Yesterday was pretty low key for us. Just the church thing, the relax thing on the couch and the go to bed at 9 thing (oh wait, that is every night). So instead of talking about yesterday let’s talk about running when the sun is beating down on you. Be prepared for more words than I have ever written in my life.
As I was thinking about how I was complaining about my Saturday morning run being too hot I had to laugh at myself. It is summer. Of course it is going to be hot. It isn’t the sun’s fault, it is my fault for NOT adjusting my routine and mindset to ensure a better run (i.e. I didn’t take any water with me, I went too late in the morning, didn’t hydrate properly before I ran and in my mind I thought I should be able to run the same pace in the heat as I do when it is cooler outside).
Here are some things that we kind of really need to do if we want to have any hope at a good summer of running and training.
(A random picture from when Brooke was still in my stomach and I went running with my sister on a really hot day and my pace slowed down to a crawl but it was awesome because I was running and I was with my sissy. Have I mentioned yet that I miss her so much it hurts?)
1. Starting things off with some of the most important things we can do! (click on text for link)
Adjust slowly. Just like you increase your weekly mileage slowly allow your body to adjust to the weather slowly.
2. Shell out the bucks for some summer running clothes. Or just buy one outfit and rewash it all of the time but having the right gear for running in different conditions is so important. Think loose fitting, wicking fabric, light colored and light weight. Awesome article HERE with tons of different recommendations for hot weather running gear.
3. Run E.A.R.L.Y!!! Obviously it is cooler in the morning and evening so get out the door even though you would rather be laying in your comfy bed…when you get home and notice it is getting hotter you will be so glad you went when you did (although in some areas the humidity may be higher the earlier you go). If you are training for a race that is going to be hot then maybe do a few of your runs early but also some of them when it is hot to help your body adjust.
4. S.U.N.S.C.R.E.E.N. Besides just protecting you from skin cancer ‘sunscreen can decrease your skin and body temperatures, so you’ll stay cooler during exercise.’ (source)
5. Drink, drink, drink. Hydration MUST happen all of the time, all day long…not just when you are working out. During your workout drink water and even try pouring some of it on you! If your workout is less than 45 minutes you should be fine with just water but anything longer than that you may want to grab a sports drink when it is really hot out to help keep your electrolyte levels up and to give some fuel to your muscles. Awesome article about WHEN and WHAT to drink during the summer for your running!
6. Plan your routes according to drinking fountains (or bring your own water bottle).
7. The treadmill will be your best friend even when you don’t like her back. Sometimes it really is too hot to safely run outside so use that treadmill. I have a post HERE with tips on how to fight boredom on the treadmill. You may really want to try out your speed work on the treadmill when it is hot out.
8. Try to run by water. It is usually cooler near rivers, lakes and the ocean so try to run along those places….added bonus: the scenery.
9. LISTEN to your body! If you start feeling dizzy or light-headed then stop and find shade and water. You can finish your workout another day when the conditions are safer for you!
10. Remember. Running is hard and running in the heat is even harder but that is what makes us runners so cool…..we are hardcore:)
Tips from YOU!!!
Hollie– ‘For running in the summer, my primary goal is to make it through injury free. You cannot hope to go the same pace as in the spring and fall. I actually read somewhere that the most optimal temperatures for female distance runners is around 50-60 degrees so anything above that (combined with humidity) is going to be slower. I think that your workouts should be based on effort and not pace. For me, when I hold 6:30s in the cooler weather, I fully expect to hold around 7:00 in the summer and I am fine with that. So my biggest advice is to relax and don’t worry too much about pace. The more worry free and injury free runs you have the better.
Britt– ‘It’s just running and some days are just off. You just get through it, move on, and learn from it just like everything else in life. Remember that elites have off days too. That’s what keeps them, and us regular people, grounded.’
Kellye- ‘A tip for running in the heat is to run near a place with sprinklers!’
Anissa– ‘Since I just moved to Arizona 4 days ago and they are having record breaking heat, I am on the treadmill. When I lived in Texas I would wake up super early and I would soak my top in cold water before heading out for my run. Sounds a little excessive but I think it helped!’
Kristina– ‘My biggest tip is to just make a commitment to doing it. Back in April when it wasn’t that bad yet I made a deal with myself that if I did all of my runs outdoors I could buy myself a new Garmin. By doing all of my runs outdoors I got acclimated to running gin the heat/humidity and because I’ve continued doing all of my runs outdoors since then, I was able to transition into south Florida’s 90 degree/100% humidity easily.
Heather– ‘My tip for summer running is just to have fun. It is really hard to train in the summer because of the weather, so do what you have to. If you need to stop to walk, it won’t be the end!’
Michelle– ‘The trails are awesome to run on because there are trails with lots of shade and it feels so great!
Mark just posted about this and said ‘running is food for the soul, so you got to eat, right?
Amy– ‘Give yourself a break. It takes your body a while to get used to the heat and even then you need more hydration and you might go slower.
Lynz- ‘I run in the evening about 7:30 when its cooler and I drink lots of water all day before and it seems to help a ton. I make sure to drink plenty of water while running and I have been known to drop ice cubes down my back while running.
Amanda- ‘Listen to your body! Ignore the garmin. Walk if needed. Drink sports drinks and not just water.’
Lindsey– ‘If it’s too hot to run outside, I stick to the treadmill. Or I will break runs up into two sessions.’
Rene- ‘I live in Texas so running in the heat from April to October is just a given. I made the awesome mistake of starting my run at ten one day and literally lost 3 lbs of water weight doing only 8 miles. So my keys to survival are to go early and to keep hydrated throughout the week.’
Rebecca– ‘Ice cubes in the sports bra! They’ll last almost a mile! Works great for track workouts or mile repeats close to home with a cooler.’
Cassie-‘When I find myself dumb enough to run in the middle of the day I change my route to one that goes in a neighborhood that has huge trees.
Rebecca– ‘Bring a hydration belt, do not wear black or any stuffy clothing, have a hose at home ready so you can hose yourself off after. Wear a hat (a sport hat-not a hat you to at the dollar store. Sunscreen!
Natalie– ‘I’m trying to beat it by doing 3/4 of my weekly runs before 7 a.m. I’m also chugging water all day long and if I feel too overheated after a run I grab an ice pack and put it on my forehead while doing some stretches.’
Anything to add?!?!? What is your absolute favorite season to run in?
What was the one BEST part about your weekend?
What was the one BEST thing you ate this weekend?
Who brings water with them while they run?!?!