Acclimating to awesome weather

May 25th, 2015 by | Posted in Gotta Run! | Tags: , , ,

Wow, what a difference a month can make! I’m not talking training; I’m talking weather. It was exactly one month to this day I was writing about an obscure snowstorm that hit Saskatoon, knocking out power, canceling a race and turning the city back to a winter wonderland.

Today, I’m happy to be writing about a week of summer-like conditions here in the Bridge City. It was in mid-20s here all week, rounding out near 30 C for the weekend. And the forecast is fabulous. We’re staying in this heat into the foreseeable future. Yes, please and thank you!

I’m a huge fan of hot and sunny weather. The winters here are very long and very cold. There’s a way to train through it, but it’s tricky. In my blog about training in the cold I mentioned some tough Michigan runners, in particular Desiree Linden, one of America’s best marathoners. She was the top American at Boston this year. She’s tough and no doubt her time training in Michigan plays a part in that, but she also spends a good chunk of winter away training. This year, in preparation for Boston, she was in Kenya for six weeks and spent another long stint in Florida, dodging the majority of the winter. That speaks for itself: warmer climates are great for training.

Back to the point: it’s hot on the prairies right now! And, it looks to be a bit of a trend across the country.

With this sudden surge of heat comes an adjustment period. Heat impacts performance as the body adjusts. I didn’t recognize early on this week why I was having that heavy-legged feeling until it was pointed out to me. Perhaps I was too overjoyed by the change in weather to think straight, but the heat means it’s time to make some adjustments.

For those of you acclimating to the awesome, I dug up some helpful tidbits:

  • One can become acclimated to heat and cold at the same time. Even with training bouts being on the same day in the different environments.
  • Most of the improvements in heart rate, core and skin temp, and sweat rate are acquired in just one week of heat exposure. Heart rate adaptations are seen in just four or five days. However, increases in sweating and a feeling of “ease of walking” in a hot environment can take up to one month to occur.
  • More is gained from a 100-minute bout of heat exposure exercise than one 50-minute bout, but adding bouts beyond 100 minutes of exposure do not quicken adaptation.

All facts taken from “Human performance physiology and environmental medicine at terrestrial extremes” Pandolf, Sawka, Gonzalez. Via