Running in the Heat Tips from the TCS New York City Marathon Training Expo

Here in New York City, we're just over one week removed from a heat wave that saw temperatures rise above 90 degrees with a perceived feel in the triple digits. In response to the conditions, and in the interest of the safety of all participants, New York Road Runners cancelled the TCS New York City Marathon Training Series 10M and all NYRR Open Run sessions for the weekend.

While the cancellation may have been a slight bump in the road for runners' training logs, rest assured, there is still plenty of time to train for the TCS New York City Marathon. In fact, the 12-week TCS New York City Marathon Training Program begins on August 12. But in the meantime, how can runners keep their training going should the weather take a warm turn once again?

Luckily, the TCS New York City Marathon Training Expo took place on Thursday, July 18, with representatives from the NYRR coaching staff, Hospital for Special Surgery, and other official partners of the TCS New York City Marathon on hand to answer runners' questions. The Run On staff also made the trip over to the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub to gather advice on how to manage the heat now so that you can run strong when the temperatures are (usually) a bit cooler on November 3.

NYRR coaches speaking to runners at the NYRR RUNCENTER

Pamela Geisel, MS, CSCS, Exercise Physiologist and Manager at Hospital for Special Surgery's Tisch Sports Performance Center

"In general, make sure that you’re hydrating a lot—don’t forget about your electrolytes. Make sure that you’re running, hopefully, in the coolest hours, so early morning, or late evening. Because it’s summer time, you can go out a little bit later [in the evening]."

"Make sure that if you go out, that you are wearing sun protection, so something over your eyes, something to cover your face, and sunblock. Those are my biggest three. And don’t be afraid to take it inside if you need to; it’s a long training season—you’re gonna be fine."

For extreme weather, Geisel advised: "The number one thing is to make sure that you listen to your body, so, if you do try to go out, and you’re not feeling well, or you stop sweating, all of those are really big red flags, so you need to go home."

Two NYRR staff members speaking with a runner

Tammy Salazar, NYRR Group Training and NYRR Virtual Training Coach

"When running in heat, you should focus on effort, rather than pace. If you’re supposed to run an 8:45 but you see you’re running like nine-and-a-half minute miles, don’t stress yourself out; you’re gonna feel like you’re running slow because it’s taking more energy out of you to run in such heat, but it does not mean you’re not fit. You’re just taking it easy and your body is accumulating to the weather."

Salazar also added some tips on pacing for prospective first-time marathoners who might fret over scaling back their daily run pace: "Just because you want to have a sub-[four hour marathon] doesn’t mean you have to run that pace every single run, because that probably leads you to getting hurt, more than helping you."

Conor Shelley, Trackster / Technical Field Representative at New Balance

"My college coach used to say, 'Run, rehydrate, run some more.' I’m going to recommend you do that definitely, make sure you have plenty of water, plenty of Gatorade. Try to find plenty of shade, if you are really heat-sensitive try to stick to the early hours of the morning or the late hours of the night, and stay safe out there, listen to your body."

On the topic of what to wear for warmer-weather running, Shelley added, "So the old axiom is 'cotton kills,' so what happens is, cotton gets soaked very quickly, it holds on to a lot of moisture, and it keeps you a little bit heavier than you should be as well," adding later, "If you have the right tech fabrics on it’s going to wick moisture away from your body faster than a cotton shirt or even a cheaper poly-blend product would. And the idea there is that, as the water gets wicked away from you, it’s going to evaporate, and that’s going to cool your body off."

Hear more from Conor, as well as some of the NYRR coaching team, here:

As training for the TCS New York City Marathon rolls along, check the calendar of upcoming events at the NYRR RUNCENTER featuring the New Balance Run Hub for more training and pre-race events leading in to November 3.

About the Author

Brandon Wiggins

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