Okay, now that we got the scary stuff out of the way, how can we make sure that our training is as enjoyable as possible during the summer months?
Run By Effort, Not Pace: Garmin watch people I’m talking to you! I know I love to keep track of my pace on my watch because it gives me a little extra motivation to push myself harder. However, on a hot summer day your watch might tell you that you are running slow, but your body is telling you that it can’t push it any farther. This is when it might be a good idea to ditch the watch and run by how you feel so that you don’t overdo it. Even if you aren’t happy with your pace, you are still getting the benefits you love from your run because your body is having to work harder to keep itself cool on those hot days.
Run Early or Late: Try to avoid the middle of the day when the sun is the most powerful. Early morning is usually the best time because it is the coolest time of the day.
Take it Off-Road: Asphalt and concrete can absorb the heat and radiate back onto your body, making you feel like your melting! Try getting off the paved path and give some trail running a try.
Consider a Change of Clothes: If most of your workout clothes are dark colors or cotton you might want to consider investing in some light colored, polyester clothes to help keep you cool.
Start Off Hydrated and Keep It That Way: Making sure you are well hydrated before a run is just as important (if not more important) than hydrating during your run. If you are well hydrated before a run, you likely don’t need to take in any water if you won’t be running for more than an hour. If you are running longer than an hour take water with you or make sure you route includes places that you can stop for water.
If you make sure to train smart during the summer months you can reap some great rewards!
Training in the heat can help us become more efficient at cooling our bodies and will actually stimulate our bodies to produce more blood over time which can be very beneficial when it comes to race day.