Training in the heat- tips to be smart and safe

IMG_7253-1Summer is fast approaching, days getting longer, and temperatures will begin to rise.  Training in the heat is inevitable and in some cases practically unavoidable (I live in Las Vegas where heat is “normal”).  If you are faced with training in the heat there are a few things to consider keeping yourself cool and safe while training.

The sun is at it highest point between the hours of 10am and 4pm. It is best to avoid these times. Always wear sunscreen and reapply. Wear white or light UV protective clothing (the Coolibar cooling fitness shirt is a perfect example) to reflect the sun’s rays.  Dark colors absorb the heat. Wear a hat and UV protective sunglasses.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Know your sweat loss rate.  Weigh yourself before and after a workout to know how much sweat you lose and replenish with this amount as well as taking in electrolyte sports drink during activity. Cramping is a sign of mineral loss so make sure you are taking in an electrolyte sports drink to keep you hydrated and replenish minerals lost in sweat.

Help keep the body cool by pouring cold water over pulse points in the wrist and back of the neck.  Also pouring over the top of the head.  A majority of the body’s heat is released through the top of the head.  That being said if wearing a hat be sure to wear a ventilated one so heat can escape and is not trapped.  There are cooling neckbands you can wear.  In extreme heat situations I have frozen wristbands and worn them and continued to pour water over them. The absorbent nature keeping the cool water on my pulse points.  I have participated in extreme heat races and they have provided ice towels and cooling stations.

Be aware of warning signs of heat stress and have an emergency plan in place (carry a phone, wear an ID bracelet with emergency contact information).

Warning signs of heat stress and heat related illnesses (dehydration, hypernatremia, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, heat cramps) include but are not limited to: muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting, weakness, headache, dizziness, confusion, cold and/or clammy skin, fainting, fast or weak pulse, hot red dry or moist skin, and even unconsciousness.

Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with playing it 100% safe and taking your training indoors.  You won’t skip a beat in your training and you can train safely without worry sun damage and heat related stress and illnesses.

Be Healthy, Train Smart, Have Fun

 

*this post can also be found on the Coolibar Sun Protection blog, an original article written by me for Coolibar UV Protection clothing*

 

 

Why I prefer *gasp* the treadmill

Runner treadmill ILLUS.jpgI have a reputation for being the “Treadmill Queen”.  I wouldn’t call myself a Queen; Court Jester would be more accurate.  When it comes to the treadmill go ahead and prepare to call me freak, sick, strange, crazy, whatever name you should choose but in all honesty I prefer to run on the treadmill.

There.  I said it, the “anti” runner statement.  But it is true.  On a brisk 40-50 degree day (“perfect” running weather) you will find me on the treadmill.  Shoot, pretty much most of my runs, you will find me on the treadmill.

In an attempt to get 99% of the running community to take a glimpse into my alter universe I will provide you with the multitude of reasons as to why I personally prefer to run on the treadmill, in no particular order:

  1. No dogs off leashes.  Well, there is one.  But he snoozes on the yoga mat beside the treadmill and the worst thing he does is pass gas.  I have been chased over walls, had ankles and the back of my leg bitten by all shapes and sizes of dogs, cats and oh I live in the desert…. don’t get me started on Coyotes.
  2. No stoplights.
  3. No rattlesnakes.
  4. The nearest bathroom is 3 feet away, it is clean, not a bush or tree that I hope is wide enough to hide me, has toilet paper stocked (well, that can remain to be seen as I am the only female in my house, but at least I know where the spare rolls are kept), it also has really pretty smelling soap in there.  BONUS.
  5. I can wear a sports bra and shorts and not worry about looking like a busted can ‘o biscuits hanging out everywhere in the land of Cirque performers.
  6. No cars.
  7. No motorcycles.
  8. No creepers that seem to be lapping the block over, and over, and over, and over. Shudder
  9. No random poles, stop signs, light posts that jump in front of me and crash into me.  I mean really?  The nerve.
  10. No rocks or other objects to trip over.  Or the desert hare that ran in front of me with comedic timing and ended up getting punted.  Let me tell you something so cute can REALLY give a mean stink eye.
  11. I like to run light.  The treadmill holds my water bottles, cell phone, fuel, snot rocket towel, HR monitor watch, and sweat towel.
  12. Can’t step in poop.
  13. Temperature and climate control.
  14. I can watch TV or a movie if I want.  I never have, but I could if I wanted.
  15. If I take it to the puke zone the trashcan is next to the treadmill or refer to #4.
  16. I listen to my iPod and don’t have to worry about hearing my surroundings, I can get lost in my music.  I can also sing out loud without crazy looks, well, unless the family is home.
  17. I can control my pace, timed surges, etc. without OCD checking my wrist.  Just a quick glance at the dash and touch of a button.
  18. If my clothes are stained, don’t match, ugly, stinky, only person to bother is me, and or refer to #1 the dog with gas that sleeps on the yoga mat.
  19. I can control my elevation gain.
  20. Sun safe!  Sunscreen not needed.
  21. I can’t get lost.
  22. No chance of accidental bug ingestion.
  23. Can’t get pooped on by a bird or have one crash into my head (yes this has happened to me twice).
  24. I can completely zone out and not have to be aware of my surroundings.  I solve the world’s problems in my head.  And well, think of blog posts like this one….
  25. When my son was a newborn and my husband worked graveyard shift and slept during the day we did not have a fancy stroller, it was my only way to regain sanity.  Without it for MANY years no treadmill, no run.  For anyone who calls the treadmill the “dreadmill” I want them to be faced with the harsh reality that if they want to run THE ONLY way they CAN is on the treadmill. How quickly they will appreciate the treadmill.

Do not get me wrong.  I love to run outside, in nature.  The sights, the sounds, the smells.  But given a choice I will take the treadmill thank you.

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