Training for Tuesday: Surviving Summer


Here we are, friends! The calendar might not have even rolled over to June yet but if pools across America have anything to say about it, it's summer time. I know that some places might still be catching up to the warmer temperatures, but we've been rocking more hot days than not here in Virginia for several weeks now, so there's no denying it at this point. We're in summer training mode, whether we like it or not. Since I'm not training for anything specific right now (I will be soon, I promise! That half Ironman in October isn't going to train for itself so I'm working on a training plan...) and have no recent races worth recapping, I thought I'd share some of the ways I survive training in the summer.

Run early or run late. Whatever you do, don't run at 12:30pm. On a clear, sunny day. While wearing long black pants. Just trust me on this one. I prefer to either run really early, as the sun is coming up (6:00-7:00am) or later in the evening when the sun is going down (7:00-8:00pm).

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. If you feel thirsty at any point during the day, you're already behind on your hydration. I easily drink 3 liters of water a day even in winter, so in the warmer months I need more like 4 or 5. I'm a strange bird in that I don't like to drink anything on the run so I make sure to stay hydrated as much as possible leading up to my runs. 

Wear as few clothes as possible. I've adopted a strict shorts + tank for anything over 50* policy and even that's a lot of clothes when the temperature starts to creep up into the 80s and 90s (it's still early enough in the summer that I can pretend that 100+ degree weather just doesn't exist). If it were socially acceptable to run in my underwear, I would do it (except I wouldn't really because my thunder thighs rub together and I forget Body Glide more often than I would like to). But really, I like airy shorts and a tank and that's it. I have been known to strip off the tank halfway through the run and finish the rest in my sports bra...because I apparently have no shame.

Know what you're getting into. The hourly forecast section on my weather app is my best friend in the summer. I'm not only looking at temperature, but also at things like humidity (an absolute run killer if you're fortunate to live on the East coast like I am) and dew point. A few years ago I read an article from Runner's World that says that dew point is actually the biggest factor that affects run performance in the summertime, because more air saturation means less perspiration which means the body works harder to cool itself down - therefore, running what is usually a comfortable pace is a lot harder on the body at higher dew points. There's a really good chart at the end of the article that outlines several dew point ranges and their affects on runners' perception of the weather and their performance. It's my go-to reference material in the summer! Knowing not only what the weather is like out there, but how my body is going to perceive it helps me adjust my expectations.

Do what you gotta do. I'll be honest - some of my summer runs are downright ugly. Actually, make that a lot of them. They are hot and sweaty and sticky and slow and sometimes they make me cry from frustration and did I mention they're HOT?! Summer training just isn't my forte, but that doesn't mean I have to give up and wait for more pleasant weather. Summer isn't time for excelling, it's just about getting through. For me, the benefit of slogging through all summer long is getting to fall and realizing that running all of a sudden feels SO much easier! Sometimes it's hard to look ahead and believe that all the hard work will pay off, but if my summer sufferfests and subsequent fall PRs last year taught me anything, it does.

How do you deal with summer training? What's your favorite training season?

alyssagoesbang

18 comments :

  1. love this post :) i would totally rock a sports bra and shorts if it were hot enough. i'm all about running in the AM during the summer, I cannot run in the evening. I learned my lesson when I tried to run in the middle of the day. not fun. that being said... i love summer. i love the heat and the humidity and i have never checked the dew point so that's scary. i mean, i recognise that it's horrible and disgusting and uncomfortable... but i love it. i'm a weirdo, i know. ps i hate drinking on a run as well.

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  2. All of these are great tips! I wish they worked for Texas summer running... By 6am it's already 95-98 degrees, and as soon as the sun comes up it starts reaching the 100+++ mark. I learned this the hard way, right after I moved here. First, I woke up at 4:30, because in Minneapolis it starts to get light by 4:45am. My whole first run was dark! Then after a few runs, I learned about the sun situation, and how that makes it insta-hot. Like you said, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, and I remember dunking my head into a fountain because the salt was pouring off my face and burning my eyes so bad I couldn't see! I now just don't train for half marathons in the height of summer. That was my Texas running solution!

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  3. Fall is definitely my favorite season to run in. Spring is nice too, but the weather can still be so temperamental. I'm lucky that I can run early enough that it's still cool (like Paige said ^ it gets light here at like 4:30am. Crazy!), and I just avoid running in the afternoons/evenings at all cost. I used to always run in capri pants, even when it was hot, but just tried shorts last year. Still not crazy about them, but definitely a necessity for really warm runs!

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  4. Just linked up for the first time! These are great tips! What are you training for? I'm running Chicago!

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  5. Yes! Summer training can be the worst. Early mornings and no limit to your air conditioning budget are the keys. We haven't hit those scorching temperatures yet, but when we do I'll be out there on my hikes and stair runs peeling off clothes on the West Coast!

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  6. I remember when I used to live in florida I didn't even want to be outside in the heat of the day, let alone exercising in it! but waking up early or going late is a nice way to catch the sunrise or sunset on a regular basis

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  7. Yup, I'm all about those dusk runs in summer. (Problem comes when it's not dusk until 8pm... that's not going to be good when my mileage hits the teens!) And haha yes I love that we both talked about sports bra running and Body Glide. I'm already wincing. And I hate carrying water with me too because I like to be fully unfettered but I think that's a sacrifice I'm gonna have to make :/ I love that you brought up how it seriously pays off in the fall though. You're so right! And I need to remember that through every single suckfest that's waiting for me over the next ~16 weeks. Oof.

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  8. Late and early are definitley the way to go with our humidity topping out at 80%+ now each day! my poor doggie can't handle the heat between 7:30 and 7:30 (and neither can I!). Great tips :)

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  9. We did yard work today & i couldn't believe how hot it already is... ugh

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  10. Oh man, it is already almost unbearable here during my runs in the mornings with the humidity at 98% which really feels like 349058903458908%. Gross! I made a joke the other day that all that sweat must have been my fat crying or literally melting off. I doubt it works as such. I need to look in to this body glide stuff. I wear capri length bottoms on my runs because of my thunder thighs but gosh darn are they hot!!! I always run in a tank...even in the winter. Hot natured over here. Stay cool this summer :)

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  11. Great tips. This summer I will try very hard to get my weekday runs in the morning.

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  12. Girl you are so right! I MUCH prefer running in the morning in the summer :) so smart. Also? wearing as little clothing as possible is crucial. Now that my foot is better I'm so excited to start running again!!!!

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  13. The heat and humidity have really kicked up around here. Now that school is out, I have much more freedom in when I run, but with today being the last day of school, I just felt like running when I got home - in the 4 PM sunshine. I thought I was going to die. I'm so bad at summer running.

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  15. These are great tips! I am trying like crazy to lose some baby weight, and even though I'm so not a runner, these definitely apply. Also you may be local to me if you're a Hokie! :)

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  16. It gets so hot here in the summer that I agree completely about planning exercise in the morning and late night. And doing what you can do. I know I can run a 5 km hill run but in the summer I need to walk parts. Just gotta do it because like you said it's frickin HOT

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  17. Ughhhh summer running. My motivation definitely goes down during these 3 months! I've been trying to get better at getting up before work even though sometimes it's already humid by early morning! I'm glad we at least have fall weather to look forward and Virginia isn't hot and humid all year long :)

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  18. These are great tips!! I run in heat all year through so I think cold running might actually be more of a challenge for me but if I were to give tips on how to run during summer time these are the ones I would give!

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