Hot and humid conditions
Running long distances in hot and humid conditions can be the most difficult and potentially dangerous for a marathon runner. If the temperature is too hot our bodies can easily over-heat. The added factor of humidity makes that even harder and once relative humidity goes over 40 per cent, it really will affect your training performance.
In humid conditions, the sweat the body produces can’t evaporate because there is so much moisture in the air. As a result the body gets hotter and hotter and this can be dangerous because major organs are forced to work overtime to try to cool us down. But as the body’s heat has nowhere to go, over-heating and heat stroke/exhaustion can become a factor.
The way our bodies respond in hot/humid conditions depends on our age, size, body weight and where we live. If you live somewhere humid your body will be used to those conditions. How we sweat is also a factor. Some runners lose more salt than others when they exercise and that can cause problems with cramp if extra electrolytes aren’t taken on board. But the good news is there are things you can do to mitigate the impact of heat and humidity.
- Stay indoors. And of course if the heat/humidity is too high, why not stay indoors and train in an air-conditioned gym on the treadmill?
In the cold
Sometimes training for a certain marathon will mean that winter training is unavoidable. If you do have to brave the elements on winter days when watching a film in a warm place feels like a much better option, then there are several things you can do to make it more bearable.
- Have a treat! The thought of a big fat treat when you have finished your session is a brilliant motivating tool. A hot chocolate with marshmallows will definitely do the trick when the run is over. You’ll have earned it.
In the rain
When the rain is pouring down, just going outside seems like a bad idea, never mind running through it. But unless you’re extremely lucky or live somewhere hot and dry, it will have to be done at some point during marathon training.
- Have a treat. Again a hot chocolate or a latte is the perfect way to warm up after a very wet morning/afternoon in the rain.