptibility to Heat
Some people can bear hot weather running conditions a lot better than others. If you on the other hand, suffer in this type of environment then you need to bear this in mind and take things easy. Don't try to keep up with someone else.

What to Wear
The best type of clothes to wear for warm weather are the lightweight mesh fabrics like Cool Max. A lightweight hat will help protect your head and face from the direct sun. Lightweight socks will keep your feet cooler.

Be Prepared
Here are a few things you should do before and during your workout:

  • Wear Sunscreen
    You'll be out in the sun for a while and it's very easy to get a bad sunburn, even on a cooler day.

  • Drink Water beforehand
    Make sure you are properly hydrated by drinking several glasses of water before you start.

  • Keep hydrated.
    Drink water! As you sweat you are losing fluid constantly. It's also a good idea to a break as you take a drink. Gatorade and similar drinks will help prevent muscle cramps.

  • Slow Down
    This is probably your best defense against the heat and humidity. If you start feeling really weary it's because of the heat. Take a walk break or run more slowly for a while.


Heat-related conditions

  • Dehydration – in this state your body has less than the volume of water it requires. Dehydration can occur after only a 2% decrease in the normal water volume. Your throat feels parched and you may have a headache.

  • Heat Exhaustion - the next stage is to feel dizzy, sometimes accompanied by muscle cramps, a headache and vomiting. Your skin may feel cold and damp.

  • Heatstroke or Hyperthermia - this can be fatal and will follow if the heat exhaustion stage is not checked. The symptoms are disorientation, inability to think properly, dry skin and loss of consciousness.

What to do if you start to suffer from the heat
Stop exercising! Take a break as soon as you feel dehydrated and drink lots of water. If you can get out of the sun, this will help. Prevention is better than cure, so it's up to you to recognize the early warning symptoms and take appropriate action.

Hot weather then can really affect your performance, and in the extreme, be fatal. You have to assess your own ability and adjust your workout intensity accordingly. You will end up finishing your exercise a lot more comfortably.


First Time Marathon Runners

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"Marathon Training For Beginners" is based on Jago's experience training runners to succeed at the marathon distance.

Jago is also including as a free bonus six additional ebooks on topics like Marathon Nutrition, and Injury Prevention. You get all this for a very reasonable price!

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