It’s summer time in the South which means it is ridiculously hot and humid! Kayla and I are continuing our marathon training but this heat is not making it easy. When it comes to running in the summer heat, we both had to learn how to run in hot, humid conditions and how to stay safe. Here are a few quick tips to running in the summer heat!
- Run before the sun or after the sun! Waking up early is probably the thing I hate most about running. But I rather wake up early than run in the blazing sun and heat. If you can wake up and run before the sun fully rises (like Kayla 4:30 am! *Crazy I know) then that is most ideal. I don’t get off work till late at night so I can’t wake up that early. But I still try to wake up around 6 am. And yes I do take naps during the day! Naps aren’t cheating! Avoid running mid day. This is the time of day that temperatures are the hottest and the sun is beating down on you. If you can’t wake up early then run after the sun has set!
- Choose a route with shade! I absolutely avoid routes in the summer time that have no shade. Shade makes a huge difference. It gives you some relief from the sun. I was so thankful for the shade on the green line during my 10 mile run this past weekend. Also asphalt and concrete retain heat, so running in the grass can help as well. *Green line on my 10 mile run
- Join the Sports Bra Squad! Wear light weight clothing. I try to stick with mesh type, breathable shirts. I prefer not to wear thick cotton shirts because I feel it’s hotter. Try to wear as little as possible or whatever you’re most comfortable with. Join the Sports Bra Squad. OMG! It’s so amazing and most of all cooler!
- Hydrate before, during, and after! I feel hydrating and refueling is the most important during the heat! The heat just takes so much out of you, literally! It is recommended that you hydrate every 20 minutes during exercise. I drink water constantly during my summer runs. If you are going to run outside in the heat, please have water on you or very close by. I know it may be annoying to carry water during your run but it’s definitely a must! Try to drink water or sports drinks an hour before and after your run as well. Sports drinks are sometimes better than water because they contain electrolytes. Be careful with all the sugar in sports drinks though. Kayla and I like to water down our Gatorade. We also like using Nuun tablets* in our water. They have electrolytes without all the sugar. Can you drink too much water? Yes, you can actually. It’s called hyponatremia which is when you drink so much water that it dilutes your blood sodium levels. Crazy right! So make sure you don’t drink more than 32 oz of water per hour. Make sure you are also refueling with electrolytes and food within 30 minutes after your run! The heat will take a lot out of you but hydrating and refueling makes it better. *Water bottle I use. Fits around my hand so I don’t have to worry about holding onto it. It also has a pocket on the front to fit my phone and Gu. *Nuun tablets Kayla and I use.
- Slow your pace! “Every 5°F rise in temperature above 60°F can slow your pace by as much as 20 to 30 seconds per mile”-Runner’s World. Crazy right. Lately Kayla and I have been running in 75°F – 80°F weather which means our ppm (pace per mile) has decreased by as much as 2 minutes! Just reading this makes me feel so much better. Just recently I was getting frustrated with my 12+ minute miles. Now I know that it’s to be expected. I love what Kayla told me recently “Don’t worry about pace because the heat affects it so much. So were gonna be like so fast in December!” And she is right. Don’t try to try push yourself too hard. Just put the miles in and don’t worry about the pace.