If you live in Jersey, you are used to hot and humid summers. Summer heat is great when you can lounge at the pool or surf the waves at the beach. It’s not so awesome when you are running in it. The last few long runs I’ve been lucky enough to have days so hot and humid that my town even has cooling centers due to heat advisory and air quality. I’m a firm believer though if you wait for the perfect conditions to run, you will never run.
I’ve run a lot of long runs in extreme heat. A few of my MRTT Mama’s are joking that they think that I am training for Death Valley. I’m not but I sometimes feel that way too!
Even though to those driving by me running on an 87 degree day with 66% humidity, I may seem stupid, I will say that I am not. This is not to say that during my run I’m not thinking the same thing, but I do really put some thought into my runs and I do take the weather into account. Unfortunately, for me many of my runs are during the day. If I was one to wake up at the crack of dawn I might not have this problem, but I like to sleep. So I have adapted and adjusted.
Here are four things that I always do for a long run!
- I do not go out empty handed. Actually, I do because I have a Fitletic Hydration Belt; but I ALWAYS have water. My belt has 4 bottles that allows me to carry 24 ounces of water.
- I map out my run to utilize routes that usually have the most shade. I may not (ok never) follow my map exactly, but it is a nice general guide. I adjust as I go.
- When mapping out my runs, I plan for water stops. Yes, even with my belt I need to refill. On yesterdays 15 miler, I refilled two and a half times. Sometimes I know exactly where I will stop (park or store), but often times I make sure that I am running in an area where there are people I know whose houses I can stop to refill. I’ve also been known to see a perfectly good stranger outside and ask if they have some water to spare. You will be surprised how nice people are:)
- Go slow!! This is easy to do in the heat when your legs become heavy the further you go, but so many people try to maintain their pace in the heat. Don’t!
Also as a side note, if you can perfectly end your 15 miles at a Dunkin Donuts you are golden! Nothing like an iced caramel latte to help cool you off and put back any calories you may have burned off!
I will not lie, yesterdays 15 miles in the heat was a killer. By the time that I got home, my clothes were literally dripping with sweat and felt like I had been swimming in them. Yuck! That being said, I do keep thinking that once cooler weather comes that all this pushing myself in the heat is going to make for some nice fall running or at least that’s what I tell myself!
I have also come to the realization that it just might be time for me to take my hyrdation up a notch on my runs. I’m looking at hydration vests. I realized yesterday that as soon as I run out of water, I wilt. Then I thought about heading to the hills of Vermont where there are no local friends homes to stop. So it’s once again shopping time. I am so glad that running is a sport that is free. Ha!!!
How do you stay hydrated?