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Hi All,

I am training for my fourth marathon and whereas before I was training in the UK, I am now living and working in Cambodia and in this heat, what a ball ache. I did 11 miles on Saturday morning and although I did not enjoy the best night's sleep the evening before, I was as shattered as if I had run a full marathon.

The heat and humidity are hard for me to run in. I drank 3 litres of fluids before, during and after didn't need to pee for a good few hours aftewards and after drinking more.

I was wondering if anyone had any views or knowledge about the effects of running in heat and more particularly, any thoughts whereby say, a mile in such conditions is akin to say running a mile and a half in more moderate conditions. I appreciate the effects of heat but I have run in reasonably hot and cold conditions before but out here, I am really struggling. I am following my usual nutrition and hydrate plans and drinking more water in the 2 days before a run and not eating a lot the night before, but at the end of a run I am totally and utterly knackered.

I would love to hear somebody say that the scientists at some non-descript American university had found that 10 miles for a Londoner in Cambodia is like 14 miles back home or such like, but in the absence of any scientific encouragement, if anyone has any useful advice/suggestions, they would be gratefully received.

Many thanks.

John in PP
 

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I'm not personally aware of any such comparison i'm afraid :( but needless to say training in unfavourable conditions will certainly help when you come to race in a less harsh climate.

Perhaps it's worth considering increasing the number of runs, but decreasing the mileage, ultimately ending up with a similar weekly mileage? If an 11mile run feels like a marathon, then to me it would make more sense to run two 7milers rather than completely zapping yourself of energy by trying to run a single 14miler?

Of course that's just my opinion though :embarrassed:
 

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Hi John,

Ok well physiologically the heat does effect are body which does make performance more difficult. For example:

- The heat increases the viscosity/thickness of blood which hampers the delivery of oxygen to the muscles (due to dehydration causing a reduction in blood plasma). To compensate the body has to increase the amount of blood ejected from the heart per beat, meaning more strain at he same workload. However:

- During long runs in heat you can suffer from cardiovascular drift, whereby over time heart rate continues to rise steadily when running at the same intensity. This is due to a decrease in stroke volume, thus to compensate, heart rate has to increase, meaning more physiological strain.

- To remove heat from the body it uses increased blood flow to the skin to achieve this. However our muscles and key organs also require sustained blood flow, thus over time our body becomes unable to sustain this increased blood flow to the skin because these other sources need it more and we cannot remove heat from our body as well. A hotter body means further strain and relates back to the above effects.

These are examples of how heat stress can increase physiological responses negatively and reduce performance (increased heart rate means increased oxygen uptake and reduced economy etc)
However, our bodies do become acclimated to hot environments. For example, maintaining greater blood plasma levels and being able to remove heat from the body more effectively. This can happen within 7-10 days so is a fairly quick shift.

Hope that makes you feel better!
 
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