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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot Weather Workouts

Its 8:30 p.m. tongitht and it is still 93 F outside. The combination of high heat and high dewpoints (75+) have been oppressive. It isn't just uncomfortable to run in this heat, it can be dangerous.  When it is hot there are some adjustments you can make;

Cross Train
It isn't a good idea for most runners to run everyday. So when it is really hot choose a cross training activity perfect for hot days.  Swimming of course is great and biking creates a bit of its own breeze. Cross training works different muscles than running, making you a more balanced athlete and less prone to injury.

Inside
On days you need to run take your workout inside and use a treadmill.  If you company has a gym or you belong to a health club take advantage of the cool inside environment. Instead of a your track workout do speed work on the treadmill. If it takes you 2:00 to run one lap, do 2:00 minute intervals with 2:00 minutes of rest.  If you are scheduled for a tempo run of say 5 miles do 10 minutes of warm up followed by the time it takes you to cover 3-4 miles, followed by 10 minutes of cool down.  The treadmill can also be a great place to add some hill if you are doing you long easy run.

Pettit National Ice Center
Milwaukee residents can take advantage of the 450 meter track at the Pettit National Ice Center. It costs $2 to use the track and it is open almost every day. The surface is rubber over concrete so it can be a bit hard on the legs if you use the track too often. The track is a great alternative in winter when ice and cold keeps us inside.

Timing
If you have to work out outdoors try to time your workouts for first thing in the morning.  That is the coolest part of the day. If you can't do the mornings then workout as the sun is going down. It still may not be cool, but will be cooler then late afternoon and early evening.  If you do run outdoors, try to find a route that is shaded. Running in the shade will keep you cooler. 

Routes
Some spots are just cooler to run. Here in Milwaukee, it can be 10-15 degrees cooler near Lake Michgan. There is often a nice breeze on cool days, plus the lake is great to look at.  Trail running in the woods is also another cool alternative.

Water
Always drink lots of water during hot weather especially if running outdoors. I see so many runners out in this heat with no water.   A bike water bottle is easy to carry and you can drink while tyou run. If you know you will be running outdoors stay well hydrated throughout the day.

You can run outdoors in hot weather if your body is used to hit.  Don't push too hard until you are aclimated and watch yourself in these very humid conditions. If you start to feel sick to your stomach, light headed or stop sweating, stop working out. Get to a cool place.  You can keep up your workout program even in high heat, you just need to be smart about it.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT
www.run4cmt.com

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have almost 100 members in 17 states. If you wish to join us visit our web site.

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

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