Friday, July 23, 2010

Running in Summer

Now here in Japan we are going to enter into the third week of the "real" summer. The real summer here means getting slammed with temperatures of more than 30 degrees centigrade (=86F). Most days it has been around 34 to 36 degrees centigrade (=93 to 97F) which wouldn't be too bad if it wasn't for the 80 to 90 percent humidity level! If you've never experienced hot weather with high humidity it could be hard to imagine, but I can tell you that it is not stimulating to go out for a run. Around the country many people do not survive the heat and national warnings are send out through the media to spend your days in air-conditioned places and replace lost fluids frequently.

This week is my first week of an 18-week marathon training schedule which required me to run on five very hot days. I tried to run late in the evening when the sun had gone down around 7pm,but the air was still hot and stale without any wind. Running in the summer is always a challenge,however, running my 5k easy run wasn't a real problem but Wednesday's 8k tempo run caused me to loose more than one kilogram from sweating. I was clever enough to drink lots and lots of fluids throughout the day so it didn't do much damage but this was the most intense sweating I've ever done in my life. Returning home I quickly had sports drinks and fresh orange juice before hitting the cold shower. I've done tempo runs many times before, some even longer and faster but this time I could really feel it in my legs the next day.

Luckily the weekend forecasts some rain which would raise the humidity level to about 90% but the temperature would drop down to the lower 30s. Whatever the weather, I'll have to run my long run on Sunday morning. Lets hope for wind! 

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