In case you haven’t noticed, the summer heat and humidity are upon us!
Summer running is a necessary evil for many runners, as the training cycle for fall races kicks off during three of the hottest months of the year.
And even if you’re not training for a big fall race, continuing to run during the summer months is important for maintaining your fitness and solidifying your base before the next event on your running calendar.
Whatever the reason, if you are training this summer, here are some tips to help you survive the heat and humidity that you are bound to experience.
5 Tips for Successful Summer Running
Get It Done Early
I’m a convert to early morning running year round, but in the summer months I’ve found it even more important to complete my run first thing. Once the sun is high in the sky, the temperatures soar and it becomes even more difficult to find the motivation to get in a quality workout.
This always needs to be a priority, but it’s even more important when you’re out there sweating profusely during summer runs. The easiest way to estimate if you’re drinking enough is to pay attention to the color of your urine; the clearer the better. And, as a reminder, water is the best thing for you to drink to maintain proper hydration levels.
One thing we often overlook when it comes to running in the heat is the importance of proper nutrition. Running and training during the dog days of summer is very demanding on your body physiologically. For you to continue to function optimally during extreme temperatures, your body requires quality fuel. Adding additional fruits and vegetables to your diet is a great choice, because in addition to being packed with vitamins and minerals, they also have an elevated water content as compared to many other foods which will help keep you hydrated.
Simple fact: you are going to run more slowly when it’s hot and humid. Don’t try to fight it. Instead of worrying about your pace and what your connections on Strava are going to think about your workout, pay attention to how hard you are running without worrying about your pace. Once the weather cools, your pace will pick up, I promise.
It can be frustrating when you’re training hard in the summer because your progress is often marginal at best. Stick with it. When the weather cools down, you’ll see a huge change in both your speed and endurance. Odds are you’ll also see a big PR for a fall race, no matter the distance!
Summer Running Will Pay Off
Summer running isn’t a lot of fun. I get it.
However, the idea of not running for a few months is even worse than the idea of battling the heat and humidity.
Running during the summer, and in some cases training hard in the summer, is one of those things that is difficult at the time but will definitely pay off once the weather cools in the fall.