Training for the Bix or any other hot weather race? Follow these 5 endurance training tips to stay cool, strong, and healthy:
1. Train, train, train. No matter your level of fitness, proper training – both physically and mentally – is crucial to a good race experience. Know your limits and be patient in reaching your goals! For some training help, check out the Hal Higdon website. It’s good for all levels (starting at 5K).
2. Stay hydrated and know heat stress symptoms:
Heat exhaustion symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea or muscle/abdominal cramps. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercise immediately! Get into shade and cool down with water or a sports drink.
Heat stroke is a more serious condition. Heat stroke symptoms include high body temperature, an altered mental state, lack of sweating, nausea, and red, hot, and dry skin. If you think that you or another may be suffering from heat stroke, call 911 and cool the person immediately with shade, ice, or even douse in cold water from a cooler or garden hose until help arrives.
3. Keep your heart healthy. Generally speaking, your heart beats both faster and stronger to increase cardiac output during exercise. So when preparing to do a race of any distance – whether walking or running – it’s important that you prepare your heart to move for the timespan and distance of the race.
For example, if you want to run a 5K, and it takes you 10 minutes to complete a mile, you should plan to do about 35 minutes of cardiac exercise 3-5 times per week to get up to speed.
4. Mix it up! If the thought of walking 2 miles sounds boring, break it up: Try walking for the verse of a song and jogging for the chorus. Speed-walk hills. Skip to the next road sign. However you can, play the game! It will help you get to that next mile marker during your race!
5. Get supported! The absolute best key to success is to find a friend or group supportive of your endeavors. Endurance sports are meant to be shared! Don’t have an idea of where to start? The Quad Cities is full of groups ready to train with you and get you going. Try QC Moms Run this Town, CBRC, Fleet Feet Sports and Fit4Mom.