Friday, May 07, 2010

First hot run of the season

Heat training is on my list for this month.  Its a long hot summer here in Houston, and unforunately, there's no way to escape the heat.  A large part of my run experience at LoneStar was limited because of the heat and most during local sprint tri's, temps are well into the 80's by the time you hit the 5k run.  Like it or not, I need to acclimate to survive. 

I hate heat.  I'm a mountain person - I love dry air and cool temps.  But seeing as how I don't live in the mountains and have no plans to move anytime soon, I just need to suck it up and adapt. 

Last night was my first real "hot" long run.  I did a track workout Tues night in the heat too, but I only had to run for ~5 minutes before I could take a 40 second rest.  Plus, I only had 4 repeats - the whole set only took me 40 minutes including warmup and cool down.  So last night's training ordeal was a 1 hr long tempo run - 20 min at Z2, 20 min at Z3, 20 min at Z4.  No stopping at all for the hour.

Yeterday's high was probably around 90 and I ran on a dirt trail after work with some shade to minimize sun.  I also filled my hand held water bottle with ice water, but it was pretty much warm after 20 minutes.  My z2 pace was pretty easy - I purposely tried to keep the first part of the 20 minute interval in the low part of my HR zone and then elevate it to the upper part of the zone for the last 10 min.  The Z2 run was a bit slower than my long training runs (in cool weather) but I was optimistic that this was just because I was still recovering from LoneStar.  Which is probably not true, since my 4x800 z4 runs on Tuesday were a almost all on a 8:40 pace, which is my fastest track z4 pace yet.  My heart rate is DEFINITELY influenced by heat, so I was just curious about how hard I could push things and have my speed zone match my heart rate zone.  The answer was.... not very well.

Z2: 1.74 miles, 11:30 pace, 154 avg HR

Z3: 1.72 miles, 11:36 pace, 169 avg HR (nice - higher HR AND slower pace.  awesome!  but to be fair, this was the hilliest part of the run, pretty much all the hills were in this section)

Z4: 1.77 miles, 11:18 pace, 176 avg HR

My Z4 pace from my lactate threshold test was 10:39-10:10.  Hahahah.  Clearly, the heat had a LOT to do with my speed/HR not synching up.  Hopefully as I do more of these, they'll match better.

I'm glad I toughed it out.  The last 8 minutes of the run was rough.  I was hot, my HR was hitting the "pukey zone", and I was generally not happy.  This is where the mental training and mind games come into play.  With 8 minutes, I knew that was basically 2 songs worth of time.  So I just kept telling myself to focus on the music and hope that the shuffle picked something entertaining.  And then I just pictured myself doing those 1/2 mile fast repeats 2 nights earlier.  Come one, you can do a half mile fast... you just did four of them 2 nights ago.  Get it done and then you are done for the night.  So that's what I did (with a LOT of checking of my Garmin to see how much longer the torture was going to last!).  Hopefully next week's hot tempo run will be better.  Probably not, but we'll see.

Face of a not so happy and very hot runner.  I hate it when my eyelids sweat.  Ick.

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