Elite distance runner, Tina Muir, understands the difficulties of training in undesirable humid conditions. August is usually the worst month for humidity, and one of the hardest months for endurance training. Tina will be racing in the Chicago marathon in early October, so a lot of her training will consist of early humid mornings.
Tina says, “anyone who has been to Florida or anywhere in the South will know that running in humid conditions can be miserable, but many do not consider the effects humidity will have on your body when exercising. If you continue to push through the same effort level you usually would, without the regulation of your temperature, your body will function only to maintain the temperature of your vital organs by directing its energy away from your muscles.
This is why you may feel cold sometimes after a race on a humid day as your body is confused and not working properly. This is a serious sign of overheating.”
The closer the humidity is to 100% the more it will affect you. If the dew point is also high, that will affect your training as well. Running Times created this chart on how you should adapt your training based on dew point:
|DEW POINT (°F)||RUNNER'S PERCEPTION||HOW TO HANDLE|
|50–54||Very comfortable||PR conditions|
|55–59||Comfortable||Hard efforts likely not affected|
|60–64||Uncomfortable for some people||Expect race times to be slower than in optimal conditions|
|65–69||Uncomfortable for most people||Easy training runs might feel OK but difficult to race well or do hard efforts|
|70–74||Very humid and uncomfortable||Expect pace to suffer greatly|
|75 or greater||Extremely oppressive||Skip it or dramatically alter goal|
Tina offers this advice to endurance athletes training in the humid conditions, “Do not panic if you feel fatigued when it is humid. It is normal to feel as though you are working much harder, as your body is reacting to the stress it is under, and will be unable to dedicate as much energy to your muscles performing at their best.”
From Tina’s experience she feels it’s best to run by effort level. “Have a rough indicator of the pace you would like to run at, but go based off the feel. You should be able to tell if you are going too fast through your breathing and perceived effort.”
Runners World recommends that if you feel fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headaches, tingly skin, and confusion they may be early warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. You should call it quits for the day if you’re experiencing any of them.
Many people ask will training in humid conditions get easier? Tina says, yes! “If you continue to train in humid conditions, your body will learn to adapt after two weeks. As your body gets used to the humidity, it will acclimatize and get easier. You will need to consume A LOT more water than you usually would; before, during and especially after working out.”Tina believes training in humidity should be treated just as serious as running in altitude, and the adjustments should be similar.
“It is critical to ensure you are consuming enough water, and replenish with electrolytes after. EnduroPacks have a great spray for adding to any drinks.”
It’s necessary to stay motivated during the hot and humid training months. It’s important to stay on top of your training even when conditions are undesirable, this will make your fall races seem so much easier when the humidity does eventually drop.
Read the full article from Tina at http://www.tinamuir.com/2014/07/adapting-to-weather-changes-humidity.html and get more of tips on running and nutrition.