Marathon Training: Facing the Sun

I learnt an important lesson yesterday about when it is sensible to train – that is, NOT in this heat!

The temperatures have soared recently, reaching a humid 31C at one particular measurement. Whilst this has made for some excellent beach weather, it is absolutely awful for any form of training or exercise. The sun was beating down relentlessly, my eyes scrunched up behind my glasses, feet slowly cooking in my trainers.

Usually I like to take Dexter with me as I run around the park. But on this day, he was laying panting in the cool shade.

“It’s far too hot to make you run, Dexter.”

Dexter - hot and bothered!

Dexter – hot and bothered!

Now, I should have thought then that if it were too hot for Dexter to be outside, then surely it would be too hot for me also. Unfortunately this did not occur to me at the time.

I set off for a long jog under the baking sun, through the beautiful park. One lap around – roughly 3 miles – and I found myself extremely thirsty, sweaty, tired, nauseous and struggling to breath.

I stopped and sat beneath a tree, trying to push away the dizziness. As a pharmacy student, I recognised the symptoms of heat exhaustion and after sitting and cooling down for 10 minutes I slowly walked back home to drink a few pints of water.

It was stupid. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious but can be sensibly avoided. From this point onward, all of my training sessions throughout the summer will take place in the early hours of the morning or in the cool late evening. This includes the additional strength building exercises and interval training. There’s a time and place to push yourself, and it is not in the sun!

Push ups, anyone?

Push ups, anyone?

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