So it turns out a nice little form of cross-training is to fall on the pavement like a dork…who knew?! Just kidding, it’s just that my stupid arms are sore and it feels like I was hefting around some dumbbells. Funny how a millisecond of impact can put a weight workout to shame.
Speaking of, today I did my usual recovery/easy run of 8 miles and change followed by my core and abs routine. I on was on the treadmill today, okay Oregon is worst than a menopausal woman when it comes to it’s weather. Yesterday was beautiful out there, dare I even say warm, and today it’s rainy and gross.
Never fear, the gym in my apartment complex, with it’s fabulous single fan for the whole place was nice and humid. I think I sweat out half my bodyweight. I don’t understand how people can stand working out in full on sweats or those trash-bag sauna suits, I’d probably just melt into a puddle of goo like the wicked witch of the west.
Well, people usually use those things for one of two reasons: 1) they think that if they workout in them they’ll lose weight faster. (these people really make me laugh) or 2) they are actually training for an event that is going to be done under extremely hot conditions and are acclimating themselves to these conditions.
The second group of people are SMART and are sweating like mad for a good reason. I know lots of athletes prepping for those Beijing Oly’s were donning some mad sauna suits. If you’re going to be racing in conditions that you aren’t living in, it’s smart to take other measure to mimic race day. Otherwise the shock of the conditions can lead to some pretty ugly results. Another example? Altitude.
When I was first starting out as a runner, I remember I had a race up in Reno, CA. I’d never run at any kind of altitude and Reno was definitely higher than sweaty old Sacto. I remember my mom and dad saying how it will probably feel harder than running at home, but being young I gave them the ‘ya, ya, ya’ thing and sort of brushed it off. Flash-forward a few miles and I was sucking major wind. The thing with altitude is that the longer your race/run the more it effects you. Actually sprinters love the whole race high thing because in the sprints the higher up you go the less wind resistance you have to work against. So they get faster times. Not so with anything more than a couple laps.
So if you’re going to be doing a race in a place much different from where you train it’s probably smart to do the best you can to simulate race day. For the heat thing those trash-baggy suits might come in handy. For altitude it’s a little trickier but here’s some tips:
* At least try to take a visit to a place at altitude before the big day so you can see how it affects you.
* Get there either weeks before or the day before. Anytime in the middle is the ‘you’ll feel extra crappy’ phase. The body has time to sort of acclimate if you get there a few weeks in advance, on the flip side your body hasn’t had time to fully absorb the shock of the less air if you get there the day of your race or the day before. Anytime in between and your body is in the adjustment phase and it’s not going to feel so hot.
* Be conservative. Going out too fast in a race is never the best way to go about it but at altitude the effects are infinitely worse…trust me on this one.
* Adjust your target time. The same perceived effort run at sea level will show up as a slower clock time at altitude. Plain and simple, they have conversion charts proving it. The longer the race, the slower the clock time will ‘feel.’ So don’t try to beat your sea level PR if your race is at altitude. Even if the clock time is slower and you know you’re in awesome shape, take a gander at some of those charts and it will make you feel better.
There are also folks that do the altitude training camps, but that’s not all too realistic for us regular folks. Of course to those peeps already living at altitude, they get the benefit of sucking down less wind on a regular basis and are used to it. The nice perk for them is when they go down and race at sea level they usually are pleasantly surprised that their same perceived effort shows up as, ta-da, faster ‘clock times’ and they can unexpectedly get a new PR. 🙂
That all said, backing up a bit in my post and addressing the first group of people running in those trash-bag suits (I know Kendra Wilkinson was one) you’re wasting your time. You’re only ‘losing’ water weight and as soon as you start drinking again you’ll magically ‘gain’ it back. Work on busting your butt in the gym sans suit and you’ll get there, I promise.
Saturday at the races, anyone who did one let’s hear it and brag on yourself!! Ummm, and anyone who is a track nerd like me will know that next week USA champs are upon us…some smoking track races to be sure..exiting stuff, peeps. 🙂
1) If you were so cool as to rock out a sauna suit, what color would you choose?
2) Ever had the joy of running at altitude?
Such a pleasure…lol. Side note, altitude also makes some people has even worse stomach issues, of course I’m one of those people…fun stuff! 🙂
3) Workout today? Race today?