Racing in the Heat: Finding Success at Sweltering Summer Races

July 01, 2016 Posted By: Mizuno USA

By: Mizuno Race Team Member, Christo Landry


Racing in the heat is tough, but manageable if you’re willing to prepare…and pay the price.  It’s comfortable to run in the morning during the summer, before the day heats up and the sun is blazing above your head, but those aren’t the conditions that you’ll find on the start line to the Peachtree Road Race.  So how do you get ready for those race day conditions?  Simple, train in them!  Emulating race day conditions (or worse) for the two preceding weeks allows your body and mind to adjust and allows you to put your best foot forward on race day.  This means running during a lunch break or right after work while the sun is still high in the sky, or if you’re lucky enough to be in a temperate area, wearing fall/winter gear to simulate the warmer weather.  Don’t be surprised when your legs start to feel stuffy or sluggish as this is due to the increased efforts your body puts into cooling and will dissipate as you adjust to the heat.  Also keep in mind that you’ll be going slower and that’s OK, what you want to keep consistent when transitioning to running in the heat is the effort level you’re putting in for each run.

Another key is to keep yourself well hydrated with a mix of water and sports drinks.  It’s necessary to drink more than simply water as you need to replenish what you sweat out while running.  Look for a drink or a gel with significant amounts of sodium.  What works for me is to have a bottle stationed anywhere I spend a moderate amount of time (desk/nightstand/car/workout bag) so that a sip of water is only an arm’s reach away.  This way I’m hydrated all day long and not chugging water before a run to cover a lack of preparation.

On July 4th I’m up early, at least 3-4 hours before the race starts to begin eating and continue drinking so that when I cross the start line, I’m hydrated without feeling bloated or water sloshing around my stomach.  To stay cool during the race, I recommend the Aero Tee top and the Outlaw Shorts, light material and shorter shorts means more sweat evaporating to cool me off.  Outsmart the competition: stay hydrated, grab right gear and do the work and prepare in the heat.

2014 Peachtree 10k Road RaceChristo Landry- Winner of the 2014 AJC Peachtree Road Race is one of the most respected long distance runners in the country. He is the American Record holder at 25K, on the roads, a former three-time D1 NCAA All-American and the 2014 US Road Champion at 10k, 10 miles, and 25K.


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