Thursday, June 1, 2017

Summer Running: Feelin' Hot Hot Hot




After a questionable spring, I am SO eager for summer running!

I know, I know....I'm kind of alone in a corner on this one, but I prefer the heated (albeit frequently humid) temps of summer.




Most of us can feel the heat of the temps and the humidity in the air as we crank up the power of our air conditioners. Even though I have access to a treadmill (my gal, 'Milly), I seldom ever spend any time with her in the summer. She's even positioned directly below an air vent, none the less.

For me, a treadmill run is difficult. I have long legs (I'm 5'9), and my strides are lengthy because of those long legs. I have never actually stubbed my toes on the 'mill, but I have come close. I'm also quite klutzy, so if I were to stub my toes, I would probably face plant rather quickly (and most ungracefully). As a result, my form/gait/stride length are all compromised when I run on the treadmill. A treadmill run, for me, never simulates a "real" run because I cannot run in the usual manner. Is it any wonder I tend to almost always feel injured (in some capacity) after a run on the 'mill?

I figure, if I'm gonna get just as sweaty running inside, I might as well just do the run outside and actually have some scenery to enjoy. Besides, the whole robotic, repetitious, running-in-place thing is totally not my gig (#boring).

It's a given, I much prefer to run outside, and I think everyone can learn to like it (maybe even love it, eventually). Here's a few things to consider in making YOUR outside summer run enjoyable:

First and foremost, have realistic expectations. The heat (and, especially, the humidity) can and will do a number on you. You may have to run a bit slower than usual, and possibly you may not be able to go as far. That's alright. Not every run needs to be at your fastest pace. Why not just run simply because you CAN?
Get outside and enjoy the sunshine!
Do as I do, run early. It's no secret I LOVE my #5at5 runs (more info HERE). Granted, the temps may already be warm before the sun has risen, but the air will probably be at its coolest of the day. I have headed out as early as 4:00 or 4:30 on occasion. It may still be dark, but it will not be dark for long. I already have noticeable daylight when I leave the house at 5:00, and the sun rises shortly thereafter.
A lot of my runs begin in the dark, and end in the sunshine
Another option is to consider running late. Have you ever run in the evening? Running in the dark doesn't have to be scary (tips for running in the dark HERE). Even though the air may still be warm, chances are it will have cooled off substantially after the sun has set. It's actually quite calm, still, and tranquil being outside, just you and the bugs buzzing and crickets chirping.
Running under the stars...
You may want to bring along some hydration (or circle back to your house). There are many options for carrying water (handheld bottles, hydration packs, fuel belts, etc.). Another option is to place water bottles along your route, or plan your route around a park with drinking fountains.
Have water, will run
Last of all, keep your eyes on the prize...fall racing! Yes, you can train on a treadmill, but I can guarantee you will not have a race happening on one. It's in your best interest to do some of your training outside...on uneven terrain, in the wind, during the rain, and under the heat of the sun. Those all are potential conditions you may face on race day; you're cheating yourself if you don't have some practice runs in them prior to the start line. And, if you train in hot and (occasionally) miserable conditions of summer, the cooler weather of fall will have you running with ease.
Training in the heat = easy running in the cooler weather
It should go without saying, common sense is paramount. If you're having difficulty breathing, feeling light-headed, or notice a sudden case of the chills...STOP. You do not need to be a hero. There is no shame in walking (it usually will help you cool down because it's less strenuous than running). It's always a good idea to run with a buddy, or have your phone with you in case you need assistance.

How do you feel about summer running, Yay or No Way? What's the earliest (or latest) you have gone for a run to avoid the heat? Have you ever trained exclusively outside through the summer?



                         I'm linking this with Meranda and Lacey and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. 




And also with Nicole for the Fit & Fashionable Friday link-up


And, since it's the first weekend of the month, I'm also linking with Deborah and Coco for the Ultimate Coffee Date

43 comments:

  1. Im excited for summer running too! I know Ill complain about the heat and humidity but last year I felt like I missed out on warm weather running because of my injury. Its also easier for me to run outside for 30 minutes than it would be to train for a marathon, so I definitely have a different perspective!

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    1. I honestly don't mind hot weather running. I don't LOVE it, by any means, but I'll choose a hot outside run over a treadmill run any day.

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  2. I have a love/hate relationship with summer running. I love the warmth and the clothes, but the humidity and heat take a toll on my endurance. Still, I'd take it over winter any day.

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    1. I actually think it helps build my endurance (of course, I don't realize it at the time LOL).

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  3. I tell my coaching clients there is no more empowering feeling to arrive at the start line of a goals race with adverse conditions knowing you've trained in similar conditions. It happens a lot! Heat/humidity suck the life out of me during runs but starting early, freezing my fuel, and taking a shady route help a ton.

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    1. I agree. I know a gal who ran all the time on a treadmill, then whined about how the heat always affected her "performance." Duh. ;-)

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  4. I am with you, even though it can get pretty humid around here, I'd much rather be outside sweating it out. I just need to be a little more diligent about hydrating. See you for coffee tomorrow

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    1. I'll be in a car en route to my race in the wee hours, so hopefully I can get my post linked correctly (#techmoron) LOL

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  5. Great tips! I hate summer running with a passion but I have no problem getting up super early, especially to tackle a long run on the weekend.

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    1. I really love the early morning runs....there's a bit of triumph in knowing you were up when everyone else was still sleeping ;-)

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  6. I only ran on a treadmill once last year while I was on a business trip. They make me feel awkward too! It takes a little getting used to, the heat that is but I can run outside all year long so just being outside makes me happy!

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    1. YES!!!! Being outside makes me much happier, too!

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  7. Great tips! I love summer, but the heat gets me when I'm running! It doesn't bother me for anything else.
    I'm tall too- 5'8" :-)

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  8. Since your winters are more brutal than mine, I get it, but nooooo! I am not a fan of summer running! Getting out early and putting ice in my Nathan can make it less miserable though.

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    1. I don't do many runs in the heat of the day (though they do happen on occasion), but I can handle them. I do prefer the early morning runs, though ;-)

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  9. Not a big fan of summer running, but that's because we have perfect running weather all winter long. Summer? No so much. I run early and carry my handheld.

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    1. I'm starting to use my handheld more often....not my favorite thing, though. I'd rather loop back to my house every 5-6 miles, but I'm trying to best simulate the race experience (where I'll be sipping a few swallows every mile or so)

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  10. I'd much rather run in the warm weather. During the brutally cold Chicago winter, I tend to not run AT ALL, even on my treadmill. Then each spring, like now, I have to regain my strength and endurance.

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    1. I simply just try to run outside year-round. So, being in Iowa, I get both extremes LOL

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  11. I love summer running. Never run on the tm. Hate it. If I can't run outside, I skip my run.

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    1. I avoid the 'mill like the plague. I don't think I"ve spent any time with 'Milly for a few months... #notsorry

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  12. I am impacted by heat more than the average person seems to be and it is usually close to 70 or above even at 5 a.m. and humid so running for me isn't a ton of fun all summer. I am always way slower...almost 2 minutes a mile slower but if I am moving I am okay with that. I try to take dips in sprinklers as often as possible and it really helps make a run much more enjoyable!

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    1. I never think to look for sprinklers...then again, they're probably are not too many going at 5:00 a.m.

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  13. I love this list!! I am that runner out in the sun and heat in the middle of the day, the way I see it, races that I'm training for, will require me to be in the hot and humidity.

    You always have the best and most colorful outfits!! I love them!

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    1. There have been some races in the fall that have had very unseasonable temps in the 80's or higher)...I'm thankful I train in that kind of stuff, so I'm always prepared ;-)

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  14. I do love summer running too! But, I always run in the morning, but the light if what excites me cuz otherwise us early risers run in the dark!

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    1. I love being out there in the dark...and watching the sky slowly get lighter and lighter... ;-)

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  15. I'm with you. I MUCH prefer warm weather running. And yes, we are most definitely in the minority!!

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  16. Heat and humidity just crush me, so starting early is a must!

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    1. The early runs are great! Doesn't it feel good to have the run finished before most people are drinking their first cup of coffee? ;-)

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  17. It's weird, I much prefer summer running over winter however, it just gets so humid down here that it wears you down after a couple of months! I do hate a treadmill though and will suffer through the sticky stiffling humidity before I get on that thing! Hope you get your summer heat soon! :)

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    1. I'm with you on the treadmill avoidance. I'll gladly suffer through the humidity, too!

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  18. I love summer running. It's my natural habitat!

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  19. These are great tips! I'm with you and LOVE summer running. Of course, I live in the dry heat of Vegas, so it's a bit more bearable. I've definitely trained exclusively outside in the summer. It's been years, actually, since I've been on a treadmill.

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  20. Not a huge fan of running in the heat & humidity but prefer it over the TM if I can. I run as early as I can and keep my runs a little shorter if necessary.

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  21. Great tips! I find (here anyway), that evening runs are less humid than the am runs. I haven't used a treadmill to get through summer runs.

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  22. I'm not often on the mill in the summer, but on very hot days (or days with thunderstorms) it happens. Course right now mine is still DOA! The hardest part of hot running is going by feel rather than pace.

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  23. I am aiming to do #5at5 during the summer while the girls are out of school. Hoping my foot will be healed by then!

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  24. I too prefer to be hot over cold, so summer running has my name written all over it!

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  25. Running early in summer is a must because the weather can be unbearable. Awesome post, Kim!

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