Tips Archives: Seasonal Running
What to wear as it gets colder (in Fahrenheit)
60 degrees +: tank top or singlet and shorts
50-59 degrees: T-shirt and shorts
40-49 degrees: long sleeved T, shorts or tights or wind pants, sock
or mittens and gloves
30-39 degrees: long sleeved T and T-shirt, tights and shorts, socks
or mittens or gloves, and hat over ears
20-29 degrees: Polypro top or thick long sleeved T, another T-shirt
layer, tights and shorts, mittens or gloves, and hat over ears.
10-19 degrees: Polypro top and thick long long sleeved T, tights
and shorts, wind suit (top and pants), thick mitten, thick hat over
0-9 degrees: Two polypro tops, thick tights and shorts (and thick
underwear or supporter for men), Gore-Tex or similar thickness warm-up,
gloves and thick mittens, ski mask and hat over ears, and Vaseline
covering any exposed skin.
minus 15 to minus 1: Two thick Polypro tops, tights and thick polypro
tights and thick underwear (and supporter for men), thick warm-up,
gloves, thick (arctic) ski mask and thick hat over ears, Vaseline
covering any exposed skin, thicker socks on feet and other measures
for feet, as needed.
minus 20 and below: Add layers as needed. Stay in touch with the
outdoor and ski shops for the warmest clothing which is thin. Watch
your feet. There are some socks which heat up...and other innovations.
Note: There are only recommendations; use the combination of layers
which works best for you.
What Not To Wear (from Year
Round Plan, p. 250).
1. A heavy coat in winter. If the layer is too thick, you'll heat
up, sweat excessively, and cool too much when you take it off.
2. No shirt for men in summer. Fabric that holds some of the moisture
will give you more of a cooling effect effect as you run and walk.
3. Too much sunscreen. It can interfere with sweating.
4. Socks that are thick in summer. Your feet swell and the pressure
from the socks can increase the chance of a black toenail and blisters.
5. Lime green shirt with bright green polka dots (unless you have
a lot of confidence and/or can run fast).
Account for Heat
The hot and sticky days of summer are here. Make sure that you are
making some adjustments in your running. Most runners begin to slow
down at 55 degrees and start suffering at 65 degrees. Of course,
the body can adapt to heat stress and push the threshold up a bit,
but you usually can't run as fast on a 75 degee day as on a 45 degree
one. High humidity is also a major problem. It's like a wet blanket;
it doesn't allow much evaporation or perspiration and your body
heat builds up.
If you try to run too hard in hot or humid conditions you'll hit
"the wall" sooner than expected. Trying to maintain a goal pace
in heat is like going out too fast early in the race. Temperatures
generally increase hour by hour; therefore you must adjust your
pace for the temperature expected at the end of the race.
Adjusting Race Pace for Heat: Estimated temperature at finish -
Slower than goal pace - 8 min mile becomes...
55-60 degrees - 1% - 8:05
60-65 degrees - 3% - 8:15
65-70 degrees - 5% - 8:25
70-75 degrees - 7% - 8:35
75-80 degrees - 12% - 8:58
80-85 degrees - 20% - 9:35
Above 85 degrees - Forget it... run for fun
* Note: This chart is based upon my own experience in the heat
and talking to other runners. It has no scientific verification.
The Good News:
By taking action now, you can prevent heat fatigue and enjoy your
long runs even more!
The Bad News:
You don't usually notice that heat fatigue is coming on, but once
incurred- it lasts for months.
Causes (compounded by hot, humid conditions)
1) Running continuously on long runs (or walk breaks too infrequent)
2) Running slightly too fast on long runs during adverse conditions
Leg muscles have no bounce or life to them at some point in the
the "no bounce" point in the run moves closed to the start of successive
1. Adjust for warm weather by running at least 2 minutes per mile
slower than you could have run that distance that day. Account for
heat, humidity, hills, and other adversities. If you're in doubt,
run 3 minutes per mile slower, as I do. You'll get the same endurance
from the long run running slowly, as you would when running faster.
Slow long ones will dramatically reduce leg fatigue, and decrease
the chance of heat fatigue.
2. Take walk breaks more often when the heat and humidity are high,
and as the long runs get longer. If you're walking one minute every
four minutes at first, shift to 1 in 3 when the long one reaches
18. By the time you're doing your 23 miler, drop to 1 in 2. If it
is extremely hot and humid on the 26 (and longer) run (s), walk
1 minute every 1 minutes at least during the first 13 miles of the
run. By combining this with a pre-dawn start, you'll minimize leg/heat
3. Don't do any hard running during the week (Mon-Fri) if the
legs are still tired.
4. Racing distances longer than 5K in hot weather can add significantly
to leg fatigue. Don't do a race and a long run on the same weekend
(even if the race is a 5K).
5. Drink at least 6-8 oz of water every hour you are awake. Reductions
in heat fatigue buildup are realized by running during the coolest
time of the day (before sunrise), drinking cold water, and pouring
it over yourself throughout the long runs. Avoid salt, alcohol,
The consequences of running too fast:
The consequences of running too fast: You'll usually feel great
during the first half of the your long ones if you're running one
minute slower than you could run on that day. Unfortunately, this
pace is too fast for hot and humid conditions and will dramatically
increase leg fatigue and slow down your marathon performance.
How to stay cool
1. Slow down early- take those walk breaks early and often
2. Wear lighter garments and not cotton- several materials will
wick the perspiration away from your skin: coolmax, polypro, etc.
3. Pour water over yourself- pour water on your head, or even on
you light coolmax (or similar material) singlet.
4. Don't wear a hat- hats keep your heat from being released through
one of the best vents you have- the top of your head!
5. Drink cold water- it leaves the stomach quicker and it produces
a slight physiological cooling effect- and even greater psychological
6. Take a dip or a shower- take a break for a dip in the pool or
a cold shower on hot days!
7. Don't eat a big meal- Eating too much (especially protein and
fat) will put extra stress on your system when you exercise.
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