Tuesday, 27 March 2012

100 minutes in the baking sun

Good afternoon.  I just came back from my heat acclimatisation run.  I set off at noon so that I would get the highest temperatures possible.  Unfortunately it is still only 27C at the moment, but later in the week it should climb over 30C.  The good thing is that there are hardly any clouds in the sky, so at least the sun cannot hide from me.

I was concerned that the temperature was a little low for my training so I put on an extra Tshirt underneath my Railriders top. That must have added a few degrees or more, and I came back with a drenched Tshirt much to my liking.

The first hour I headed off into the dunes.  The pace was comfortable but I also wanted to try to achieve a higher average speed than I did the previous days in the dunes.  In the end I managed 6.78km in an hour so 6.78km/h.  I am definitely starting to get more used to running in the sand and also at picking a better route through the dunes.

At the end of the hour I was back at the hotel and I quickly went to my room to change my shoes.  I didn't want to risk tearing my gaiters on the sharp stones of the hemada before I even start the MDS, so I used my spare running shoes.  Once they were on I headed straight back out to do some running on the rocky hemada that surrounds Merzouga and the dunes.  I found running on the hemada much easier than on the dunes, although you still need to pay careful attention where you are stepping so that you don't twist an ankle.  Some of the rocks were fist sized and it was impossible to avoid rolling your ankles slightly, but my ankes seemed not to object.  In my training back home in Zurich I  managed quite a few off road runs on dirt, gravel and snow, and that probably strengthened my ankles somewhat.

I ran for 40 minutes on the hemada and covered 6.49km, so in total I ran for 100 minutes and covered a total distance on sand and hemada of 13.27km.  The good news is that I have now been back at the hotel for over half an hour and there still seems to be no hint of a post exercise headache like the last 2 days.  Is my body finally starting to get used to the heat or was it because I added electrolytes to my water and consumed a power gel during my run?  Who knows, but if I can follow this same routine and avoid the headaches I most definitely will.

Now I can relax for a few hours and then later I will head to the neighbouring hotel for a sauna, to bump up my heat acclimatisation.  It is not as though I have much else to do out here.  Enjoy your day folks.

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