I hope the weather gods don’t punish me for daring to put this in print but it appears that summer has finally arrived – the H is O!!!! (bonus points if that reference means anything to you at all). After what seems like a loooooooong winter and a fairly wet and cool spring, we have actually had several consecutive days of seasonal or above seasonal temps which has been awesome. Being as pasty as I am, I normally complain about scorching, high UV indexy type days, but I vowed at some point during the 8th (9th?) month of this winter that I would not complain about the heat if the summer of 2014 should ever arrive.
I’m not one to look a gift topic in the mouth (that analogy died an instant death) but with the warmer temps here, I thought it would be timely to do a post on how I approach the longer and hotter days of training. If what I write doesn’t give any new ideas, I hope the post at least generates some comments and that others share their tips or experiences when it comes to summer running. In my mind, summer running gets broken down into several subcategories of preparation – time of day, fueling, clothing and miscellaneous.
Time of Day
With warmer temperatures and more daylight, there are more options for runners when if comes to what time of day to run. For relatively cooler temps, earlier morning or later evening runs are options. An early morning run means even earlier eating, but I like to get my run done asap so that I know I won’t find an excuse to skip it or have an unplanned obstacle interfere. Some people skip eating before early runs, but I’m not a fan of that approach, especially during the summer when you’re going to be sweating more than usual. I do make sure that some of my runs happen midday, so that if I have a race that happens to fall on a hot day, it won’t be a total shock to the system.
This includes food and hydration and is super important for runners – even moreso in the summer. If you are sweating, you’re losing water and electrolytes. The longer you lose more than you take in of either, the faster things are going to go south. If you have a “normal” hydration routine and are going out for a run in hotter than normal temperatures, you need to drink more. Paying attention to conditons that you train in, tracking how much you eat and drink before and after workouts and how your body reacts is all important data that should be kept in a log. On hotter days, I take 2 bottles of water and 2 bottles of Nuun. If it’s more than 10 km, I will actually have my wife bring me more water or make my run go past my house, so I can stop and get more water if need be. I will also take my GU gels a little more frequently (30-35 minutes) and lately have also started trying Clif Shot Bloks.
In my next post, I will talk about summer clothing and miscellaneous accessories. What are your approaches to time of day and fueling for summer running? Any tips you’d like to share or questions that have been on your mind? Comment below – I always enjoy your input!