Yesterday evening as the sun was low I ran on Cable Beach just a stones throw away from where we are staying here in the tropics of Broome N.Western Australia. I ran for 45min covering 7.2km with an average H.R. of 157bpm.
When I headed out in the airconditioning of our room my HR was between 68-71 but as soon as I stepped out up to 127 it jumped within in minutes as I walked through the grounds of the resort to start my run at the roadway adjacent to reception. At the time of my run, 5.00pm the temperature was 34deg C with about 70% humidity. It's a very short run maybe 500 metres to the beach where 33km of white sand spreads before you in the shape of an "r" with the resort being where the curved part of the "r" meets the straight section below it.
By the time I was running on the beach my HR was 134 which I was happy with given the conditions. I adjusted my Garmin so that it only displayed my HR and I ran as if I should be in zone 2 but my HR continued to rise. After about 15 minutes it was 162 bpm so I stopped had a drink of the water and watched my HR. Pleasingly in no time my HR was back down to 132,so I started running again. In a instant it started to rise when it had reached 150bpm very quickly, I thought ok Robert lets see what I can do about this.
So I concentrated on not speeding up, on perfect form (which I'm sure I failed at), knee drive, run under your hips, forfoot strike, relax your upper body, swing your arms in a straight plain, concentrate ........ CONCENTRATE! Then blow me down, my HR started to fall, not by much, but it wasn't back at 162 it hovered around 152-154 Ok, systems check, foot strike, feet are ok, legs, yes legs are ok, breathing, yes seems ok not laboured, HR, shit, it's close to 160 again at 159 & yep I dripping with sweat. So I again stopped drinking some water, took my hat off as a, it was soaking and not absorbing anything and b, the breeze had an instant cooling effect.
Again before long, surprisingly, my HR had returned to the low 130's so I started running again as if I was completing a slow zone 2 run concentrating of strict form trying to illuminate any excess movement. However there was no getting around it, even on the beach, though a little cooler the humidity was still very high, my HR again started to steadily climb. Not as quickly mind you but I could manage, by strict form and slowing down, delay it's inevitable return to the 160's.
Running towards me was the lopping figure of a man who looked in some distress, running without water. As it was low tide and the beach was 4 or 500M wide we were a couple of 100M apart width wise so I deviated from the waters edge running to him asking if he was ok and offering him a drink. He said he was alright but he looked terrible and I told him to be careful as dehydration sets in quickly. He ran on in the direction that I had just come from and I hope he was alright.
As we ran in the opposite direction I checked my Garmin and it read 163 bpm but I felt good, systems check again, yet all seems ok so I kept running the 1.5 - 2km back to the resort with my HR hovering between 160 and 165 bpm.
As soon as I stopped sweat poured from every pore in my body and as I walked the walkways shaded by gigantic Frangipani back to our room I was dripping sweat onto the wooden walkways, evidence of just how quickly you do dehydrate in the tropics. On my return to the room I downed a Poweraid and about a litre of water before having a cool shower. Upon emerging I found myself still sweating a bit which took a little bit to stop. Taking a book and water I went out onto the balcony and in the last throws of the sunset I read and finished the water feeling very happy with what I had learned about form and my bodies reactions to the heat and humidity of this beautiful place.
I look forward to my next run and my battle with Heart Rate.