Secrets To Surviving Your Summer Run Plan
Getting to the finish line of any race depends on the time you put in. Putting in that time over the summer, though, can be daunting for even the best of runners.
If you’re looking to keep the running training going strong for a 4th of July fun run or for a fall half-marathon, you’ve got more than a little bit of sweat to overcome.
Whether you’re an experienced runner or on your first few Couch to 5Ks, training in the summer is tricky. While there are plenty of positives - generally good weather, better evening visibility, and less gear to lug around - we want to be mindful of the possible complications, too.
Unfortunately, we know all too well the pains that come from poor preparation on hot summer days. As your de facto guides to summer running (do as we say, not as we’ve done in the past…), we’ve put together some best practices to getting the most out of your training - while still staying safe and healthy
5 Tips For Summer Run Success
Adjust Expectations - Say what you will about running in the cold, but know this: you’re likely running faster. As Outside magazine puts it, the ideal temperatures for running are between 44 and 59F. What’s more, as it heats up, perceived effort rises… and paces slow down. But just how much? As a rule of thumb a 3:30 marathoner might expect to add 2–2.5 seconds to their pace for every degree F above 59°. When running throughout the summer months, it’s best to expect slightly slower performances.
You Can’t Just Run When You Feel Like It - While there are studies that say working out in the afternoon is the best time for peak performance, that’s less advisable in the summer. High temperatures can lead you to dehydrate more quickly (or to heat stroke), so it’s best to follow Podium Runner’s advice and stick to the mornings and evenings. Though the start of summer officially marks the shortest night of the year, you’ll still have a few months of enjoying the extra sunlight in the late afternoons.
Know When To Stop - Dehydration and heat stroke are very serious and should not be taken lightly. While you should be taking water with you on your summer runs, sometimes that’s not enough. If you feel dizzy or light-headed, it’s time to stop running. Find a shady spot to rest, take in some more water, and take it easy. As A Foodie Stays Fit says so succinctly, listen to your body.
Carry Essentials - One of the joys of running comes from feeling free, so I recognize that having to bring essentials like an ID or a cell phone might not be so enjoyable… and even less when carrying them can lead you to sweat even more. Still, as Dr. Amy W. Anzilotti writes, these are important items to carry with you when you’re running outside - especially during the summer.
- Check The Stats - Summer running isn’t just about knowing how hot it is. Smart runners should also check the heat index and the air quality index for their area, writes Runners Blueprint. The heat index combines temperature with relative humidity for a real-feel temp and air quality helps you understand, especially in big cities, how clean or unhealthy the air is. Know these before you think about your run and you’ll be starting on the right foot.
Follow these steps and you should have a healthy, productive running summer (and be well on your way to unlocking all of the achievements in our IRLA Running Pack!).
Let us know how you handle your summer runs. Any tips or techniques we need to know about?