I LOVE summer.. I LOVE running during the summer but there is a fine line between safe and DEATH!
This week has been excessively hot. (Thank goodness I got my AC fixed in my house!) Yesterday reached some all-time record highs. But because this is southern Ontario we've got insane humidity to deal with. Thanks super huge Lake Ontario, you just HAD to share your moisture.
I've been out so far this week in the evening on Tuesday only. I did the stairs and sweat buckets. It was quite uncomfortable but I GOT 'ER DONE! So Thursday anyone going outside to exercise is risking their lives!! It reached a high of 38C (100F) "feeling like" 49C (120F) with the humidex.
Now that's where I draw the line.
You literally hit a wall of humidity as soon as you open the door. Breathing is hard standing still, never mind moving!
So I took a page from my good bloggy friend Celine and I went for a run in the morning before work. I am not a newbie to early morning runs, I used to do it in Taiwan since the heat and humidity are intense there all summer long. I haven't done it in years though, so I was a bit apprehensive. I didn't know how my blood sugar or guts would handle it.
I woke up at 4am to my alarm so I could set my temp basal rate and then I went back to bed. I woke up at 5am and hit the snooze button. I hit it a second time and then realized that I was sitting on a TBR. I had to get up and go or else my blood sugar would suffer big time for the rest of the day. I chugged back some coffee and stepped out the door.
It was quiet, dark and humid. The temperature at 6am was already at 27C (81F) with a humidex making it feel like 39C (102F). It was a bit of a struggle to acclimatize for the first couple km not only to the humidity but also getting my body into realizing it's running at that ungodly hour. "Hey, knock knock, get used to this because we've only just started!"
I started fading near the end. The heat was really starting to waste me. I could feel my skin tingling and my heart rate was much higher than it should have been. I made it home after a handful of breaks and was still sweating by the time I got to a work an hour and a half later. I'm so glad I got that out of the way though. I am hoping it will pave the way for some more early morning runs as a regular thing. By the sounds of it, our summer is going to be hell on earth and morning runs might be the only way I can get my training in.
I had a bit of a night time low and fell asleep cuddled up to an empty juice box apparently. I woke up with higher than normal blood sugar and it stayed high for most the run. I aggressively hit it with a post run high TBR as well as a unit and a half at the end of my run. I then took half my breakfast bolus and everything panned out peachy keen a couple hours later.
Yeah, Okay, I take pictures of myself. The camera didn't adequately capture the sweat the way I wanted it to but I was pretty pooped. I am in love with the little drop about to fall off my ponytail.
The death run:
Total Distance: 9.58km
Total Time: 1:02:55
Avg. Pace: 6:34 min/km
Avg. HR: 174 bpm
Calories burned: 649
I did do a bit of Googling about the effects of heat and humidity on our bodies during intense cardio exercise and would like to share a bit of that.
Both the heat and humidity can be counter productive to the outcome of your workouts. They main thing they effect is the heart rate. I know that my Max HR is 195bpm. 226 minus my age (for females), it's 220 for men. Yes, I'm 31 years old.
Temperatures between 15C - 24C (60F - 75F) add 2-4 bpm
Temperatures between 24C - 31C (75F - 90F) add 10 bpm
Humidity between 50% - 90% add 10 bpm
I know that I usually run at about 85% of my max which is about 166bpm. Add 10bpm for high temperature and 10bpm for high humidity and my output is 190bpm. So I'm running almost at my max HR for a regular run. That was this morning for me at many points. Not a zone to be at if running any sort of distance other than interval-type training.
The humidity makes it difficult for the sweat to evaporate which means we overheat easily and quickly because we can't regulate our core temperatures. So it is NOT my imagination as I struggle to maintain a slower than normal pace yet I feel much much worse.
I got this information HERE if you would like to read in more detail. It's got some good info about hydrating too. I never knew that cold water absorbs faster into our bodies than warm water.