It’s been hot AF here in South Carolina over the past few weeks and I’ve definitely been feeling it on my runs.
Oh how I miss my pre-motherhood days of just being able to get up and run without worrying about anyone else…
It’s been 8:30 or 9:00 and already almost 90 by the time I get out the door lately after taking care of the kiddos and making sure my breasts are empty enough to run (I’m probably overly cautious with this one but I do NOT want mastitis again!).
5 tips to beat the heat this summer
Try to get out there as early as you can (or opt for treadmill miles instead).
(clearly I’m failing at this one) The best way to deal with the heat is to do your best to avoid it. Getting out when it’s cooler is your best bet. If you can stand the monotony, you can also opt for treadmill miles instead. I find the treadmill mile monotony is easier to tolerate with interval workouts instead of longer steady state runs.
Make sure you are hydrated.
Hydration is the key to surviving the heat. Drinking a bunch of water before you head out isn’t going to help though. Good hydration of all the tissues in your body has more to do with how you hydrated 24 - 48 before. Get in the habit of drinking AT LEAST half your body weight in ounces of water per day AND replenishing the lost water from a sweaty workout on top of that.
You may need to replenish more than just water because you sweat more just water. Make sure you are replacing important electrolytes as well.
If you are out for longer than an hour, you may need to consume something during the run.
Keep in mind that a just 2% loss in hydration can significantly affect performance (and your mood, your energy, your likelihood of becoming a mom-ster later in the day).
Give yourself grace with your pace!
Ideal running temperature is actually 40 - 60 °F (5 - 16 °C). As temperature increases above that it will begin to affect your running economy. For a runner this generally means, for every 5 degrees over 60 your pace at a given effort may slow by up to 15 seconds per mile (or more for longer duration workouts). It seems like a small amount until you notice that means when it's 90, like we've been experiencing here, your pace should slow by over a minute! Your 9 minute mile can easily become a 10:30 pace! Don't beat yourself up over it.
*Note: if you are preparing to run a particular race at a specific goal pace with one of my programs, repeated going out and running at paces 30 seconds or more above the goal pace will not provide the preparation necessary to run that race at that goal pace. Do your best to get out there as early as possible when it’s at least a little bit cooler.
Adjust your distances and rest intervals for your track workouts.
Because the heat effect is greater the longer you are out there you can substitute shorter repeats (400s or 800s) for longer ones (1200 or 1600s). Also consider taking longer recoveries between repeats, hydrating a little bit after each one to help your body better cope with the heat.
Okay...this last one is a weird one but….
Resist the urge to wipe the sweat off your face.
As long as it's not running into your eyes and causing discomfort, try to keep your face wet. I know it's gross, but you sweat for a reason. Allowing the sweat to evaporate freely will cool you off. Though if you live in the crazy humid south, this one probably won’t help as much.
When all else fails, remember its summer and have some fun with it...