Candace's Favorite Things

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

TUESDAY'S TRAINING TIPS...."Fun In The Late Summer Sun Can Fool You"

While I know the calendar is telling us that the kids are just returning to school, it’s still very much SUMMER. Complete with many summer like days where temperatures can sore…at least where I live! Though of course this is most definitely determined by where you call home (geographically speaking that is). When I was a kid, in upstate NY.,by the time the School Bus came rolling by, we all were standing there with our sweaters on, (or at least we had neatly stashed in our back packs). While some areas of the good old USA are chilling down, Baltimore CAN BE HOT… HOT… H OT, many days in the month of September. Though lately, I dare speak it….it’s been kinda nice! But trust me, the fact is, you can’t count on that. Heck, In fact, the year we first moved here (about 25 years ago), I remember dripping sweat while doing some yard work and dying from the humidity. Yet, it was the first weekend in October!! I specifically remember asking our new neighbors, “When does fall actually visit this State”? They assured me it would be “any second. It’s been an unusually, but not UNHEARD OF….Hot October”, they explained! So, depending on where you call home…you may have nothing to fear hear. However, many locations area bit iffy when it comes to the temps. …and often, because we least expect it, we get caught with our sweat pants on and our body temperatures over the top.

Though this is still the most coveted time to hit the great outdoors and kick some serious TUSH;

Time to Power Walk, Jog, Run, Kayak, Cycle, Mountain Bike, Rock Climb, Play ball (any kind of ball). Even better, play tag with your kids .

The End of summer can be an active person’s best friend or worst enemy. Sure, we still have some good hours of day light and most often… great weather to get out and play. But, be cautious - as the heat and humidity can still jump in and side line us, turning our ‘Indian Summer’ fun into a nightmare. In fact, one year…the Baltimore Marathon, (which runs during the first part of October) landed on an unusually hot October day. Many  of those who didn’t adjust what they had planned wear for the race, were later found in the medical tents, with dangerous dehydration and just down right over heating all the way around. I know, I was coaching 32 runners for that event and I just happened to run into a dear friend near the finish line and he didn't look good.  After assisting him to the medical tents, we ended up spending the afternoon in the hospital due to heat exhaustion and dehydration!! Not a pretty site.  I spoke with a client who hates drinking water...PERIOD!  After my MANY YEARS of pleading to properly hydrate, she ended up fixing herself. One late, summer afternoon, after a long bike ride (during which she consumed little to no water or sports drink )...she ended up in real trouble. Her excuse for not hydrating this time? She told me that because it wasn't really that hot out and she didn't feel very thirsty,  she just didn't think about it....ARGGG!!!
 well I have an  important little sidebar here for you - 'THIRST, or the lack of it, should never be your gage as to whether or not you should drink during sports related activities. Your thirst indicator can fool you into REAL TROUBLE ALMOST EVERY TIME. In fact, if you wait to drink until you do feel thirsty,you'll almost always find that you are already behind the eight ball and by then, it's very difficult to catch up to what your body needs before you begin to TANK because of it. You hydrate because you should (Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter of in doors), end of story. She finally found out what real dehydration feels like and she actually almost didn’t make it home. She won’t ever do that again. So, don’t assume or let the date on the calendar fool you into thinking that summer time rules don’t still apply ! Trust me, I have been around and seen it all and it’s not pretty when you ignore what you know you should do when it comes to the rules of exercising. In all of the above cases, the people mentioned made it through and learned their lesson……unfortunately that’s not always the case. So now that summer is coming to an end, please be smart and check the weather before you head out for a day of fun in the sun. Heat can come up and bite you in the butt before you even know it’s happening and by the time you do……it’s often too late. So I have some guidelines to make sure that you continue to enjoy the great outdoors through these transitional months and don’t end up in a heap on the side of the road.

1) Make sure to keep wearing the right clothes. Try to wear light colors, and make sure that you wear “dry fit” garments. Almost every company now makes this gear,,,,Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, Rebook, you name it. NO COTTON. It holds water, gets heavy and can make your outdoor activities a wet,hot mess.

2) Make sure that not to go out in the middle of the day to power walk or run when the temps are high ( over 85/88 degrees). By the middle of the day I mean noon to four or five and still not if the temps don’t drop. On days like these, even though we’re rounding the corner to consistently cooler days…it’s still smart when the temps are going to sore, to go out in the early morning ,late evening or taking it inside. You can make it happen comfortably and without risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke(God forbid, but it happens). Running and Power walking are different than cycling. Cycling is a bit of a different animal as the wind blow- off lowers your temperature. So, feel it out. Obviously other sports where start and stop movements are involved are also a bit different. I’m talking activities like baseball here, not tennis and of course water sports, well on those days, that’s the place to be though most of our outdoor pools are closing now. You get my drift (pun intended)

3) The temperature is not the only issue when the heat sneaks up on a late summer day. Humidity and the heat index ( how hot it feels) are still the kill joys of many outdoor endeavors. Listen to the weather in the morning. While heat index is mentioned less and less during these late summer months, you still may hear of a heat index that’s not safe…..some temps around 90 can feel like 102…Yes…even in Sept, maybe October… or later. Like our home away from home…Hawaii. It all depends on where you choose to call home!

In addition, remember the humidity is the real problem. When the air is dry and hot, you perspire, the air dries you off and your body core temperature lowers. When the humidity is high, you sweat and get wet and get wetter and wetter still. Thus you get hotter and hotter and the body’s built in air conditioning system is short circuited. Beware of moist air!!!!!

4) Remember to drink approximately 8 ounces of water every twenty minutes while you are out there and keep drinking after your done.

By remembering these simple guidelines, you can have outdoor fun till the snow begins to fall and then there’s more outdoor fun to be had..but that my friends will be another post for anther time. Though, truth be told, it will be here before you know it. Don’t shoot the messenger….snow can be a blast, if you’re prepared!

SO, don’t let the calendar fool you. Be smart and remember, “HEAT” can still come to visit us until the leaves begin to cascade. At least in Charm City anyway….

See ya out there…………….

Until tomorrow,

Power on and keep those bodies moving.


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