Saturday, July 3, 2010

move North to run fast?

Over the last two days, we have had a bit of a cool down here in Virginia. When I headed out for my runs, the thermometer read 59 degrees on BOTH DAYS! And there is almost no humidity. In fact, there is a slight chill in the air. It's lovely.

More importantly though, these runs have proven to me how much temperature affects your performance. My heart rate on my Friday eight miler was 142. And I averaged 144 on this morning's 10 miler. Obviously, a pretty easy effort. But, runs of a similar distance and pace over the last few weeks (in much higher temperatures) have yielded a significantly higher average heart rate, usually between 157-162.

I noted this trend after my run and mentioned it to J. The conversation went a little something like this ...

Me: "The temperature really does make a huge difference. It's crazy how much lower my heart rate was."

J: "See? Maybe we should move back North where it's colder. Just think about how much faster your times would be."

And for a second, I actually considered it. Only something a runner would do ...

16 comments:

MCM Mama said...

Last summer when we went to Maine, my speed per mile jumped by a full minute at the same level of effort. I am definitely a cool weather girl and most of my PRs were set in the spring or fall.

I'd absolutely move north to run faster, but then we all know I'd move north for just about any reason. ;o)

Tami said...

the grass isn't always greener, moving North (where I live in NH) would mean running in January when it's 10* outside, with the snow and the ice.

Marlene said...

Moving north for the summer wouldn't be a bad idea!

Cynthia O'H said...

On the same note, though, we northeners find that running in the heat better preps us for race day, when starting temperatures are cooler.
Last summer, I raced in the south when it was hot, hot, hot and I didn't find it made any difference in my time. When it comes to giving it your max, when you want to, you can.
And, as already said, when you're north, you also have to deal with the freezing cold and ice - and you can't always wear a skirt!

Alma F. said...

Look forward to meeting you in Sept, here up north!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

The cooler weather does make a big difference! I am praying the next weekend we will have a big chill...last ultra there was snow!

...and moving North, I know a really nice town about 3+ hours North! heehee

Jen said...

I was thinking the same thing... this mornings run was "chilly"! And it is JULY!

Julie said...

I totally would consider it! :) Now that I have been spoiled running in the pac nw, I can't imagine what you guys go through.

ajh said...

I have to say I seem to run no matter how cold out it is and I ran in pretty brutal temps last winter but heat and humidity do me in. I am living right where I should be. (And I love it for multiple reasons!)

Katye said...

move up north! as in Baltimore...

trifitmom said...

makes perfect sense to me

Her Name is Rio said...

Moving for your running makes perfect sense to me! :)

Jamoosh said...

I prefer toiling in the summer heat of Houston; then when cooler temperatures begin to prevail, I am suddenly much faster. Plus you never know what a fall day will bring tmeperature wise, so I like to have a body that's already acclimated to heat.

Anne said...

Actually, in "my" north I'm still slow :)

runningwithsass.com said...

amen! living in the 100 degree heat and 100% humidity of Mississippi, my summer runs are sow and short. I can't seem to get above 6 miles. my pace is about 2 minutes slower than in the winter. it sucks!

the dawn said...

This year you'd have to move pretty far north to get those temps these days...Here in Michigan today's high is 90, full humidity. Can't remember when I saw temps in the 50's. I must admit, I'm jealous!