July 2018 Challenge: Too Hot To Handle!

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It’s pretty much hot everywhere now, except maybe for Alison in New Zealand. I think it’s winter over there? For everyone else, it’s super hot, super humid, and it pretty much sucks the life out of us and our runs.

When the temperature rises, our running pace needs to slow down until we acclimate to the heat. Sometimes acclimating doesn’t make a difference and that slower pace becomes our norm for the summer months.

Sometimes, even though we know we should be pulling back on our pace, social media  pressures us, our competitive nature kicks in and our need to “keep up” gets in the way of doing what we need to do to stay healthy and avoid dehydration and burnout.

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When things get too hot to handle, we need to slow things down, avoid the outside pressures to keep up the faster pace and focus on the little things that will get us ready to race when in the fall. We need to maintain our mileage base but take the pressure off and allow us to just run.

So, for July, while we will still follow our training plans, keep speed work in our weekly routine, work on getting stronger and continue to push towards our race goals, this month we will NOT be posting any runs with paces.



That’s right, for this month we are going to focus more on all the other aspects of our overall health and fitness and keep our specific running stats to ourselves. We’re going to let go of the competitiveness, relieve some of the stress that comes with having to “keep up” and enjoy a month without numbers. You can include your mileage, your workouts, your struggles and your successes, but no specific running stats!

You can certainly post your paces in other places, you can even send them to me (runners I coach individually will continue to send me their info) but in Strong to the Core, I will remove any posts that include running stats. So if you post them, I will delete your posts without warning!

My hope is that this will take off the pressure to move too fast and allow us to slow down, get in some truly easy paced runs and avoid considering how our pace “looks” to others.

Also for July, if you don’t get the workout done, don’t post. We don’t need to see excuses.  Get it done and post….or skip posting. A post with “I didn’t feel like it today” isn’t motivating to anyone and our group is about positivity and motivation. If it doesn’t encourage other Crew members to get it done, don’t post it.

I do want you to continue getting your workouts in and keep posting when you’re done! Feel free to message me anytime during the month if you have a great run and want to share it with me or if you have questions about your training. Bottom line for July…keep running and keep getting stronger!

July 2018 Challenge: Too Hot To Handle 

For July we are keeping the same format with hips, glutes and legs on Monday and Tuesday, rest on Wednesday and Arms and Abs on Thursday and Friday. You can find the day’s workout in the pinned post on our group page. You will see some familiar workouts as we found some really good ones in June, but we’ll have some new surprises too!

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Since we’re talking about how hot and humid it is everywhere…let’s take a minute to chat about how to beat the heat!

With the warmer weather upon us, hot runs are inevitable. Instead of hiding from the sun and humidity, here are some ways to still get the miles in without letting toasty temperatures hinder your training. Beat the heat with these tips from Runners World:

1. Drink Up  “When it’s hot, I drink at least two more cups of water than usual,” says Robert McLane of Scottsdale, Arizona. If you’re going out early, “hydrate throughout the day before,” says Aaron Runyon of Pace, Florida. The rule of thumb is to aim for 16 to 32 ounces of fluid per hour of exercise, or three to six ounces every 15 to 20 minutes. “Make sure you hydrate with fluids containing electrolytes since you will be sweating a lot of salt out,” says John Eng of New York City. Look for a drink that contains 25 to 50 grams of carbs, 230 to 345 milligrams of sodium, and 40 to 100 milligrams of potassium.

2. Run Very Early or Very Late  “We meet up anytime between 3 and 5 a.m. so we can be done around the time the sun rises,” says Elizabeth Hensley of the running club The Bee Team in Tucson, where the normal high in July is 100° F. If you can’t go early, go as late in the day as possible. Although the sun is highest in the sky at noon, the earth’s surface heat peaks between 3 and 5 p.m so heading out for a run mid-afternoon is probably not a great idea. Wait till closer to when the sun goes down, when the humidity is less and the temperature is going down.

3. Plan Ahead  Run in a park with water fountains or on a route with convenience stores. “I map my run to make sure I can refill my bottles,” says Dominique Perrier of New Orleans. Or stash a cache. “My weekday runs are usually a series of loops in the neighborhood, so I can double past my house, where I leave water or a sports drink by my mailbox,” says Warren Biddle of Brandon, Mississippi. “I sometimes ride my bike or drive the route and leave some water along the way,” says Sloan McLaughlin, who lives in Egypt. Jesse Mack of Boston keeps a cooler at the end of his street with water, Gatorade, and a hat. “I grab a drink, and switch off hats, so I get a cooldown every loop.”

4. Check the Index  It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity! “Last July, it was 99 degrees at 8 p.m., but it’s the 100 percent humidity that will get ya,” says Runyon of Florida. Moist air slows down your body’s ability to cool itself through sweat. The heat index combines temperature with relative humidity to give you the apparent temperature–how hot it actually feels–and the National Weather Service issues a heat advisory when that hits 105. “I check the weather forecast the day before my long run to decide how early to go out,” says Perrier of New Orleans. “Here the temperature doesn’t drop much at night, and humidity is higher in the early hours.”

Caution! The National Weather Service considers it dangerous to exercise when the heat and humidity meet (or exceed) the below combinations.

86° F 90%
88° F 80%
90° F 70%
92° F 60%
94° F 55%
96° F 45%
98° F 40%
(See noaa.gov for the complete chart.)

5. Wear the Right Stuff  “Last summer, I ran with a lightweight long-sleeved top that wicks,” says Gaeten Dominic of Philadelphia. “My skin temperature stayed cooler for a more pleasant run.” Light-colored clothing reflects heat, and a loose fit lets air circulate. Hats are useful for more than blocking rays. “I pack ice under my hat, which lasts about 40 minutes,” says Roger Trudeau, who lives in Tunisia. “The cooling effect of the water running down over me makes all the difference.”

6. Get Used to It  The good news is your body begins to adapt to elevated heat in only three or four days, though it might take two to three weeks to acclimatize. “Running in Guadalajara, Mexico, it’s hot most of the time, so my ‘secret’ against heat is facing it on a daily basis,” says Alberto Aguirre. “Long-distance runs of 30-K at noon are tough, but if you do it twice, you will be ready to finish even if the heat is on.”

7. But Be Sensible  “If you ever feel nauseous or heavy-headed, stop immediately, get in the shade, and drink something cold,” says Rik van der Vaart, who speaks from experience, having suffered heat stroke when he first moved to tropical Aruba 10 years ago. Tara Sweeney of Boston adds to the list of warning signs: “If you are feeling dizzier than normal, are feeling sick, or are not sweating, then you need to stop and get inside somewhere cool.” Michael Bower of San Jose, California, says, “Above all, listen to your body and what it says. It knows more than you do.”

8. Seek Shade  Elizabeth Hensley’s Tucson club heads to the canyons for shade or the mountaintops for cooler temperatures. “Any time you can spend in the shade will help–stretching, warmups, even water breaks,” says Bower, a high school runner in San Jose. Plot routes through residential areas. “There’s more shade in the neighborhoods, plus there’s usually the opportunity to run through a few sprinklers,” says Corinne Makarewich of Harrisonburg, Virginia. Or run by larger bodies of water. “I run near a river or reservoir since it is naturally cooler,” says Dejana Knih, who swears Calgary can get “very, very hot” in the summer.

9. Race Easy  Save the 26.2-milers for fall, since the optimum marathon temperature is 54° F, according to Dr. David Martin of Georgia State University. Every seven degrees above that, your overall time slows by a minute or more. “My 10-K race pace at 80 degrees is at least 10 percent slower than at 60 degrees,” says John McCoach of North Vancouver, British Columbia. Jeannie Runyon of Pace, Florida, says she and her husband stick to local 5-Ks. “They have sprinklers set up as cooling stations at the finish line.” Even with the shorter distances, forget about PRs. “You can’t expect to race all out,” says Jennifer Kimble of Dallas.

10. Enjoy!  “I put on a pair of lightweight racing shoes, sunglasses, and racing shorts, and run shorter routes more often,” says St. John Fletcher of Cincinnati. “I feel like I’m flying.” Cool off by standing under a garden hose, as does Victoria Stopp in Pensacola, Florida, taking a cold shower, or getting in a pool. “I jump into the pool and cool my body off before I start,” says Donna Parsons of Colchester, Ontario. Amanda James of Annapolis, Maryland, freezes paper cups of Gatorade with popsicle sticks for a postrun recovery snack. Appreciate the light mornings and the absence of snowbanks. Remember, it’ll be cold again soon enough.

Time to buddy up for July! Comment on this post in Strong to the Core if you need a buddy to keep you accountable and motivated. Let me know if you need some help finding a good partner for July!

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It’s gonna be another great month Crew and I am excited to get back to basics again. Let’s  worry less about pace and more about getting stronger and on track to reach our goals!