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Beat the heat - with intervals???
Wait - what?
You’re thinking - Intervals are challenging, how am I “beating the heat” by running intervals in the thick of the summer heat?
Humidity was born in Virginia Beach and has established permanent residence here from May through late September. It also makes sporadic visits throughout October.
The humidity makes even early morning training both a physical and mental grind as the humidity causes extreme water loss, makes it difficult to breathe, and in general just makes exercise far more challenging. Anyone who lives on the Atlantic sea board or down in Florida where Dr. Minkoff and crew live knows exactly what I am talking about.
In early June, I started to increase my weekly long runs and the distance on my weekly threshold runs. I continued until mid-July when I took leave to visit my family in Minnesota. Even in June, the humidity was already oppressive.
After a brief respite from any sort of real humidity in Minnesota for two weeks (high 50s/low 60s in the morning…with a crispness to the air), I returned to Virginia Beach with a different sort of program in mind to avoid suffering so much in the heat/humidity of the mid-Atlantic region.
With an Army Physical Fitness test approaching in early October, I immediately thought about layering more intervals into my training over the next 8 weeks. Not only do intervals increase your overall fitness level as a form of work capacity training, but they help you burn more fat because of the intensity of the training.
My fitness is improving week to week. My 400 and 800 times are improving each week and my recovery between rounds is also improving as I get stronger week over week.
I am also not dehydrated until noon like I am with my long 10-12 mile runs in the humid conditions. Simply put, intervals have allowed me to keep up the intensity in my training while adjusting for the weather conditions that will exist here until late September.
Not only have I enjoyed the change as I try to hold on to whatever speed I still have left in my body, I have also enjoyed the ability to hydrate more often during my training and in a way - “beat the heat.”
Interval training allows us to train hard and SMART in the closing months of summer.
I would encourage everyone - even if you don’t have an Army PT test coming up - to jog over to your local high school and give ‘em a shot.
Take care and talk to you next month.
If there is anything society has come to realize over the last century, it is that women are just as powerful, smart, ambitious, and capable as men. And while society as a whole is still catching up as far as true equality, the facts are evident when you look at some of the most incredible and influential people today.
When it comes to fitness, however, men and women are not the same. The natural, physiological differences necessitate unique approaches to achieve optimal results. While the fundamental science behind attaining a shredded, lean physique is basically the same for both sexes, the exact steps and application require careful consideration.
One thing I've learned is that injuries can be great teachers. There are so many lessons to be learned from the injuries we experience. They force us to slow down and evaluate our bodies on a deeper level. Like many, I'm guilty of sometimes taking my healthy days for granted. When we pick up an injury, we're suddenly motivated to learn everything we can about that specific injury. We're also dedicated to the necessary rehab it will take to overcome the injury and strengthen our weak areas.
As with many injuries, I've learned there are no "quick fixes" for my stubborn Achilles. Over the years, I've also learned there are no "get fit quickly" schemes.