Fully Clothed Showers, Frozen Hands and Other Pro Tips for Hot-Weather Workouts
Expert advice from the people who live and train in the tropics.
Hello, beloved users of Gmaps Pedometer.
We have to admit something to you. Not everyone on our team suffered through winter. In fact, one of us spent the months of November through February perfecting the art of floating around on a pool raft.
I confess: That’s me, and I live in Bangkok.
All that floating and daydreaming ate away at my workout mojo, though. Now that it’s insanely hot and humid here, it’s even harder to make myself run outdoors. So I did what anyone would do: Signed up for a race.
My husband and I managed to complete this 3K in about 21 minutes and were delighted we didn’t collapse. The temperature at the 6 a.m. starting time was 81 degrees, and the humidity was 65 percent.
By the end, I was as sopping as if I’d gone for a dip in the nearby Mae Klong River. Which I wouldn’t because they have stingrays the size of submarines.
We were two of the only Westerners there, but even the locals were suffering from the heat, especially the brave souls who ran the 12.8K. So that got me wondering: How do the die-hards who run here make it?
I turned to the Facebook page of Bangkok Runners, a group of craaazy and awesome people who run here all the time. Someone asked this very question recently, and they had a ton of great responses.
Here’s some of their tips for training in the Land of Smiles.
- Avoid the midday heat. Train at dawn or dusk.
- Hydrate from the moment you wake up.
- Jump into the shower fully clothed before you head out.
- Carry a frozen bottle of water. Keeping your hands cool helps.
- Take breaks every 2 km or so. Grab drinks at convenience stores. Nip into park bathrooms and splash water on your head.
- Bring a hydration pack for longer sessions.
- Avoid rice and fried food. Eat fruit and drink coconut water.
- Get used to the heat. Train in it as much as you can stand. Keep your air conditioning low.
Maybe most importantly:
Forget about your time until you adjust.
Some gear we can’t live without
We here at Gmaps Pedometer are just like all of you. We have lives.
First of all, we run this website. Second of all, we do everything else: Work at our day jobs, raise children, shop for groceries and celebrate anniversaries. So, like you, we’ve had to get pretty creative over the years about ways to squeeze in our training.
This has led to some strange scheduling, with workouts happening after children are asleep or in the nasty predawn hours before a commute. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right? Body isn’t gonna train itself. We know you’ve all been there, staring down a marathon date or competing with an office buddy over who can lose the most weight.
So we’ve decided to share with you some of our favorite items of gear. The stuff that’s there for us when we blearily reach for it on a 22-degree morning. The stuff that keeps us warm and safe.
The stuff that gets the job done.
LL Bean Fleece
One of our favorite basic cool-weather layers. Our site mastermind Paul wears it when the weather is in the 40s up to about 55.
This family and Bean go way back, ever since one of our clan decided to go to college in Maine, and we are no less delighted with its flagship store than we were when we first visited back in the early ‘90s.
Now, we’re lucky enough to be able to swing through Freeport at least once a year for a marathon (ha!) shopping session on our way to our annual family retreat on Mount Desert Island.
LightSpur LED heel clip
Gmaps wants you to shine bright like a diamond, especially so that you don’t get hit by a car.
The handy little LightSpur clips to your heel so that your moving foot is visible. Up. Down. Up. Down. Drivers may be so mesmerized by it that they accidentally go off the road and into a ditch. Well, we hope not, but we really want them to see us. Which is why we also wear this …
Ultimate Survival Technologies Headlamp
A powerful little lamp and essential for those 5 a.m. workouts (see above; real people training before commutes etc.).
Expert runner’s hack: Wear this on your wrist!
It has a little clip that pivots to attach to the band, so instead of wearing it on your head (super annoying), clip it to your …
Lets emergency responders know who you are. One of those great inventions that makes you wonder why no one thought of it sooner. A terrific way to soothe anxious spouses who may not be tickled about your planned solo century or 10K run down a remote road. There’s wrist models, shoe models, dog-tag models.
If you haven’t already been sucked in by the tales of horror on the RoadID website, proceed over there immediately and scan the story at the top of the page. You’ll be clicking “buy” before you know it.
Don’t leave home without one!
Some places where you DON’T need to spend a lot of money:
Headphones. We’ve tried a lot of different types, but in the end, it comes down to just a pair with a clip that goes over the ear.
Armbands. At this point, we’ll take any old band that will fit our increasingly huge phones.
What’s your favorite gear? Tell us below!Read more
Tread carefully: Seven ways to stay safe with kids and exercise equipment
Warning: This guy is a professional dancer and choreographer so DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME!
We know many of you Gmappers are from northern climes (thanks, Google Analytics!), and because you are fitness-minded health nerds like us, you often use a treadmill or other equipment when it’s cold and crummy outside. To keep your kids safe around these things, we want to pass on a few tips we recently learned the hard way here at Gmaps World Headquarters.
Don’t worry, everyone’s OK now, but there was an unfortunate incident a couple of months ago in which our energetic little boy snuck into the garage and decided to see how fast he could go on the treadmill. One tumble later and he had a pretty big piece of skin scraped off his neck.
During our trip to the doctor, we were surprised to learn that many children are hurt when they try to play on exercise equipment. So now, we take precautions and make sure the kids know that the treadmill is not a toy.
Here’s some other things you can do.
- Put a mirror in front of your equipment so that you can see whether one of your children is coming up behind you while you’re exercising. Turns out many injuries happen when children are attracted by the movement of the machine, try to touch it and their fingers or hands get caught.
- Unplug machines when you’re not using them.
- Remove the safety key and hide it from your kids.
- Buy a cover and put it over the equipment so kids aren’t tempted to play on it.
- Lock the door to your exercise room or use a childproof gate.
- Keep the cords on safety keys looped out of the way. Do the same with blind cords that are near the equipment so kids aren’t tempted to climb on the equipment and grab them.
- If you’re in the market for a machine, look for one with safety features, such as locks on elliptical steps that must be removed before you can use the machine.
We love our fitness equipment, but it pays to be cautious! No more neck scrapings!Read more
Sugar, spring and spirituality
I always dread, and welcome, Lent.
The period that leads up to Easter marks the end to what I call the eating season.
That season starts around Halloween, with a harmless little snack pack of M&Ms swiped from the kids’ candy bowl.
It continues on a long, downward descent to Valentine’s Day, a funhouse slide that twists and turns through piles of turkeys, pies and cocktails. (more…)Read more
Things we’d wish we knew when we first started training
That toenail will fall off.
It will grow back.
Putting Vaseline on your nipples is nothing to be ashamed of.
It’s OK if the guy doing the race in a costume beats you.
But you should try your very best to beat that guy on crutches. (more…)Read more