Why you can’t run when it’s hot

It is 5:30pm in the evening and you head out for a run. The sun is blazing hot! “No pain, no gain,” you mutter to yourself for the hundredth time as you lace up your shoes.

1km into the run, you are already wetter than a fish. 2km, you are feeling tired. By the third km, you are gasping for breath. You try to play mental tricks on yourself in the fourth km, but it’s not working. 5th km, and you know you’re done. Man, you feel exhausted!

Sounds too familiar?

Don’t worry though. It’s not you. Your fitness did not suddenly take a nosedive. It’s the heat.

When it is hot, your body starts to find a way to cool off. The capillaries near the surface of your skin start to dilate. Blood is brought nearer to the surface, to help lose the heat. That is why your face looks flushed.

Also, your blood is made to circulate faster all around your body, to help dissipate the heat. Your heart pumps harder and faster to do that. Therefore, you hyperventilate. And you feel tired like crazy.

When you head out the door under a hot afternoon sun, remember to adjust your training goal for the day. Bring some water with you. It may slow you down a little, but speed work is not what you’ll want to do on a hot day. Either slow down your pace, or reduce your mileage. Go a little easier on yourself. It is perfectly alright.

If the sun is blazing down on you, tell yourself this: “Gee, this means, I can legitimately run less today! Whooppeee! Thank you, hot sun. It’s an easy day today!”

A little mind trick like this will make you look forward to running, hot or cold.

Explore posts in the same categories: Expert advice

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