I’ve mentioned heat acclimation many times to people.
Often enough that I decided to finally put together a single blog post with some great resources, so here goes!
First off, I do the hot water immersion method. This can be done year-round. Doing easy runs in the heat of the afternoon can work as well and I typically find myself doing this often in the warmer months.
“In the conventional sense, heat acclimation refers to increased tolerance to the heat that comes with spending time in high temperatures, but there is a wealth of scientific literature emerging that shows training in the heat can actually produce secondary physiological changes that can translate to statistically significant performance gains.” – Emily Dulhanty
This study did hot water immersion at 140°F / 40°C for fourty minutes immediately after an easy 40 minute run. I believe the authors suggested that duration of time may not be completely necessary.
“A recent review found that three to seven heat adaptation runs produced a plasma volume increase of 3.5 percent on average—not as much as the seven percent gain from longer protocols, but still worthwhile.”
This can be done on a treadmill with extra clothing or in a hot room, easy runs in the afternoon heat, and/or easy runs with extra clothing on.
“A 2007 study found that runners who took a postrun sauna for about 30 minutes at 194 degrees four times a week for three weeks boosted their plasma volume by seven percent and endurance by 1.9 percent. And this year, Australian scientists found that just four 30-minute postrun sauna sessions at 189 degrees increased plasma volume. To supplement heat runs, start with five to 10 minutes at 175 degrees and build up, and don’t hit the sauna the same day as a heat run.” – Alex Hutchinson
Lowered resting and working heart rate.
Increased sweat rate.
Increased plasma volume.
You start sweating sooner.
Decreased sweat electrolyte concentration.
Decreased levels of perceived effort.
Heat acclimation improves exercise performance. – Here we had trained cyclists do 10 days of eat training for 100 minutes of exercise each day. They found a 5% increase in V02max measured in cooler temps. Some studies find improvements in cooler temps and others do not. In one that did not, researchers suggested that a longer than 5k time trial may have had more improvements due to heat being more of a limiter.
Effectiveness of short-term heat acclimation for highly trained athletes. – These rowers trained in heat for 90 minute sessions for five consecutive days and experienced a 4.5% increase in plasma volume, decreased perceived body temp at rest, increased heat tolerance, and increased endurance exercise capacity indicated by a time trial improvement.
Physiological and performance adaptations to an in-season soccer camp in the heat: associations with heart rate and heart rate variability. – This study on soccer players had them train in heat for a 7-day acclimation program and then performed sprint tests. Compared to their pre-heat training testing there was decreased submaximal exercise heart rate and increased plasma volume.
Adaptation to hot environmental conditions: an exploration of the performance basis, procedures and future directions to optimise opportunities for elite athletes. – This review determined that acclimation programs of 7 days or less can provide modest performance benefits and thermogregulatory adaptations. They note that 8-14 days will likely increase the benefits.
Post-exercise hot water immersion induces heat acclimation and improves endurance exercise performance in the heat. – This was the above mentioned easy run + hot water immersion and resulted in lower resting temps, lower core temps after exercising in cold and hot conditions, increased plasma volume, and a faster 5k time trial.
What a fun week!
Tuesday I ran sixteen 400’s with Nick at Sioux Park and was quite pleased with how everything felt.
Saturday I did a small 5k in Spearfish, SD and was happy to break the tape (above pic!).
The Sunday I ran 16 miles with friends on the Mickelson Trail.
The above plaque was found during a recent run.
Actually, this run was the second run for Desi that day. This day was her highest mileage day thus far, with a 4 miler in the AM and a 10 miler in the PM with me. She’s totally ready for her first half marathon!
So, here is my training from last week!
The week was certainly not ideal.
I did my first strength workout in a few months on the Monday and while I thought I was being careful, still managed to do too much too soon and my hamstrings were sore!
On Wednesday I had a workout with 2:00 hill reps, but due to soreness I modified the workout a bit to be easier. Unfortunately the 9 mile loop I did that day turned out to be 11.5 miles.
Thursday I cut the regeneration run short to facilitate some healing for Friday’s hard workout. Not surprisingly, my hamstrings were the first to go during the track reps.
But overall it was a great week. Lots of mileage, which will be the norm for a few weeks until my taper for the Crazy Horse Half Marathon in 5 weeks!
Last weekend was the 2016 Fargo Half Marathon.
I’ll have a longer race report soon at SKORA’s blog but in the meantime here is my training for the week of. You’ll see what my taper week looks like and a brief race recap before the longer one is up at the previous link (it may be up by the time you read this, so please check).
Also, if you would be so kind as to vote for me and share my link, it would be so very appreciated! I’m in the running to win a vacation getaway!
Time to taper!
Fargo is this Saturday and I’m feeling good.
My weight is down, my volume is up, and I’m hoping for a nice half.
Here’s my last week of running. Desi and I went to Big Hill for the “10k” and it went well. I ran it about the same as I did last year, but I think I ran a bit easier this time around, I’m also running a lot more so I’ve felt in general a bit less prepared for races or hard efforts.
Goals for the Fargo Half Marathon
1) PR. This is the main goal. I’ve lost a few pounds and I’ve increased my average weekly volume over last year. I’ve not PRed in a few years and I’m craving it.
2) Sub 1:26. If I can’t at least go under 1:23 for a PR I’d like to go under the 1:26 I’ve ran for the last three or four half marathons.
3) Not wreck my legs for Crazy Horse. I’m signed up for the Crazy Horse Half two weeks after Fargo. At some point during the race (not before mile 6) I’m going to have to decide if a 1:26 or 1:23 is or is not going to happen. If there’s a chance for one of those times, I’m going for it. If not, I’ll jog it in to reduce the damage on my legs to I can prep a bit better for Crazy Horse.
Also, I put up a few articles at SKORA’s blog:
I’m 5 weeks out from the Fargo Half Marathon and I’m just getting back into consistent running from twisting my ankle.
And I’m totally cool.
I kept active during the break with crosstraining and increased my time spend doing other ancillary work. I’m stronger because of it. I’m rested.
This last week I did about 2, maybe 3 hours of running. The week of April 18th I plan on doing about 5 hours, then 7.5, then back up to 10 hours for only a week before a short taper and race. I’m still quite hopeful for a PR or at least a good run.
Three weeks after that is the Crazy Horse Half. Unlike my past events, I’m going to bring a GPS with me during Fargo and if I get to midway and don’t feel a PR is possible, I’ll probably jog it in and treat it as a long run. The hope is to not come out of it wrecked so I can continue training and hopefully hit a better time in Crazy Horse. Frankly, I’m after a PR and I’m willing to sacrifice Fargo if I get to mile 8 and don’t think it’s my day. I don’t want to wreck my body for a 1:25 when I want a 1:22:xx!
Not the greatest week.
I think I sprained my midfoot last Sunday.
There was a step that I recall thinking “Holy shit I almost just sprained my ankle!!”. I felt ok that day and for a few other days, however it must have caught up to me a few days later. I’ve keep the runs very easy and short, but it’s not quite healing up like I’d like. The weekend had no running and I’ll probably bike and lifting through Wednesday and run on Thursday during the short group run to test out the tendons of my midfoot.
Remember, it’s always better to error towards caution when the body is not 100%. Taking a few days off is always preferable to pushing through just because your ego does not want to miss a few runs.
I certainly cannot complain about this last week. Averaging about the same for my 4.25 mile race as I did for my 3.1 mile race the previous month is a certain good sign. I’m looking forward to what April brings! I’ll have an 8k and a 5k to attend and further test my fitness 🙂
Yes, I’m a lucky guy.
Three chocolate hearts and a cute lady by my side 🙂
Today’s run is a Valentine’s run but they do it the weekend afterwards because the Hospital puts on a 5k for Heart Health Week, plus the RD can get the big chocolate hearts for super cheap after Valentine’s Day!
It was Desi’s first 5k race ever, after about 3 months of being a runner. Her goal was to not finish last, which she accomplished.
My goal was to run as hard as I can to judge my fitness. I’ve not done a hard workout in a few months and have been averaging more weekly miles than ever, so I wasn’t sure how today would turn out.
I started the race, literally I started the race by firing this super old starting pistol. Everyone took off and I walked the gun to the timing guy, so I started in last place 😉
After that I started my GPS since I wanted an accurate pace/distance measurement of me running without the walk to the timing man. I took off and started passing people, catching up and passing the leader before the mile mark.
It was a lolly pop loop so I got to see many people once we joined back up and Desi gave me a high five!
The final mile was a bit slower and lower effort than the first two since I was solo and not 100% sure where to turn, but it all worked out.
I’m super happy with how the race ended up. My 5k time was 18:45, :09 off my PR and I’ve done absolutely zero running at this pace for longer than :30 strides in a few months and I’ve been running much higher weekly volume than I ever have before. I’m really looking forward to some more 5k’s and some PR’s!!!
Also super happy with the last week of training.
Just over 10 hours and felt great! My average weight this week was a quarter pound less than the average the previous week and 5.6 pounds less than the average for the final week of 2015.
Now comes a slight unloading week, and then back at it!