Monday, August 23, 2010

The Heat is On

A blurb in the August issue of Runners World caught my interest.  For each 5 degrees above 60 degrees, a 20-30 second per mile decrease can occur.  Runners World isn't known ofr it accurate statistics or intrepretations of studies.  Staticics are often taken out of context leading the reader with inaccurate information of the facts.

Heat does slow you down.  I don't know what the numbers truly are but let's take the Runners World statisics, assume they are correct and apply them. One of my goals is to break a 22 minute 5K. I ran a 23:23, 3 weeks ago and the temp was at least 95 degrees at the time of the race. If I use the 20 degrees per 5 degree guideline that means I was 2 minutes, 20 seconds slower because of the heat.  I COULD run a 21:03 if the temperature was 60 degrees.  Of course I have to be physically able to move my legs that fast along with not hyperventalate from the increased pace too.  If there is any validity to the Runners World numbers, then it is feasible with my same level of current fitness when the weather cools I should be able to break 22 minutes.

Happy Running!

15 comments:

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Get that PR! My PR is 23:32 and you'd inspire me!

LookingUpAgain said...

Wouldn't that be fantastic if it were true? Let's hope they're right! I can't wait until it cools off and I can bring my dog out running with me again :) Only another month and this stinkin' Illinois heat/humidity should be out of here :)

Jamoosh said...

I am going to call BS. I have seen reports ranging anywhere from 5 seconds per mile to 30 seconds per mile. I am willing to bet that it wholly depends on the runner, their level of conditioning and the actual distance of the race.

Ewa said...

I vote that you believe the number that brings you closer to your PR. Your belief is probably more important than the accuracy of those numbers.
Good luck.

lindsay said...

I suppose I'm "mixed"--yes, I believe the heat slows us down, but I agree with jamoosh in that it depends on the individual. Some people are just better hot-weather runners. Work hard and enjoy getting faster when the temps (finally) break.

Katie A. said...

That was a great 5K time - but I like blamming the weather for all my crappy runs. I like Runners World for the mind-numbing stuff, the good feeling articles and some receipes, but hardly ever do I take fact from it.
Have a great week!!!

Mark said...

I'll buy that!!:) Train in the heat and PR in the fall!!

The Green Girl said...

I'm going to have to say that I think you can do it. My best 5k times were always on nice, cool mornings.

Johann said...

I agree that it depends on the individual, but I think this applies more to running in the heat. Some people are less affected by the heat than others. I do think everyone will do better in cooler conditions and I’m sure you can break 22 minutes.

Forward Foot Strides said...

I can kind of see it, but mostly for hydration purposes.

For example, I think it's easier to get enough hydration for running in cool weather, than it is for hot weather.

So if I'm not on top of my water intake as much as I should be, it will effect me worse in the hot hot weather.

That's only my theory.

PS Congrats on being my featured blog of the week!

Black Knight said...

About myself, in summer I am slower more or less 15-20"/km. Interesting post, thank you. Going to buy RW US edition.

coachdeanhebert said...

Well you hit it on the head with caveats on what RW puts in print.
1. Yes heat slows everyone down over 60-something degrees.
2. Heat training only means you slow less than non-heat trained individuals. But we all slow... which means we all run faster in cooler temps.
3. There is no scientific formula on how much we all slow down for "X" degrees... we just know we slow down.
4. Training in the heat won't get you PRs when it's cooler however - why? Because if you train slow you will run slow. If you don't do (or can't do because of heat) the right intensity training you won't run that fast.
4. You can indeed break 22. Time to get rolling again!

Adam said...

This would be something that would be really hard to measure I'd think. I WILL say that given two similar races, i'd totally agree that you left a minute or more out there. The issue that I see with it is the law of diminishing returns. You're already fast enough that the full 20 seconds is probably too much.

sneakersister.com said...

According to Daniels, each 5 degree increment over 60 slows you down between 3-5 seconds. Big discrepancy between RW and Daniels. Who's to say who is right or wrong. It's a fact, heat slows you down, but training in the heat can have advantages for cooler weather. Personally, it's all relative to effort level.

sneakersister.com said...

And, I definitely think you can break 22 minutes in the 5k.