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Human Potential in the Age of Exponential Tech

Running…Hate the heat (Week 2)

Despite starting out on a promising note, today’s run was a bit of a flop. The culprit: the sweltering, humid, unrelenting heat that has been suffocating Geneva for the last few weeks. Thankfully, we’re expecting some rain this weekend to cool things down a little bit. I usually try to run in the morning, it helps me start the day off on the right foot and gives me some time to think about what I want to accomplish. I had a bunch of meetings today so I couldn’t get out before 1pm. In hindsight, this was really stupid.

Anyway, I started jogging and within three minutes of running in what felt like a sauna, I was NOT feeling good. I started feeling nauseous and overheated. I decided it would be better to slow down to a steady yet purposeful pace. I also got a really stupid sunburn. Despite being discouraged at not hitting my 14 minutes, I’m feeling pretty confident that tomorrow I’ll be able make it up tomorrow.

I keep getting these meetup emails telling me about all these social running events happening in Paris (where I’m moving in August) but so far I’m not comfortable enough with my pace to show up without risking massive embarrassment. It does make motivate me, although sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to be fast enough.

Also, I’m looking for interesting listening to keep me occupied while I’m running. Music just isn’t enough to keep me engaged and I’m not a good enough runner to trust my body on autopilot just yet. Any suggestions? I was thinking of listening to some Ted Talks – being able to generate some new Foushy material while getting in shape sounds pretty good.

Goal: 15 minutes.

Comments: 1

  • Jodie Lightfoot

    July 28, 2010

    Hey Rahaf,

    I love the run-and-think idea! Running is a great time to get the creative juices flowing & I bet you’ll find some great Foushy material on your runs.

    When I prepare for races, I try to select music with a really steady beat & something that really inspires me. I include Madonna’s ‘Give it To Me’ about 4 times in the last 5km of my half-marathons – she really makes me keep going when I’d rather just sit down & eat an ice cream cone.

    I’ve found that if I’m concentrating (On my runs home from work in Toronto, I used to study French or anatomy&physio, or called my family to catch up with them) I run slower that if I’m just listening to a steady beat. But when you’re running just for fitness or fun, it’s totally okay to run slower so you can tap into your creative energy by listening to Ted Talks!

    This website ( has a funny way of classifying music by beats per minute (BPM) to match your heart rate. I wonder what your heart rate (HR) average is over the 15min run? A good, steady run for someone our age is usually a HRA of 140 – 160bpm. Can you borrow a Polar or Garmin HR montor/watch on one of your runs to see?

    I’ve also got a few thoughts on tackling that 15min hurdle – maybe you will find one or two useful?

    – 30 to 10min before you head out on your run, grab a light carb w/sugar snack (energy bar, piece of fruit, or piece of bread + almond butter & jam, etc.) so you’ve got the energy to sustain a steady 5:40/min pace.

    – Your 5min warm-ups are a great idea! You can end that way too, if you’re just a few min shy of the 15min mark.

    – When I led 10week ‘Learn-to-Run’ clinics with the Running Room, I built up the run/walks gradually. For the first week, we’d jog 1min, walk 2min for a total of 20min; the second week, it was a light run for 1min, followed by a 1min walk. This continued all the way up to week 10 where we ran for 10min walked for 1min twice.

    This pace – run 10min, walk 1min & repeat – is great for all sorts of distances: the half-marathon and marathons all have ‘pace bunnies’ (runners decked-out with bunny ears affixed to their caps, carrying a sign indicating their finishing time) who keep to the 10:1s pace.

    In order to make sure you’ve got the energy to surpass that 15min mark, you can build walk breaks into the run: from where you are, I’d recommend starting at the ‘run 5min, walk 1min’ stage. The walk is different from waiting at the stop lights – if you don’t have a watch, use the distance of city blocks – run 5 city blocks, followed by 1 block of a brisk walk.

    Hope this helps you sustain your momentum! I look forward to when we can go for a run sometime!


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