If you are from a place where there is a TON of humidity/heat in the summer (hello fellow Texans) you know that this time of year is quite INTENSE. By 5 a.m., temperatures are soaring towards 90 degrees, with triple digits back to back everyday. And then you add that thick layer of humidity on top of all of that?! It definitely makes it difficult at times to get your training in. And actually can be downright oppressive! But have hope. There are ways we can get through it! Here are a few mental/physical tricks to help you to survive.
–Electrolytes are key. Especially when you are running longer. I will often mix Gatorade with water, or drink Nuun in order to accommodate my electrolyte needs. Also salt tablets work well, I use them more when I am racing on trails. I recommend these if you are shopping for them.
–It’s all about timing. Most runners prefer to run during the earlier parts of the day, in order to BEAT THE HEAT so to speak- but keep it in mind usually the earlier it is the more humid it is too. Practice running during different parts of the day to see what works best for you. I like to get my heat training in by running doubles sometimes and that helps me adapt. Especially if you are training for an ultra. It even helps if you are training for a marathon! Here’s some tips on running doubles if you are considering sprinkling those in.
–Embrace your HOT RUN pace. I like to call it sexy pace, or party pace, or what have you. Concentrate more on running by feel and EFFORT, as opposed to your usual pace when the temps heat up. It’s a different type of game when you’re dealing with extreme temps. If you really want to calculate pace for when you’re running in the summer- here’s a good way to do just that.
–Keep a gallon of ice water with you at all times. My gallon jug is like my weapon, I keep it in my car with me even in the mornings when I drive to meet my friends for early group runs. That way even when the run is done I am able to stay hydrated properly. I bring my jug to the gym with me, work, everywhere. It definitely has been a God send.
–It really is a mental mind game. If you tell yourself the summer runs are unbearable then guess what? You probably won’t enjoy it. Do what you can to make summer running FUN. It should be fun! You should love what you’re doing. No one is making you do this, this should be a hobby and a passion that you LOVE. Run with friends, plan a fun pool day after a long run to get you excited about post run recovery. Hey, dipping your legs in a cold pool after a hot run- DANG NEAR perfection.
What are some more tricks to help you get through hot summer runs?