Sunshine. BBQs. Poolside beers. Half-day Fridays. So much to look forward to with summer right around the corner! But with the season comes the heat, and this is always in conjunction with one of the most popular training seasons of the year. This year, I’ll be tackling the Humana Rock ’n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon in July – and it can be a streamy one!
So, how do YOU beat the heat and stay safe during warmer than normal miles on the roads and trails? Here are my 3 easy ways to feel the burn without the actual burn (ouch!).
Race against the Sun
As summer starts up and your training miles follow suit, it can be hard to find the time to get all the running in. Now add another layer with daily temperatures that peak into unsafe levels while the sun is beating down. A key factor that I take into account is time of day. Early morning running is the best way to beat the heat, especially since there is no residual heat from the day itself. I monitor sunrise times and projected temperatures to appropriately plan my start and end times for my runs. This allows me to try to finish up my runs before the direct sunlight becomes too intense. As summer progresses this gets earlier and earlier because training miles tend to get longer and longer. The key here… find a friend that will hold you accountable for meet-ups in the early morning hours.
There are a couple of other options for when it comes to time of day. Late evening runs are always an option as soon as the sun bows out for the day. Just make sure you feel safe in your environment, especially if you’re out solo. And when things really heat up, don’t feel bad about a lunch break run on the treadmill with some AC – not always the most exciting, but hey, you can catch up on your Food Network reruns!
H2… Oh, my gosh, it’s HOT!
A key component to beating the heat is hydration! Not only is this important for your safety, but water stops can be crucial for cool downs during long stints in the sun. Sweating itself is your body’s way of cooling down and that water will need to be replaced! When you feel overheated, use water to cool down key areas, like your forehead or neck. As things evaporate you should feel that cooling effect.
One technique I use to keep my electrolyte drinks cold is to freeze a small portion in my handheld the night before and then fill the rest up with liquid in the morning. Then I have a portable, cooling handheld that is refreshing and acts like a cool pad if needed.
Out with the Cold, in with the New!
What to wear, what to wear, what to wear??? The right gear for hot running is critical for training and for race day. Obvious tips include breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics and brighter, lighter colors that reflect the sun’s rays. But don’t forget to protect that skin at all costs – hats, sunglasses, and loads of sunscreen! There is nothing like running while your running top slowly caresses that red, crispy shoulder burn you got the day before – agony, really, agony!
Stay organized with your clothing – sort out your winter wear from your summer gear, and put it out of sight for the season. This will simplify your gear choices and help get your clothing rotation in order, especially knowing that you’ll be doing more laundry in the summer months due to way more perspiration.
What tips do you have for beating the summer heat? Make sure to share them below or on social with the hashtag #BibChat! I’ll see you out on the roads and trails – I’ll be that sweaty mess on the path with a smile and a wave!