Running Up Against the Heat

How is it Monday already? Seriously the weekends are non-existent lately. Our weekend was pretty busy with visiting friends and a race. I’ve been such a terrible picture-taker lately. I am going to make a concerted effort to be better about that this week.

So I have to just take a quick poll and ask how many people out there are True Blood fans?

I wasn’t all that excited about the first episode last week, but I thought this week’s was soo much better!! I wanted to watch it again right after.

I digress – I just really love that show. Anyway – as I mentioned in my last post, my race on Sunday was not very good. The humidity was ridiculous and people around me were even commenting as we were running that it was really difficult. I would have joined in the convo, but I was already working hard enough to just breathe. I suspect that I wasn’t the only one who had a less than spectacular race yesterday.

This led me to thinking about running this summer and what my biggest issues are, and what other people’s issues might be and how they cope.  Here is my list of summer running do’s and don’ts.

Do

  • Hydrate like crazy! I don’t think I hydrated nearly enough the day before Sunday’s race. I think the day-before hydration is almost as important as the day-of hydration.
  • Run early. I wondered why Sunday’s run was at 8:30 a.m., which is actually later than most NYRR races start. They typically start at 8:00 a.m. I would have been happy with a 7:00 a.m. start to be honest. I plan to do a longish run this coming Saturday and will be out there running by 7:00 a.m. or earlier.
  • Let it breathe. I wore a hat during the race. Probably not the best bet. I was primarily thinking about shading my face, but I think that hat kept a lot of my heat in. A visor would have been the better option. Along the same lines – breathable clothing with wicking technology is the smartest option for those summer runs.
  • Find some shade. This one is tough. My running routes in NYC are limited. But if I know the sun is going to be blazing – I’ll opt to run in Central Park where there is infinitely more shade than along the East River Promenade. So if you have a particularly shady route to run during those sunny summer days, I say choose that route.

Don’t

  • Underestimate your hydration needs. I’d say it’s better to carry more water than less during these hot summer days. Yes, carrying a water bottle or strapping on a water belt makes your run more cumbersome, but you’ll be happy when your mouth starts feeling like the Sahara and a water fountain is nowhere in sight. Plus, you can’t always count on water fountains to be working. Having control of your hydration will ultimately pay off in the end.
  • Force it. If you’re late, rethink running. So I know we’re all pretty adamant about getting a run in. But if you can’t get out the door in the early morning, I think it’s smart to rethink your run for that day. I can tell you first-hand that running from 11:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. can be downright unbearable when the temps and humidity are high. I’ve cut runs shorts and felt miserable after runs done too late in the day. They take so much out of you and really end up frustrating you sometimes.
  • Forget the sunscreen! I’m bad at this one sometimes. For my marathon in May, I applied sunscreen diligently on my face, but then completely forgot about my arms and legs. The result was a pretty bad burn on my shoulders. Be liberal in your application and apply it early so it has time to sink into your skin.

So those are just some of the things I’ve been thinking about recently with the increasingly warm weather. What summer running tips do you have to offer?

I’m really going to try to go to bed earlier so I can get some early morning pre-work runs in throughout this summer. Today it’s supposed to be 88 degrees outside and the thought of a post-work run in that sounds just awful.

Have a good Monday all and stay cool!

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4 responses to “Running Up Against the Heat

  1. I think running time has become key. I was slow getting started and definitely wish I would have been out there at 8:30 instead of 9:30 on saturday. What a difference an hour makes!

  2. I am not a True Blood fan, but that’s because I haven’t had the opportunity to watch it. If so, I’d probably be addicted!

    Great tips regarding running in the heat! I love running my loop in Saratoga park because it is mostly shaded. It definitely makes a difference!

  3. I’m basically at a loss here. My problem is that when I get up early here in New Orleans, the humidity is killer (and even at 5 am it’s normal for it to be in the high 80’s or even 90’s already). Usually the sun burns off some of the humidity, but if I wait for that…well, then it’s high 90’s. The best time to run is after dark, but then there is a safety issue. If I run in the sun I do wear a white ball cap, just because the sun on my dark hair quickly overheats me. Actually overheating is a problem; sweating is inefficient cooling since the humidity prevents much evaporation. My other big concern is cramping and electrolyte imbalance on long runs. I sweat so much that replacing the fluids with water is not enough – I obviously have to start bringing gatorade or something!
    Today I did 10k in…not kidding…53 minutes, and that was full effort. The summer makes me sloooow!

  4. Pingback: Toughening Up! « Eat, Read, Run

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