Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Phew! Glad that's done.

The heat and humidity continue unabated. However, I continue to log the miles and I have not had to bail on a run. Last week's schedule included a tempo session of nine miles with four at tempo pace. There is much debate on what tempo/lactate threshold pace is; for me it is whatever you consider half-marathon effort.
I got out the door reasonably early at a little after 7am to beat the worst of the conditions. The first two miles went okay and my first tempo effort mile elapsed in 06:44, mile two was a surprisingly fast 06:29. Now things got interesting. To prevent me from chasing numbers, that would be completely unattainable in the conditions I adopted the strategy of ignoring the Garmin until I heard the lap beep and run by feel.. This worked well and I felt 'comfortably uncomfortable' after the first two miles. The third mile was brutal and I began to feel awful pretty quickly and was glad to hear the lap beep go at 06:34. Mile four did not get much better and I was mighty pleased when the lap beep sounded and I managed a split of 06:57.
The average heart rate for the tempo section was 171. This is not especially high and I would consider it only marginally high if you wanted to sustain the effort for 13.1. How rotten I felt really emphasised how high humidity undermines the body's ability to dissipate heat through the evaporation of sweat. Before completing the cool down miles I had to sit down on a piece of decorative marble outside an office building and watch as a pool of sweat formed at my feet. Once I felt less nauseous I zipped up the man suit and did the cool down miles. Needless to say I am looking forward to September and I trawl Groupon daily for discounted temporary gym membership so I can bask in the glow of an air conditioned atmosphere. I never thought I would ever desire running on a treadmill!


Thomas said...

Jees! It really must be bad over there!

Westley said...

Hottest July since records began! Even the far right nuts are beginning to understand climate change is not a 'socialist conspiracy' to take stage a communist coup d'état! It's the combination of heat and humidity that's the killer. If the humidity was low you could simply back off and run by effort rather than pace. The high humidity and concomitant inability to evaporate sweat does not allow that, hence the progressively worse you feel regardless of perceived effort.

Grellan said...

Tough work Westley. High humidity is certainly a killer, remember the tougher the session the better the training benefit - as long as you don't kill yourself.