Apr 6, 2016

5 tips to make it through your hot run

I'm a South Florida native, so to me the heat and humidity are just normal. I usually start my half training for the year in the summer. This year it has extended to the beginning of summer (known as spring in most parts). I know that a lot of people do struggle with getting out there for a run, especially a long one, in the heat. Since this seems to be more of the norm for me, I figured I could share some tips to make those hot runs more bearable.

totally gross and sweaty!

My top 5 tips for getting through that hot run....

1. Get out there before the sun.
I know it sucks to get up before the world is awake, but trust me avoiding the sun will help keep you a bit cooler. I know for me the humidity will probably still be there, but taking the sun out of the equation will keep you cooler a bit longer. Now since you will be out there before the sun, make sure you are visible, wear reflective clothing, a reflective belt or vest, anything that will make you visible to others out on the road. I usually get up for my long runs on the weekend by 5:30 or 6am so I can make it back by 8 at the latest. The one bonus is you get to see some gorgeous sunrises!

2. Don't overdress.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but this is the time when less is more. A tech tank, some shorts, and you're good to go (and running shoes obviously). And make it tech material to wick the sweat away from you. No cotton (it only ends up being gross and heavy when you get sweaty)! I like to wear my compression socks on runs sometimes, but if it's too hot, I don't. They may only be socks, but they will make you warmer. You can wear your compression socks after your run for recovery. And if you will be out when the sun is out, don't forget to wear a cap or visor. Gotta keep the sun out off of your face.

3. Water, hydration, and more water!
Drink water! Drink water and make sure you are well hydrated before your run. (I'm not saying chug a bunch of water right before you go out there, but get in plenty of water the days before your run). And get plenty of water while you are out there too. Yes, I know that hydration belts stink sometimes  and carrying a water bottle is a pain, but do it! Bring your water with you and make sure you will have a few places to refill your water on your route (a water fountain at the park--or my fave, a water cooler Latin cafeteria window--always work). Also, you might want to consider drinking some sports drink too. It will help replenish all the salt you're losing as you sweat. I'm not usually a sports drink fan, but if I'm at a super hot race, I'll take some along with my water. It seems to help. And, when it's super hot, I love throwing some water on the top of my head. So consider a little splash too (or even one of those cold towels). It feels great and does a great job of cooling you down.

4. Slow down.
There is a rule of thumb that says you will run faster when it's cooler, and slower when it's warmer. This isn't the time for PRs or crazy fast miles, a hot run is just about getting in those miles. Keep a good pace, but nothing crazy fast. Start out slow and save your energy. It will probably feel weird that you're not at your normal pace, but running like this will get you through.

5. Run with a friend.
This is a tip that really can be used for any run that's gonna be hard, but get out there with a friend. You will motivate each other and push each other to keep going. I know when I'm visiting Kris, I don't feel like getting out there, but we push each other to do it. Having someone count on you helps to get you out there. And bonus, if you pass out from the heat, your friend will stop your Garmin and drag you home! Just kidding! LOL Now I do a lot of solo runs, but seeing my fit friends out there getting in their runs makes me motivated too. My awesome friend, Jenn, did this year's super hot LA Marathon. I was tracking her and knew it was getting tough, so I sent her messages and gifs to keep her motivated. She told me that was the extra push that kept her moving in the heat. Never underestimate the power of positive peer pressure.

These are just a few tips to get you out there during the heat. I know it's a sweaty crazy mess to get out there in the heat, but you can do it. Get in your miles and you'll be a stronger runner in the end.

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