The summer's here and nobody is being spared from the sun's fury! The weather presents a different kind of challenge to a runner and if the necessary precautions are not taken then the outcome can be fatal. I have a story to share with you of how I once picked a fight with the sun...It didn't end well; zuba inani menya kuipa!
This is my story:
I woke up one day feeling very strong and fit but I was late for an early morning run and house chores were waiting on me. I made my bed, cleaned up my room and made breakfast. I gobbled the 5 star breakfast I had made and proceeded to wash the dishes. I had clearly overeaten so I took a nap. Shortly after that, I was back to feeling invincible. I decided to make use of this energy so I geared up, strapped on a heart rate monitor to my chest, drank a cup of coffee as a pre-workout and took off for a mid-morning run outside with the blazing hot weather. I was still naive and ignorant back then on matters concerning running in the heat so when the run felt hard I decided to run harder. It was a daft attempt at proving to myself that ndine wo kosa. After 3 kilometers my bravado was failing me and I knew that something was very wrong. I felt like collapsing. I halted my run and belatedly decided to check my heart rate data for any correlation between what I was feeling and the heart rate readings. Hmm. It was over 200 beats per minute! How could this be? I was running at a comfortable pace...okay maybe I slightly pushed it but something was not right and such high heart rate readings were very scary. I interpreted various outcomes from heat stroke to a heart attack. I halted my run, sought shelter under a nearby tree and when I felt better proceeded to purchase water from the nearest kantemba. I drank some and bathed in the rest of it. I walked back home defeated but learnt a very important lesson which I will share with you - 'don't pick a fight with the sun, you will lose.' The combination of caffeine and running in the sun nearly killed me. I don't want other runners to make the same mistake I did. Knowledge is progress. Run smart.
Here are my top tips for running in the heat:
Pick your battles and live to run another day.