/ Thursday, July 19th, 2012

by Happy Keller

As time goes on, the beads of sweat get larger and larger on my brow…until gravity forces them to stream down my face.  Some drops flow into my eyes, and the salt sting from the sweat causes me to blink more quickly to try to make it go away…it doesn’t work…

Now Roger Federer hits his final forehand winner, and collapses with joy to the turf on Center Court Wimbledon.  He has just won his record-tying 7th Wimbledon title!

Yes, I sweat profusely while watching sports on TV.  Imagine how much I sweat when I am actually trying to run?!?!?  Hopefully this fact will give me a little credibility as I type to you regarding my tips for surviving the summer heat & humidity!  Here are my “Top Tips” for running in the heat:

  • Reschedule Your Runs (if you can) – This might be really obvious, but temperatures drop when that big burning yellow orb (The Sun) isn’t in the sky…sometimes not by much, but when conditions are severe, every little bit helps!  If you can run early in the morning, or after the sun goes down at night, you can make things easier on yourself.  If you run when it is dark, please wear reflective clothing and/or a headlamp to help keep yourself safe.
  • Wear Clothing That “Wicks” Moisture Away – This means your WDW Radio Running Team shirt (and the Bondi Band headband too!).  Basically, you should not be wearing cotton when you run.  Your sweat will fill it, it will get heavier, and you will be miserable in the heat.  Shirt & Socks are the most important to have wicking material; shorts don’t need to, but should not be cotton either.
  • Slow Down! – One of the things that people ask me about when discussing Jeff Galloway’s Run/Walk system is that he suggests that your pace change by 30 seconds for every 5 degrees above 60 degrees during your Long Run.  I want you to consider doing this for all of your runs, regardless of whether or not you are a “Run/Walk” person or a “Run Only” person.  Your body will thank you for it, and you’ll recover from your runs more quickly by not taxing yourself as much during your training.  This does mean that you won’t have any “personal best”s during your runs in the heat, but the best time for you to run a “personal best” is during your runDisney event, not a mid-week run by yourself!
  • Learn Your “Sweat Rate” – This will go hand-in-hand with my next suggestion, but it is important to know how much fluid your are sweating out of your system so that you know how much fluid to replace it with during/after your training. Here is one site with an easy-to-use Sweat Rate Calculator.  Follow the instructions, and you’ll know how much fluid per hour you are losing.  This will help you with…
  • Rehydrate (During Your Training)!!! – There are hand-held bottlessingle bottle beltshydration back-packs, and multi-bottle belts (this one in WDW Radio Running Team BLUE) for hydration.  No matter which one you choose, if you are going to be out there (especially in the summer heat) for an hour or more –> YOU MUST REHYDRATE TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE!  If you are a member of the WDW Radio Running Team, and you want/need a FuelBelt, please e-mail me at wdwradiorun@gmail.com for discounted pricing details.  For “Long (Weekend) Runs”, you will need to refill your bottle(s) during your training too.  Just know one thing –> If you feel thirsty / dry-mouthed during your run, you aren’t drinking enough!
  • Rehydrate (After Your Training)!!! – After you are done with any run of longer than an hour, I highly recommend drinking a pint of low-fat chocolate milk to help you recover (for those of you who are lactose intolerant, Ensure or Muscle Milk can offer you similar recovery calories & nutrition).  In addition to the chocolate milk (or milk-a-like), you should also continue to hydrate for the remainder of your Long Run training day…Just don’t chug a lot of liquid quickly, or you could suffer my post-Ironman fate!

My more basic advice is to just admire the fact that while you are out running in those tough & sticky conditions, most other people are whining about the heat while being inside in air conditioned comfort!  Be amazed at your own perseverance in the face of adversity…it will serve you well at your runDisney event!

As always, if you have a training question, please feel free to e-mail me directly at wdwradiorun@gmail.com!

Dream Big!

Happy is a life-long Disney enthusiast who is also an endurance “athlete”.  He has completed a Half & Full Ironman Triathlon, 4 Goofy Challenges, and 12 Disney Endurance events so far (in addition to other Half / Full Marathons).  He has successfully coached hundreds of Half / Full Marathoners to a successful completion of their event (including multiple Boston Marathon qualifiers).   When he isn’t training, Happy is surrounded by his wife, Pattie, two Golden Retrievers (Mocha & Kona), and his Disney watch + medal collection.  He can be reached for all running questions at wdwradiorun@gmail.com.



4 thoughts on “Advice for Training in the Summer Heat for a RunDisney Event”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Great article, and well timed! It’s been a tough summer so far here in NYC!

  2. Great article, Happy!! Especially the recommendations about forcing on hydration. Please remember that if you wait until you are thirsty…you’ve waited too long.

    And if anyone wants to run one evening in central park, drop me a line!!

  3. Beth says:

    Thank you for the great summer running tips! As a novice runner, I’ve been reading all I can to set myself up for success! Here’s hoping I make it to a runDisney event soon (maybe even as a member of the WDWRadio team 🙂

  4. Great advice Happy! Looking forward to my first WDW race this winter!