G & T 35 and Heat
Yesterday, as I was running up G & T for my 35th time in a row, I continued to think about my recent race performance at Cedro Peak. It was warm yesterday, and spring was in the air in the high mountains, with the snowpack finally starting to consolidate. If it keeps up like this, I will be able to run the entire thing without snowshoes in a week or two, as the snow was hard enough early in the morning to go just in my running shoes. I was thinking over my winter training, and how the heat really got to me at Cedro and helped push my stomach into the no-go zone. All winter I have conditioned myself to be comfortable at 14,000' in just three tech shirts and a nylon running jacket/wind breaker. My tolerance for cold has improved dramatically since the beginning of the season, and people seem a bit shocked when I encounter them up high in my running gear and they are in full winter clothing - pants, winter gloves, insulated coat, goretex this and that, etc. If they were in my setup, I'm sure they would be freezing, but since I've been doing it all winter, my body has become adapted to such extremes. However, what was clear at Cedro is that I am NOT adapted to heat at all. Running around North Table this morning this was hit home as I was hot and sweating much more then I should have been given my effort levels. But because it was above 60 degrees, it felt really hot to me. I may be adapted to cold, but I need to adapt fast now to heat if I am to have any success this summer. So, to the sauna it is. There is a fair bit of evidence that using a sauna for heat training can help the body adapt for running in hot weather (see here and here), and some of the studies that I have read indicate that adaptations can begin to occur after two weeks of regular heat training. We will see, but I've had problems with heat and overheating during races a couple times now, so I'm hoping that this helps with that.