Summer is a great time to take up a new health and fitness routine. The days are longer, the air is warmer, and we are forced to bare a little more skin. One activity that many people like to take up in the summer months is running. Whether you combine walking and running, jog the local track at a snail’s pace, or are training for your next race, hitting the pavement with one foot in front of the other is an awesome workout! Go YOU!
The summer, though, can also be a tough time for runners because of the high temps! Here are some tips for how to handle running in the summer and to still conquer and crush your goals.
As runners sometimes we want to be superheros. We think after taking a winter off of running that we can pick right back up where we left off last season. That’s false. Do not try to go long and hard in your first days back. All that will do is leave you limping and you will be forced to take more days off while you recover.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Ensure that you are drinking water before and after your runs and if you are venturing out for a long period of time-even during! The best fuel for hydration is water. I don’t recommend sugary sports drinks as your “go-to.” Carry a bottle with you daily and try to refill it a couple times to meet your daily goals.
I am an offender of this one and I’ve definitely learned the hard way. It is so important to stretch before and after your run, but also try to find moments throughout the other parts of the day to loosen up your limbs, too. Try stretching in the shower, while you watch television, or plan to attend a yoga class once a week. I love incorporating PiYo into my running schedule to help me gain strength and flexibility in my lower body. Using a foam roller on tight areas is also a great way to pamper your muscles in between runs.
Push yourself a little further each time.
Time and time again I share with my following that running is more about building mental strength than it is about anything else. If you feel like you’ve hit a plateau in your running (“I just can’t make it further than 1 mile” or “I always have to stop and walking after 5 minutes”) I encourage you to push just a little bit farther. We create muscular habits by doing the same thing over an over again. Trick your body into doing just a little bit more than the time before and soon you will see your plateaus start to diminish!
Invest in good gear.
Are you still wearing the same, dirty kicks that you wore in high school gym class?! It’s time to invest in proper gear, my friend! Ditch the worn out shoes and find a local running shop that can properly direct you to your “soul mate” shoe. If you are running longer distances, consider purchasing a water belt. Maybe your chaffing is preventing you from being your best. Buy a chaff guard or invest in better running shorts. Not only will new gear help you to be your physical best, but you will also feel more compelled to get out there and test your fun, new stuff out! SCORE!!! 🙂
Find a buddy.
The hardest part about running is usually lacing up the shoes and physically getting out the door. When you have an accountability buddy knocking on your door in the A.M. or waiting for you at the track, you are more likely to stick to your appointment. Nobody likes being ditched! 🙂 If getting off your butt and silencing that lazy voice is too hard, find a friend who can keep you accountable!
Know your limits.
Dude! It’s hot out there. Sometimes you just have to respect that you are human and you have limits. Push yourself, but know that fine line. Knowing your limits will prevent you from injury, dehydration, and fatigue that could set you back in your goals.