When people say two these two words, summer running, in the same sentence, I can’t help but cringe. Of course, I absolutely love running and feel blessed to be able to be able to do it day after day, but summer running is very challenging for me. Here are a few ways that I survive running in the summer.
Cut yourself some slack
So many of us are slaves to our Garmins. We watch our pace at every mile, and can become quickly discouraged if we don’t see the ideal pace on the screen. Here is a tip – don’t worry about your pace. Your body will be operating at a slower pace during the summer. The heat causes muscle fatigue much quicker, which in turn, slows down your running considerably. Give yourself a break, and just get out for a run, with no goal pace. Just running is a big accomplishment in the summer heat, regardless of how fast you are going.
Get out before the sun
Waking up early and starting your run before the temperatures are at their peak is key. Unfortunately, for those of us that live in Florida, its already 80 degrees before the sun comes up. But even so, 80 degrees is much more tolerable than 90+, with pavement that has been being baked all day. Just the heat radiating from the ground can make a huge difference in how long you are able to last.
I was never one to bring water with me on the run – that is, until I trained for the Chicago Marathon in the summer. I found my performance was drastically different on the days I had my Nuun with me, versus the days I did not. I found the Nathan water bottle is best for me, but there are tons of options out there if you don’t like this one. Don’t forget – not only should you bring hydration with you on the run, but also when you are just hanging around. Your body loses a lot of water in the summer trying to keep you cool, running or not.
Wear loose fitting clothes
I still tend to see people running in heavy cotton tees and gym shorts, and it boggles my mind. If you invest in a few technical workout tops, and some running shorts, you will be shocked how much cooler it keeps you. Cotton keeps in moisture – synthetic fibers wick it away. I am in love with my Under Armour top for running in the heat. It doesn’t stick to my skin, and I really feel a difference when I wear it compared to my tight tank tops. The same goes for your socks. Invest in a few pair of thin running socks. It will keep your feet so much cooler, and in turn, help you to get in a few more miles.
Dabble in other sports
There will be days when you just do not have the motivation to get out and pound the pavement. Guess what?? That is OK! Don’t run that day. Mental rest is just as important as physical rest from running. Biking and swimming are wonderful summer exercising alternatives, and they actually help your running. Every once in a while, hang up your running shoes for a pair of cycling shoes or a bathing suit. Your body will thank you!