It’s December 15th, and I’m looking at the future weather forecast…Saturday-Sunday above than normal temperatures. How can that be when it’s 60 degrees outside as a high? That’s Florida for you. Weather is unpredictable. So as I plan for race day strategy, what do I do when weather is not cooperating?
Dress for running success.
55 degrees or warmer-definitely short sleeves wicking top or a tank. Better to be chilled for a couple of minutes, than overheating later. Shorts or a running skirt. I only wear tights if it’s 30 degrees or lower. Wear a hat to keep the sun off of your head. I tend to really feel the heat if my head is uncovered. That’s just me.
Just say no to chafe.
Hot and humid runs call for extra vigilance. Proper planning prevents poor performance my dad always says. Truth! Nothing worse than discovering you’ve chafed especially during shower time. And don’t discount that it can’t happen with your tried and true shorts or shirts because it can. I have a nasty scar from one of my favorite shorts that rubbed my belly raw from the elastic waistband during a very hot Jax Marine Corps half. I actually bled! It was something I don’t want to repeat, so I use Gold Bond friction defense or Body Glide. Don’t have that at hand? Vaseline does wonders.
Water stops at every mile and a half? Stop and take a sip. Make sure there is no tummy sloshing. Gatorade or tailwind are good hydration to replenish lost electrolytes due to sweating. 2 ounces is all you need.
Overheating is a possibilty if temperatures reach 70 degrees or above. Slow down. Take walk breaks. Unless the heat doesn’t affect you. Some people love the heat. I don’t. I have felt light headed and even nauseous, so I listen to my body and slow down my pace or take more walk breaks.
Sometimes you just have to ditch the watch.
For weeks you’ve been planning, okay this race is my race. It’s going to be mild,after all it’s December, I have my fuel, this time I am up for a PR! Then…unpredictable weather happens. So should you go for it?! Yes…no. At the end of the race, I collected my medal and my water. To the left of the Finish, there is the medical tent…the 2nd guy in was laid out on a stretcher with ice and IV fluids. Don’t be that guy. Sometimes you have to know when to look at your watch, gauge how your body is doing with race stress, and just say “today is not the day.” You want to be able to race another day.
Heat exhaustion. Tell tale signs.
Warning! Warning! Your body is trying to tell you something. If during a run or race you feel chilled(goosebumps chilled), stop perspiring, light headed, and nauseous-your body is going into heat distress. Please seek medical attention. Don’t tough it out.
Be safe and smart.
Enjoy, socialize, cheer on other people out there! We’re all doing the same thing-getting healthy through exercise. Follow these easy suggestions and you’ll have a great run! I hope to see you out there soon.
Remember it’s about the journey, not just the destination,