6 tips for running in AJC Peachtree’s famously hot and humid weather

While we don’t know the exact weather conditions that AJC Peachtree Road Race runners will encounter on race day, there are two things you can expect. It’s heat and humidity.

Dr. Jonathan Kim, the race’s comedic medical director, said running in high spirits is standard at the city’s annual Independence Day race. He wants the estimated 50,000 runners attending to have fun, but please be safe.

“This is truly a crown jewel of the city of Atlanta. “So I hope everyone has a good time. Run a great race. But we want people to be smart and listen to their bodies.” ”

Kim Wells and Bob Wells, Atlanta Track Club running coaches, share tips for enjoying the race and minimizing the chance of injury.

Stay well hydrated before the race and on race day. A few days before the race, keep a bottle of water nearby and drink it throughout the day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are diuretics. Drink water before you get thirsty during the race. Kim recommends taking a few sips of water about every 10 minutes or every mile during the race. The 6.2-mile race course has five water stations for runners, with plenty of water bottles at the end. Wells also recommends drinking electrolyte-containing beverages before and during the race. Kim said electrolyte drinks like Gatorade aren’t harmful, but he doesn’t believe these drinks offer much, if any, advantage over plain water.

Kim said it’s important to avoid electrolyte drinks that contain caffeine.

Wells said some participants, especially those well over an hour on the course, may need a quick energy boost along the way. It could be energy drinks, energy gels, or even your favorite candy like Swedish fish chewy candy, he said.

Take it easy the night before the race. calm down. Please stay in the air conditioner. Kick your feet up on the sofa. go to bed early “Be the epitome of laziness,” said Wells.

Do not eat or wear new things. There are many sport-specific foods and drinks for athletes, but don’t try anything new you haven’t trained on race day. You might end up hurting your stomach while running.

Light colored, lightweight running clothing is best for hot and humid weather. If you wear a hat, choose one that is light and breathable to keep your head cool.

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Keep an eye on your prizes. It’s a T-shirt, not a personal best. Kim said it was a difficult environment for anyone to run as fast as possible. For most runners, this isn’t a race for the fastest time. Peachtree participants include a wide range of ages, abilities and readiness levels. Some athletes are well trained and used to running in hot conditions, Kim said. For others this may be their only race of the year.

The temperature rises on the course between 6:25 am, when the wheelchair racers start, and 8:30 am, when the last runners get off. One approach when it’s hot is to plan to slow your pace down by 30-90 seconds per rep. miles.

“Everyone’s situation is different, but my overall advice is that as the morning progresses, you’ll want to run slower if the weather gets particularly hot and humid,” says Kim. Told.

Even well-trained athletes can push themselves too hard, but runners who don’t get enough training and hit the ground running “are probably the ones who get in trouble,” Kim said.

Know when to stop. You may sweat profusely, feel sluggish, or be extremely tired. Running in sweltering heat can, and will continue to, push your body harder.

However, if you feel any signs of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, nausea, headache, fatigue, or shortness of breath, you should stop running and take steps to cool down. Heat exhaustion is a symptom that occurs when the body overheats. If left untreated, heat exhaustion can develop into heat stroke, a serious, life-threatening condition. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may begin suddenly or develop over time, especially during prolonged exercise.

“Stop, rest, drink water, and gauge your mood. It’s probably time to stop because keeping your head cool is the number one priority,” Kim said.

If symptoms worsen, if you start vomiting, or if symptoms persist for more than an hour, seek heat stroke treatment immediately. In the event of heat stroke or other medical emergencies during the race, please ask volunteers to assist you to the nearest medical tent.

Credit: Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Focus on the positive aspects. “Celebrate yourself,” Wells told the 496 athletes who helped prepare for the Peachtree Race as part of an 11-week training program.

“You guys are giving yourself a wonderful gift of health and fitness,” he told them.

Some may race what they want, be it among the top 1,000 runners, set a new 10km personal record, or simply finish strong and confident. Others, he says, would not have had the best day.

But in his mind, participants of all ability levels have already won.

“Their effort is every bit as admirable as the athlete who ran in 37 minutes,” he said. “I don’t care if you are first or last.”

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