Heat acclimatization is a concept that has been analyzed by exercise physiologists extensively for almost two decades now, since the big boom in marathon running. Still, many are trying to understand how heat acclimatization can benefit them, or, how the lack of heat acclimatization will harm them. Heat has a funny way of working against you. The harder you want to go, the slower you end up going. From reading Tim Noakes’ Lore of Running, and several other sport science blogs, it appears as though the “central governor” recruits less and less muscles in hot weather as you exercise, which causes each muscle being used to work harder, which then causes you to produce more and more lactate. The presence of lactate isn’t the enemy, but the fact is, your muscles that are indeed recruited are being asked to work harder, which causes perhaps that feeling of heavy legs.
In the past few weeks, I have furiously been running outside, in the hopes of getting heat acclimatized. Unfortunately, I haven’t had time to get fully adjusted to the heat.
My PB on the Ten Miler course is 1:07:58, which I ran in 2007. However, recent attempts at the ten-mile distance has been slower and slower, which can be attributed to my lack of overal conditioning. Today’s race was by far the slowest. I think I had it in me to run around a 1:15 time, but the heat definitely wrecked my plans. I held 7:15 per mile pace for about 6 km, but the Leslie Spit proved challenging, as the grass and humidity trapped the heat from the sun.
So, the first 30 mins was a nice hard tempo effort, and the last 60 mins was a huge run-walk combination. The official finish time was around 1:29, with the first half done in 38 mins, and the last half done in 51 mins. I know I have a lot of work to do before Ironman Miami 70.3.
Thanks for reading!