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Ask The Running Doc: How Can I Train & Race In The Heat?

  • By Mario Fraioli
  • Published Aug. 10, 2011
  • Updated Feb. 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM UTC

 

Watch The Meds!

Do not take cold medicines, diet pills, ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, or anti-diarrhea medicines with dehydrating agents in them. They will increase your risk for heat illness. Caffeine products are only OK in doses you are used to taking on training day. Do not start taking a caffeine product on race day. And limit caffeine to less than 200mg before a run of 10k or more.

Succumbing to the heat can be cumulative. We all have heard of professional football players being hospitalized during summer training camps due to heat illness. The New York Football Giants in 1990, the the actions of their now retired team nutritionist Merle Best, RD, instituted a program that has limited this bad result. We should all follow it. On hot days weigh yourself before and after the workout. For every pound lost, even if you are drinking during the workout and your urine looks like lemonade, drink 1 pint of Sports drink. In that way you replenish what you lost in water weight and be ready for the next day. Otherwise, heat illness can creep up on you.

[sig:LewisMaharam]

You can now order Running Doc’s new book: Running Doc’s™ Guide to HEALTHY RUNNING at Barnes and Noble, Borders and Amazon.com

Any questions you may want answered by Dr. Maharam in future columns should be e-mailed to Dr. Maharam at runningdoc@competitor.com.

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Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli is a senior editor at Competitor magazine. A cross-country All-American at Stonehill College in 2003, he now coaches the Prado Women's Racing Team in San Diego and was the men's marathon coach for Costa Rica's 2012 Olympic team. His first book, The Official Rock 'n' Roll Guide To Marathon & Half-Marathon Training (VeloPress, 2013) is available in bookstores, running shops and online.

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