for the love of running

I love to run.

While I definitely to get weird glances and side-eye stares when I say running is the way I relax and decompress (Because: what? Exertion is relaxing?! The horror!), running is my go-to when I’m stressed, anxious, happy, energised, motivated, content, sad – it’s what I do and who I am.

Well, I’m MORE than running, obviously. But you get what I mean.

I love to run.

But lately, I have been on S T R U G G L E Street during my runs.

The reason?

It has been seriously hot and humid lately. And I’ve been seriously dehydrated.

Too much champagne, not enough H2O.

It’s no secret that running in the heat, along with dehydration, makes running feel a lot harder.

And now research confirms it … again.

As reported by Runner’s World in a recent article by Elizabeth Millard, according to new research published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, “there’s a legitimate reason why running in the heat is [hard]”.

The small study looked at five male recreational runners in their mid-late 30s/early 40s who were tasked with completing a 21km running race, outside, using a portable metabolic analyser, which, according to Ms Millard, “measures oxygen consumption during activity”.

Analysing speed, VO2, heart rate, oxygen pulse and body temperature, the researchers concluded that their “findings demonstrated that the increase in body temperature in a warm environment during the 21km race is associated with both cardiovascular and metabolic strain in runners”.

Speaking with Runner’s World, study co-author, Danilo Prado, PhD, of the Ultra Sports Science Lab and the University of São Paulo in Brazil, he explained:

“Our study shows that the warm temperature in the external environment has a physiological burden.

“Our findings suggest that the increase in body temperature is associated with an increase in perceived exertion, as well as cardiovascular and metabolic strain, which is influenced by higher core temperature and dehydration.

“This may degrade aerobic performance in warm environments.”

So, while it’s not necessarily ground-breaking news – the whole heat-along-with-dehydration-making-exercise-harder thing has been studied before and it’s not unknown – rather than complaining and beating myself up during my next run about why I’m feeling so, well, crap … maybe I need to remember: it’s hot, humid and I’m most likely dehydrated.

For more about dehydration and sport, visit: runnersworld.com/nutrition-weight-loss/a28858944/signs-of-dehydration/

To read the study mentioned above, visit: pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33528215/

And with all that said, I’m off for my run … while it’s still early and it’s relatively cool outside.

x G.

Feature image: Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

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