Nancy Hobbs posted an excellent time on the Nielson Challenge. It is a 2 mile race on a mostly flat (dirt path) course in Monument Valley Park, CO. I hadn't heard of this race, but it has an interesting history that dates back to the 80's: http://pprrun.org/events/Nielson. It is a handicapped race, which favors beginning runners, but ultimately the scores are based upon how much a runner improves on his/her previous time. Gary Funck 1/5/13 7:15 pm
"Running in the heat - good for training"
PERSONAL BEST Gina Kolata on exercise.
Of course you know this summer has been just unbearably hot and humid
in most of the country. Of course you are tired of hearing people
whine about how hard it is to exercise in the heat.
But there may be a bright side for athletes in this misery:
Performance actually may improve as a result of their struggles with
The idea is straightforward. When you exercise on a hot day, the
challenge for your body is to get blood to the skin - to keep body
temperature from getting dangerously high - while at the same time
delivering blood to the muscles.
At first, the body struggles. But after four or five days of exercise
under these conditions, it starts to acclimate to the heat. Blood
volume increases, less oxygen is needed to generate the same amount
of power, the heart becomes more efficient, and muscles become more
forceful and use less glycogen, their preferred fuel.
"Performance is dramatically altered by acclimation," said Dr.
Benjamin D. Levine, director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine in Dallas.
In a way, it is analogous to what happens when people exercise at
high altitudes. The body adapts by making more red blood cells that
increase the amount of oxygen delivered to muscles, improving
performance during training and races at lower altitudes.
So will those of us who have been running or cycling or doing other
strenuous exercise outside in the summer heat and humidity be faster
and stronger than ever on crisp fall days? That's not clear, Dr.
The problem is that to get faster you have to run or ride faster in
your training workouts. And when it is hot - and especially, hot and
humid - your body slows down to prevent dangerously high core
temperatures. The result is that you simply can't run or ride as
fast. That's why the cyclists in his study did their speed workouts
in cool temperatures and used the hot room only to acclimate to
exercise in heat.
But there may still be an advantage, Dr. Minson added. There is a
large psychological component to performance, and those who do hard
workouts outside on hot, humid days have to overcome mental barriers
to push themselves. That sort of toughness can translate into
Gary Funck 8/21/12 10:33 amI used to train at lunchtime bcvk in the day. When it got hot, it took me several weeks to adjust but I never got anywhere in the heat during a race unless I ran off pace for the first 25-30% of the distance. Also I learned to stay away from longer distances. 10k was far enough. Richard Stiller 8/21/12 8:49 pm I agree that running in the heat is great. I know its really hard to get use to but once you climitize to it and are able to get your miles up alittle running a race on a nice cool morning becomes a breaze. I always run around 3:30 pm usualy the hottest part of the day and over the last few weeks it was really tough with tempretures climbing to 100 it paid of last weekend when I ran my first race where tempretures where in the 70's and I managed to get the fastest time of the year and had not really been running alot of miles. Steven Richardson 8/23/12 5:53 am One thing to add to this: I did manage to get my speed workouts in on some of the hottest days I was able to run them just about as fast as before but I had to cut the sets down. instead of doing 8 400 meter sprints I started with two and worked my way up to 4 I had to cut all my workouts in half and build them back up I do think its possible to keep doing your speed workouts in the heat you just have to cut back on the distance and build it back up slowly. Steven Richardson 8/23/12 6:07 am