Category Archives: Training in the Heat

Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon

The Weather

The outlook for Saturday was less than ideal.

It was a tad humid Saturday when my friend picked me up to head over to the Eagle Creek Trail Half Marathon.  Wait…no…it wasn’t a tad humid. It was as another friend described, “Swampy”. Yes, there was a swamp in the air. While the temperature was in the low 70s the Dew Point was right behind rising to 74 degrees which basically meant we were running through dew filled air. To say that I was saturated before I ever made it to the halfway point would be an understatement. I looked like I had been doused with a fire hose from head to toe. By the time I made it to the second aid station there was no relief and we drank water and sports drink to try to stay hydrated.

The Course

Eagle Creek Half/Full Marathon Course

This was a tough and amazing course. I run the Eagle Creek Trails weekly, but I have not previously traveled over to the far side of the reservoir and the first few miles including the start and finish were there. The course  had killer inclines that led into equaling daunting declines. Large segments of technical single track running meant that it was one way and single file which became interesting when the course leaders started back along the out and back course. My friend and I did the right thing and stepped aside for the folks going for a specific time or a PR. We were out for a fun run/hike and weren’t worried about our time or pace.

Meeting Online Friends

As usual I wore my blue WDW Radio Running shirt for this race. I had mentioned to a couple virtual friends that I would be the bald guy wearing that blue shirt. As luck would have it the course was an out and back so every runner crossed paths at least once or twice throughout the morning. I ran into local runners Christina R. & Kelly S. from the Daily Mile. Christina writes a blog so once you finish up here if you’d like to read more about the Eagle Creek Race put on by Plant Adventure then head over there to see another perspective.  I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but I wasn’t the only one who thought it was a humid on Saturday!

I have one other shout out to the young lady who crossed paths with me briefly (we didn’t stop to chat on the single track nor did I get her name).  As we ran by each other she looked at my face and then looked at my shirt and then looked at my face again to which she said, “Hey, you’re that Goofy guy!  I go to your website.”  I said something like, “Nice to meet you. or Thank you.”  I was in the last half of the half so I was a bit tired.  She was obviously going out for the second part of her FULL trail marathon and looking strong for the conditions of the day. So hopefully she reads this post and makes a comment.  -It was nice to meet you (briefly) and I hope you had a fantastic race!

My Training & Next Steps

The weekend before the EC Half I did a 25+ mile run in and around Eagle Creek. This week (including the EC Half) was a recovery week so I only put in a total of 28 miles for the whole week. Right now I am alternating larger volume weeks and shorter mileage weeks for recovery. As I told my friend during the race, this course was a reality check for me.  The hills and descents of the first few miles are perfect for what I need for my ultra training.  I’ll be back to this section of the course often and anytime I can’t run a large volume of miles on a Saturday morning I’ll go for running this section so I get specific and quality miles. This track mimics well the hillier trails of Southern Indiana where my ultra marathon will take place.

Next Saturday I have a long run planned that will take all morning.  If all goes well I’ll be on my feet for over 06:00:00 hours and cover more than 26.2 miles. I’m really hoping to cover 27 to 28 miles but a lot of that will depend on the weather which right now looks to be cooler and less humid than Saturday’s race. So I’m really training for two things here including “time on feet” and distance.  My wife has already volunteered to meet me at the 3-hour mark to refuel me with a fresh sports drink, water to refill my Camelbak and maybe even some real food!

So my ultra marathon training carries on. I have 13 weeks of training left and I’m excited to finally be pushing past the marathon distance training runs. My next race is the Disneyland Half Marathon on September 2nd followed by the Heritage Trail Full Marathon on September 30th.  I’m looking forward to both!

Happy Training!

Brian

Mugged at Dew Point

If you’ve continued your usual run schedule the past couple weeks then you know that the heat and humidity have been brutal just about everywhere in the the good ol’ US of A. To try and beat the heat I’ve woken at 3:20am the past three weeks for all of my mid-week runs to try and get my miles at the coolest time of day. Still, at 4am when I start my run the heat and humidity has been just slightly better and it seems that all I’m doing is removing the sun from the equation. While this is a huge help my experience this morning was that of 84 degrees and 85% humidity which is brutal and performance stopping to say the least.

To battle the heat, hydration and recovery are key points to remember. Perhaps a good place to start is to figure out your sweat rate and to figure out how much water you should drink per day so you know the numbers. I am big on knowing your numbers and as I’ve said before, numbers don’t lie. The numbers cut through the emotion, the mental, the physical and the crap! Being armed with your numbers is a great first step toward maximizing your potential.

First up is you daily water intake. Check out the Human Water Requirement Calculator to see how much H2O you should take in per day. My number surprised me. Just be honest with yourself when using the calculator so you’re as accurate as possible. Also, I don’t count sugary drinks or even diet soda toward my intake number. That’s a personal choice and a good way to make myself decide/opt for water instead of a soda or juice. Knowing how much you should drink daily will ensure that you are hydrated throughout the day and ready for your next training session!

Next up is your sweat rate. This will tell you how much you should drink during exercise to stay hydrated. According to Active.com, “An average person sweats between 0.8 to 1.4 liters (roughly 27.4 to 47.3 oz.) per hour during exercise.” The best way to calculate your sweat rate is to weigh yourself sans clothing right before you workout then go workout for an hour without taking in any fluids and ideally without using the restroom during this time. After an hour of exercise weigh yourself again without clothes. The change in weight is the amount of fluids you lost due to exercise. If you are down two pounds then you lost 32oz

Be specific for the type of exercise you do when calculating sweat rate. If you a want a sweat rate for running then you should run for an hour. You SHOULD NOT lift weights for an hour and then expect that sweat rate to be the same for when you go for a run. You’ll sweat more on a run than you will lifting weights in the air conditioned gym.

Speaking of AC, please pay attention to your environment when calculating sweat rate! If you decide to calculate your sweat rate on the treadmill in your air conditioned gym with the two TM fans blowing on you then know that you will sweat more outside on a hot day. Basically, just pay attention to the temperature, humidity and dew point in relationship to human comfort.

Finally, if you are becoming more active and losing weight like me then be sure to recalculate your sweat rate on a regular basis as your body will become more efficient at regulating heat and your performance will increase too so you’ll want to make sure you are drinking enough, but also not over-hydrating…not a big issue in the recent 100+ temps, but still something to consider so you aren’t trying to run with a lot of extra fluid sloshing around in your stomach. Stay hydrated and stay safe on those hot runs!

Happy Training!

Brian