I admit, I like it hot
but only when swimming at the pool or on the beach.
For running, I much prefer a balmy 60 degree day. Fall is a beautiful time to run (usually). That being said, July is not usually perfect running weather in Jersey. That doesn’t keep me home though and I know it doesn’t keep anyone home that has a big fall race on the calendar either. It just causes us to make adjustments or pay the price for not. Most of us just don’t want to though or think it doesn’t apply to us. I make them usually kicking and screaming.
The most obvious and easiest adjustment should be to get up super early and run before the heat of the day. During the school year, I normally do my runs mid morning. In the summer, I like to sleep in when possible. Beating the heat does not allow for this.
Boo early runs.
I will admit that depending on what type of run that I am doing, I may sleep in and just deal with the heat. Yes, I may suffer a little bit in the heat but I got to sleep in or may even go for an evening run:) I will say this does not work for days where I have a specific pace or cut down run. This really only works on slow steady days.
Runner’s are usually all about the numbers. When you’ve already embraced the running slower approach in your training, it is even worse. You think to yourself, “Well I’m already running XYZ pace, so I’m good. I don’t need to slow down any more.”
Here is the thing – coaches, articles, friends and even Google will tell you that heat is a huge factor in training. I imagine if you live a a place where it is hot ALL year round and 80’s is a cool day that your body had adjusted to the heat, so this probably doesn’t apply to you. For me though, I can tell that the heat makes a difference. Even once my body has adjusted to the higher temperatures of summer, I still need to adjust (slow it down). Here is the thing, no one wants to feel like a speed walker can pass them because they slowed their pace down to what feels like a stand still. Sometimes, I admit, I think that I should tape a sign to my back saying….
I can run faster
That being said, if you try to nail your assigned paces that were designed for the perfect running day (50 to 60’s), then you are going to overwork yourself trying to hit those paces. You may not even be able to complete your run or if you do it won’t be pretty. I’ve been there. As much as we want to pretend it isn’t so, if you run a 10:45 pace on a 60 degree day, then when the temperature soars to 80 you need to slow down to 11:05. There are some good online calculators for adjusting your pace due to heat. The hotter it is outside, the more you need to slow down. You get the same benefit running slower on a hotter day. Really.
Really, it won’t kill you to run slower.
Then there is this.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Normally, I run with my Fitletic belt with 2 bottles. Now that we are in the midst of summer, I have added an additional 2 bottles. I plot my routes to go by friend’s houses, parks, or even 7-11 so that I can refill them. I may also break out my running vest as that has bigger water bottles and more storage. Although, I think I will save that for long runs only.
The bottom line is we are all grown ups and know what we should be doing. Now we just have to do them.