Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Summer Running Is Here!

After months of waiting, summer is finally here! A solid few days of sunny skies (with a few showers), temps in the 80s and plenty of humidity. 

While this was fine for activities such as going to Summerfest and seeing Outkast with a few fellow runner girls ...

Photo by @lauramke

It wasn't so awesome for running. Lately, MKE runners have been a little spoiled. While the rest of the city has been moaning about a chilly summer, it's been great for runching without getting too unbearably sweaty and being able to sleep in and start weekend long runs a bit later in the morning. 

But last Saturday, I quickly regretted a later start. The goal was 17 miles and to get faster throughout, finishing up the last four miles at goal marathon pace. I knew I was in for a treat when the pace for the first few miles felt tough. I somehow managed to hit all of my paces but it was a real struggle - not a single mile felt easy. By the end of the run, I was drenched in sweat, covered in salt and probably had a dazed look in my eyes. After a cooldown jog and 5 minute walk, I felt better but couldn't believe how much the run took out of me. 

It was a reminder that summer running requires a bit of planning. Here are a few things I'll be doing on future runs this summer:

  • Plan a shady route with access to water fountains.
  • Get an early start. Out the door at 5:30-6am is the way to go. 
  • Wear as little as possible. Shorts, bra and a lightweight tank, like Oiselle's Hail Mary Tank.
  • Use Body Glide on any areas prone to chafing.
  • Take an Endurolyte before heading out for longer runs.
  • Make a point of taking in fluids early and continuing to drink up throughout your run.
  • Focus on effort, not pace.
  • Refuel and rehydrate at the same time with a post-workout recovery drink, i.e. chocolate milk.
  • If it's really ghastly hot/humid, run at an indoor track.

Another idea is drinking a cold, iced beverage before a run to help lower core temperature before venturing into the heat!

My questions for you:
  • How do you get acclimated to running in the heat?
  • What is your best tip for running in the heat?
  • What did you do to enjoy the weekend's summer weather?

Stay safe in the sun, everyone!

- ST


  1. Running in the heat is hard, SO HARD. I much prefer winter running to hot running! I think your tips are great and I don't really have anything to add. I do most of my really hot weather runs at 8 or 8:30 p.m. after the sun has set, or at least started to. It's amazing how much cooler it feels when the sun isn't touching your body (which it does even at 5 a.m.).

    1. I usually don't run later in the evening but that's a great tip! Running at that time of day may also help avoid getting the dreaded runner tan lines :)

    2. Haha yeah that too! :)

  2. It has definitely been a challenge over here! We had the coldest winter pretty much ever and then skipped spring altogether. It went from 40 to 90 in like a week with terrible humidity. I always have to remind myself to drink more and more and more water! I've also started to run earlier in the morning and that definitely helps too.

    1. That sounds exactly like the situation we've had in MKE! Winter to summer in just a few days. It's always an adjustment both mentally and physically to run in warmer conditions!

  3. It looks like summer truly hit for both of us this Sunday on long runs! Not exactly the best timing haha, but you're right, it's a great reminder of all the things we need to do to prepare ourselves for the heat. I realized my morning coffees before my runs are pretty much done for due to having to get up so early now and the fact that that's probably not the best source of hydration before a toasty run. Such a bummer haha. On the topic of getting your core temp down before a run, sometimes I'll cut up a banana or some other fruit the day before (especially before a long run or workout) and freeze it so when I wake up the next morning, I have a cool treat before braving the heat :)

    1. Love the idea of a frozen banana for a pre-run snack. I think I'm going to have to try that this weekend before my long run :) Thanks for the tip!