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Body Temp Regulation During Hot Runs (Apr 19th 2008, 8:47pm)
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Body Temp Regulation During Hot Runs

Published by
Lilmidg12   Apr 19th 2008, 8:47pm

Body Temperature Reguation While Working Out Information

As most of you probably know I've been training for a triathlon for 2 months now. It was in the 80's here in Central NY today, and I did a brick workout ( 2 events back to back w/ no rest ). So, I rode the bike 15 miles, dropped the bike off and got a 5 mile run in. Let me tell you, going from 20-22mph to around 10mph is a huge shock. The second my foot hit the ground from the bike, sweat began to flood out of my pours. About 3 minutes into my run, I noticed I was getting VERY VERY hot, VERY quickly. My mouth was like sand 5 minutes into my run, so I had to push through being extremely dehydrated, and overheating.


After my workout, I did my normal routine (Strides, Stretch, Abbs). Even though I wasn't doing much work, I noticed I was still extremely hot and my mouth was still tacky. A cool shower fixed the heat, and a 1/2 gallon of gatorade fixed the dehydration. So I decided to get on the computer and do some research inorder to better prepare myself to make my workouts from now on more comfortable. So here's what I found:

Although the Average Tempurature for Mid-April in Central NY is around 65, the forcast for the next 10 days is:

Day Su 4/20 M 4/21 T 4/22 W 4/23 TH 4/24 F 4/25 S 4/24 Su 4/25 M 4/26
High 71 72 75 76 71 74 78 64 66
Low 44 44 47 50 51 54 44 45 50

As you can see the average temperature is above normal for the next week and a half. For you out there who have been running, and have noticed that it is MUCH harder to run in this very hot weather, it's not just you.


Actually, the reason that it's so much harder to train during warm weather is because your temperature regulatory system in your body controlled by the hypothalamus gland has trouble keeping up when the air temperature gets closer to normal core temp (98.6F), and has even more trouble when the humidity raises. Air tempuratures 55 and higher begin to put stress on the Thermoregulatory System. Most athletes don't notice the decrease in efficiency until about 65 degrees. The human body perspires water and salts which evaporate into the air, cooling your body down. When the air is saturated with water, your sweat cannot evaporate as quickly.


blood cell

So, the first thing that happens when you start running, is your core tempurature starts to heat up. This is because muscles create up to 20% more heat when being used during workouts. When the blood passing through the hypothalamus gland is higher than normal, the heart beats harder and faster, pushing the HOT blood to the skin's surface (instead of your muscles) to COOL it off. So not only do you have less blood going to the muscles, but you have more lactic acid buildup, because less blood is transporting acids away.



If your body keeps heating up, Heat Stress, can progress to Heat Exhaustion which can cause the life threatening Heat Stroke. If you ever begin to feel dizzy, or have muscle cramps, you may be experiencing stages of Heat Exhaustion, if you ever stop sweating, while you rightfully know you should be, you're becoming dangerously close to Heat Stroke, and you NEED to stop, cool down and hydrate. Heat stroke causes blood presure to drop, and could result in a Coma.


Having a quick change in tempurature, which is what happend for the past 3 days, the weather went from about 55F to around 80F in a few days. Your body needs to go through a process called Acclimation, or just getting used to the hot weather. After your body gets acclimated to the warmer, more humid weather, the Thermoregulatory System becomes more efficient, you release more sweat, quicker, at a lower blood tempurature, but your sweat has less salt in it.


Here are some tips for getting good workouts in during the summer months without letting that big ball in the sky effect you as much:

  • Wear light colored breatheable clothing that allowes easy wicking of sweat.
  • Get acclimated to the weather before performing vigerous workouts.
  • Take a cool shower before your workout to pre-cool your system.
  • Pour water over your head ( 70% of your body heat leaves your dome )
  • Workout just before sunrise, or when it cools after sunset.
  • HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE ( cold water leaves your stomach faster, and has a phychological cooling effect )

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