Keeps You Runnin' - Maintain Your Training in the Dog Days of Summer
Who better to get advice from than runners who are training and racing all around the country? We asked Oiselle Team runners for their best advice to maintain training in the dog days of summer, from nutrition tips to staying cool on a midsummer tempo run. These tidbits are great for new runners and seasoned veterans alike. Read on before you head out the door!
My #1 solution has been salt pills...they have brought me back from the brink of death on long runs in hot weather.
Start early! Beat the heat by getting going before the sun comes up. Don't be afraid to slow down and adjust your pace for the conditions.
Wet your hair before you walk out the door. Run where there are water fountains or where you can refill your water bottle.
Keep a water bottle in the freezer, use it to roll out feet after a run.
If I'm running with a group, we will strategically place a cooler with water/gatorade on our routes that have no water fountains. Hydration is key!
Mary Margaret Malone
Freeze your 1/2 full Camelbak the night before.
You need to fuel immediately after even if you don't feel hungry. At least get in some hydration and calories or your body will not recover well.
Baby powder in your shoes and socks helps keep your feet drier and prevent blisters.
A light colored hat can help shade you from the sun, and keep the sweat out of your eyes.
Focus on getting your core temp down quickly after a run. Ice bath not always necessary - just cool shower, or even damp towel on main pulse points (around the neck, wrists, elbows, back of the knees, ankles). Returning to normal body temp after a run or workout is a factor in speeding recovery.
Hydrate the day before a run on a hot day; nice cold fruits and veggies in your meals.
If you are running your workout with a group keep a cooler with ice and water & electrolyte drinks at a specified location on the workout route so you can stop for drinks!
Fill a small cooler with ice water and washclothes for track workouts- on your rest interval, put towels on your neck, put your hands in the ice water. Keep your water in the cooler too!
Plan early morning workouts with a friend. Knowing someone is waiting for you will get you out the door!
Focus more on effort instead of always worrying about pace. Summer heat is another animal.
Pull out those mantras. My favorite is "Head up, wings out!" because it also reminds me to keep good posture. "If you're running, no matter how fast or slow, you're lapping everybody on the couch." That keeps me motivated to run no matter what.
Trails with shade. Run EARLY in the morning to watch the sunrise. Enjoy the peacefulness of your city. Everyone sleeps while you take on the day.
Reward yourself with something after finishing your workout or run, such as jumping in a pool, eating a popsicle, or drinking a cold refreshing drink.
Swimming becomes a fun form of cross training (vs torture in the winter). Hiking is usually cooler (tree covered and altitude) and gives great cardio and muscular benefits.
Sign up for a fall race and focus on it when the miles get sweltering. Also, running in the pool is a great alternative.
On days I don't want to get out the door, I remind myself of how almost anything is better than a cold, dark winter run. In the winter, the days are so short and cold. Long, hot summer days are glorious.
Plan the workout on your favorite trail, pack a super yummy post-workout treat, and grab the best flavor of recovery drink.
Shady trail loops are great for hot weather quality workouts.
Join a group. Training together makes hot summer workouts more bearable. Also adjust you expectations. Don't live and die by the clock but focus on your effort. Your body is still making the training adaptations.
Hard work pays off. Start logging runs and get motivation from #runpals! Sign up for races to stay motivated and track your progress.
Protein smoothies with fresh summer fruit and ice are a great recovery treat. Try tart cherry juice and mint, or watermelon and mint in a blender with ice. Add Greek yogurt or protein powder for an extra oompf.
Coconut water is great to hydrate post-run, but it lacks sodium and carbohydrates. Be sure to mix in a sports drink every now and then to fully replenish nutrients. Runner's World article explains this fully.
I have frozen grapes, watermelon, or popsicles in my freezer all summer. It's nice to be able to look forward to something cold when you feel like your brain is going to melt.
Lots of fluids. Mix it up so that you don't get bored with plain water. Add Nuun to an ice cold bottle of water.
Keep a water bottle at your desk and set a goal of drinking it x number of times per day.
Freeze bananas w/ peanut butter for a post-run treat or make Nuun popsicles.
Be careful about your caffeine intake (ie: iced coffee) post-run, because you will likely be dehydrated and caffeine will only make it worse!
Otter pops and pool time!
Load up on greens during meals throughout the day. They are a great source of hydration.
Post run, I make banana "ice cream" for my recovery. Freeze bananas in chunks, add them to a food processor (or blender) and blend them for a few minutes.