Newsletter Archives: Volume17, May 2000
Hot Weather Running
There's good and bad news about running in the heat. First, the
bad news: when the temperature rises above 55 degrees F (10 degrees
C), you're going to run slower and feel worse than you will at lower
temperatures. But by gradually preparing yourself for increased
temperatures and taking action from the beginning of hot weather
runs, you'll get a welcome dose of the good news. You'll learn how
to hydrate yourself, what to wear, and when and how much your body
can take in hot weather, all of which will help you recover faster
and run better than others of your ability on hot days. While even
the most heat-trained runners won't run as fast on hot days as on
cold ones, they won't slow down as much nor will they feel as much
Note: Be sure to read (pages 189-190 in Jeff Galloway's new Marathon!)
Heat Disease Alert. Many runners get into serious trouble even on
moderately warm days without knowing it. Mark this section and revisit
it several times during the warm season of the year. Anyone who
has heart disease risk factors or suspicions of these should talk
to a doctor trained in exercise before continuing.
Until the temperature rises to about 65 degrees F, most runners
don't notice much heat build-up, even though it is already putting
extra burdens on the system. It takes most folks about 30 to 45
minutes of running (with or without walk breaks) to feel warm. But
soon after that, if the temperature is above about 62 degrees F,
you're suddenly hot and sweating. On runs and especially races under
those conditions, most runners have to force themselves to slow
down. It's just too easy to start faster than you should when it's
60 to 69 degrees F because it feels cool at first.
As the mercury rises above 65 degrees F, your body can't get rid
of the heat build-up. This causes a rise in core body temperature,
leading to an early depletion of fluids through sweating. The internal
temperature rise also triggers rapid dispersion of blood into the
capillaries of the skin, reducing the amount of that vital fluid
that is available to the exercising muscles. Just when these workhorses
are being pushed to top capacity, they are receiving less oxygen
and nutrients due to reduced blood flow. What used to be a river
becomes a creek and can't remove the waste products of exercise
(such as lactic acid). As these accumulate, your muscles slow down.
Even the most heat-conditioned athletes will record slower times
in warm weather. The faster you run in hot weather, especially from
the beginning, the longer it takes to recover. But it's also possible
to take action from the start of the run to reduce muscle damage
speed recovery and even lower your time in warm weather races.
Humidity. The higher the humidity, the quicker
you'll feel the effect of the heat and the more difficult it will
be to continue. Watch the weather reports and install a temperature
and humidity gauge at your house. After a while, you'll learn the
combination of the two which causes you discomfort so that you can
avoid the times of the day when those conditions arise.
Body Fat. The more body fat you have, the worse
you'll feel as the temperature rises. I don't have any research
on this, but my experice tells me that for every increase of five
percent in body fat, the effects of heat and humidity are felt three
to five minutes sooner. For example, if a runner with 12 percent
body fat feels severe heat discomfort at 45 minutes of running,
then a 22 percent runner feels it around 35 minutes, and a 32 percent
runner feels it around 25 minutes. Body fat acts like a blanket
to hold heat in. It does too good a job during the summer
The best time for hot weather running is before the sun comes up.
The more you can run before sunrise, the cooler you will feel, relative
to how you'll feel later in the day. The second best time to run,
by the way, is right after sunrise, unless the temperature cools
off dramatically at sunset, then that time period would present
a great opportunity. In humid areas, however, it usually doesn't
cool down much after sunset.
from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway (Phidippides Publication:
2000), pp. 185-187
What Are Acceleration-Gliders?
Jeff's simplified answer: The best way to describe acceleration-gliders
is the "coasting" experience you can have at the end of a downhill.
On the last 10-20 meters of a downhill, relax and use the momentum
to coast out onto the flat, for a few meters. Most readers who are
confused think that the concept has to be more complicated, but
At first, use the downhill momentum to glide. After several weeks
of this, you can accelerate very slightly during some of your mid-week
runs and then glide for a few yards - even on the flat.
(For more information on this technique, look at pp. 130-131 in
Jeff's new Marathon!, Phidippides Publication, 2000)
From Runner's World Extr@, May 19, 2000
Running away from home: If you are going to be
traveling this summer and would like to run while you are away,
check out http://www.runnerworld.com/onthroad/. You may have read
the regular Runner's World feature, "On the Roads." Well, now they
have all those articles archived on their website. There is great
information on many U.S. cities, as well as a number of international
destinations. A word of caution: At the end of each article, the
original date is given. Since this is past-issue information, it's
possible that some things might have changed (street names, phone
numbers, etc.). It would be wise to doublecheck any of these kinds
of things before you head out.
Don't sweat it! "On an hour's run, your feet produce
enough sweat to fill an 8-ounce glass. That's why it's important
to avoid cotton socks, which will absorb this moisture, and choose
synthetic socks, which will wick it away from your feet." Eileen
Portz-Shovlin, Runner's World Senior Editor
To subscribe to Runner's World Extr@, go to http://rodalepress7.cam-colo.bbnplanet.com:8080/T/A220.127.116.11.58101
Injury of the Month: Hitting
A Physiological Look at "The Wall"
Fat is a more abundant fuel than glycogen. Whereas glycogen stores
are limited (normally about 20 miles worth), even a skinny person
has enough fat for about 600 miles. The trade-off for this long-range
fuel is that fat can only be burned aerobically (in the presence
of oxygen). As long as you run within the pace and at the distance
you've been training for - you will burn mostly fat. When you run
faster than you've trained, or farther, you overwhelm the muscles.
They are forced beyond their capacity and cannot get enough oxygen.
In this anaerobic situation glycogen is burned, and large amounts
of lactic acid and waste products pour into the muscles faster than
they can be removed. This is what causes your muscles to get tight
and burn and this is what causes you to slow down and hit "the wall."
Once the muscles have shifted to glycogen, it's unlikely that they
can shift back to fat. You'll be depleting your limited supply of
glycogen very quickly.
One important objective of training is to teach the body to conserve
glycogen and deal with lactic acid buildup. Your base period training
(see pp. 55-56, GBR) will improve the blood's capacity to deliver
oxygen and withdraw wastes. Speedwork and long runs gradually push
back the point at which you start becoming anaerobic; they also
teach you to deal with the discomfort and burden of lactic acid
buildup without slowing down as much as before. When you have fine-tuned
the muscles through speedwork, you will accumulate approximately
the same amount of waste, but won't have to slow down as much because
now you're used to the feeling.
By pushing too far beyond your current capabilities you can cause
your body some serious damage. When you have run too far or too
fast and have shifted to glycogen as a fuel source you're on unstable
ground in a long race. Glycogen is the only fuel used by the brain
and the supply of this energy source is greatly limited. At critically
low levels of glycogen, your body's survival defenses take over
and reserve what's left for the brain. When the brain senses a low
supply, it protects itself by making it difficult for you to concentrate
on finishing the long event - or even telling you to quit. These
are warning signs that should put you on alert.
What's a working muscle to do? There's not enough oxygen to burn
fat, and the glycogen supply has been stolen. Glycogen can be processed
from fat and from muscle protein. This is a very uncomfortable process
and leaves much waste - but it is done. When nearby fat stores are
used up and the exercising muscle absolutely demands glycogen, exercising
muscle tissue may be broken down itself.
Remember to take care of your body. An injured body cannot perform.
Damaged, overstressed muscles cause you to miss training and retard
progress. Stay within the bounds of the training you have done in
the recent past and push only slightly beyond this once a week to
improve speed and endurance.
(from Galloway's Book on Running (Shelter Publications: 1984) pp.
A New Look at "The Wall"
Even my 30 miles a week could have prepared me for Atlanta (the
Atlanta Marathon) if I'd increased the length of my longest run.
I've since learned that the body is only capable of what it's done
in the recent past. My longest run had been 15 miles and that's
exactly where I hit the wall in the race. (Ed: Jeff won the Atlanta
Marathon at age 18.)
To run a marathon you need to run 26 continuous miles. The body
is best prepared to do this by gradually increasing the long run
to 26 miles, and preferably more. You often hear runners say "The
marathon is divided into two races - the first 20 and the last 6."
They hit the wall at 20 because they've never gone beyond that in
training. If your body has never traveled that distance before,
it doesn't know how to handle the stress.
A race is the worst time to run your longest distance. By running
the race distance (or longer) prior to a race, you're giving your
body (and mind) notice that they will be called upon to go that
far. So if you extend your long run to 26 miles or more, and run
the race at the pace you've trained for, you can avoid encountering,
much less hitting, the wall. (Breaking the race into two runs in
morning and evening doesn't do the job, since you need the sustained
effort without any total rest breaks.)
(from Galloway's Book on Running by Jeff Galloway (Shelter Publications:
1984), pp. 118
The Most Direct Way to Prepare for the Marathon
As you extend the long one to 26 miles, you build the exact endurance
necessary to complete the marathon (14 to 15 for the half marathon,
eight to 10 for the 10K). Those who have marathon time goals can
extend their capacity by running as far as 30 miles three to four
weeks before the marathon. You're actually pushing back your "endurance
wall" with each long run.
from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway (Phidippides Publication:
2000), p. 9
Hot and Humid in Atlanta: Apparel
Tips for Hot Weather
by Teresa Gibreal of Phidippides Running Stores in Atlanta
1. Select lightweight apparel that is designed to wick moisture
and keep you dry. The best fabric for this is polyester, with common
names being coolmax (used primarily for tops) and microfiber (used
2. Wear mesh tops to get greater airflow, thus reducing the build-up
of body heat.
3. Synthetic socks of medium to thin thickness will also reduce
heat build-up. There are several moisture-wicking socks available.
The key is to avoid cotton.
4. Good news for women: Nike and soon Champion (formerly known
as Jogbra) have maximum support running bras that do not have cotton
5. A new product called NIPPLE GUARDS (www.nipguards.com)
have come to the rescue of men that suffer from blood-streaked shirts
at the end of long runs and races.
6. If you are sun-sensitive, wear a lightweight mesh long or short-sleeved
top rather than a singlet. A mesh cap to protect the head and face
is also recommended. (See www.sunprecautions.com for more information.)
So those of you still wearing cotton T-shirts and gym shorts, run
to your nearest running specialty store and get into the best performing
apparel for your climate and conditions
The Five Healthiest Cities
According to Rxemedy magazine (March/April 2000, p. 10), these
are the five healthiest U.S. cities:
Atlanta, GA, Virginia Beach, VA, Washington, DC, Boston, MA and
This was from a ranking of 50 major U.S. cities based on the health
of their residents. It was done by two public-interest groups -
The Health Network and Public Health Resource Group.
Excuse Me, Would You Like Some Milk?
I hear the excuses every day:
"I don't drink milk because:
- I don't like the taste (so I take a calcium pill instead)."
- I'm watching my weight; I don't want the calories."
- I've heard milk is hard to digest and mucus-forming."
- I seem to be a little lactose intolerant."
- I like Coke and Pepsi better."
Reasons abound why athletes don't drink milk. Some reasons are
valid, some are questionable, and some are just irresponsible. The
bottom line is, about 60-75% of the daily calcium intake in the
American population comes from milk. Milk drinkers have a better
quality diet than non-milk drinkers. And people who drink milk tend
to have stronger bones. Hence, if you are among the many people
who think milk is for kids, you may be missing out on this very
important mineral. Perhaps this article will help you choose to
enhance your calcium intake (and that of your family and friends)
for the long run.
Calcium: Important for active people of all ages
Calcium needs to be a part of everyone's health program: kids,
growing teens, adults, parents-as-role-models, seniors. Take note:
Both adult women and men need a calcium-rich diet to help maintain
strong bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Men used to die
before age 70, before osteoporosis became a problem. Many of today's
baby boomers think 70 sounds young; they want to live as long as
the body stays healthy. Milk can help!
Osteoporosis will eventually affect 40% of women and 20% of men.
Efforts to prevent osteoporosis focus on ways to optimize bone density.
This means, 1) maintaining strong muscles (via weight bearing exercise,
including weight lifting), 2) maintaining a strong calcium intake,
and 3) for women, maintaining adequate estrogen status. Low estrogen
can lead to stress fractures (an early sign of weakened bones) in
amenorrheic athletes and future osteoporosis in post-menopausal
woman. Be sure to consult with your physician for personalized advice.
How much calcium do you need? The reference dietary intake for
calcium is 1,300 milligrams per day for children (9-18 years), 1,000
mgs. for adults (19-50 years), and 1,200 for >50 years. Given one
8-oz glass of milk (skim, lowfat, or whole) offers about 300 mgs.
of calcium, 3 to 4 glasses of milk per day does the job of supplying
adequate calcium (if milk is your main source of calcium). Because
whole milk offers a significant amount of saturated fat (cloggage
that contributes to heart disease), lowfat and nonfat (skim) options
are nutritionally preferable.
Many active people believe they have done their milk duty by having
milk once per day--on their cereal. A few athletes target two milks
per day, or perhaps a milk and a yogurt. But it's the rare athlete
who actively chooses to chug milk instead of (diet) Pepsi or Coke.
For example, among 32,000 Air Force recruits (i.e., active young
men and women), a survey indicates 52% consumed less than one serving
of milk per day, and only 18% reported three servings or more per
day. (J Amer Diet Assoc July, '99)
Granted, milk is just one source of calcium; (lowfat) yogurt (400
mg/8 oz) and lowfat cheese (150 mg/oz) are viable dairy alternatives.
Fullfat cheeses can also boost your calcium intake, but they contain
saturated fat. Hence, be sure to carefully balance cheddar with
crackers, swiss on a sandwich, and cream cheese on a bagel into
an overall lowfat diet. Research suggests people who drink lowfat
milk and limit obviously fatty foods (such as excessive cheese and
greasy meats) are able to stay within the American Heart Association's
recommended diet with <30% of the calories from fat, and <10% from
saturated fat. (Am J Clin Nutr 67:616, 1998)
Calcium pills can also provide calcium, but a pill simply does
not replace the vast array of nutrients found in whole foods. Food
surveys suggest when people fail to get adequate calcium from dairy,
they rarely compensate by getting adequate calcium from alternative
foods such as dark green vegetables and almonds, and even calcium-fortified
foods, such as orange juice, energy bars (read the label to determine
if the product has added calcium), and soy products. But any calcium
is better than no calcium...
No more excuses
- If you dislike the taste of milk: flavor it with chocolate (extra
carbs to refuel your muscles); add more milk to your coffee; choose
lattes made with lowfat milk; eat flavored yogurt instead.
- If you are lactose intolerant: buy lactose-free milk; use Lactaid
drops with milk-containing meals; enjoy small servings of milk
with meals; eat more yogurt or lowfat cheese, as tolerated.
- Research indicates milk is not "mucus forming." If anything,
the fat in whole milk might coat your throat; drink lowfat milk.
(If you, as an individual, swear that milk is mucus forming for
your body, be sure to find other calcium sources.)
- Milk is not "hard to digest." There is no reason to avoid milk
before or after exercise. If anything, milk fat slows digestion,
so choose lowfat milk.
- Milk is not fattening. Research indicates milk drinkers are
not fatter than milk avoiders.
- If you prefer Coke and Pepsi, be responsible! Soft drinks are
sugar water, nutritional zeros. Milk is life-sustaining and nutrient-rich.
Stop cheating your body; drink milk with meals and enjoy soft
drinks for a treat.
Nancy Clark, MS, RD, nutrition counselor at Boston-area's SportsMedicine
Brookline, is author of Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook,
Second Edition ($20), available by sending a check to Sports Nutrition
Services, 830 Boylston St #205, Brookline MA 02467.
Forward Motion Exercise Is Motivating In Itself: If you start your
run slowly enough, it only takes a minute or two to be rewarded
by the flow of relaxing endorphins an attitude-enhancing mental
hormones. You may need to walk very often, but moving forward is
naturally pleasurable to the body and mind when done at any easy
from the new Marathon! by Jeff Galloway (Phidippides Publication:
2000), p. 84
Marathon Momentum: "In 1990, about 260,000 runners
finished marathons in the United States. By 1999, that number had
jumped to 435,000 and 35 percent of finishers were women." (from
"Mile Markers," Runner's World, June 2000, p. 20)
In "Healthy Assets: Corporations are discovering
that it can pay to keep their employees fit," (Wall Street Journal's
Health & Medicine Section, May 1, 1000), author Marilyn Chase tells
of the new corporate thinking regarding how supporting employee
fitness pays off . "In a study published by the President's Council
on Physical Fitness and Sports, Phoenix-based exercise physiologist
Larry Gettman reviewed a number of cost-benefit analyses and found
activity programs saved $1.15 to $5.52 for every dollar spent."
Dr. Gettman (a director of clinical analytical services for McKesson
HBOC) also "says he found less absenteeism among active workers,
and 'less absenteeism means you're more productive.'"(www.WSJ.com)
"At any weight, physical activity keeps you healthy:
Even if you remain a bit of an endomorph (more round than thin),
exercise can help you avoid many of the health problems associated
with being overweight. In a study with twins in Finland, a lack
of physical activity was associated with increased hospitalizations
after taking genetic and other confounding factors into account.
And, in a literature review, The Cooper Institute in Dallas determined
that physical activity could help offset the health problems associated
with obesity. Overweight individuals who exercise who exercise have
a better risk profile than individuals of normal weight who are
sedentary." (from the American Running Association's Running & Fit
News, May, 2000, based on information from American Journal of Public
Health, 1999, Vol. 89, No. 12, pp. 1869-1972; Medicine and Science
in Sports and Exercise, 1999, Vol. 31, No. 11, pp. S646-664)
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