Monday, May 21, 2012

The Heat Effect

This weekend was time for another long run.  The plan, such as it was, was to get up early Saturday and knock it out from about 8 until 9:30 or so, before kid activities took over the day.  That didn't happen; slept too late, so i improvised and decided to go about 2 pm.  At 8 am or so, it was about 60 degrees.  At 2 pm, it was in the low 80s and a spectacular day.  That meant that my usual long run track -- a paved path that is relatively flat -- would be overwhelmed with walkers, bikers, dogs, leashes, you name it.  Be impossible to keep pace.  So I decided to run around my neighborhood, which I know is hilly.  More on that later.  I also didn't have a set track.  I wanted to go 9-10 miles, and that is a funny distance for my route. And that sort of aimless wandering to add distance made it mentally tough, not knowing mile marks or how to get the distance in with just running a zig zag route up and down a bunch of streets.

But what really caught me off guard was the heat.  Its a big difference between 60 and 80. It went form crisp to warm.  And the effect of the hills...ooh that made it hard too.  Doing some quick research, 10 degrees affects performance by about 3%.  Ouch, so somewhere in neighborhood of 5% or so.  And the hills...up and down, up and down, and given I didn't know my length...around, and up and down.

I was really happy I did it, but been more happy I finished.  Just wasn't a real enjoyable run, with the heat, the uncertainty, the hills, the lack of a defined route, etc.

One thing I know I need to work on is the mental side.  Mental toughness.  I am not there yet.  I don't have the confidence that I am going to go out and just stick the run.  I come back and look at my heart rate data, and it is pretty good.  But I just don;t feel like I am kicking it. I am sort of worried about this given I have a half marathon in a month, but more training, etc., will really benefit me.

Hope your weekend plan came out better than mine!  (And I can never get a good copy of my splits from Garmin Connect! Anyone know how to cut and paste into a post?)

One other thing I did was that I ran with Nike GPS (already had my phone on me for tunes), and it did a really good job.  Within about 20 yards of Garmin.  Of course, though, it was much harder to start and stop at traffic lights, water stops, etc., so I can't put then exactly together, but it did a nice job.

Avg Pace

18:19.3 1.00 8:19
28:30.8 1.00 8:31
38:44.4 1.00 8:44
48:49.8 1.00 8:50
58:20.2 1.00 8:20
69:01.1 1.00 9:01
78:09.1 1.00 8:09
88:30.2 1.00 8:30
98:53.1 1.00 8:53
10:28.4 0.04 10:57
115:36.6 0.18 31:38

10:28.4 0.04 10:57
115:36.6 0.18


  1. Nice job getting it done! Heat is no friend of mine. But pushing through it does wonder for mental toughness. WTG.

  2. that is awesome.
    even I know how crazy different 60 & 80* temps are [little indoor running me].

    Mental toughness truly is everything. It's amazing what power that little voice in our heads has.

    You are awesome.

  3. you ran in that heat! i'd consider that mental toughness.

  4. Goof job. Those first few runs in the heat can take it out of us...I'll be happy when I am feeling acclimated myself!

  5. Well done - I don't do well running in the heat - I'm cold blooded!

  6. As the Summer gets warmer I start my runs earlier and earlier. I will start running before the Sun comes up, and sometimes I can get in a 20 miler by 9:00am. I also start losing motivation if I wait till after lunch, too many other things going on.

  7. Good run considering the circumstances. If your HR data was 'good' then even better. I find I'm OK with temps up to low 20s (celsius) but the HR definitely climbs from the high 20s up. For a given pace I might be 700 h/b per k for the former and 740 or higher for the latter.


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