It’s the middle of summer in Edmonton. Usually this means lots of sunshine, some hot days, and pretty temperate weather. Sometimes it means cool mornings, or hot days and afternoon or nighttime thunderstorms.
A couple weeks ago we had a stretch of incredibly hot weather. It was so hot in fact that we reached the hottest temperature ever recorded in Edmonton. The actual temperature was only 33 C but with the humidex it reached 43 C.
I’m sure people in Texas or on the East coast would laugh but it’s definitely hotter than we’re used to as a typically dry climate.
I generally wear a heart rate monitor to train but more out of interest, as I don’t train in HR zones or anything.
I know I struggle to get my heart rate up, even when climbing hills on the bike. On the hottest day ever recorded I had an easy bike on the schedule after work.
I lubed up with sunscreen (my back is still in pain from Coeur d’Alene) and went for a spin. My cycling computer showed a temperature of 35C on the black highway.
As expected, my heart rate was much higher than normal. On flats, pedaling easy, my heart rate was what it normally is when I’m pushing hard up a hill.
With that in mind, here are some ways people can train on those hot summer days.
- Lower your expectations. Don’t expect to keep a pace you would on a mild or cool day. Your heart rate will be higher, making your effort feel much greater. Ditch the watch and run by feel instead of pace!
- Change the time of day you exercise. Go before work when temperatures are lower, or save your workout for late evening after the sun has gone down. (But check the humidity first since those times are sometimes higher!)
- Change your activity. If you have a tough workout planned, save it for another day. Hit shaded trails instead of the open road, let yourself take walking breaks, or cycle (where you’ll get a breeze) instead of run.
- Move it inside. Take your workout inside to the treadmill or bike trainer, join that class you’ve always wanted to try, or get in a good cross-training session by swimming.
- Stay hydrated. Drink throughout the day to stay well hydrated before you get out there. And take in electrolytes instead of simply water to ensure you replace what you sweat out.
Even by training smarter and trying to prevent heat-related illness, be careful out there. Everybody handles heat and humidity differently.
I’m glad we had a few hot days so my body could experience it. I have no idea what the weather will be like for Ironman Whistler, so I want to train in all conditions!
Oh, and we had a raging thunderstorm that night and enjoyed a slumber party in the cooler basement!
What’s the hottest temperature you have ran in?
In Ko Samui our morning runs were H-O-T! The daily temperatures rose to over 45C with the humidity, and I’m sure mornings were almost the same!
Chime in! What are your hot/humid running tips?