Good Form Will Carry You Through®

3 Recommendations for Summer Running

By on 07/10/2013 in Running

3 Recommendations for Summer Running

Summer Running

Summer Running and chili pepper shorts just seem to go together.

Good form will carry you through

Many of my runners stayed indoors during the winter months in Chicago, waiting for the nice sunny days of summer when we could run outdoors without several layers of clothing. It is so freeing to run with just shorts and a top as we traverse our favorite outdoor path. But, summer running comes with a price. This is especially true if you’re a beginner working toward your first marathon. Remember, “You can’t get to the Finish Line if you don’t get to the Start Line.”

Running in the heat can be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions; like incorporating strategies to ensure that you stay away from the dangers of the heat, humidity and sun such as sunburn, heat exhaustion, heat stroke or worse.

1. Fluids. Drink water or a sports drink before, during, after your runs.You should drink a little more than you think you need to quench your thirst – 16 to 24 ounces about 30 to 60 minutes before your run. For many of your shorter runs, water may be the better choice; if it is a long run (over an hour), drink a sports drink, which will replace carbs, electrolytes, and calories. You want to drink at least 4 to 6 ounces of water every 20 minutes during your run. If you are stopping at a water fountain, this means more than a few swallows of water before heading back on the path. And if you are planning a long run for tomorrow, start drinking plenty of water today, and add a sports drink during your run.

2. Timing. Getting up earlier and getting your run in is a great way to start the day. Mornings are usually the coolest part of the day during summer. Not a morning person? Then wait until the evening when the sun is setting. Try to avoid the midday heat if you can. And if you can’t, see if you can find a shady course to run. Tell someone you’re running, or run with a buddy. If it is really hot and humid, or if you are a beginning runner or are not in tip-top shape, you may want to run indoors or substitute a cross-training day indoors, and skip the outdoors run for the day. And, of course, a run/walk strategy often works well in hot, humid conditions. The walking intervals allows the body to cool a bit and for your heart rate to slow.

3. Patience. Let your body acclimatize to the heat. Our bodies are wonderful machines and will adapt to training in hot and humid conditions. It takes us about two weeks to acclimate; before that period, there are significant dangers associated with running too fast or too many miles. When it’s hot, slow down! Gradually increase the pace back to where it was before the heat wave. While running, if you become dizzy, nauseated, have dry skin or the chills, STOP running, seek shade and cool down by fluid intake or placing a cool, wet towel over your head or body.

If you are training for a 5K or a 10K, consider using my downloadable training schedules. I have five levels for each race, so there is something for most runners. Even if you are a beginning runner whose weekly mileage is less than 5 miles per week and whose long run is less than 2 miles, there is a program that fits. And remember: Good form will carry you through℠!

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