Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ask Coach Kris

**In the run up to Ironman Cozumel, I'm going to be asking my coach some questions, and publishing his answers here. If you have a question, enter it in the comments and we'll see if we can get the great and powerful Coach Kris to lend us his expertise!**

Dear Coach Kris:

When I am training in the heat, I notice that my heart rate gets higher and higher as the day goes on and as the temperature increases. I know sometimes "heart rate creep" happens when people are dehydrated and the heart has to work extra hard to pump thicker fluid. But this Saturday, I know I was super well hydrated because I . . . you see I was constantly needing to . . . well, trust me, I know.

But even when I'm well-hydrated, my heart rate really spikes when it is hot--like at Ironman Cozumel for example. Does my lactate threshold also go to the higher heart rate or does it remain the same? Specifically, assuming that my running threshold is 147, and I'm trying to keep it below threshold, does my threshold go up with the heat and "heart rate creep" or should I still stay below 147, even if my HR is 10 beats higher for the same pace?

Yours truly, Greyhound

Dear Greyhound: An excellent and very perceptive question my Iron Paduan. The answer is you'll have to run slower when it is hotter outside. DUH! (OK that was me writing, not Coach Kris).

Your Lactate Threshold remains constant. Your heart rate is increasing because your body is working harder to cool itself off. In the event you find yourself running in the marathon at Ironman Cozumel and you start to see your HR drift up while your pace remains the same, you should back your pace down to allow your HR to remain in it’s targeted area.

You can acclimate your body to work more efficiently by training in the conditions of your event, this will allow your HR to stay more in line. For you, Greyhound, it will be important that you do the majority of your training in the heat of the Houston daytime temps. This may be uncomfortable and against the vampire norms of H-Town, but it will allow you to adjust your body's response to the heat, and to practice HR control along with proper hydration technique.

Now get back out there and stop whining, Coach Kris

(OK, that last bit was mine, too.) If you have any thoughts or a question for Coach Kris, give us some love in the comment section.


Fe-lady said...

I have missed a couple (just a couple!) of longer workouts (bike/run specifically) due to illness. Should I try to make that up during a rest week, or just continue with the program I have and call it a loss?

Thanks Coach!

Fe-lady said...

Do I get an answer? I was the only one that commented! I guess everyone else KNOWS everything about triathlon training and racing and I know NOTHING! :-0 (But I have been doing it the longest...go figure!)