Whether we are training for a 5K, 10K, Half or Full Marathon…. summer long runs are a must! But the sweltering temps and high humidity levels can make logging those miles a challenge—and even dangerous.
Let’s talk about tactics that will help us survive our long summer runs so by the time temperatures drop, we’ll be ready for the starting line!
1. Adjust Your Sleep Schedule. During the hot summer months, we need to wake up early, or become a night owl to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Set your alarm and try to wake up early to get your miles in before mid morning when the sun is high. If you’re not a morning person and have a safe running route, night running might be the best option for you, just make sure you have time to refuel and wind down before hitting the sack.
2. Plan routes with reprieves from the heat. Plan your route along water fountains, sprinklers, and shade. Public water fountains, shaded paths and gas stations were you can buy water should be key parts of your route.
3. Become a weather nerd and plan your attire accordingly. Check the weather forecast and plan your long run for the day and time when the weather will be the coolest, then choose running clothes that are appropriate for the heat. When the temperature soars, it’s crucial to wear the right clothing. Lightweight, moisture wicking fabrics, light colors, hats and sunglasses could mean the difference between finishing the miles on your schedule, or having your run cut short.
4. Stay close to the house, or hydration drop point. Instead of running an out and back, plan to do loops that will bring you back to your house or car so you are close to hydration. Also, if you start to feel dehydrated or suffering heat exhaustion, you won’t be stranded.
5. Buddy up to refrigeration. Put a towel and water bottle in the freezer the night before your morning run. Pull it out when you wake up then tie the towel or bandana around your neck and have a ice cold bottle of water ready.
6. Understand your body chemistry. Pay attention to your electrolyte consumption. Hydration is important, but you also need to think about consuming more electrolytes than usual. Low levels of sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium can cause muscles cramps, spasms, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and other symptoms that can cut our run short. Sports drinks, salt, bananas, watermelon, coconut water, and pickle juice are a few options that will help keep our levels balanced.
7. Take it indoors. While running outside and adapting to the heat is ideal, when temperatures are too high, it’s time to take it inside on the treadmill. Treadmills can be monotonous for long distances but sometimes a little AC or a fan is the most effective way to get our miles done.
8. Run with friends! Sometimes the best way to slog through the hot summer months is to grab a buddy and do it together. We all know that our BRFs make our runs easier, but even if you reach out to a stranger from your local running group, running with a buddy is safer and having a partner by your side who helps click the miles away can mean the difference between getting it done and calling it a day early. Let’s face it, when it’s sweltering outside, we need all the extra motivation we can get. 🙂
Now that we have all the tools we need to make our long runs happen…it’s time to get our plan together, lay out our clothes, make sure we are drinking ALL the water, and get to bed early!
Tell us what your long run plan is and how you prepare to ensure you can go the distance!
Day 22: Warm up with Hip Hurdles + Long Run + 7 Key Stretches for Runners + Wall Sit (:60)
Day 23: Active Recovery and/or Yoga for Runners (options below)
- Yoga for Runners – “Unknot Yourself”
- Yoga for Runners – “Tight Hips and Legs”
- Yoga Poses for Runners
Alrighty Crew….let’s go long so we can eat chocolate and tacos! 🙂