running in the sun

10 messages
21/06/2013 at 06:46

Hi all,

Long time lurker, finally getting involved in posting.

I have commited myself to running the Manchester marathon in April next year. This will be my first marathon and I'm both excited and daunted by the training before me. I've run and cycled semi-consistantly over the last few years; usually going for a few months of solid training only to go for a few months where I lose consistency. I've also run a couple of half marathons. My PB is 1.46, which is obviously not world record pace, but I'm certainly satisfied with it as it came off the back of one of my very inconsistent phases. To get to the point, I'm determined that I will train properly for the marathon and would love to be able to extend my half marathon pace to the full marathon and get a time around 3.30. Which I recognise might be slightly ambitious for my first marathon and I will be more than satisfied with sub 4 hours. Now here come the rub. For at least the next few months I will be working in south China, where it is at least 30oC every day. I have been following Hal Higdon's spring training schedule for the last 4 days and it's been ok; slow but ok. I intend to complete this and then move on to his Marthon PB schedule:

I suppose what I'm asking is, does anyone have experience of, and tips for, running in high temperatures. I will of course be trying to keep my running to the coolest parts of the day and drink plenty of water. Thanks in advance. 


21/06/2013 at 07:15

Not been running long, but all of it has been in Hong Kong

I either run before 6:30am or after 8:00pm - anytime between these hours is just too hot for me.

I use a HRM and on hot days, my HR can be around 10 BPM higher simply because my heart is working harder to cool my body down, so I just drop the intensity a little to compensate.

Instead of using a camelback or similar, I tend to run with a bottle belt - this way I have some to chuck over me or down my back.

Although the temperature in South China is always fairly constant, there are a lot of rainy days which can provide some relief to running in the heat and humidity.  I also try to pick routes where at least part of the road is in shade.

Oh, and lots of vaseline and mosquito repellant!

21/06/2013 at 08:36


My HM PB is 4 minutes faster than yours and after 2 marathons I am still trying to go sub 4.  My training runs suggested I was capable of 3.40 but that has yet to materialise.  For your first marathon I would suggest the only target you set yourself is to finish and of course enjoy it.  Obviously running in the heat is more difficult and if I can avoid the hottest part of the day I will do.  I use a hydration belt rather than carrying a water bottle.  If you are running your long runs in that heat you really need to drop the pace to about 9.30 - 10 MM.

Good Luck

21/06/2013 at 09:27

Thanks for the responses.

QAAS: I'm just over the water in Shenzhen. It's good to know that you've been able to stick with training in the heat. I've tried getting up to run at that sort of time and I think it might be the way forward. I've also contemplated doing what I've seen a few people do, which is run around and around a shaded area, but I think the montony of this might eventually perturb me. Have you been able to get involved with any running groups etc in HK? 

Daz: I suspect you might well be right with regards to time goals. I've not come to running anything long yet in China; the furthest being a sluggish 6 miles a couple of weeks ago. I'll certainly take your advice on board when I start to extend things a little. Oh, and good luck yourself in breaking 4 hours.   

21/06/2013 at 18:03

Sun block and water in large amounts.

21/06/2013 at 22:01

Just to give an opposite view from Daz, I ran my first marathon in 3:46 off a 1.45 half.  So it can be done.  I just used the Runners World sub-3:45 plan.  

22/06/2013 at 04:27

Daniel,  there are plenty of running clubs over this side with a large expat contingent, but I am waiting till my pace is slightly higher than a glacier before thinking about joining any!  Running and triathlons seem to be very poular here and there are no shortage of races from around October through till May when things get a little cooler.  My own target is to run either the Standard Chartered or China Coast marathon early next year without the assitance of a defibrialator.

There are a lot of 'sitting out areas' in the cities that have running tracks, but I try to avoid using them as most people using them seem to have an iPhone glued to their face.

Good luck with your training - with a cylone moving this way, you might at least get a few cooler days this week.

23/06/2013 at 17:20

McFlooze - I am going to follow the same plan!  Good running.  Hopefully I can do the same!


12/11/2013 at 08:54

damn, i'm moving to guangzhou in the not too distant future...have a full winter of training before receiving the HEAT...

12/11/2013 at 09:29

Hi, I was working in Qatar this summer which can get very humid as well as extremely hot. Actually stopping for a few minutes in a shady area once or twice to drink rather than just taking on water on the run can help. Accepting that you will have to run quite a bit slower than in the UK is also a good idea. Perhaps do any speedwork in your plan on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym. Good luck!

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