Heart Rate vs Heat

I want to revisit the topic of running in the heat once more. I think it is important that we cover this subject from several angles. It is, after all, something that most runner's deal with and suffer through.

I, personally, have high expectations for myself all year around and when it comes to running in hot & humid weather, I am less than pleased with my results.

Run For Freedom 7/4/12: HOT HOT HOT! Worst 5K Weather Ever!
A big reason I feel that way is because I think my workout is suffering. I assume that I'm not burning as much and my fitness is going down.

Well, if you feel the same way....Stop those thoughts now!

I read a blog post by runladylike that threw my previous assumptions of hot weather running out the window.

“If your average heart rate on a typical tempo run performed under near-ideal conditions is in the range of 165 to 170 beats per minute, on a hot, humid day, trying to maintain that type of effort will yield a number in the neighborhood of 190."
Mario Fraioli - Editor of Competitor Magazine

I never took my heart rate into consideration. I simply thought that it remained the same in any weather scenario. However, your heart is actually working harder if you strive to maintain the same pace on hotter days. If you work on keeping your heart rate within the same range as a day with "ideal conditions," your workout should not suffer. In fact, our bodies should burn the same amount of calories.

Makes sense, right!?

When we see a slower time, we are quick to assume that we suck at running and we are losing fitness every day. But this is actually okay under these circumstances! About every runner will see an increase to their pace when temperatures start to climb. It is simply our body's natural way of adjusting to heat! Don't get yourself hospitalized just to maintain your goal pace! Let your heart tell you what's up!

Fortunately, I did not have to worry about heat today. It cooled down dramatically from the storms we have had! I ran at 7am and the temperature was about 50 degrees.

Cloudy and a new Under Armour running shirt!!
It was nice to have a comfortable run. Though, it began to rain about 3 miles in, but I made it to 6 miles without getting too, too wet. And my time was close to my PR.

I also don't mind rain runs so much. I actually enjoy them! They keep you cool and help you run faster to your car ;o) .

Do you try to aim for your goal pace in the summer, or do you follow your heart....rate?

Rainy runs, anyone?

What was the hottest temperature you ever ran in? Was it for a race?

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