For both beginning runners and experienced athletes, the transition from pleasant spring temperatures to the heat of summer can present some unique challenges. It can be especially difficult to drag yourself out of the air-conditioned house when all you can think about is coming home drenched in sweat, dehydrated, and overheated, but summertime running training can be surprisingly comfortable when it’s done right.
Paired with a personalized summer running training program from Custom Training Plans, these hacks can help to keep you motivated even when the mercury is soaring. Read on to learn the 7 most essential pro tips for summer running.
- Run when it’s coolest. For most runners, that means early in the morning or later in the evening. However, if your training schedule has an important workout on the calendar and you can’t fit it in when it’s cool outside, take it inside to the treadmill. It’s easier to push your limits without the pressure that heat puts on your body.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. It’s critical to your performance and your health to stay sufficiently hydrated. You should be drinking plenty of water before your workout (ideally, eight ounces of water per hour) to prime the pump. Then, ensure you’ll have access to water during your run. Whether you choose to wear a water belt, map out a water fountain-heavy run, or stash bottles along your route, make sure you’re taking enough fluids in to compensate for perspiration and the temps.
- Drop your pace. It’s a fact: hot weather slows you down, and that can be discouraging for any runner. Instead of pushing yourself to achieve your springtime pace, measure your workouts by effort.
- Run along the water. Whether it’s a river, a lake, or an ocean, the temperatures near the water are generally cooler and breezier. Plus, you’ve got the chance to reward yourself after your run with a cool dip!
- Try trail running. Because pavement retains so much heat, running on grass can keep you cooler. If you’ve got a park system with running trails, even better. The combination of the shade from the trees and the cooler dirt can make the temps more tolerable.
- Pick your wardrobe wisely. Wearing loose-fitting, light-colored clothing helps to redirect the sun’s rays away from you and lets the breeze help to cool you. If you’re a hat-wearer, ditch the thick fabric hats in favor of more breathable options like a visor or mesh-backed hat. And of course, always choose gear made out of sweat-wicking fabrics.
- Use a training plan customized for you. A personalized training plan should take into account more than just your level of ability and your goals — it should be flexible too. If the temperatures rise into the danger zone, you should be able to mix up your workouts while still making progress toward your goals.
While some aspects of summer running can be unappealing, it’s worth the effort. Training during the summer can make you a better, faster, more efficient runner. Hot temperatures help the body learn to dissipate heat and control your core temperature more efficiently. Your body will also get better at conserving electrolytes, helping you to stay hydrated longer.
Reaping the benefits of hot weather running isn’t always easy, but these hacks along with a customized summer running training program from Custom Training Plans can help you stay on track throughout the season. Our plans are tailored to your current level of fitness, running goals, and even specific race conditions. Whether you’re prepping for the Walt Disney World Marathon’s steamy conditions or you’re seeking a distance running training program for a hot-weather 5K, 10K, half marathon, or more, CTP can help. Stay motivated during the summer and get a custom summer running training program from Custom Training Plans today.