How to Prepare for Running in the Heat

Incase you weren’t aware, it’s finally getting warmer.  Although, if you are anything like the Northeast, our weather went from 30 degrees to 80.  It feels as though there wasn’t much middle ground!  Hopefully, your body adjusts faster than mine.

Thinking out loud, running in the heat can be a challenge.  Even though it’s usually more enjoyable than running in the cold, there are a lot of difficulties and obstacles you face by running in the warm weather too.

So How can you Prepare for Spring and Summer Running this Year?

Stay Hydrated

This is probably the most important advice!

It doesn’t mean drink a liter of water directly before your run.  It means staying hydrating throughout the day.

Drink more water before, after and during your run.  Also don’t forget that you also lose electryltes while running in warmer conditions.  During the warmer months, it’s important to add salt tabs or Gatorade to the mix too.  Every runner has their own personal preferance of what works for the stomach and system.  I am fortanate that most any electrolyte drink works well for me, I just need to remember to drink it.

Adjust your Run for the Temperature and Humidity

Don’t be ashamed to back off pacing or dial it back because it’s hot.  Run by effort and feel, not based on what the workout pace should be at ideal conditions.

For example, on Sunday, I had a tempo run scheduled.  It was 85 degrees and while my pace was “supposed” to be 6:45, I ran 7:18 and was struggling.  Was I upset?  No!  Was I injured?  No.  I adjusted my pace accordingly and ran by effort.   It’s important to take note that running in the heat effects your body and you won’t hit the same paces as running in ideal conditions.

Wear Appropriate Clothing:

You could run naked but that would end up being sunburnt and uncomfortable.  Don’t forget to wear sunscreen as well as moisture wicking clothing.  I’ll have to do a current post of running clothing I’m loving this season but in the mean time here are some things not to forget:

  • Hat (to keep sun off your face)
  • Moisture wicking and noncotton clothing: including a top, sports bra, shorts, underwear and socks.  Cotton anything will absorb sweat and become heaving causing blisters, chafing and who knows what else.
  • Sunglasses: To keep your eyes protected
  • Body glide and sunscreen (because chafing stinks)
Be Flexible with Your Schedule:

Whether you need to run inside or run early, don’t be afraid to change your plan.  Run at the best time of the day.

You aren’t a hero if you run in 100-degree heat at high noon!   In the winter, typically running at lunch time is ideal but that isn’t usually the case over the summer.  That’s normally when it’s the hottest.  Don’t be afraid to change the time of day you run or where you run.

There is no shame in running on the treadmill, especially when it’s the safest option.  You can usually find me there at least once per week.
In case you missed any of the previous weeks Running Store and Training:
Thoughts While Working in the Running Store
Should Race in Racing Flats?
Are you Getting Enough Protein for Running?
Why 5ks are the Best
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:
How to Transition in Minimalist Running Shoes
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
Questions for you:
What are some tips you have for running in the heat?
Do you like summer or winter running better? 

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Workouts:

Training is getting progressively better.  I’m feeling fewer residual aches and pains as my ankle continues to heal and get stronger.  I’m not training for anything, and I don’t have my sights on anything.

As I mentioned in my July recap, my goal for August is to continue building a base and make sure I’m completely injury free.  All injuries heal at different rates, and there is no sense in choosing a goal race when I don’t know how this one will heal.

Monday: Easy 45 minute run Core
Tuesday: 60-minute run Core
Wednesday: 85-minute run  
Thursday: Rest  
Friday: Easy 45 minute run  
Saturday: Donar Dash 5k (20:21)  
Sunday: Long Run (12.5 miles) Core
Total: Total: Roughly 45 miles  

Thursday through Sunday are typically the busiest days for work.  There is a big townwide event, and it’s like working Black Friday at a big retail store.  I don’t know why I decided to race on Saturday, but I want to continue testing my foot.  It was my first 5k and first road race (last week was on a soft trail in Wissahickon).  I will write a race recap soon, but I was happy with it.  The weather was hot, and my body was exhausted from working.  Of course, it’s hard not to compare to previous 5k times, but I know I’ll eventually get back there.  Hopefully, it doesn’t take me an entire year like last time.

donar dash

I ran with a good friend and coworker on Sunday.  I had planned to do a “long run” but didn’t know how far.  We ended up running 12.5 miles.  It was a little bit further than I anticipated but the miles went by quickly, and my ankle felt okay during the entire run.  Today, however, I’m sore as (explicit here).

julie and i

Thoughts:

I’m happy my running feels as though I’m progressing well.  I’m making good progressing while increasing mileage.  I’m feeling less achy and even after my longer runs, I felt far less residual pain than previous 6 or even 8 mile runs.  I’m hoping having more cushion in the Hoka Clifton is helping me keep aches in pains away too. Max cushioning has been good for my feet since coming back.

 

I might have increased my mileage and time a little bit faster than I should have this week.  I’m happy with how the week went.  My plan is to hold between 45-55 miles for the rest of the month.

Questions for you:

How was your week of workouts?

Do you have a busy season of the year for work?

Run for the Hill of It 5 miler (34:09)

On Saturday I ran my first race post injury. It was no PR, and it was incredibly hot and humid, but it was my first race back in 10 weeks. As I type this out two days later, I feel the same amount of residual pain as if I’m running normally.  I’m still dealing with minor aches but I’ve been carefully monitoring my foot and so far so good.

To the race recap:
I didn’t have plans to run the race until a few day before.  I knew the race existed, but I wasn’t sure I was ready to race.  If I woke up and didn’t feel good, I wouldn’t run.  I made the executive decision on Friday that I would probably run.  When I woke up on Saturday morning, I was a bundle of nerves.  I hadn’t raced in over ten weeks and had no idea how the race would go. I figured if anything hurt, I would just stop. It was only a big deal if I made it a big deal. With that, I headed to Wissahickon park with just my husband and good friend J, knowing my Saturday morning plans.  Race day was extremely hot and humid. I warmed up three miles and sweat through my clothing.

The race went off right at 8:30.  The first mile was exhausting and honestly it was the hardest mile I’ve run in a while.  My legs were tired; it was hot, and I was mentally frustrated.  Why do I feel so bad?  Why is it so hot? Why are all of these people so darn fast? WTF am I even doing here? I questioned everything in the first minute of the race. I ran with a pack, and we hit the first mile in 6:30.  I was pleasantly surprised, but I knew I couldn’t hold that pace. I didn’t feel that fast but I was heating up quickly.

During the second mile, our pack began to spread out.  I was running alone and as third women overall. I had no goals for placing and my dream goal was to run under 35:00 (7 min pace). My primary goal was to finish injury free and stay smart.  Honestly, that will be my main goal for a while.  I ran a 6:45 mile.

The course was out and back.  I hit the turnaround, grabbed water and went back the opposite direction. My clothing was drenched, it was scorching, and it was hilly.  I was in a dark spot and miserable.  I finished mile 3  at exactly a 7 min pace.  I reevaluated my ankle which felt okay, and I continued.  My mental game was weak, and I felt like I had given up.

I ran the fourth and fifth miles by myself.  To be honest, I struggled through those too.  Mentally I was exhausted, physically exhausted and over it.  I haven’t raced a race that hot in a long time.  Possibly since the RNR Half Marathon.  A woman blew by me around mile 4.  She was running fast, and I knew there was no way I could stay with her.  Another ego blow but I brushed it off.  I ran both miles in 6:52.  When I crossed the finish line, I felt exhausted and tired.  I didn’t feel incredible, and I didn’t have a “Runners High,” I just felt tired.

Run for the Hill of It
Image from Flickr

I did a short cool down and went to my car. I had no idea until I looked at my blog post last year but I ran this year 30 seconds faster this year. I do believe it was hotter than last year.  Past that, I don’t have any complaints, and I’m looking forward to getting out there again.

The most important part was my ankle didn’t hurt during the race.  The race itself was both physically and mentally challenging and I was exhausted.  Not every race can be wonderful or a PR, in fact I don’t expect them too be.

Questions for you:
What’s the hottest race you’ve ever done?
Do you like trail races or road races?

How to Become a Morning Runner

As no secret to anyone, it’s summer, and it’s hot.

This means it’s time to complain about the heat and weather.  If your weather is anything like New Jersey than several days have pushed triple digits and record highs.  I’ll be the first to admit even though our humidity is relatively high, our weather is not as bad as other parts of the country.  I don’t miss living in Texas or Virginia Beach right now.

Thinking out loud, there are many options to run through the summer such as running on the treadmill or running outside in the early morning.  I can’t say I’ve always been a morning runner but since college and working, I’ve had to get up earlier. I made the transition from afternoon/lunch to early morning runner.  To be honest, I’ve personally never been an evening or late night runner.  I heard a rumor grandmas don’t run late at night.

How to Become a morning runner

So how does one run earlier? How do you make that transition?
Gradually begin waking up earlier:

Don’t go from waking up at 7 to waking up at 4. Try waking up at 6:30 and then 6.  It’s easier that way.

Sleep in Your Workout Clothes:

Most workout clothes are moisture wicking and comfortable to sleep in.  I’ve slept in work out clothes plenty of time.  When I wake up, I just pop in my contacts, brush my teeth and out the door, I go.

Turn off the technology at night:

Over the years I’ve made a habit of turning technology off between 8:30-9:30  Even if I’m not sleeping, I’m logged off the computer. Honestly, I feel better, and I sleep better.

Stick to It:

It takes about three weeks to become truly acclimated to the time difference.  Give yourself three weeks to feel good.

Just Do It:

Sometimes thinking about something is the worst thing we can do.  If we take the plunge and make something a habit, it makes it much easier.  The biggest piece of advice I can give about becoming a morning runner, is (you guessed it):  Just Do it.

Questions for you:

Do you workout in the morning? Any advice?

What is your favorite time to workout? 

Five Types of Summer Runners

As we enter the hotter and summer months, it’s guaranteed you’ll see more runners and characters on the road.  Whether you know the runner, or don’t you’ll begin to recognize many faces. Maybe you even fall into one of these categories (I know I do).

Five Types of Summer Runners

Here are a Few Types of Runners you Might See This Summer:

Sweating Sam

It doesn’t matter the temperature, but Sam sweats more than anyone you know.  You can typically follow their route due to the trail of water and salt they leave behind.

Did they just finish a swim or run?  The mystery is always there.

Treadmill Timothy:

Your training buddy practically disappears in the summer.  All summer, they aren’t seen once outside.  They are still running and training, however, Timothy chooses the treadmill all summer.

Why?

Maybe they want to catch up on the great reality TV in the summer.

Maybe they want to avoid getting sunburnt…

Whatever the case is they typically stay inside from about May to September.  They get their running in and shock your local running community when they come back with PRs in the fall.

Hydrated Hillary:

Hillary packs water bottles for her waterbottles.  Whether it’s a 1-mile run or 20, you can always count on her for being prepared with plenty of water.  Thank goodness because you’ve had to rely on her a couple of times more than you would care to admit…

Routine Rhonda:

Now that it’s the summer, Rhonda can be seen running her same route at roughly the same time.  It’s not the safest option, but you can see Rhonda around the same point in your run every day.  Whether Rhonda is walking a dog, running, biking or just out and about, you always look forward to the point where your paths cross.

Shirtless Steve:

From about May until September, Steve is never seen with a shirt.  Steve runs in as little as possible and tries to avoid any and all tan lines.  You’ve seen Steve during training runs, at races, and around town…but never with a shirt on.

Questions for you:

Do you share traits with any of these characters?

How do you prepare for summer running? 

The Summer I Actually Enjoyed Running

Where to begin my summer training thoughts?

In summary I had one of the best summers of training I’ve had in a very long time. I ran and progressed but the major take away is I actually enjoyed running! That is something my training has lacked for a while.

The last two years I’ve either been training for a marathon or been injured.  Sometimes I question whether I have ever truly enjoyed marathon training. I haven’t had a marathon I’m too proud of and I am my happiest (running wise) when I’m not marathon training.

Who knows though later down the line…This summer I focused on going to the track, working on speed and getting my turnover back to where it was two years ago.  It’s nowhere near there yet but it is progressing.

I often compare my training now to about two years ago.  The summer of 2013 was the last time I consider myself to be happy with my training.  I was training consistently, I was PRing and I was both motivated and happy.  Personally I find myself the happiest when I race frequently.  Racing frequently allows me to get speed work in, chat with friends and of course hang out too.

scott coffee run 8k

I wrote a post my love for racing here.

A lot of people don’t agree with this method but it’s what makes me happy. As long as it’s healthy, I think it’s important to do what makes you happy.  Running will never be my source of income so it doesn’t make sense to do things I don’t enjoy.

Moving on: Summer of 2015 was the most fun I’ve had training:

Smile.
Smile.

Training Posts:
June
July
August

award

Races:
June 6th: Scott Coffee 8k  32:44
July 7th: Woodbury 5k 19:40
June 13th: Flag Day 10k 45:40
June 27th: Medford Lakes 10k
July 4th: Firecracker 5k 19:15
July 11: Belmar 5 miler 33:04
July 16: Community Heros 5k (20:15)
July 25: Run for the Hill of It 5 Miler (34:30)
Aug 1: Delaware Kids Fund (21:33)
Aug 8: HJMC 5k (20:13)
Aug 15: Judy Johnson 5k (20:33)
Aug 22: Belmar Chase 5k (19:34)
Aug 29: United Medical 5k (19:34)
Sep 6: RnR Va Beach 13.1 (1:31.50)

Fastest mile: 5:53 (Belmar Chase)
Fastest 5k: 19:15 (Firecracker 5k)

Number of States Raced in: 4 (NJ, PA, DE and VA)
Distances Raced: (5) 5k, 8k, 5m (trail), 10k (trail), 13.1

Finishing the 5k

Posts:

How to Get the Most Shopping at a Running Specialty Store
How to Save Money on Road Races
Five Things I’ve Learned from Running
Racing my Way to Fitness
Some Runs are Just Awful
Losing Toenails is NOT a Good Thing
Running Gives Me a Lot

Running Losing Toenails

Gear Review:
Saucony Zealot Review
Saucony Triumph Review
Favorite Summer Products

Saucony Triumph ISO Review

In summary this summer was a great period of training for me.  While I didn’t set any PRs, I trained smart and consistent.  I know the work I put in will eventually pay off.  Hopefully it’s with the cooler weather!

Where will fall take me?

I’m honestly not sure.  I haven’t picked out any major goal races.  I would honestly like to continue training how I have been and see how my fitness continues to build and grow.  I will be writing a fall goals and training post…as soon as I figure out what I would like to do this fall!Questions for you:

How was your summer of training?
How was your summer with life? 

 

 

August Training

It’s hard to believe another month is down.   August was about the same as July.  It was a great training month and I made it through the toughest month (for me) without getting injured.  Normally I either burn out or get injured in August…but for the last two Augusts I was also training for a marathon (NYCM and Wineglass which I DNS).

I believe my body is beginning to absorb track workouts for the 5ks and I will see the benefits in the fall.

Total mileage: 292

Races:
Delaware Kid Fund 5k (21:33)
HJMC 5k (20:13)
Judy Johnson 5k (20:33)
Belmar Chase 5k (19:34)
United Medical 5k (19:59)

Range of paces: 5:53-12:13-untimed
Longest Run: 15
Shortest Run: 1.23 warmup
Favorite Run:
Despite not having a standout race I really enjoyed the Belmar Chase. It was a great to race with so many people as well as get out of South Jersey for a race!
Number of Rest Days: 5
Best Training Run:
My favorite training run was the ladder workout I did with Tim a few weeks ago. It was:
(2X800s,2X600s,2X400s,2X200s, 2X400s)
I felt really good and it was the first workout that I realized I enjoy going to the track!

Belmar 1

Thoughts for the month:

During August I normally realize I did too much and one of two things happen: I either burnout or I get injured.

I am happy to report neither of those happened.  I believe it’s because I  focused on shorter distances and didn’t run 20 mile long runs through the summer.  It is not the right move for me right now!  In August I trained consistently and smart.

I’m slowly making progress towards my goals.  Slow and steady wins the injury free race.  I am currently writing an entire summer training recap post because honestly it was the best summer of training in a very long time.  I trained happy and most importantly I stayed healthy and enjoyed running!

austin jeff and I

September will be the busiest month in general for me.  There are a lot of race I want to do, however, moving will take precedence.  I want to continue racing as much as possible but I think next month I’ll have to skip a weekend or two!  (Insert ten sad emoji faces).  I’ll still continue speed workouts to keep progressing towards my goals.

me run

Questions for you: 

How was your August training?

Are you ready for fall?  Do you have any fall goal races?