So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

When The Furnace Is Hot

I haven't always been anti-morning workout. When there hasn't been a rush to get in to work the run has (usually) gone well and I've loved life. I can swim in the morning and be presentable, but I'm not one of those folks who can run from 6am to 7am, hit the shower, jump in the car and be at work by 8am. Not in a state which endears me to my fellow workers.

My friends and my coaches marvel at my "fairly-efficient cooling system." But until they tried working out in the morning, past supervisors and co-workers failed to understand or appreciate such an "efficiency." They consider a "sweating like a farmhand" appearance in the most extremely air-conditioned office environments a failure in personal hygeine. I looked the same thirty minutes after a run, after a spinning class, and - unfortunately - after a shower.

It wasn't always like this for me. In southern New Mexico humidity is a meteorological aberration. Whatever sweat hits the air is almost immediately evaporated. I didn't know what water vapor was until I went to boot camp in Texas; why was it I couldn't seem to get DRY after taking a shower? But the humidity of the Gulf Coast makes any other environment in which I've run seem rather arid. Miscalculate the amount of time necessary for a complete cool-down and it's likely you'll be in a drippy state in the office, especially if you have a heavy sweat rate.

Rather than deal with the symptoms, let's take a look at what I feel is the cause.

Exercise (Post) Oxygen Consumption, (EPOC) is one of the terms used to describe the number of calories burned in the period following a bout of exercise. The specifics of the duration and amount of calories burned are one matter - a 20-minute run at 80-percent of maximal effort may continue to burn calories for a period lasting from 30 to 105 minutes.

So, that means the furnace is still hot - heat is being moved away from the heart, brain, liver, and other vital organs - during that period of time.

There remains that other matter of "really" cooling off, isn't there?

Most coaches use the term "cool down," when they probably really mean "warm-down." It's much like when we turn off the ignition on our automobiles; the engine ceases running, but the cooling fan continues to operate. That's a period of time we probably wouldn't want to sit on the hood in a pair of running least not until the temperature drops a little more.

So today, rather than immediately crawl into the air-conditioned comfort of my home and ditch my soggy togs, I decided to take a 15-minute stroll with my dog, then relax indoors for another 15 minutes before hitting the shower.

Eureka! Relative dryness on the way to work, and while in the office. after taking care of my personal hygeine matters. Time between workout and work can not only make us feel better but look better during the remainder of the day.

So, what tricks or tips would you recommend for the time-pressed runner?

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