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The best advice for racing in the heat

Is to simply slow down.

Yes, hydration is important.

As is protecting your skin and fueling properly.

However, if you go out too fast during your race in the heat, no amount of hydration will save you. In fact, it's more likely to kill you.

By pacing accordingly and slowing down for the first section of the course, you will be in a fine position to finish strong (even if it's slower than you had hoped).

A good example of this is Team SKORA member Taylor's 2012 Boston Marathon. During this event the high temperature was 89 degrees and over 100 runners visited the hospital. However Taylor did a wonderful job of restraining himself early on and had a very good run. You can read his race report here!

So, how do you pace and hydrate in the heat?

Jeff Galloway has a great tool for helping determine pace in the heat. In Galloway's Book on Running, he offers the below chart for adjusting the pace that you race at, for the heat. He does mention it is completely anecdotal, but has used it with likely thousands of runners.

As for hydration, drink to thirst. You body will tell you when it's thirsty. An excellent read is Waterlogged, by Timothy Noakes.

You may also like:
Heat Acclimatization
How to Negative Split
Race Day Disapointment

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COMMENTS

  • By admin

    Agreed Eve. Trying to run at training paces that were made based off of races earlier in the spring almost ruined one of my summers, a few years ago. Very demoralizing, luckily I learned ;)

    -Kyle @ SKORA

  • I have learned from training in South Florida that trying to run at goal pace or push for a tempo when temperatures and humidity are high-- degrades the rest of that weeks training. Aside from the serious, potential health consequences, the need to stick with the prescribed run (numbers, distance, etc) isn't the goal. Fitness should be at the forefront in the summer.

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