Many of you may have read my post on Friday Hot Summer Running Brings Fast Times in the Fall! If you missed it you should go check it out. Part of my inspiration for that post was my boyfriend Michael. He struggles with running in the heat. He can never stay hydrated well enough and usually hits a wall and bonks miles before we are done. He’s training for Chicago Marathon with me and has struggled with training all summer due to the amount he sweats. He lost 12 pounds over a 12 mile run this summer. That’s pretty crazy.
A couple of weeks ago we did a 16 mile run, it was cooler but still sunny and pretty warm. Michael hit the wall and bonked after mile 13. After that run a fire lit underneath him. He was determined to figure out how many ounces of water he needed to consume in order to stay hydrated and finish a long run.
Here was the plan:
Consume one Clif Bar Shot Blok every 3 miles.
Drink 8 oz. of water per mile. (yes, you read that right)
Sip Gatorade over the course of the run and as needed.
We set out on our run. We started with about a 6 mile run to the east of the apartment then loop back and head out for the remaining 14 miles. Michael dropped a 12oz. water bottle in a flower-pot when we set out on the 6 mile loop. He carried three 7oz. bottles in his fuel belt.
By mile 6 he consumed 2 of the 7 oz. bottles on his belt and refilled them with the stashed water bottle and consumed his first 2 shot bloks. We kept on running, along our route there is water fountains about every 3 miles. We stopped to fill up at each of them. Every 3 miles he ate his Shot Bloks. As we approached the 13 mile mark I asked him how he was feeling. He looked great. He had good color in his face, was holding a pace of about 8:50 min/mile and looked strong. Luckily he felt the same with some achy and tired muscles.
He filled up his fuel belt again at mile 14 and then again at mile 17. At mile 17 he finished the whole sleeve, all 6 Shot Bloks.
Michael was able to completely finish his first 20 mile run and our last long run before tapering! He said he felt good minus the sore and achy muscles! When he got home he weighed himself, and had only lost 1 lb.!
The fact that it was a cool 60 degrees out that morning really helped Michael’s cause. He was able to run without sweating for a couple of miles in the beginning of the run and also maintain a more manageable sweat rate. His hydration, and planning completely made a difference as well. Without the cool weather our pace would not have been sub 9 miles. In fact it probably would have been closer to 9:15min/mile or 9: 20min/mile. A lower sweat rate and cooler temperatures allowed him to exert less energy and run faster!
Multiple factors contributed to Michael’s success on Sunday but it also supports Friday’s post that Hot Summer Running Brings Fast Times in the Fall!