Knowing when to QUIT

Click here for Coach Amy's Tips on Running in the Heat.
 Sometimes it's hard to listen to your body. Type A runners are some of the worst at doing so - even the experienced ones who know better, even coaches.

Yesterday I planned to run my last 20 mile training before the Grandma's marathon. Despite our early start, we were subjected to warm temperatures and high humidity. By mile eight I began to slow down my pace as was appropriate for the conditions. At the ten mile aid station, I was nauseous and had goose bumps. I knew that this was the beginning stages of heat illness, but still I struggled with the making the right choice to quit. The mental ramifications of quitting a training run can haunt you on race day. You know that voice inside your head saying, "But you didn't do all your 20's. Remember that day you quit? You can't finish this marathon...?"

Physical risks can and often do far outweigh the mental ones. Fortunately my buddies asked me, "Coach, what would you tell one of us if we had those symptoms?" After a mental war, I squashed down my inner voice and listened to my body: I quit! I spent the rest of the day disappointed, sick and recovering from dehydration and heat illness but today, I was able to bounce back and run a strong ten mile run. I lived to run another day. 

How you respond to heat may or may not be the same as your running partner. Why is it that one seemingly fit runner next to you in a race under the same weather conditions with the same aid stations is suffering from heat stroke: pasty white, seizing and not sweating while you just feel overly hot? There are many factors that effect how you respond to heat and some of them include hydration level, medications, and acclimatization.  Click here for Coach Amy's Tips on Running in the Heat.