Tips for running in in the heat of the Havana Marathon?
Running in a Caribbean marathon requires prior training in order to help acclimate to running in warmer temperatures. InsightCuba past Marathon Ambassador, Coach Jenny, advises running indoors 4-5 weeks prior to the race weekend.
Run by effort, rather than pace. The heat will double the demands on your body when running and a wise strategy for race day is to run by your body rather than a pace as it will be based on how your body is responding to the heat in the given moment. The first hour of the Marabana Havana Marathon is the flattest and the coolest, so it is wise to run efficiently and then plan to adjust as the hills and the heat begin to affect your performance.
Work with the heat. Run by your effort level rather than your typical pace until you acclimate. If you are new to running, add power walk breaks every 4 to 8 minutes to cool yourself during your runs. It is all about managing your body core temperature and not allowing it to rise too much, risking overheating and really slowing down. Like a car, if the temperature rises too high you will overheat.
Accessorize. Wear light colored, loose fitting running gear. Technical apparel will allow moisture to pass through to be evaporated, keeping you cooler. Wear sunglasses that filter UVA and UVB rays, waterproof sunscreen, and a hat or visor to protect your skin and eyes from the sun.
Hydrate during your workouts and on race day. For workouts shorter than 45 minutes, water works just fine. For longer runs, research suggests consuming about a cup of sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes to fuel your muscles and aid in maintaining electrolyte levels. It is recommended to bring your own sports drink and hydration system like a fuel belt.