The summer heat and weather can drastically change how runners train. Some of us choose to take an extended break and pick back up in the fall, while other runners choose to adjust their training and run straight through the summer.
If you choose to run through the summer, there are many ways to make running more enjoyable:
Don’t make the mistake of thinking hydration only includes: “hydrating while running”. It’s important to hydrate throughout the day too.
I’m not saying give up coffee and alcohol but make sure to include more water in your diet throughout the day. When you already feel thirsty during a run it means you aren’t hydrated enough.
2) Don’t be afraid to slow the pace down
The heat effects your pace. Judge your runs by effort level and heart rate. Your pace might be slower during the warmer months but remember, weather is a huge factor. Don’t let it discourage you. Judge your runs based on effort and heart rate, not on the seconds it takes to complete a mile.
3) Don’t forget sunscreen and sun protection
It’s always smart to wear sunscreen and sun protection on your runs. You are getting sun and dangerous UV rays while out there. For many people, their outdoor runs are the longest time they are in the sun each day!
Sunscreen, a visor and sunglasses can be beneficial for each and every run. Even when it’s cloudy, your body is still subject to harmful UV rays.
4) Invest in light weight and moisture wicking clothing
It’s summer after all, but investing in a few pieces of light weight tops can help make any run feel less sticky. Light weight clothing is going to keep you dry, blister free and free from dreaded chafing.
Don’t forget about light weight and moisture wicking socks. We all know blisters on the feet are some of the most painful.
5) Don’t be afraid to change your schedule
During the winter, it might be better to run on your lunch break but during the summer, it’s too hot at noon. Don’t be afraid to change the time of day that you run. It’s normally coolest in the early mornings and evenings.
The hottest part of the day is normally between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Who knows, maybe you can find a friend to meet at 5:00 am too. The added bonus of running in the morning is you don’t have to worry about your run for the rest of the day.
6) Don’t be afraid to run inside
There is no shame in running inside. If you feel more comfortable running inside, than by all means, do it. It doesn’t matter where you are running as long as you’re happy. You can run on an indoor track, treadmill or even pool run.
Run where you feel the most comfortable. Running in extreme temperatures is dangerous and you aren’t going to set any PRs that way. You aren’t a hero by running in the 100-degree heat.
7) Cross train
Finally, use the summer to try new activities such as swimming or cross training. It is a great time to relax and enjoy other activities that will help benefit and build strength with your running too.