Every Halloween, hundreds of ultrarunners descend on Phoenix, Arizona, to test their mettle in one of the hottest 100-mile races in the country, The Javelina Jundred. As a qualifying race for Western States, Javelina attracts some of the best runners for a course that involves five laps of rolling singletrack through the desolate Sonoran Desert without any shade. Daytime temperatures often rise above 100 degrees, creating a level of exposure that’s uniquely challenging.
For three years straight, Patrick Reagan, a Hoka One One athlete and run coach, has won the race, proving he’s a master at staying cool. Based in Savannah, Georgia, Raegan spends some 300 days running in hot conditions, which gives him a lot of experience with heat training.
“Yesterday when I ran, the heat index was 115, which takes a lot of responsibility, even if you’re well accustomed to it,” Reagan told Runner’s World. “I was constantly monitoring my perceived exertion and heart rate to make sure I wasn’t not overdoing it.”
While he admits that there isn’t a silver bullet to solve running in the heat, there are some key concepts that are valuable for everyone when it comes to preventing heatstroke and other heat-related illness.
The symptoms of heat stroke include: a temperature of 104ºF or higher, hot dry skin, a racing heartbeat, confusion, agitation, slurred speech, seizures, loss of consciousness. If you suspect you are someone else is suffering from heatstroke, seek medical attention immediately. Here are his top tips for training in the heat.