IMT Des Moines Marathon

IMT Des Moines Marathon
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Running Advisory Warning

Runners should always be extra cautious when exerting any type of physical activity during heat advisory warnings. Many times when training for a marathon or half marathon athletes will follow a training guide. It seems that with experience we learn that training guides are merely a tool to assist us with our training for race day.  We learn to personalize them and adjust them to fit into our schedules.

Often times, if we try to follow a training guide too rigidly, other things in our lives tend to suffer.  Training guides should be a complement to our lifestyles, which includes running on a regular basis.  As humans, we must be able to accommodate the day to day changes that can occur in our lives.  Some of these changes are within our control, while others, like weather, are outside our control.  Changes outside of our control may force us to react and alter our day to day habits, which may not be easy.   
The running conditions this week can serve as a good example.  If a heat advisory is in effect and you are given constant reminders to stay indoors, listen to them. One general rule of thumb is that if you notice there aren’t as many people running outside as there normally are, say over the lunch hour or on your way home from work, it is with good reason.  It is not a good time to convince yourself that, "okay I won't run today, let's mow the lawn instead", when the heat index is 113.  Perhaps it is a good time to provide yourself with an extra rest day.

If you have found that you are spending less time with family or friends in order to spend more time with your training schedule, use the break in your training schedule to thank them for their support and spend some extra time with them.  Try to relax in the air conditioning at home or treat your family to a cool atmosphere a movie theatre.  Another idea is to shopping at your grocery store and continues to search out proper foods and nutrients to fuel you before and after your workout s or get yourself fitted for a new pair of running shoes at the specialty running store in your area. 

Instead of dropping your schedule completely for the week, you may want to focus on cardio vascular cross training methods or spend some time in the pool.   If you are still planning to run, try running early in the morning. Cut back a little on your mileage for the week and your normal pace.  It is okay to stop and take walking breaks.  You have permission. 

Getting in a 3 mile run in the morning is better than trying to get in a 5 mile run after work when it is 90 degrees outside.  Find a tread mill and run indoors, or go to the mall and walk laps for an hour. Whatever you do, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and try to stay out of the heat and excessive activity.
Your training will not suffer if you knock a couple of miles off of your runs during the week. In fact, you could do more damage to your body than good by trying to run without giving regard to the conditions.  It is easy to upset the balance of electrolytes in your system and dehydration and overheating can lead to strokes.  Once the heat subsides, your body will reward you and pick itself back up where you left off with your training regimen.  Be smart.  When in doubt, take the day off or take it easy. 

For more information visit the Running Club portion of the IMT Des Moines Marathon website at