Monday, July 23, 2018

Tips for Running in the Heat

We've had some pretty intense heat here so far this summer. I talked to my dad last week, and the first thing he said after answering the phone was, "You weren't running in all that heat we had last week were you??" I had to inform him that yes, I did, and yes, I survived it. Being a dad, he was worried and a little bit annoyed at me that I hadn't been "smart" and not run outside.

But one of my big goals for this summer is to embrace the heat. I know that training in all the heat and humidity this summer will only help me hit my goal in the marathon in the fall. But that doesn't mean I've been an idiot while doing it.

Here are some tips for running safely in the heat:

  1. Hydrate. I carried my 12 oz. handheld on every run. Even the 3.66 mile recovery run. It was 100* heat index after all. Refill often. During the 8 miler in insane heat, I filled up my handheld halfway through the run. I also focused a lot on hydrating in the afternoon leading up to the run. Including an extra bottle full of nuun. As well as making sure to drink another big bottle full of water on my drive home. And eating more vegetables to get in some extra hydration through foods.
  2. Run with a buddy. My BRF has been out of town, and running in 100 degree sucks. Period. So I recruited buddies for all of the extremely hot runs. This was both to save my sanity and ensure I wouldn't skip the run, but also for safety reasons. With everyone in my family having heart issues, it's always in the back of my mind that I might have been dealt a shitty hand genetically. It never hurts to be extra safe and have a body in case the worst occurs on a run.
  3. Slow down. On Monday nights run, we were supposed to do 8 miles with 6 or 8 strides. I knew pretty early on that doing the strides weren't going to happen. We slowed the pace way down, and skipped the strides completely. We also stopped to recuperate at least twice in some shade. My stomach got super angry at overheating, so we even had a half mile walk break during the 7th mile. NBD, miles are miles in this heat!
  4. Plan your important workouts accordingly. I was lucky in the extremely hot week that I didn't have any important workouts, outside of a long run. On the long run day, I got started at 6am to ensure I could run during the coolest part of the day. I actually am enjoying doing the rest of the runs in the heat after work, but those are runs I know I can slow down as necessary. If you have to do a workout in the heat or humidity, focus more on effort than pace. Don't kill yourself to hit a pace goal, because you'll likely need to call the workout early which isn't ideal either!
Are there any other tips you'd add?? Let me know! We can beat the heat together. :)

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