In New England you never know what you’re going to get and it looks like summer has finally shown up with temperatures predicted to hit the low 90’s.
I’m not going to complain. After the cold and snowy winter we had the heat feels pretty darn good. It does mean though that I need to pay more attention to WHEN and HOW I run.
I have an extra long weekend with Friday and today off. I’d planned long runs to help build my base for Friday and today…6 miles on deck for each day. Friday I made the mistake of sleeping in, having breakfast and getting out for my run around 10:30am. After running for about a minute I was regretting not getting up and out at 7am like I’d planned. It’s that time a year where my runs require a bit more planning.
Ever since I ran the Boston Marathon in 2012 with 90 degree temperatures I’ve struggled in the heat. It doesn’t mean my runs are bad, it just means I need to plan more for them. Here’s how I prepare to be sure I have a great run in the heat:
Run Early. You all know I’m a big morning runner. There is nothing better than a 5am run to me but at the same time I love sleeping in and getting some extra rest. In the summer it’s important for me to be up and out for my run while the sun is low in the sky and the temperatures are cool. It can be tough to get out of bed early but naps on the beach can make up for it. Another plus of early morning runs…sprinklers. Most people’s sprinkler systems go off in the early hours and it’s nice to know on the hottest days I have some extra cooling power if I need it.
Hydrate. I’m always watching how much water I drink. The more the better, especially at night before bed. I try to drink a full glass of water right before bed. I’d rather get up in the middle of the night then run in the morning with a dry mouth. During the summer on really hot days I will carry a water bottle. It’s not my most favorite thing to do but my route has no water fountains so I feel it’s necessary to be prepared. For any distance over about 8 miles in the summer I carry my hydration belt with Gatorade, Water and Shot Bloks. I’ve learned it’s better to be safe than sorry. And last but not least I always keep Gatorade in the refrigerator. I usually don’t need it during my runs (especially if I’m training for a half) but I like to drink it when I come home, particularly if I sweat a lot and lost a lot of salt. Hydration is key to consistently good runs throughout the summer.
Dress Appropriately. I sweat a lot, which means I chaffe a lot. Body Glide is my best friend. As are running clothes that don’t shift or move too much. I like clothes that are light in weight, breathable and wicking. Running skirts with a liner that stays put and tanks and sports bras that are thin in breathable tend to be my favorite things. I also always wear a hat. I love the extra shade on my face and how the sweat band keeps the sweat out of my eyes. I always wear sunblock. I don’t want to get burned while I’m out for a run.
Running in the summer is always my favorite as long as I’m prepared. I love getting my runs done and out-of-the-way and not having to worry about thunderstorms, too much sun at the beach, if it will cool down enough for me to run, or if I’ve eaten too much for running in the heat. Today, I’m up early and out the door for my 6 miles…a cat nap and a refreshing swim on the beach will make for a perfect afternoon!