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Sensible training for hot weather

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By Mark Brockman

The second leg of the Oldham County Grand Slam is July 18. It’s a night race. It’s in La Grange (I like to call it LA in the OC – sounds much more glamorous that way). It’s gonna be HOT. So you should not miss it.

It’s easy at this time of the year to say, “I’m gonna wait until fall to start training again.” Don’t do it. Keep on. You’ll be glad you did. Training in the summer can wear on you. There’s no denying it. What can you do to make it feel easier.

What should you drink and eat in hot weather?

Drink water like there’s no tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if it’s the fancy, $2 a bottle stuff, or straight out of the tap. Just drink it – not only after a run or walk or ride, but all the time. Staying hydrated is important and your intake should increase significantly when the mercury rises above 80 degrees.

Eat light. Try going out and running a few miles when it’s 85 degrees after a big ol’ burger and fries. What was it they called it in Wayne’s World? Blowing chunks? Reduce your portions. Stay away from fried foods.

When should you train in hot weather?

Early morning is the optimum time to train. Once you get accustomed to getting up earlier, you’ll love it.

Even the pavement has had time to release the heat. Things are quieter and it really gives time to prepare for the day ahead.

Should your training sessions be long?

Make your training sessions shorter. I’m not advocating that you do five minutes and sneak back inside. Twenty minutes is the minimum for a productive workout.

You may be looking at that last paragraph and saying. “Gee Mark, I’m trying to train for my first marathon, or half-marathon and it’s this fall. Shouldn’t I be increasing my mileage?”

The answer is yes. The solution can be two-fold. First of all, make sure you’re using a good training guide. Secondly, I believe the best plan for summer training is to get it done early. If you’re needing to do a 90 minute, or even two-hour session. Wake up early and find a safe route and start in the dark. Do half your time in the morning and half in the afternoon.

Tired muscles respond about the same with less than 24 hours rest, so you can divide up a long session before and after work. Again, stay hydrated and listen to your body. When something doesn’t feel right, back off. Take a day or two of rest.

Should you participate in the Oldham County YMCA 5K or one-mile?

Absolutely! I want to encourage you to keep training. The YMCA 5K is July 18 and you don’t want to miss it. It’s always cool to go to Oldham County Day and show off your race shirt. Sign up for the race now and it will keep you motivated. Visit www.OCGrandSlam.com for details.

Don’t miss seeing the La Grange Police and Oldham County Police running for the Public Servant’s Challenge trophy. It’s great to see both organizations showing that staying fit is part of their program.

We’ll see you in La Grange for a fun Friday night.

The views expressed in this column may not necessarily represent the views of The Oldham Era.